The key factor to consider when it comes to building any website is its functionality. Does the website deliver what the client needs and does it engage properly with your customers?
WordPress is the CMS (content management system) platform of choice for businesses, and particularly bloggers and online marketing websites. 25% of websites are now created with WordPress. It fits the two extremes of being both a platform that beginners with no knowledge can use as well a tool for professional designers and developers.
Can you build a website yourself with WordPress?
For many online marketers and those just starting their online businesses setting up and managing your own website is the way forward. Also, if you’re on a very tight budget and you have the time you may be considering creating your own website. But for those that run other types of businesses, having a qualified professional designer put together your website will be the best option. That’s where I might come in.
Once your website has been designed you may want to take the reins and manage it yourself or you might prefer the designer or developer to continue to manage it. This is one of the great benefits of WordPress. Different scenarios and needs call for different actions.
So whats the reasons for choosing WordPress?
1. It’s free
As WordPress is a free open source software in itself it wont cost you a penny. However, a self-hosted website will, as it requires a domain and a hosting package, which will cost you a small fee each month. If money is really tight you could opt for a WordPress.com website, which is completely free, however you won´t have the full functionality and tools available that you get with a WordPress.org website.
For a self-hosted website I recommend HostGator or Bluehost as they make installation and setup very easy. If you are after a domain name check out Namecheap, they are always having different offers on.
The WordPress structure and interface is straightforward to navigate and to get to grips with. By just testing out some of the features and tools yourself you could quickly learn how it operates. I began to learn simply by trial and error a few years ago. I did end up buying an eBook to help me which was certainly worth it. I have tried to dig it out for you guys but the product I used is unfortunately no longer available, however, there are plenty of others on the net and also on Amazon. My advice is don’t buy a product that is out of date. WordPress is always being updated and improved, so some of the functionality changes slightly in different areas.
3. Easy to manage
You can manage your website yourself once it’s up and running, or you can learn about the WordPress software yourself whilst building your site. This is cost effective as you will be able to make changes and updates on your own.
Hosting companies support WordPress and other CMS platforms and the software is free to install and fairly easy to setup.
4. Choice of themes
There are so many themes to choose from online, both free and paid, and trailing through them all can be very time consuming and frustrating. It’s a little overwhelming where to start. I can help narrow things down so you can pick the right theme for your business. It can be very tricky to find a theme that eventually looks like and works like its demo as they often operate slightly differently, and if the theme is free it won´t come with any instructions. From my own experience this can be very frustrating. You end up installing then messing about with the theme only to realise it’s not working properly, it’s not easy to use or you have to pay out and upgrade in order to get the benefits you want.
Site5 themes is one place I would recommend getting a free theme from. Their small selection to choose from operate well, are easy to use and have quite trendy designs.
And if you have the pennies to spare where do you buy a premium theme? I’ve listed my recommendations on the resources page and explained each of the benefits of these resources and what some of the disadvantages are. Each of these websites has a large selection to choose from. I personally recommend ThemeForest or Elegant Themes.
Because WordPress is so popular, the resources online are extensive. If you have a question you’re sure to find an answer. WordPress has a forum where you can ask questions, and there are other websites which purely focus on WordPress resources and tutorials.
One key resource I found quite overwhelming was selecting the right theme and I searched hundreds for a free one which I could put my stamp on. There were so many to choose from, and to be honest a lot of them were crap. I finally found a few which you might be interested in here.
Plugins, or extensions, are the ‘extras’ needed to make your website do the unique things you want it to, such as offering online purchases, producing sign up forms, playing media, and using social widgets. If you can think of it you can be confident someone has created a plugin for it. Plugins can easily be added to your WordPress website.
7. Mobile friendly
These days a website absolutely must integrate with smartphones and tablets. With WordPress you don´t have to worry about getting your website optimised for these devices as many of the themes will read clearly no matter what device they’re being viewed on.
8. The search engines like it
WordPress is easy to crawl so is favoured by the main search engines, which means if you have a WordPress website that is well written with good SEO-friendly copy visitors are more likely to find you. Take a look at this video clip endorsing WordPress for SEO, by Matt Cutts from the Web Spam Team at Google.
You or your web designer can easily build your website to suit you. There are thousands of themes and plug ins available. At the touch of a button you can create a website that reflects your business tone and strategy. And if you know what you want but don´t have design skills Hub Graphics can help. All I need is a clear brief to turn your idea into a slick and fully functioning WordPress site.
10. Scheduling blog posts
WordPress can manage your blog posts so they are published live on the most effective dates. For example your site may have the most traffic in the evenings, so blog posts can be published then to receive the most views. This also works well for those of you who have ideas in the middle of the night, or at strange times, and write your blog but don´t want to publish until your website is at its optimum visiting time. It means you can write, schedule and WordPress will publish when you decide, without you having to remember or worry.
I hope this has shed some light on some of the reasons your Business should use WordPress. If you can think of any more which I know there is please leave your thoughts in the comments.