WordPress And Business –
A Perfect Match?

WordPress is the back-end software that powers millions of websites. It provides a simple, email-like interface for adding or editing content, but also provides the flexibility required by designers and web pros.

When your business gets a new website, I think you should insist that it be built in WordPress.

There are a few reasons why:

Ease of Use

Here’s a picture of what I’m seeing right now:

Edit post screen in WordPress

See the big center column? It’s an editor, where you can add pictures, edit text, etc. No technical knowledge required. It’s not quite as simple as using the text editor on your computer, but anyone comfortable online should be able to learn to login, add a simple page, or edit some text.

Not putting pricing online because you can’t update it? Still listing a menu with food you don’t serve? WordPress will let you make those changes without bringing in technical expertise. It will also make it easy to add a company blog, or integrate with some of the social networks.

Open Source

WordPress is open source software. It’s developed by a community, and provided to the world free of charge. Considering that it’s as capable as many paid systems out there, that’s a very good price.

Some people might worry that free means poor quality, or lack of support. But the quality’s there – WordPress has a list of large sites using their software. As for support, there are free tutorials all over the web, and the community provides support in the WordPress forums. If you need a professional…

Huge Pro Community

In addition to all the hobbyists, a huge number of professionals have developed expertise in working with WordPress. It’s possible to get support ranging from a local freelancer, to a large design firm, to Auttomatic, the company behind WordPress itself (although that last one is a bit spendy for a small business).

If you’re a very small company and quite web savvy, it’s totally possible to setup and run a WordPress site on your own. If, however, hiring a pro sounds more reasonable, you’ll have no problem finding someone who can do the work.

You Really Own The Site

Many web design firms can setup and host your website on a system similar to WordPress. Some of these are fine choices – but may be proprietary systems. When they raise their rates and you want to leave, can your design leave with you? How easy is it to export your content?

As open source options become more capable, proprietary systems provide provide few advantages, but do lock you into their system. This doesn’t help you at all – so why accept it?

Themes and Plugins

WordPress can be customized with a wide range of themes (which control the design of your site) and plugins (which generally add features). Many of these are free, and even the best pre-made themes can be purchased for less than $100. This allows you to get a site up and running for next to nothing, yet all the plugins allow the site to accomplish almost any task you require.

In addition to the existing options, that aforementioned community of professionals would be happy to create a custom theme or plugin for you – and all the competition makes it easy to find a reasonable price.

Hosting Options

As WordPress has become popular, a wide range of options have developed for hosting. There is WordPress.com, which is free for their basic service, with paid upgrades (although even with the paid options there is less flexibility at WordPress.com than other hosts).

There are others dedicated to hosting WordPress, such as page.ly and wpwebhost.com, plus you can always choose a regular hosting provider, many of which have one click-Wordpress installers. Finally, if you work with a design company, many that use WordPress will also host the sites.

SEO

Out of the box, WordPress has a reasonable setup for the search engines. There are tweaks which can improve that setup, most of which are available through popular plugins (although if you’re really serious about this, you may want to enlist some help). In addition, WordPress makes it easy to add content to your site, which is great for SEO. People will debate just how good it is, but the system provides a solid foundation for ranking your business in the search engines.

WordPress and Small Businesses

So you’re convinced? There are a couple ways to go:

  • If you’re budget is very small and you’re quite web savvy, WordPress is a great business website builder. Even if you’ve never run a website before, a site such as Page.ly sets the program up, provides updates/backups, and pre-installs your setup with popular plugins and themes.
  • If you’re a larger company, or less comfortable online, contact local web designers. Ask about WordPress. It probably won’t take long to find a few that use the system regularly. They can set things up with a custom design, provide training, and perhaps ongoing support. Maybe you learn to update and work on the site, maybe not. Either way, if that designer/company lets you down, you can always find someone else with plenty of expertise running sites just like yours.

If you’re curious, sign up for a free site at WordPress.com to see how it works.

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One Response to “WordPress And Business –
A Perfect Match?”

  1. cusip lookup April 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educational and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

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