Agencies understand the benefits of WordPress. Not only is it flexible and free, but it also accelerates time to market and allows agencies to hand over a “usable” project to their clients.
Jason Marlowe, veteran web designer and CTO at Market House, understands the benefits of WordPress. We talked to him about why he uses the CMS, his stance around open source, personalized content experiences on WordPress, and more.
Marlowe started out with HTML and CSS and then moved to Drupal. From there he jumped to WordPress and never looked back. In the last 6-7 years he’s been working almost exclusively with WordPress as a digital marketer and as the CTO at Market House, where he handles the technical components when it comes to web design and development and the choices we make to design the site and what plugins and integration it needs.
Torque: Why do you use WordPress?
Marlowe: WordPress is not only powerful but it’s also super intuitive. When meeting with clients, I always ask them “who is going to manage the site?” Their responses vary but it typically goes something like this: we’d like you to do the big stuff and we want to manage the day-to-day. WordPress is as easy as using Microsoft Word — it’s just a point and click and everything is clearly labeled for easy navigation.
When it comes to the day-to-day – managing content and creating posts – it’s so intuitive. After we build the site and laid the groundwork, the client is able to take over and control their publishing experience. And they usually don’t need us to step in again until it comes to a redesign, new layout or new integration.
Torque: Stance around open source?
Marlowe: Open source is actually how I got involved with WordPress in the first place. The community is incredibly robust, and that empowers you to create anything you can dream of.
A few years ago, I had a client who asked for some random integration. And, sure enough, I did a search in the WordPress plugin ecosystem and found it. I never in a million years would’ve thought that existed. Then I dug deeper and found that there were several more plugins that also added that integration.
I have never started a WordPress project and been disappointed. I’ve always either found the integration I was looking for or found someone to help me create it. I have always found a solution – which is one of the reasons we keep coming back to WordPress.
Torque: How are you using WordPress to create customized content experiences for clients?
Marlowe: I’m going to tackle this question in two parts: what we are doing and what we want to do.
First, all of our sites are responsive. I view this as a customized experience as it is tailored to each device. We also are delivering customized content experiences on unique landing pages, meaning that the themes switch based on specific landing pages. So if we’re running some sort of promotion or campaign, we tailor that landing page to align with the source it’s coming from. For example, if we have someone coming from Facebook or a community website – there is a specific experience built out for respective users.
We also deliver content on specific pages based on geolocation, where content on the page is localized to individual users. So if they’re in Alabama, for example, they are getting different content than someone in New York. Delivering those geo-specific customized content experiences is something new that we have been working on and it’s been incredibly successful so far. It’s really helped us streamline our process as marketers.
We want to explore how to deliver more customized experiences based on user profiles. This means that a site would have a user profile on users and different images would load on the site depending on who you are. This is something that large brands like Amazon are already exploring, but we want to deliver this model for far less money and for more sites. These super customized experiences. The future of customization is limitless.