I’m going to tell you something that may be frowned upon in certain circles. I’ve recommended Squarespace. It’s true! And it might be shocking, seeing how long I’ve used and championed WordPress. But the truth of the matter is Squarespace has a market cornered. It’s a great option for the people who want to make something quickly themselves, in a controlled environment, for very little money.
That is a reasonable option, but the fact of the matter is, that site won’t grow with you, scale, or look as beautiful on mobile. Every business should have an Internet presence and if you want to create something that will have real lasting power, you need to do it on WordPress.
So how can your business benefit from a WordPress site?
It’s Highly Customizable
WordPress is an open source project with a rich ecosystem. It’s full of custom designs, themes, features, and plugins. Anyone, anywhere can contribute to WordPress and make it better. That means if you want your website to look a specific way, you can find a theme that suits your needs. There are also a lot of great plugins to help you with your design even more. Beaver Builder, one of my favorite plugins, is a page builder. It allows you to create highly customized page layouts and all the content you’d like.
Aside from that, there are plugins that will add features for you. Building an online store? Checkout WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads. Creating a Learning Management System? LearnDash or LiferLMS has you covered. And if you need a food menu for your restaurant’s site, you can create a whole new type of content for it. While WordPress has posts (or articles) and pages by default, you can also create Custom Post Types. Using plugins you can make anything of your site.
WordPress is used for blogs and eCommerce sites that do millions of dollars in sales daily. And you can make it look and function exactly how you’d like.
WordPress being highly customizable means you can change it on the fly too. After 6 months, you might realize you prefer a different theme. You can change it without losing your content or plugins. In 12 months, if you realize you need a forum for your users, go ahead and add one. There is minimal work required. And 18 months in, if your site is growing you can increase the performance with managed WordPress hosting.
Your business is a living, breathing entity. Its website should be too.
Did you know that WordPress powers roughly 27 percent of the web? That’s a lot of web to power! And with great power, comes great responsibility (see what I did there?). Luckily the responsibility of supporting WordPress doesn’t fall on one super-powered, teenage arachnoid boy.
The WordPress community is big and vibrant. You will have no trouble finding someone who knows WordPress at any level, from basic understanding to deep knowledge. There’s also a dearth of online course out there. Check out WP101 for the basics and WP Elevation for WordPress business knowledge. My site, WP in One Month, offers courses on how to build specific sites, or with specific tools. If you ever want to teach yourself a bit more about the platform, you’re not alone!
SEO, Readability, and Engagement
It takes a lot to run a website the right way. A regular content schedule and engaging with your visitors is incredibly important! While WordPress won’t create good content or SEO for you, it does have tools that will help.
Yoast SEO will give you an SEO and Readability score. This makes it easy for you to see how well your content will do in search engines like Google, as well as how easy it is to read. There are countless plugins to manage comments and share on social media. You can also make your site more interactive with forms, and social features. WordPress will allow you to take your website from a simple information site to an active community of users.
Own Your Data & Other Security
Recently, Medium announced that they were laying off 30 percent of their workforce. This scared a lot of folks who use it to blog. It caused those people to consider what would happen to their content if Medium went away. Unless there was a backup plan in place, their content would be gone forever. Luckily with WordPress, you don’t have that problem.
When you self-host a WordPress site, you own all the data on your own server. There are lots of services out there to help you create backups, but you’re the only one who will decide if your website goes away. That’s a great position to be in. And that’s not the only benefit.
Developers have gone through great lengths to make sure WordPress is safe and secure. With plugins, hosting, and third party services like Sucuri, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands. Nothing is 100 percent safe/secure, you get pretty darn close using the right tools.
It’s All Up to You!
Most importantly, it’s all up to you. With WordPress, you get to control every aspect of your website. From data, to design, to features and beyond, you choose every step of the way. You can run your website the way you run your business. And you can do it knowing full well there’s a whole community of people willing to work for you and/or teach you.