It’s not about the gadgets in your WP site-emulate what matters

We’ve been getting slammed with calls from Phoenix area over the last month.  The reason, apparently, is our tiny logo at the bottom of Jay Thompson’s site that identifies us as niftifiers of his site, or somethign to that effect.  Jay just rebuilt his WordPress real estate site recently, and we contributed a header and a few other minor visual elements, none of which is important to the subject of this post… So hey, Inna, why rant?  Right. See, these well meaning agents and such call us up and they know what they want, to a t.  They tell us they want PageLines Pro for the framework, DS for the IDX, and whatever plugins Jay uses that they are aware of.  In short – they want to be Jay, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy.

Jay Thompson's site

The reality is they don’t know what they want for a framework (unless they have background in PHP coding), nor do they have any idea about the plugins, beyond the fact that they’ve seen Jay use this stuff, and since he has a great reputation as an early adapter who’s actually making money off his WordPress real estate site, seems like a safe bet.

I’d like to state, for the record, that it’s not.  None of it is safe, and the stuff that makes Jay a presence has very little to do with a specific Framework choice or plugins.  It’s the heart and soul (and a crap load of time and effort) that he puts into his content that makes him successful.  If Jay was on a different framework, he’d be doing just as well. It’s also the balls the man has to experiment and implement stuff he finds interesting. He knows that some of it will work, and some of it might change, and he’s willing to take the risks.

Snagging what someone else does, by comparison, may not seem terribly risky, and so many of you decide to follow in someone else’s illustrious footsteps, by immitating the doodads.  If you want to be Jay – why not imitate the hours he puts in and the tell it like it is attitude?  Why not imitate something that actually makes a difference?

The cynic in me thinks that it’s because a framework and a few premium plugins can be purchased for a few hundred bucks.  The important stuff that’ll actually make it all work – that takes things that we are more reluctant to part with, time, energy, passion. And so it goes, the sheeple flocking to the nearest wise man, no longer for guidance, but easy fixes.  At the end of the day, the stuff the sheeple imitates will make no difference.  At the end of the day, all decent frameworks are workable, and that choice should be at the discretion of your web designer, because it will make absolutely no difference to you when adding or edititing your content.  So grow up some and grow a pair.  Figure out who you are and what you are in this for, and tinker, if you must, based on your needs, not someone else’s.

And most importantly, if you want to become a WordPress pro – learn all you can about it on WP forums, not AR or FB.  Go to the places geeks hang in, and delve in, if that’s how you want to spend your time.  Sign up for tutorials, pose questions to other WP geeks, and experiment to your heart’s content.  Or, you can hire someone one to just build you a custom WordPress Real Estate site that works and teach you to use it properly for business, helping people buy and sell real estate.  Either way, no matter what you do, you won’t be Jay, so have the balls to just be you.

But it seems courage is a much rarer commodity these days than money.

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2 Responses to It’s not about the gadgets in your WP site-emulate what matters
  1. Allen Henderson
    April 9, 2011 | 1:16 am

    You are absolutely correct about Jay. We swim in the same pond, but he still is ever ready to share what is working and what is not working. Great guy! He does work hard. He is successful because he does what most aren’t willing to do………spend the time and energy it takes to rise to the top of Google search with timely and consistently good content.

    • Inna Hardison
      April 9, 2011 | 11:07 am

      Hi Allen. Timely and consistently good content is indeed what Jay is quite good at. Everything else, the tech experiments with frameworks and such – that’s gravy, when it works, but those are the parts people seem to want to imitate. The other thing, the work, the content creation, the thought and energy that goes into not writing drivel – that’s harder, a lot harder. Thanks for your comment.

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