A website that requires custom programming costing $2000 or more, requires a knowledge of complex programming languages in order to make even simple changes to the content, and requires a complete redesign (again costing thousands of dollars) if you decide the look is outdated?
Or a website that is built on free software, allows you to easily update content yourself and you can select from thousands of clean, professional looking designs that can be added to the site in a matter of minutes?
WordPress, originally used solely for blogs, has morphed into an incredibly powerful Content Management System you can use to easily and inexpensively create a very professional and functional website for your small business.
Here are 10 benefits to using WordPress for your small business website:
It costs nothing
Not one penny! WordPress is available for download at WordPress.org at no cost – you won’t even have to give up your email address. To host a WordPress site yourself, however, you will need to find a hosting company. That’s generally not free. But it’s not expensive either. For just $5 – $10 a month you can host your WordPress site at any number of quality web host providers. Many of them include Fantastico with your hosting plan which is software that lets you install WordPress in just a few clicks without even having to download the software.
WordPress is Easy to Use
No coding experience required. Novices are able to upload video and pictures, edit blog posts, manage content and create new pages without the need of a developer. WordPress offers hundreds of articles for beginners. This means no more sending basic text updates to your developer that cost you money. The WordPress platform allows you to log in from any computer, day or night, and make changes so you don’t have to wait until Monday morning at 9 am to contact your design company. You have control. And because blogging was the original target for WordPress, it remains to be the simplest platform on which to blog. Blogging is already built into WordPress and ready to use, so every site from e-commerce to photo gallery will gain from its benefits.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of themes available for WordPress. A theme is basically a template that changes the look and feel of your WordPress site (a theme can also alter the behind-the-scenes options to make WordPress even easier to customize and use). Some of these themes are free, others you have to pay for. You can also have a custom theme designed so your site meets your exact specifications.
With themes, it’s easy to get a clean, professional looking site without paying a lot for custom design work. And if one day you decide you don’t like the look of your site – no problem. Find a theme you like better, activate it in WordPress and you instantly have a new look and feel to your site – all without having to change the blog posts or pages on your site.
WordPress is Safe
A lot of novices feel insecure with their ability to maintain their own website, fearful they might “break it” or that it might be susceptible to hackers. Rest assured, WordPress is secure. There is a specific process to “harden” a WordPress website installation that doesn’t exist in traditional websites. And with the right developer, your site will be safe even with multiple users. You, as the administrator, have the ability to appoint users on your site and grant them varying access levels and capabilities.
WordPress is SEO Friendly
If your business’ website is struggling for first-page placement on Google searches, then powering your site through WordPress is a good option for you. WordPress’ code is written to be highly compliant with search engines. It’s clean and simple, making it easy for search engines to index your site. Additionally, you can prime your WordPress website using keywords to make search results very specific. And because Google loves new content, the fact that you can easily and regularly upload changes and modify your company’s site will boost your SEO.
Plugins are software the extend the capabilities of WordPress to do pretty much anything you want. Using plugins, you can track site visits, add social bookmarking to your site, automate backups of your site, fight spam, create contact forms, improve site security and a lot more. And, with few exceptions, the plugins are absolutely free.
WordPress Can Grow
Your company’s website is not limited to its original design and functionality with WordPress. There is no need to start from scratch and build a new site because your business changed its marketing strategy or branding method. Plugins make almost anything possible. Want to add an event calendar, calculator, or email sign-up form to your site down the road? That’s not a problem for your WordPress engine. Even if you need to expand your site by adding pages or a video, WordPress is adaptable and none of it will negatively affect the performance of your company’s website.
Search Engine Love
Google (and the other search engines) love WordPress. Using WordPress can give your search engine optimization efforts a big boost. And if you take advantage of some of the SEO related plugins available for WordPress, the search engines will really think your site is the bee’s knees.
WordPress does not offer tech support for you to email or call with your questions. However, have no fear, there are still a ton of options for you if you have an issue you need to be addressed. You can turn to the forum on WordPress.org, which is a very active community of WordPress users who are always willing to help those having problems with the software. In addition, there are a bunch of other websites, message boards and blogs that you can turn to for advice. There are also plenty of WordPress experts for hire to assist you. Whatever issue you may encounter, help is always close at hand.
Hosting your own WordPress website puts you in control of your web presence. Need to update your content, add new posts or pages? You can easily do it yourself. Want to update the appearance of your site? Find a new Theme, upload it, activate it and you’re done. Don’t like the hosting company you’re using? Find another and move your site – there are plenty of good hosting companies around.
A huge way WordPress grows a business is by recognizing mobile devices. If your company does not currently have a mobile-friendly website, WordPress covers that by configuring your site to adapt when being read on mobile devices so that it is viewed appropriately.
For most small business owners, however, WordPress will provide all that you need to get a professionally looking website that you and the search engines will love. It’s a highly functional, flexible and cost-effective option that is hard to top.