SiteOrigin for WordPress

Old dog learns new tricks

Teaching an old dog new tricks(!)

I’ve been using SiteOrigin Page Builder for WordPress a lot of late. It follows on from my Timothy Marc review. I’ve still been mulling over his Thirty Day Challenge, and part of that was creating a website/landing pages.

Tim recommended Unbounce and Clickfunnels. I’m familiar with them both but only took a short subscription with Unbounce. It was £37 a month, it was a good interface, but I’m already at Wealthy Affiliate and have 25 sites I can host on their SiteRubix system as part of my membership – so it seemed a waste of money to use a service that was essentially creating only a front page.

Okay, I know it has reporting tools, but nothing that you can’t set up on Google Analytics if you want. Clickfunnels I didn’t consider as it was near $100 a month, and that’s simply not justifiable (at least for me). It does have better payment integration if you’re doing a “Buy Now” campaign, but even so I just grudged the price. Maybe there’ll come a day I won’t, that it’ll fit me perfectly, but not today.

Speaking of Clickfunnels, I note that’s the platform I’ve seen a lot of Shaqir Hussyin’s output sitting on.

Anyway, I’m really familiar with Wix, it was a bit of learning curve, not too much, but WordPress, which is this blog’s CMS, was completely different. Like all the way across the ocean different.

But I wanted a website, and after briefly toying with sticking with what I knew, and going back to Wix, I decided to persevere with WordPress. That twenty-five sites I have were just burning a hole in my internet pocket after all. Plus, as I say, it was a waste not to knuckle down and try and figure out how WordPress, CSS, HTML etc., all hang together.

That process was much aided with a couple of tools by a company called SiteOrigin. There’s plenty developer reviews on their products, but what drew me to them mainly is that their tools are free! And consistently ranked highly in reviews.

Another free tool I flirted with is Live Composer. I tried both but I stuck it out with SiteOrigin, and I’m glad to say I did.

After a lot of hair pulling moments and frustration, I had my eureka moment with it after maybe three or four days of producing really bad layouts and having no idea how to get my page to look anything like the beautiful renderings in the Youtube tutorials.

Those tutorials I watched on play-pause, a few seconds at a time, but it was not going well to say the least, and I don’t consider myself a technophobe either.

Then after a few days of getting nowhere, I had a “what if I try this…” epiphany and it all fell into place.

SiteOrigin has an excellent searchable Q&A area that’s open to the web, and all my other CSS issues were (largely) answered there too. Once I got going on it, I had my website built in pretty much a week.

Now, it’s not all SiteOrigin, I also had to use online graphic tools a plenty, there was as much artistry as there was techy stuff to deal with, even with SiteOrigin’s live editor that gave immediate feedback on how the site looked and was shaping up. WordPress is fiddly as heck and unforgiving.

But it was very, very satisfying to complete a site, that with more custom CSS tweaks it looked every bit as professional as anything else out there gracing the web by a so-called ‘designer.’

Because once you get into WordPress and start researching templates and themes, you realise how many sites have pretty much had nothing more done to them than the site titles and pictures changed. And probably had to pay ££££ for that.

So, now I’ve got a couple sites and some more ideas up my sleeve that will necessitate more site building, but I’m finally moving into the launch phases of my belated Thirty Day Challenge… couple months after I was supposed to if I was following the program correctly, but better late than never and all that.

I was busy, what can I tell ya?! But as I said, I was intrigued by Timothy Marc’s advice, so I’m giving it a go. We’ll see what happens…

But in terms of SiteOrigin, it’s a plug in you can use on just about any site, and you can use to dress it up. Best to have a practice area though, because as I mentioned WordPress is unforgiving, even with the “undo” feature of the plugin.

I mention it as if you’ve grander plans for your blog, but don’t know where to start, and don’t want to pay a developer (who’s probably using that tool or another, not actually getting his hands dirty in the code) then it’s worth a look, and well worth sticking with.

It make even make you a bit of money too. Picking up how to create a custom WordPress website 😉

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