If you own a business, you’ve probably heard a lot about WordPress lately. Maybe you’ve heard about why WordPress is better than other website platforms or maybe you just know that it’s all the rage and everyone’s using it. Either way, here’s what you need to know about the website management king that is WordPress.
WordPress is what’s known as a content management system – or CMS for short. A CMS is an online system that allows you to manage everything on your website, from your page content to blog posts to your navigation and links. Once you purchase your domain (something like www.caprockapps..com), you can install WordPress on your server so you have an easier time editing your content. Without WordPress, you may need to know coding – think: HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL – or find another CMS you like.
WordPress is not the only CMS out there, but it is the most popular. Most people hear “WordPress” and immediately think “blog.” While it’s true that WordPress started out primarily as a blogging platform in the early 2000s, it’s come a long way since then.
Today, businesses use WordPress to create gorgeous websites that are user-friendly on any device. The backbone of a WordPress website is its theme. WordPress allows you to choose a theme that has the basic structure of the website you’re looking for. Then you can customize that theme to look exactly like what you’ve envisioned for your business’s online presence.
Nothing! That’s the beauty of WordPress. The CMS itself costs you nothing. That means you get to create custom navigation menus, use widgets, personalize your site with plugins, run a blog, and manage all of your website content in one easy-to-use system for free. You can even get WordPress themes for free, though they are usually basic and have limited customization.
If you want to create a professional website that your customers can access from any and all of their devices – and why make it hard on them to buy what you’re selling? – you can invest in a premium WordPress theme. Premium themes cost anywhere from $20 to $250, though the average theme costs about $70. Premium themes come with a plethora of customizable options, compatible plugins, regular updates, and support from the theme’s creators.
If you’re serious about creating a website that’s truly unique to your brand, you could invest in professional plugins, a custom-built theme, or a team to manage your content for you. However, if you’re just starting out with WordPress and getting a feel for how the CMS can help your business, rest assured that it’s entirely free to use.
That depends. If you have experience building a website, writing content, and editing your content so it’s optimized for search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, then you can probably handle it on your own. Editing a web page or blog post in WordPress is similar to using Microsoft Word. So if you can use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress.
However, if you want your website to rank high on Google when customers search for your service or product, you may want to invest in some help. First, customers are impressed by a visually attractive website with interactive features. A WordPress expert can create just such a website for you. Second, there’s nothing worse than visiting a website and trying to click on a link only to find that the link doesn’t work. By hiring someone to build and manage your WordPress site for you, you’ll never have to worry about broken links.
Finally, search engine optimization (known by tech pros as SEO) is a tricky business. Google is constantly changing what it considers to be “good SEO” and SEO experts spend hours keeping up with the latest trends to make sure your website stays at the top of page 1. If you don’t have the time – or the desire – to learn SEO and use it well, hiring someone to handle that for you is a wise investment that can drive sales and increase profits for your business.
WordPress is as complicated as you make it. It’s so popular because it’s so easy to use. Beginning website owners love WordPress because it’s intuitive, user-friendly, and similar to other programs they are familiar with. However, WordPress can easily become complicated when you set high expectations for your website and want to use your online presence to drive traffic to your business.