WordPress was designed primarily to be used as a blogging platform, but it is also a powerful website content-management system. Here are 10 reasons it works for business.
1. WordPress software is free.
While “free” is not always the best business solution, WordPress is well established. “WordPress.org can serve users at all price points from those who want to start with a free theme that they install themselves, to those with more specific needs who can hire a web designer to create a custom theme that integrates with their site and supports their branding,” Cool says. From the start, the only cost will be the price of hosting your site.
2. WordPress is open source.
Why should that matter for your business? Open source means that the technology that powers WordPress is transparent for easier development. As a result there are people all over the world developing new themes and plug-ins to share with other WordPress users. With other blogging programs such as TypePad, users have to learn a specific programming language to use it. Movable Type can be cumbersome for non-techie users.
3. WordPress can be used for simple blogging or full website content.
“It is more appropriate to consider it as a platform for full website content creation and management,” Armeda says. Perhaps you already use WordPress for a personal – or company – blog. With a few adjustments, WordPress can also be used to run a full-service website. This makes it a one-stop solution that can eliminate the need to use two different programs for your company website and blog. “In most cases we create full web properties with WordPress, blogs are a component of these solutions, not the main focus,” Armeda says.
4. WordPress is optimized for SEO.
“I use WordPress for the majority of my websites due to its ease of use and SEO capabilities,” said Katie Wilber, owner of The Marketing Momma. When building any website or blog that’s aimed at a wide audience, search engine optimization (SEO) is important. WordPress has SEO benefits built-in. “WordPress sites tend to do much better in the search engines and rank well quickly,” said Wilber. “I have had several sites that within days of setting the site up with keyword friendly domain names that are ranking on the first page for that keyword.”
5. WordPress is easy to update.
One of the major complaints of business owners is that they can’t update their website themselves, and that having someone else update it costs them money. “Not only is WordPress free it is simple to install,” said Armeda. “It takes no more than five minutes to set up the software.” Once WordPress is set up you can easily update content or create new pages without knowing HTML.
6. WordPress has thousands of extensions.
There is a large community of WordPress developers who create free themes, widgets and plug-ins. There are extensions for polling, contact forms, backing up your site, blocking spam, making your pages load faster and thousands more that can be found on the WordPress Plug-In Directory. “Any enhancement you can think of, type it in to Google and you will find an answer or search the WordPress Plug-In Directory,” said Armeda. From there, you add the new features to your website or blog without having to hire a web developer.
7. WordPress has a supportive community.
WordPress users and developers have online support networks on various forums. And throughout the world, WordCamp conferences are held to talk about everything WordPress. Armeda attended a recent Word Camp held in Orange County, California, and estimates: “70 percent of the attendees were small businesses wanting to advance their online presence and new firms that want to push using WordPress to their clients.” Users also post step-by-step video tutorials that can walk new users through the most basic as well as complex concepts. In addition to a host of free online WordPress resources, if you simply can’t find what you’re looking for or don’t have the time to work on something highly customized for your site, it’s easy to find WordPress developers for hire.
8. WordPress has one-click installation.
Many hosting providers have quick installations of WordPress. “WordPress is convenient as more hosting providers offer easy-install processes for it than for Movable Type,” Cool says.
9. WordPress allows multiple users.
Multiple people at your company can have access to update your website or blog. “WordPress has core role base management and you are able to extend it as the need arises for you and your organization,” Armeda says. You can set permission levels of each user to maintain the security and integrity of your website or blog.
10. WordPress can be self-hosted.
If you decide to use the self-hosted version of WordPress, there is more flexibility in terms of features and design. “If you want to host it you have the ability, but if your company is not there yet you can manipulate WordPress to fit your brand and your needs,” Armeda says.