Karen Skeens

Communications and marketing consultant/writer/designer/strategist with 20 years of passionate dedication in digital agency and broadcast media work helping companies of all sizes grow.

Why Choose a WordPress Website?

I started specializing in websites and website marketing in 2001.  I was fascinated by the web and dove in, exploring the many bells and whistles the web has to offer.

I spent a lot of time conducting quality control and testing on websites.  And that wasn’t even my job!  But that’s what I spent dozens of hours of personal time doing each week because web developers didn’t do it enough and I was into making sure everything worked correctly under the hood.

Testing custom websites is exhausting.  You must test every page in dozens of different browser / operating system combinations.  You must test again every time a change or fix is made to a page.  This adds a lot of extra cost to developing custom websites.

Enter the scene:  WordPress themes.  I started working with WordPress in 2006, using it to power full websites when other agencies still only used WordPress to power blogs only.

WordPress has come a long way the last five years.  If you work with a good theme and/or a good page builder that requires minimal (if any) HTML / CSS coding from scratch, there isn’t a need for traditional browser testing.  The bugs are already worked out, except for the occasional bug that may pop up after WordPress or theme updates.

For your next website, I highly recommend choosing a good WordPress theme, one that is highly rated, has been downloaded 10,000 or more times, and is regularly updated by the theme developer.

I am reminded when developers, including my firm, used to build shopping carts from scratch.  They were nothing but headaches due to the need for excessive testing.  Like other agencies, we moved to customizable “off-the-shelf” shopping carts that already had the bugs worked out and were in use in thousands of websites.

That’s where websites are at. Why build a website from scratch that’s going to need a ton of testing when you can get a highly customizable and functional “off-the-shelf” WordPress website? It means a lot less cost, testing time and headaches.

Want that job interview? Don’t talk your way out it.

You’ve sent your resume to dozens and dozens of potential employers. You know if only you could get in front of the employer, they’d see your talents and realize how great you are and hire you right away. So when you finally nail an interview during your initial phone call or email, why keep talking and talk your way out of a job before the interview has even happened?

Here is one way to handle an interview request from a prospective employer:

Get in and out of the phone call or email as politely and accommodating as you can. “Yes, Tuesday at 10AM works great for me, looking forward to seeing you then.” Assuming the scheduler or employer doesn’t ask you anymore questions, you’re done.

Unless asked, save your own questions for the interview. Resist the temptation to contact the employer again ahead of the interview to ask directions, how much the job pays, if you should bring anything, or details about the specific job.

Keep in mind that most employers and human resource professionals are busy and processing hundreds of resumes. Many applications don’t even get opened.  If you need to ask a question prior to the interview, make sure it absolutely cannot wait until the interview. Because you might talk yourself out of the interview. The employer simply may not have time to respond to several questions from multiple applicants. Also, any time you communicate by email, there is a chance for misinterpretation because of the nature of email versus communicating in person. For example, if you ask for directions, this may suggest to the employer that you may not be a good problem solver. If you ask about money at this stage, the employer may think money is the most important thing to you.

Remember, the hard part in getting a job is getting in front of an employer. Once you’re in front, you can show your stuff and ask questions when you have the employer’s attention.

Here is a REAL email my former company received from a job applicant who responded to my interview request.  It’s an example of the wrong way to respond. Ultimately, the interview was never scheduled.  The candidate “talked” her way out of it by asking too many questions at the interview scheduling stage. Check it out:

“Dear Karen:
“My office can’t spare me tomorrow but I might be able to get Friday free. I should know by the end of the business day tomorrow. Or, if a time outside of normal business hours would work for you, I might be able to make that work too. In the meantime, if you have any questions for me, feel free to ask away. I’ve got a couple myself. For example: If hired what specific tasks would I be doing (what would an average “day in the life” look like, what hours would I keep, etc) How much (if any) of my work could be done remotely? Such as working from home. Would I be in a bullpen, in a cubicle, in a shared office, or in my own office? Are there any rules about playing music during work? (Such as headphones being required, etc)
Thank you again for getting back to me. I look forward to your reply.”

(Candidate’s came redacted)