For many years WordPress was a platform of choice for bloggers and web designers who wanted it mostly for its blogging capabilities. Until recently small businesses didn’t have an option to build impressive looking and reliable website at a reasonable cost. Since its birth WordPress has evolved into a full blown Content Management System capable of delivering top quality user experience on any smart device as well as personal computers. Today WordPress is used by millions of businesses around the world. Creating a WordPress website is easy, cost efficient and simple. WordPress is the world’s most popular and commonly used content management system.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a PHP/MySQL content management system (CMS). WordPress is open source platform which allows it to be modified to meet client’s specific needs. Even though WordPress did not start out as a turnkey website platform, the immense benefits of creating websites on WordPress have motivated individuals, businesses and enterprises to create or transfer their websites to WordPress. Version 3.0 marked the rise of WP to its global popularity today. By the research done by W3Techs.com, 24% of all websites on the internet are WordPress based.
Popular sites using WordPress
9 Reasons why you should switch to WordPress
When it comes to creating websites for your businesses, WordPress is the ideal platform. Whether a business needs a company brochure, e-commerce or just a one page promo website, WordPress serves as the best content management system (CMS).
We offer you our top reasons for looking into WordPress.
1. It’s easy to use
WordPress is a content management system which is equally favored by new users and experts. The reason for WordPress used widely around the world is that it is easy to use and simple to understand. It has an intuitive interface. From adding new pages to blog posts, creating and editing text, images and videos is simple and can be done easily without any expertise in CSS, or HTML on your part. Publishing content trough WordPress is as easy as creating it in your favourite text editor like Microsoft Word. WordPress interface let’s you figure it out while using it. The learning curve is minimal, unlike Joomla or Drupal.
2. It’s mobile friendly
Being a mobile friendly for your website is a necessity not an option. Thankfully there are plenty templates that support mobile devices. Such templates called to be “Responsive”. The most convenient way to make your website mobile friendly is to switch to WordPress, if your website is already WordPress than changing your main template to a responsive one will take care of that part.
As of November 18, 2014 Google will be marking mobile friendly websites in their search results: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/helping-users-find-mobile-friendly-pages.html
Developers and designers are working together on creating beautiful and powerful responsive templates. A good template “knows” how a visitor is browsing through your website and “adopts” to their device.
3. It’s Social Media friendly
Social media has transformed the way people share information across web. Websites which are social media friendly have more options to be visible to people as they can share information from a website through social networking channels. For website owners, social media offers an opportunity to engage their audiences and visitors on the websites THEY visit every day. Social media offers an opportunity for website content to be shared to millions of people through social networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many others. Depending on the type of business, social networks can generate a good traffic to your website. More traffic = more sales.
These are the ways visitors use social media:
- Social Media Sharing – One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is that it offers simple sharing of content across social networks through social media buttons. Social media buttons increase the odds of your website visitors sharing your web content with others on their chosen social networks. This increases the visibility of a website’s content.
- Social Media Following – Social media following assures a website owner that his content will be viewed by all the people following him. One way of engaging your website visitors to be a part of your social media following is to link your social media profiles in the sidebar of your website or on top of it.
- Social Media Comments – Although standard WordPress comment form asks visitors to enter their website, email address and their names, people who use social networks frequently tend to leave their social network accounts logged in. This allows users to leave comments through their preferred social network without any hassle.
- Social Media Post Broadcasting – When new articles or blog posts are published on a website, WordPress allows users to customize the themes to automate the social broadcasting of these. This is particularly beneficial for websites where articles or blog posts are shared on frequent basis. Manual posting articles can be time consuming when all one needs is to customize a WordPress website for social media post broadcasting.
- Content Locking – Content locking means hiding away content to visitors unless they share the particular website across chosen social networks like Google+ or Facebook. This can be used to increase traffic to downloadable files like eBooks or tutorials. Although, if used excessively this can drive visitors away from a website.
4. It’s ideal for SEO
Another great feature of WordPress is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). WordPress takes care of SEO needs for businesses website. Even right “out-of-the-box” WordPress has a great set of SEO friendly features such as: “pretty URL”, parent/child page structure, meta tags and page markup. Even before any additional plugins WordPress brings websites into notice of search engines. The SEO is most simple and most affordable marketing strategy able to bring tons of visitors to your doorsteps. WordPress makes it easier to rank higher in search engines like Google, Bing and others.
5. It’s a great lead generation tool
Having a website is one thing, effectively selling your services or products is another. The best and the most simple method to make your website to sell is through contact forms. Offer something to your visitor, something that they are looking for and ask for their contact information in return, and voile, you got yourself a lead. Strategically placed forms and call to action can increase your leads count and indirectly the number of clients you can acquire. Sending AdWords campaign visitors to the website that does’t have a good value proposition, call to action and a constant form will burn through your budget in no time and you will not be satisfied with the results.
Some themes naturally have contact forms already built in. Another option for creating a good content form is to use plugins. There are many contact form plugins on the internet but we recommend these 3:
- Contant Form 7 – https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/
- Gravity Forms – http://www.gravityforms.com
- Ninja Forms – https://ninjaforms.com
While all are being very powerful forms Contact Form 7 is the one we loved the most for one big reason – it’s 100% free. Additionally to Contact Form 7 you can download Really Simple Captcha plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/really-simple-captcha/ which protects the form from unwanted spam.
Additionally to contact form you can optimize you whole page specifically for conversion. Turning a website into lead generating machine is easily achievable by creating landing pages. The landing page should be simple, straight to the point sales pitch. WordPress themes offer a number of templates for creating landing pages with specific designs. A professional WordPress Developers can create a landing page cater to your specific product or service. They need to assure that these landing pages are catchy and integrate contact forms for visitors.
This infographics explains the basics of a good landing page:
6. It’s robust and secure
WordPress is without a doubt a secure and robust platform for creating websites as long as you follow these 2 simple rules:
1. Always update to latest version of WordPress – this link contains information about all available versions up-to-date: https://en-ca.wordpress.org/download/
2. Only install trusted themes and plugins. The plugin that has no user rating or bad rating could be old and not updated against latest viruses. Steer clear from it.
WordPress offers solid security to websites against threats of hacking and malfunctioning. WordPress community keeps updating the CMS regularly to address new security issues that may arise. Make sure you are always using the latest version. If you are not sure what version you use, drop us a line and we will be happy to look at it. WordPress is secure but it is only secure if necessary protection is set in place. WordPress owners share the responsibility for the security of their websites. If they are negligent, their websites may be facing security threats that they have pegged down as a result of using WordPress. If you notice something unusual on your website, such as words appear on your website that have nothing to do with your business offerings, the unusual spike in traffic or pages appear you have not seen before, contact your WordPress Developer right away.
12 Quick WordPress Security Tips
- Avoid using free themes and plugins
- Use string passwords and change it at least once a month
- Keep your WordPress updated regularly
- Back up your data periodically
- Restrict number of login attempts
- Set correct file permission
- Change PHP Security Settings
- Change default username from admin to something else
- Keep monitoring your WordPress website
- Use .htaccess to protect your directories
- Delete extra user accounts
7. It’s a turnkey CMS
Creating a website is a complex task. It involves planning, sketching, designing, creating content and coding pages. On each step a different pro is involved. Small business owners do not have the luxury of big budgets and they appreciate any opportunity to save money while still getting a great value. So the WordPress is kind of a no brainer since it takes care of development. You still need to spend some money on the design. But the cost of template is a lot more attractive comparing to completely custom website. Attractive, quality, SEO friendly, mobile compatible website is what most small businesses look for. Whether you need a product catalog, e-commerce, auto inventory or real estate website, WordPress offers fantastic integration with 3rd party platforms as well as its own native solutions. We have experience in building turnkey websites for virtually any industry. We have a moving company, dog walker, automotive dealer, metal fabricator or a multimillion dollar electronic tycoon on our portfolio.
8. It’s scalable
WordPress is powerful and easy to upgrade platform. Choosing it for your first website or switching from another CMS gives you so much freedom in future to grow it organically, offering more and more useful features to your potential clients later, when you need them. The scalability of WordPress achieved via its open architecture and plugins. Plugins are the plug-n-play modules. Plugins add more functionality to WordPress, something that it lucks in its original configuration. Some plugins can be as simple as a contact form, when other will be a full scale shopping cart. Other plugins solve more complex tasks like performance of the website, its security or inventory management. Selecting a plugin is as important as selecting a good theme. Our advice – always go for a paid plugin or a plugin that you can find in WordPress.org. A good collection of plugins can be also found here: codecanyon.com. Buying a plugin at codecanyon.com guarantees you that you are getting quality products and all its future updates. Building a website with plugins is a fun and exiting process, but something conflicting plugins can cause your website to brake. If you are not experienced developer, we always recommend to hire a pro to configure your plugins.
9. It’s cheap to host
And the list, of course, wouldn’t be complete without a quick reference to hosting. Hosting is sometimes overlooked but it is one of the major components of every successful website. Having a best website for your business doesn’t only mean to have a convincing design and top-notch content but it also requires that your website loads fast. How many times you gave up on a website that was loading way to slow. Rest assured your visitors will abandon your website if they can’t see it within 10 seconds.
Here are a few free online tools to check your website load speed:
One of the main reasons your website loads slow is the hosting. Simply put, your hosting is a computer connected to the internet and your website is on its hard drive. The slower this computer is the slower your website will be performing and loading.
The rule here is to go with the best available option you can afford. Luckily there are plenty of reliable and fast hosting companies out there. While some will only offer dedicated servers and will prefer to work with big website, some specialize on small to medium websites, and some support exclusively WordPress hosting. It is easy to get lost in ocean of hosting companies, so to make sure you get the best bang for your buck, stay with big names. To name a few:
These companies offer full support for WordPress and offer phone/email and online chat customer service 24/7. At the end of the day all it matters is that there is someone there to help you. All of our websites are hosted with GoDaddy and we couldn’t be happier.
Conclusion: Without a doubt WordPress is the best platform for creating websites for small businesses.