When it comes to websites, we all know a good one can make you or break you in business.
I have a friend that recently hired someone to build his website from scratch. It’s not a bad idea to get a custom site coded for you, except it can get expensive. Often these types of sites are priced starting in the thousands. Furthermore, if you’re a small business trying to save money (or a startup with an unproven concept), really you shouldn’t be spending any money on a high-end website quite yet.
So after my friend got his site made, he asked me to help him put content on it. He needed material for his about page, blog posts, and landing page. What I discovered is that his designer’s content management system (CMS) was incredibly user-unfriendly.
I was used to WordPress and other CMS’s that were pretty much drag-and-drop with what-you-see-is-what-you-get formatting. Not the case with this system. It literally took five steps to upload a picture and add it to his blog. That was four steps too many in my book. He had to “invest” a few hours of his time to learn how his website worked.
Waste. Of. Time.
To make things worse, if he needed to add a certain feature or do something simple with the color scheme, he had to pay extra for it. The template was set in stone. And if things couldn’t get worse, his website firm charged him a monthly fee to maintain the site. It all came to about $250 a year.
But wait, the billing crimes did not end there.
He wanted to add entry-level SEO service for an additional $450 a month. As an SEO guy myself, I took a look at what this SEO entailed. All I saw was a few basic things here and there and very little SEO work at all. My friend was getting completely ripped off.
Now he’s a very intelligent businessman. It’s just that he knew little about websites and he trusted this website firm to handle these things for him. I wish I could have pulled him aside before it all began and said:
“Hey, I’m going to save you thousands of dollars on your website and it will be so easy, even a child can do it.”
All his website problems would be solved, well under budget.
The point is, don’t live this tragedy!
If you’re not using WordPress, you can easily switch over to it and start reaping the benefits from it today. I’ll show you my top reasons why you should switch over to or start with WordPress.
Before I get into that, first let’s be clear about what it takes to run a website. You only need three things: a website platform (also called a CMS like WordPress), website hosting, and a domain name (www.website.com).
With the CMS, lot’s of big-box companies offer the whole kit. For example, GoDaddy offers domains, hosting, and their own CMS. Squarespace (a CMS) has the same offerings. Many of you have seen niche services, like doctor websites, that offer complete web solutions for a monthly fee. The problem is, without WordPress as your CMS, you don’t get all the endless themes and plugins you might need to customize your website.
You can get your domain name from GoDaddy or NameCheap, but I would opt to set up your CMS on WordPress. Many of these companies have the 1-click WordPress installation option (See below). If you don’t know how to do this, any developer can do it for you in minutes.
The truth is, nothing about transferring or setting up your website on WordPress is difficult. In the end, you have complete control of the look and maintenance costs of your website. What could be better than that?
If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are my top reasons why every small business, blogger, or creative should be using WordPress.
[Note: There are two types of WordPress—Wordpress.org and WordPress.com. In this article, I am referring to the .org version. The .com version hosts your site for free, but you will have to take their brand in your domain name (www.yoursite.WordPress.com) and the themes are limited.]
The Top 12 Reasons To Use WordPress
1. It’s Free – Even though it’s far better than paid platforms, it is and always will be free. Why? Because it’s open source. That means it invites a community of developers to build, improve, and protect it. Really, WordPress is a triumph of digital democracy. It gives anyone the power to create a website instantly. People have changed the world with what they’ve done on their WordPress sites.
2. Dead Simple To Installation – Since WordPress is a top website platform, website hosts make it easy to install it. Most hosts offer a “1-click installation” process. It literally takes less than five minutes for anyone to do this.
3. Easy To Use – You can publish any form of content in one click. Need to publish a blog or page: one click. How about add in a picture? You just drag and drop the picture where you want it: it will upload automatically. This platform is easy to use if you’re 7 or 70 years old, promise! Check out the Sarah Vaughn version of WordPress here (WP always names their updated versions after famous jazz artists.)
4. 100% Customizable – WordPress starts you off with a template, but if you add a theme or know a little code, you can make it do pretty much anything you want. In addition, you can practically make it look like anything you want as well. So with any function or design, WordPress has you covered.
5. Endless Themes – There are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from, and most of them are free. As part of my service, I set up people’s websites with the exact theme they like. There’s still a lot of work to do since no theme is configured properly, nor does it come with original content. And if you need something really custom, I can code something entirely different. But themes are a good place to start and some are equipped with nearly everything you need to start customizing and configuring.
6.Endless Features (aka, plugins) – In the smartphone world, people always say “There’s an app for that.” It’s the same for WordPress plugins. If you choose a theme that is lacking a certain feature, you can always add it to your site—often for free. Add things like form creators, automatic website backup system, slideshow testimonials, content calendars, broken link checker, podcast players, twitter feeds, email opt-in boxes, surveys, etc.
7. Universal Platform – 1 in 4 sites in the world are on WordPress which means you’ll find thousands of tutorials, forums, guides, etc to get you up and running. And because of its universality, all major email services, hosts, and other auxiliary features easily integrate with it. It’s like the crescent wrench of website platforms: highly adjustable and user-friendly. In well over a decade, WordPress has proven its utility and prominence in its space.
8. SEO Powerhouse – One word: Yoast. That’s all you need to know to start strong with SEO and WordPress. And according to one of Google’s top engineers, Matt Cutts, “Wordpress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues”.
9. Secure And Safe – WordPress sites are set up to take every precaution against hackers. From blog comment safeguards to hack-proof security plugins, you can make your website and all the internal assets like Fort Knox if you wanted to.
10. Innovative – The best of features always seem to make the periodical updates. All WordPress sites are built to accommodate the latest advancements in Visitor-Friendly, Mobile-Friendly, User-Friendly, and SEO-Friendly technology.
11. Maintenance Free – WordPress updates show up on your dashboard when you log in. You’re alerted when a theme, plugin, or your WordPress version needs an update. Just one click and your update is done.
12. Flexibility – WordPress is the epitome of flexible. As you’ve seen, this isn’t only in design and function, it’s flexible in many other ways as well. For example, you can add multiple bloggers/administrators to your site, schedule your posts to publish in the future, add a membership site, add a shopping cart, add an appointment scheduler, etc.
- Recommended Website Hosts: DreamHost & WP Engine
- Recommended Domain Registrars: GoDaddy and NameCheap
- Recommended CMS: WordPress.org (You won’t need this link with 1-click installation features.)
- Recommended WP Tutorial Sites: My quick tutorial & WP Beginner (I can set your site up if you wish!)