An Interview with Deb Foley, Founder of San Clemente Website Design
In this first edition of Between Two Palm Trees, we talk with website designer, and San Clemente resident, Deb Foley about her rampant use of WordPress, and why she wants to push it on every website owner she knows.
CONRIC: Hi Deb, welcome to Between Two Palm Trees. I hope traffic wasn’t too bad getting here, and you had no trouble finding our building.
FOLEY: We’re actually talking on the phone. I’m sitting in my own office in San Clemente.
CONRIC: Good, I’m glad to hear it. It’s always nice to see you. Anyway, I invited you here today to discuss your obsession with WordPress. Word on the street is that you’re a big fan. Can you tell me a little bit about WordPress, and why you’re so addicted to it?
FOLEY: I’m not sure if I would use the word “addicted,” but I do admit that I like WordPress a lot. For those who don’t know, WordPress is an open source content management software that I like to use to create websites. It is a platform that is easy to understand, easy to navigate, and it allows me to design very professional and creative, but still cost-effective, websites for my clients.
CONRIC: Very interesting. So, you are in denial about your addiction then?
FOLEY: I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.
CONRIC: Of course not. It just seems to me that you have more than just a recreational interest in WordPress. I mean, everyone in San Clemente knows that you are the person to see about getting a website. One doesn’t just get that sort of reputation without reason.
FOLEY: I appreciate that people around town trust my knowledge of website design, and I am always happy to meet with any business owner to discuss WordPress, or their website in general.
CONRIC: So, please explain a bit more about your methods for pushing WordPress. I assume most of your dealing is done outside school yards, or do you prefer to sell it at parties?
FOLEY: I don’t “push” WordPress on anybody. My clients are free to choose what CMS they want to use. However, the vast majority of them choose WordPress after I explain to them all its benefits.
CONRIC: That sounds like peer pressure.
FOLEY: WordPress is a very versatile, user-friendly platform that has revolutionized the way people manage their websites. That is the only reason I recommend it. I also use it myself.
CONRIC: So, you’re saying that you are a user, then?
FOLEY: What I am saying is that with other content management systems, the process of updating websites is much more complicated. It used to be that every time a website owner wanted to change their online content, upload a new photo, or make any type of edits to their website, they either had to learn a certain amount of coding and layout, or hire a website designer to make the changes for them. WordPress empowers website owners to take control over their website. It is a huge time and money saver for my clients, and that is why I always recommend we design their website in WordPress.
CONRIC: So, let me get this straight: you introduce clients to WordPress, get them hooked, and then leave them to fend for themselves?
FOLEY: I never leave my clients to fend for themselves. I am always available to them should they need help and, for the clients who prefer to just not deal with their websites at all, I am happy to manage their site for them. I also provide training for my clients, once their site is designed, on how to use WordPress to make edits. I just don’t want my clients to ever feel like they don’t have some control over their own website.
CONRIC: So, do you sell WordPress by the ounce? The gram? How much is a baggy of it?
FOLEY: WordPress is actually free. That’s one of the great things about it. My clients only have to pay for labor and hosting, and not the content management system itself.
CONRIC: Please tell our audience when you started abusing WordPress.
FOLEY: I’m not sure where you’re going with that question, but I’ve never “abused” WordPress.
CONRIC: You do realize the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one, right? How has your use of WordPress affected your family?
FOLEY: If it’s o.k. with you, I’d like to focus on talking about website design. Where were we? Oh, yes, I actually didn’t start using WordPress until about 10 years ago. It used to just be a blogging platform. I was working in information technology, and starting to design websites on the side, mostly for small businesses that my friends and family owned.
CONRIC: So, IT was sort of your gateway job.
FOLEY: If, by “gateway” job you mean that it gave me the experience in coding, virus protection, and open source systems that allowed me to provide a wide-range of website management services to my clients, then yes, you are correct. I enjoyed designing websites, and found that I was quite good at it. So I quit my day job and started designing full-time. I created websites on various platforms but WordPress quickly became a very strong, versatile tool, and the more I used it, the more I liked it.
CONRIC: So, basically, you’re saying that WordPress took over your life. You even lost your job. And for what?
FOLEY: No, I actually left my IT job on very good terms so that I could focus on doing website design. WordPress became my preferred method of creating websites, but I started doing it in the first place because a lot of people were coming to me for design services. Plus, I liked being able to help people grow their online presence and, thus, their business.
CONRIC: You know, now that I think about it, it seems like every time I see you or talk to you, you’re on WordPress.
FOLEY: Probably because you only see or talk to me when I’m at the office, where I design websites… mostly in WordPress.
CONRIC: So, you’re using at work, it sounds like.
FOLEY: I use WordPress at work because it’s my jo… I’m sorry, what did you say this interview was supposed to be about again?
CONRIC: Well, it looks like we’re running out of time. Any last words to help other people who find themselves suffering from an inability to control their WordPress use?
FOLEY: I would like to say that one of the things I love about WordPress is that I can set it to make automatic updates to client sites. This means that my clients always have the latest versions of WordPress, and the newest protections. That being said, it is important to always keep your WordPress site backed up. I’m always happy to talk to website owners about how to manage and protect their website.
CONRIC: I hope that you find the help you need.
FOLEY: Yeah, o.k. Thank you.
If you or someone you love is in the San Clemente area, and interested in getting help with your WordPress use, please contact San Clemente Website Design.