Why we recommend WordPress for your new Small Business Website.
It’s an exciting time, you’re ready to launch your new business and all you need now is your small business website. Maybe you already have a website but it’s limited features just isn’t cutting it, so it’s time to update it. You jump online to do some research and are suddenly overwhelmed with the options available. What you were anticipating to be a relatively simple exercise, suddenly isn’t.
I imagine you stumbled across this blog because WordPress kept popping up during your research. If you are trying to work out if WordPress is the way forward and the CMS is going to be able to achieve everything you need. Well, I am here to say yes it is, even without hearing your requirements.
In the top 1,000,000 websites online, the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) powers over 32.5%, with second place coming in at just 3.18%. It literally blows the competition away. https://trends.builtwith.com/cms
First things first, what is WordPress?
WordPress was first developed as a blogging platform. However, over the years it has grown into a powerful CMS. It powers everything from personal blogs to big name brands, for example Sony Music (http://www.sonymusic.com/), The Walt Disney Company (https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/), New York Times (http://www.nytco.com/).
A CMS or Content Management System is simply a website in which you can easily manage the content on your website yourself by logging into the admin area. You can add new pages or posts, upload images, edit text etc. It provides a simple interface to make managing your website easy.
I found WordPress.com and WordPress.org is there a difference?
WordPress.com and WordPress.org are both owned by Automattic and essentially are the same thing. The difference is that WordPress.com is Automattics paid option and WordPress.org is where you can download the WordPress CMS to host on your own server for free.
Hosting your own WordPress website gives you far more options for customisation. Being self-hosted though you are responsible for maintaining your website. This means you have to perform your own security, backups and core updates. This is extremely important as websites are constantly being attacked and hacked. Ensuring your website is well maintained will go a long way to ensuring it is secure.
With WordPress.com, Automattic hosts your website so they look after all the security, back-ups and maintenance. The downside to WordPress.com is you are severely limited with the amount of customisation you are able to implement and you have to pay a subscription.
Personally, I prefer to host my own website. As a business owner you want to be in control of your digital assets. For me, the thought of another company having 100% control of my website is not preferable, the same goes with platforms like Wix, Shopify and SquareSpace. Sure, you can argue a web hosting company has control of your website and could go broke, but if you have your website backups, you simple move it to another server.
Here are the 11 other reasons I recommend WordPress.
WordPress is Open Source software and Free
WordPress is a free software. Which means you are free to download, install, use and modify it to suit your requirements.
What exactly do I mean by free? Well some CMS’s are proprietary and require a yearly subscription, which depending on the platform could be thousands or hundreds of thousands per year (Magento Enterprise for example)
Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com are free to use. WordPress.org will attract fees as soon as you want to upgrade your account but essentially has a free level.
Even though the WordPress CMS is free to download, there will be fees for hosting, and when you want to start customising your website you will have to hire a web design and/or developer.
What does Open Source mean?
WordPress is an open-source project. Open-source software means that it is developed by a collection of contributors. Open-source projects are typically free, with large communities.
WordPress is SEO Friendly
WordPress is written using standard compliance high-quality code and produces semantic mark-up. Which basically means Google and other search engines love it.
This is why WordPress sites tend to rank higher than others in search engines. While there are many factors that go into improving a web sites search engine position, the WordPress framework makes it easy for the search engines’ spiders to crawl and understand the content of a website
You can also use WordPress SEO plugins like Yoast to further optimise your website.
Please note: Using WordPress isn’t going to automatically rank you in first position but it is going to help. To best ensure that your website ranks well in search engines it is best to implement an SEO Strategy.
WordPress is user friendly & easy to manage
One of the main reason’s users love WordPress is because of its simplicity. It is very intuitive, user-friendly and very easy to learn.
WordPress has a built-in updates management system, so it is easy to keep your plugins up to date from within your admin dashboard.
WordPress is highly customisable
WordPress can be easily customised by using a theme. A theme is basically a ‘skin’ for your website. Themes come both free and paid, plus can also custom have your own theme custom designed. Free themes should generally be avoided. There have been cases where hackers have used free themes to create vulnerabilities in websites.
At Media Evolution we use the Divi Framework due to its adaptability and quality code. By using this framework we are able to build custom websites which don’t look like an off the shelf theme at a fraction of the cost of a custom designed theme. The Divi Framework also enables us to change the design quickly to improve Conversion Rate Optimisation
WordPress is optimised for mobile
Mobile use has been on the increase for a number of years. We have some clients whose website is accessed from mobile approximately 90% of the time. If you intend to advertise on social media that it is critical that your website be mobile friendly, you will be wasting your time and money if it isn’t. Most people access Facebook on their phone so when they click on an ad, they will be visiting your site from their phone.
Google is penalizing sites that aren’t mobile-friendly by ranking them lower in search results. With WordPress, you don’t have to overhaul your entire site to make it accessible on tablets and smartphones, since most modern themes are automatically responsive. WordPress also provides an option for websites to be viewed in “mobile view” for themes that aren’t responsive.
WordPress easily handles multimedia
WordPress comes with a built-in media uploader to handle images, audio, and video files.
WordPress supports oEmbed enabled websites which means you can embed YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Facebook posts etc by just pasting the URL in the WordPress post editor.
You can develop almost anything on WordPress
WordPress used to be a blogging platform so one of the misconceptions is that it can’t handle anything else. At one point in time that was true, however, over the years that has changed. With ever subsequent update to the CMS more robust features were added.
In fact, WordPress is at an advantage due to its blogging foundation. It’s easily one of the smoothest ways to write and publish blog posts. Some platforms like Magento (admittedly an ecommerce platform) have a pretty average blog and a paid extension is required for anything better.
WordPress can power anything from a membership site, learning platform, social platform, ecommerce, you name it and it will have been done.
WordPress integrates with your favourite 3rd party tool
WordPress integrates with many popular 3rd-party platforms to make your website even business friendly. For example
- if you were running an ecommerce site you could integrate directly with Australia Post for shipping prices, or send all your orders/invoice to your accounting software like Xero.
- You can create forms that connect directly to your CRM or marketing automation software.
- You can accept credit card payments for products or services.
There are plugins for just about every kind of function you want to add to your site. If there isn’t a plugin, there will be a developer who can write it for you.
WordPress is Safe & Secure
WordPress is developed with security in mind, and it is considered to be a very safe and secure platform to run a website. However, just like the real world, the internet can be an uncertain place. The more plugins and themes that you add to your website the more vulnerabilities you are potentially adding.
As a general rule we only use paid plugins and try and limit them to the absolute minimum. We never use free plugins unless they are reputable. For example, Yoast has a great free SEO plugin, they are able to provide this free plugin because the also have a paid premium version.
At Media Evolution we also use service like CloudFlare which add an extra level of protection and offer maintenance services which includes regular back-ups and updating of site files.
When updates become available it is important to install them as soon as possible to ensure your site is as secure as it can be.
WordPress can easily turn into a powerful ecommerce site
Want to sell your products and services online? WordPress has many bolt-on ecommerce options, but I really wouldn’t go past Woocommerce which is also made by Automattic.
Woocommerce a free plugin that transforms your WordPress websites an powerful eCommerce store. It can be highly customised by purchasing (or developing) extensions.
Finally, the team at WordPress are constantly improving the platform.
Thanks to its open source coding and innovative developers, WordPress keeps improving as the years go by. The WordPress community are very passionate about WordPress.
Let’s take a step back for a second and think about it from a business perspective. Every paid plugin and theme are essentially other businesses. As with any industry, it is very competitive. So, the quality of the platform and its extensions are exceptional. It is in every one’s best interest to ensure this continues.
If you are looking to launch your business website and would like to discuss your options please don’t hesitate to Schedule a Free 30-minute Discovery Call. If you’re looking to get online as soon as possible without hurting the wallet checkout our Foundations WordPress Website Package. With The Foundations WordPress Website Package you only pay for what you need right now, start as is, or adding add additional features as required. It is a great start which will grow as your business grows.
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