Podcast Episode 50 – WordPress in the Real World with Chelsea Adams-Cook

In this special episode of Website Success, host Chrissy Rey interviews Chelsea Adams-Cook, a licensed massage therapist and small business owner, about her journey with WordPress for her business website. Discover how Chelsea transitioned from a DIY approach to professional web design and how it impacted her business. Learn about the benefits of choosing professional services over going solo, the importance of planning and content management, and tips for maintaining a WordPress site. Whether you’re considering WordPress for your business or looking to improve your current setup, this episode offers valuable insights and real-world advice.

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes

Join Chrissy Rey as she interviews Chelsea Adams-Cook, owner of Kneaded Massage and a WordPress user, about her transition from DIY to professional website design. Learn practical insights on managing a WordPress site effectively as a small business owner.

Key Topics

  • Introduction to Chelsea and Her Business Background [00:00:09]
  • Choosing and Using WordPress for Business [00:01:02]
  • Experiences with WordPress.com and WordPress.org [00:01:23]
  • Decision to Redesign the Website Professionally [00:03:26]
  • Challenges and Rewards of Redesigning a Business Website [00:04:47]
  • Importance of Professional Web Design and Maintenance [00:06:45]
  • Benefits of Strategic Planning and Content Management [00:18:32]

Links to Additional Resources

Guest Bio

Chelsea Adams-Cook

Chelsea Adams-Cook has been a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) since 2012. She went to Anne Arundel Community College where she received her Associates Degree in Massage Therapy. Since graduating she has gone on to become certified in Prenatal/Postpartum, Infant, Hot Stone, Reflexology and Fertility Massage. She also is a certified instructor in Infant Massage and Couples Massage for Pregnancy. While going to school for massage, Chelsea also took an interest in nutrition. She holds a Letter of Recognition in Nutrition and Fitness from Anne Arundel Community College.

Recently Chelsea has become an NCBTMB certified instructor. She will be working with Claire Marie Miller Seminars teaching Nurturing the Mother® Prenatal and Postpartum and Nurturing the Mother® Fertility classes.


[00:00:00] ​

[00:00:09] Chrissy: Hey everybody, this is Chrissy Rey and welcome to Website Success. This episode, I am going to be interviewing someone. This is a first for Website Success, but I am interviewing Chelsea Adams-Cook. She is a licensed massage therapist and the owner of Kneaded Massage. She has offices in Pasadena and Crofton, Maryland. And she is my massage therapist that I go to.

[00:00:35] Chrissy: Part of why I asked Chelsea to be on with me today is because she has done her own website in the past. And then my company Pongos did a website redesign for her. So I wanted to talk a little bit about her experiences with both. And she is using WordPress and she started off on wordpress. com. So Chelsea, I wanted to ask you. What made you choose WordPress as your website builder?

[00:01:02] Chelsea: I have used WordPress in the past for other random things. So I just knew how WordPress worked and I wanted something that was familiar to me because WordPress in all reality is a pretty intuitive website if you have a solid understanding of websites. So that was just a nice jumping off point that I knew the process already. .

[00:01:23] Chrissy: Okay. That’s good. And what has your experience been with WordPress, both in wordpress. com and you’re now in a self hosted WordPress, wordpress. org. So what has your experience been with WordPress so far?

[00:01:36] Chelsea: All positive. My website was okay ish when I first started and now that the redesign is done, it’s even better. So I like WordPress as a system. Yeah.

[00:01:46] Chrissy: Okay. And have you used any other website builders like Squarespace or Wix or any of those?

[00:01:52] Chelsea: I have not I have dabbled with the thought process of getting a Squarespace because I have product that I sell. So WordPress, it would be very complicated to put product on there. So I’ve thought about Squarespace to do it. I also have another hosting platform, which is Massage Book for all my bookings, which I’m not willing to give up.

[00:02:11] Chelsea: But no, WordPress is the only website that I have and that’s what I’ve used so far.

[00:02:15] Chrissy: And you can, you could have a website with massage book, right?

[00:02:18] Chelsea: I do have. So the way the massage book works is that they do have a page that you go to. And from there, you can use it as your booking website.

[00:02:26] Chelsea: So it does list all of my services and it gives away for clients to book that’s all in one space, which is nice. And each location has a different page.

[00:02:37] Chrissy: Yeah. And I’ve used it for you and for other before, before you used it for other massage therapists before Chelsea BC. And it’s pretty intuitive for what the kind of services that you offer.

[00:02:50] Chelsea: And it’s a great way just to, so that clients can see everything in one fell swoop and compare. So if I run any specials, it’s all on there. And then massage book also does its own form of advertising. So that’s nice that people don’t have to come to my website first, that they can find me on that other platform if they so choose.

[00:03:09] Chrissy: Okay. Awesome. Now, we did a redesign for you and we were just trying to figure this out before we started recording, but it was in 2022, beginning of 2022. You did your original website yourself. Yes. What made you to decide to do a redesign?

[00:03:26] Chelsea: So just the long of the short of it is that I have been in this business for 14 years, but only two of them have been me supporting myself in my own business.

[00:03:36] Chelsea: So I had started doing the rebranding because That’s what needed to get done. And then I wanted to have a landing spot for clients for when I stepped out on my own, which happened in April of 2022. So to get all of that, all of the backend work done first was really important to me. So that’s why I jumped then.

[00:03:57] Chelsea: Also, I had the funds to jump at that point. Because owning a small business, you have to build up those funds first.

[00:04:02] Chrissy: And why did you choose to go with a professional and choose to go with Pongos instead of trying to do it yourself the second time?

[00:04:10] Chelsea: As much as I think I am a I can do most things within a business.

[00:04:15] Chelsea: There are some times when I look at my business and say, I am not the best person, nor do I have the time, energy, or effort to put into this because that needs to be going someplace else. So I chose to have a professional do it because one, it would have been, it would have taken me. Months, if not a year for me to actually sit down and do this process and you guys did it in a matter of a month once I had all my information to you, so that was important.

[00:04:40] Chrissy: And speaking of having all of the information to us, what was the hardest part for you of the redesign?

[00:04:47] Chelsea: at the time that I did my redesign, one of the things that I had to provide was everything. I had to provide everything. I had to provide my logo. I had to provide all of the information that I wanted on the website, the couple of blog posts that were requested, all of the content, like any sort of content I also had to provide.

[00:05:05] Chelsea: That was just a lot of. pulling things together. I was very lucky that I had written a business plan prior to that. So I was able to pull a lot of that information from that business plan. The other part that I went, Ooh, probably not, probably I’m not the best choice to do this, was making a color palette.

[00:05:21] Chelsea: So I did already have my logo done. And then it was me going onto a website that was recommended and going, but what colors exactly match? That was a little difficult, but I mustered through it.

[00:05:33] Chrissy: And I’ll add in here Chelsea used one of our older packages . clients would provide the content and all of their branding, including their logo and color palette. And one of the things that we do now is we assume that, just because this was my experience, that a lot of the small business clients are going to come to us and they’re going to have a logo and that’s it. We’re going to probably have to figure out their color palette and their fonts. And so we have, we built in a little bit of time to do that. We still need them to provide us with a logo.

[00:06:04] Chrissy: And then also with the the content, I’ve started giving clients some of the templates that I use with Our clients that we do more of the content development for them. So I’ve created a planner to help them organize their content and templates to help write the content. So that’s something that, that I’ve added to the repertoire as we build websites for people, it makes it a little bit easier.

[00:06:31] Chelsea: I’m not sure I would have done it any faster, but it does sound at least like I would have had an idea of what was being looked for. I got a list, which was lovely, but it was getting that list all together, which was time consuming.

[00:06:41] Chrissy: So what was the best part of doing the redesign for you?

[00:06:45] Chelsea: Just the way that it ended up turning out. It was the website’s gorgeous. I try and send people there all the time because I just love how it looks and how it functions. So that has to be the best part of it was the outcome.

[00:06:57] Chrissy: That’s makes me very happy to hear. And then this is another question cause this is something that we do for a lot of clients. Do you do your own maintenance or cause you’re not on our maintenance plan. So are you doing your own maintenance?

[00:07:10] Chrissy: I mean,

[00:07:10] Chrissy: Software maintenance, which for any of you using WordPress, you know, that you have to do software updates on a regular basis. So your website doesn’t get hacked.

[00:07:17] Chrissy: So Chelsea, do you do your own?

[00:07:20] Chelsea: I’m currently doing my own maintenance. There are some times where I mess it up so badly that I have to send an email going, I messed it up and we’ve now figured out what I do wrong. So I try to correct that. Chrissy comes to see me about once a month and probably that is the day every month that I’m looking through and be like, I need to update all this.

[00:07:37] Chelsea: Oh, she’s coming in. Let me actually work on my website today.

[00:07:40] Chrissy: She’s afraid I’m going to check her website before I come in and be like, Oh, look there’s updates. But definitely one thing and cause we showed Chelsea how to do her updates.

[00:07:50] Chrissy: This is something that I tell clients that, that maybe don’t want to do the maintenance plan. You can definitely do it yourself. It’s just a matter of, you’ve got to schedule doing it. You got to do it. We do it weekly but you got to do it at least once a month. And then if there’s like a security update, you got to do it ASAP.

[00:08:08] Chrissy: So part of why we have the maintenance plan is because we keep on top of when the updates are absolutely critical, they have to be done because there’s a bug or a security hole or something like that, that, that leaves your website open to risk. We, my. person that does the updates, Dave. He’s my update guy.

[00:08:26] Chrissy: He keeps on top of all that. He’s constantly checking to see what updates need to be done ASAP versus what can wait a few days or even a week or so. So he keeps on top of that, but one of the other things that Chelsea does that we showed her how to do, right? I hope you’re still doing this is make a backup.

[00:08:42] Chrissy: Are you still making the backup before you do your updates?

[00:08:45] Chelsea: I think what happens is I have a backup. In my, the way that my system set up is there’s a backup run every day. So I just assume that’s done sometime in the middle of the night. Normally is look like it’s happened in the past.

[00:08:58] Chelsea: So normally that’s done. Cause I’m doing my updates in the middle of the day. So that’s something I’ve never, no.

[00:09:03] Chrissy: But you know how

[00:09:04] Chelsea: I can do it. I can do it now. Yep. Because I’ve had to reset. I did my updates wrong probably two or three months ago and it messed up my calendar and ticketing. So I had to go back and reset and it was right as rain.

[00:09:17] Chrissy: And I’ll just mention that for a lot of hosting providers that having those daily backups is automatic for a lot of them. And they’re usually fine unless you’ve made updates to your website between the backup and the time that you’re doing the software updates. So if you’ve added content or there’ve been orders, people have placed orders since then you do need to make sure you’re doing another another backup of the website before you do your software updates. Always double check that.

[00:09:41] Chrissy: So you did your website yourself the first time and then you had us do it for you the second time. And moving forward, you decided to do your own maintenance instead of having us do it. But sometimes you do still come to, I get an email every once in a while from Chelsea that says, can you do this for me? What are the things that you consider when you email me to do it for you instead of doing it yourself?

[00:10:03] Chelsea: What is the time cost going to be? So as someone who owns their own business, I essentially, I massage people normally six days a week. And I have one day that is my office work day. If I can’t get something accomplished within that office work day, the likelihood is going to take me Months to accomplish it.

[00:10:23] Chelsea: And let’s just be honest. Like we all need a break. And sometimes my office workday is me sleeping because that’s what I need. That’s what my body needs. When I want something bigger done that isn’t a blog post or just updating or like moving stuff around within the website. For example, I’m working on getting product up. That’s one of those things that I’ll come to Pongos for and say, Hey, this is what I want to do. Here’s the goal of what I would like, how possible is it? Is it financially feasible? Because sometimes it does take a little research. And we figured out like for the product, we figured out that the best way for me to do it as of right now, after talking to Chrissy and after talking to my accountant, that to sell product on my website, it’s just not financially a smart move. I think we, we did the math. It was going to cost several hundred dollars a month for something that I wasn’t going to make several hundred dollars on every month. So we’re going to do it a different way. And we’ve talked about it and we’ve discussed like, what are the goals so that Chrissy can make sure that my business is getting what it needs without having to spend hundreds of every month to do that.

[00:11:28] Chrissy: So it sounds like you got a pretty good balance between the DIY and the done for you.

[00:11:32] Chelsea: If I know that it’s going to take me several hours to do it, it’s much easier for me to go, hey, you do this professionally, it’s going to take you half the time it would take me. Here’s all the information that you need. Could you please do this.

[00:11:46] Chrissy: And we’ve done some of the done with you because I’ve done training with you. Like when we set up your events calendar and your ticketing system, after we did that, I showed you how to add your own events and done that yourself since then.

[00:12:00] Chelsea: Yeah, is it, am I clunky at it? Absolutely. But I know that’s something that I can manage to do myself. And I’m sure that once the product stuff goes up, if I need to add or subtract things, that will be something that I will learn how to do because what I found at least with you or how you’ve worked with me is that every time that I do something new to my website, there’s always a training or like a talk through of here’s what we did. Here’s how, what you need to do to maintain it. And if you want to change anything, here’s how you do it, which I love that about your business is that you’re supporting me as a small business.

[00:12:31] Chrissy: Yeah. I’ve worked with a lot of clients who they, got a website and basically were never allowed to touch it because their developer was like, nope, you can’t touch it because you might break it. And so they can’t update their own content, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a WordPress based website. But yeah, I’m all about empowering our clients so they can do most of the stuff themselves. I don’t want them to break anything, but That’s why we have

[00:12:56] Chelsea: To be honest, I have broken things and I’ve had to come back and been like, I done broke my whole website. Could you fix it? And literally you were like, great, I’ll have it done in 10 minutes. And then 10 minutes later, I got a text going, it’s done. And I was like, that would have taken me weeks to figure out what I myself.

[00:13:12] Chrissy: For your website, most of the time when it breaks, it’s because those pesky plugins deactivate themselves. You didn’t update it in the right order and then it deactivated.

[00:13:20] Chelsea: Yes.

[00:13:20] Chrissy: Yeah. That’s yeah. I know your website. So yeah, that’s happened a few times. Yeah. So for any of you listening, if you do WordPress updates, sometimes if you do them in the wrong order, a plugin will deactivate itself and then you have to go in and reactivate it because then otherwise your website doesn’t work or parts of your website don’t work. So just keep that in mind.

[00:13:39] Chrissy: All right. You do your own content. I know we’ve talked about this a few times before. Can you tell me a little bit about that process?

[00:13:46] Chelsea: Me and ChatGPT are best friends. It’s just the easiest way. Almost the entire time I’ve owned my business, I’ve been in school. So I was writing papers in school and I just couldn’t fathom writing a blog post. So what I would do is I would say, Hey, ChatGPT, can I please, can you write me a blog post about this topic and include references? And it would pop out a blog post and I would go back and reread it and put it into my own words. And that’s how I would, that’s how I do it. It’s just the easiest way. It’s the most time efficient way. And then I go back and I check the research. So everything that it gives me, I also go to those websites to find that information so I can try and link. I also ask it to write SEO for me which I’m not great at still, and make sure that I have every part of that blog post that needs to be done.

[00:14:34] Chelsea: There’s a couple of different factors that it asks for that I try and have everything written by ChatGPT. So it’s just a copy and paste situation in there and those, or, editing, copying and pasting.

[00:14:47] Chrissy: Have you done any SEO for your website? Have you done any keyword research or anything like that?

[00:14:52] Chelsea: I have tried. I don’t pay for SEO. So it’s a little bit, it’s a little bit daunting to me. I don’t fully understand it. And I’ve taken. I’ve been able to listen into a couple of snippets just because again, if I don’t take the time off of my business to improve myself I’m working all the time.

[00:15:08] Chelsea: So I’m trying with SEO and ChatGPT is helping a lot with that, but it’s not where I need it to be. And the other, the keyword research I am just typing in keywords that I think are hot hitting for the topic that I’m talking about. No real research, nothing that’s going to pull me up higher in the in the Google searches.

[00:15:28] Chrissy: Sounds like I need to do a keywords research specific workshop at some point, because I do an SEO crash course. I’ve got another one coming up in July. But yeah, it sounds like maybe I need to do a keyword research specific one because that’s, that seems to be the stumbling point for a lot of people. It’s once you have those keywords.

[00:15:44] Chelsea: And I think you’ve done a couple of Facebook, like lives about it, but it’s. It’s a, it’s still a lot of information. So it’s really just sitting down and making sure that you understand and can ask the questions and move forward with that because that’s going to be what changes how many people have access to me.

[00:15:59] Chrissy: And I will throw this out there. I do have a keyword research package. You’ve probably seen it, but we do we do research for clients.

[00:16:07] Chrissy: So if you can’t do your own keyword research, I’ve got that we do for, you get a hundred keywords and I use AI to give a list of content ideas for each of the top 100 keywords. So I order the keywords in order of priority based on the search volume, the difficulty and the click through rate on them.

[00:16:27] Chrissy: So the next question I have is if there is there any advice you would give to other small business owners who are thinking about making a website, whether it, whether you’re thinking about doing it themselves or hiring somebody what advice would you give them?

[00:16:43] Chelsea: The one thing that really helped me was having my business plan done because the business plan has everything that you need for your website already on it. Having all of your product and the descriptions and how much it’s going to cost and your goals and that sort of thing and your mission statement and your all of those things are needed to do your website.

[00:17:02] Chelsea: So having that information complete before you move on, I think is really important. I just also think it’s important for small businesses to know where they are and where they want to be in one year, three years and five years. And to actually go back and look at those things to see if those goals were met, because I know in the two years between me writing my first one and me taking a class to write my updated version, I had surpassed my five year goal.

[00:17:28] Chelsea: But having that, having your logo, having all of your content in place is super important to be able to move forward, whether you’re doing it for yourself or having somebody do it. Just having all that information in one space is really key.

[00:17:42] Chrissy: Yeah. Planning is important for any of you that are listening to the podcast for a while or watching my videos. I’m a big proponent of planning. And a lot of the stuff that Chelsea was saying is in her business plan. If you do my website success blueprint, it’s basically the website version of a business plan.

[00:17:59] Chrissy: So it. It doesn’t have you do the mission statement because I do that in the content planner, but it, it does have you think about what your offer is, what your goals are for your website specifically. And then also who your target audience is, your ideal client all of that stuff. You gotta plan all that, all those things out before, whether you do the website yourself or you have somebody do it for you really need to keep all that stuff in mind.

[00:18:21] Chelsea: I would say being specific as you can, when you’re planning all of this out, because the more specific you are, the more fine tuned everything is going to end up being to get to the people that you want to get to.

[00:18:31] Chrissy: Absolutely. Totally agree.

[00:18:32] Chrissy: All right. Last question. If you were starting over from scratch, knowing everything that you know now, everything that you’ve been through with your DIY website, the done for you website, the stuff where we work on things together would you still from the beginning, try to do everything yourself?

[00:18:48] Chelsea: Probably not. But I had, I, and I will say I had more time. I was working for somebody else. It wasn’t me just running this business, but I will say what I did was important to me. But if I were to have had the funds and been in a better place, I would have always had somebody do the website for me just because I know that’s not what my strong suit is.

[00:19:08] Chelsea: And that it was done so quickly and so professionally. And it made me feel like I was part of the team, not just here’s my content, have a good day. I felt like I was actively part of building it without actually having to do any of the physical work of that.

[00:19:23] Chrissy: Yeah. And I just want to throw in there, people are at different points in their businesses. And if you need to do it yourself because you don’t have the funds to, to get somebody to do it for you, that’s totally fine. That’s what Chelsea did from the beginning. She did it herself and the website that she did, it wasn’t, it was fine. It was

[00:19:41] Chelsea: clunky. I would say it’s clunky compared to what it was now, but it didn’t do what it needed to do? Absolutely. Does the website do more now? Yes. And I love that because I’ve grown within my own business and my own person, I now teach so people can come on and buy tickets to my classes. That’s flawless now. Where that wasn’t something that I was doing two years ago. That’s a newer thing. So it’s just one of those, it’s nice having somebody that I can go to and be like, this is the idea that I want to do. And having that feedback.

[00:20:13] Chrissy: This is something that I’ve talked with a lot of clients about. You don’t know what you don’t know and you don’t know what you don’t know how to do. Yeah, in some cases, like you were saying, like with the selling classes you probably, it would have been hard for you to implement that doing it yourself. It would have been possible.

[00:20:28] Chelsea: I don’t think I would have. I think it would have been like, email me if you want to join, and then it would have been like a longer conversation and now someone in the middle of the night can go. Yep. I want to take that class in September and they can just buy their tickets online. And I wake up and I’m like, Oh, great. Another person.

[00:20:42] Chrissy: And you probably honestly, and I know other clients have done this, you could probably figure out how to do it yourself. How to do something yourself, but when you work with a professional like myself, at least what professionals should be doing is trying to think about it strategically and think about the future of the website and not just the right now, because what we could have done for selling the tickets is we could have made a form. Where people could just fill out the form and send you an email to register for the class. But longer term, we thought about you might want to also do, you might want to also sell products on your website and other things. And you might want people to be able to manage their own tickets and be able to print tickets out and things like that. So that, that helps us figure out which solution was going to be the best for you versus just slapping something up to make it work and Maybe have to undo it or do a replace it in the future. So that’s something that’s very important. And I don’t expect somebody that’s not a web developer or somebody that doesn’t have experience with this to know how to do that and to know what questions you need to ask as far as the future growth of your website, that’s not something, it’s not something you do every day, but it is something that I do. Not every day, but most days

[00:21:54] Chelsea: You have questions about the human body, I am your gal. I can answer a ton of questions about like muscles and what you need to do and what you, I just, I don’t know enough about web development to be the expert at it. And I don’t have to be an expert at everything. That’s why there are certain things I hire out to do. And this is one of them.

[00:22:10] Chrissy: And this is why I go to Chelsea for my massages instead of I’m trying to do it myself because not the same. Yeah. And I can’t reach my certain parts on my back so yeah. Yes.

[00:22:24] Chrissy: Do you have any closing thoughts or do you want to share anything else about we were talking about you have a special.

[00:22:30] Chelsea: I do. I just want to say, let’s first off, thank you for all the help that you’ve given me. We met through BNI and this has become a relationship well past that. So thank you so much for all the help and helping me. make my business what it is today because I don’t think I would have been in the same place without you and your business. So thank you.

[00:22:49] Chelsea: If you are in the Maryland area very specifically Anne Arundel County or PG County I am running a special at the Crofton office. It’s 15 percent off of your first service. If you’re new to us we have somebody there Tuesday, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays. So I would love to see and meet you guys and hopefully you’ll come out and get a massage.

[00:23:09] Chrissy: Chelsea, thank you so much for joining me. It was a pleasure having you as my first interview for this podcast. I appreciate it.

[00:23:17] Chrissy: And for those of you listening in thanks as always for listening. If you have any questions or if you want to get in touch with Chelsea her website will be in the show notes, so check those out. If you go to websitesuccessacademy.com, go to the podcast, we’ll have her info in there. If you need to get in touch with her I’ll have a link directly to her website and maybe even directly to her booking form so that you can book a massage with her if you’re in the Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County areas in Maryland.

[00:23:44] Chrissy: But make sure you check us out, keep make sure you’re subscribing to the podcast and keep listening and I will catch you in the next episode. Thanks for listening.

[00:23:53] ​