Working on the first official pitch for your startup can be nerve-wracking because you’re asking people to take a chance on you. The only way to get your company off the ground is to start working. Part of that is having a professional website. There are some disheartening statistics surrounding startups.
- 50 percent of the new businesses fail in the first five years.
- 95 percent of the startup owners have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Raising capital is the hardest thing to do
These numbers are pretty daunting, but that doesn’t stop from thousands of people from starting their own business every day. One of the easiest places to start is online. WordPress allows you to make a beautiful website that you can easily maintain for little to no money.
Let’s see how.
Startups Need a Solid Website
A startup needs a website. Period. A well managed and consolidated website is a must. However coding a site from scratch isn’t always easy, especially when you’re trying to start your own business.
A startup’s website should:
- Be easily managed.
- Cost very little.
- Integrate well with search engines and for social marketing.
- Have proper navigation, organized content, calls-to-action, etc.
- Use a scalable hosting provider.
WordPress can provide you with all of the above options and is incredibly easy to adopt.
Because there is so much competition in the business world, startup owners must go above and beyond to stand out. WordPress allows businesses to create modern and sophisitcated sites with ease. In the thirteen years since it was created, WordPress has taken a massive leap from a blogging platform to an application platform nearly powering more than 27 percent of all websites.
WordPress is a handy tool for startups and businesses looking to launch their products. Business is all about numbers and WordPress can bring nearly all the odds in your favor. It will cost you less, you’ll get help when you need it. You can build just about anything with it using the REST API.
The WordPress Economy
The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the fundamental idea behind the Lean Startup methodology.
According to Wikipedia,
A minimum viable product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. The product is typically deployed to a subset of possible customers, such as early adopters that are thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype or marketing information.
With WordPress, users can build their MVP faster and easier than ever before by leveraging the flexibility of the CMS and the thousands of free and premium plugins and themes.
Even more, WordPress also enables idea beta testing in which entrepreneurs can create a crude version of their product. Such a starting approach is sufficient for entrepreneurs to analyze whether their idea is going to work or not. It’s like beta testing your idea.
The GPL also helps move the needle on easy development with WordPress and open source. With the rapid involvement of cloud computing, SaaS and publishing systems like WordPress, the startup website is mostly the product itself. One big reason WordPress economy is so strong because it’s GPL and open-source. And that my friend means you are free to modify the code as per your needs without any licensing issues.
You’re ready to create a killer website for your business, so why should you choose WordPress?
Easy to Learn: WordPress is quite a user-friendly software. You don’t need to know how to code to create a well-functioning website. Both large and small scale startups can update, edit, or modify their website’s content conveniently.
Customizable: Because of the huge library of plugins, you can customize your site however you want. There is a plugin for anything, so it’s easy to make your site your own. Most of these are free.
24/7 Support: The WordPress community is always willing to help anyone learn the CMS. Whether you contact a plugin developer or reading tutorials right here on Torque, you can always find a fast solution to your problem.
Handles Multiple Data Types: The WordPress architecture supports features like posts, pages, media, and comments. You can also create multiple custom post types (CPTs) depending on your business niche. About four years ago, I took advantage of this feature and developed ProductPress, a theme for startups, and it contains CPTs for products, testimonials, numbers, services, and more.
The REST API: Since 2016, WordPress as an application platform is incredibly extensive, and you can implement flexible features with the help of WordPress REST API (checkout this WordPress REST API White Paper by Human Made). The REST API allows you to connect to the web, giving your site even more capabilities.
Start Making Money
Your site looks great, now start making money. WordPress can help you with that.
Monetary concerns are the prime worry for startups and are dramatically eased with WordPress. The recent plugin stats for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) are sufficient to prove the strength of WordPress as a robust eCommerce platform. I wrote about how WordPress is contributing to the eCommerce Industry.
WooCommerce alone powers more than 30 percent of all online stores and is the most established eCommerce solution for startups selling physical and digital items. Startups can create a one-stop shop in a few clicks. You can find a complete range of eCommerce products like 900+ free plugins, 60+ free themes, 400+ paid themes and templates, and 850+ paid plugins.
Get Seen Globally
Getting acknowledged globally is the ultimate dream for any startup. A friendly, multilingual website can make that happen. Creating a multilingual site can be complex, but with WordPress, you get several handy solutions. You can translate pages, posts, categories, and themes into different languages without setting multi-sites or separate WordPress installs.
To save time, you can even access this functionality via plugins. WPML, which initially started as a free plugin but now is one of the most accepted solutions for building multilingual sites. Despite its premium business model, their feature-rich services and support are totally worth it. With WPML, I approximately generate 17K-23k additional site visitors every month. If you are hunting for free options, then Polylang is a great choice. It can help you translate all sorts of post types and taxonomies.
Create Memorable Marketing
Smart marketing helps your startup survive through difficult odds. Traditional advertising strategies are not sufficient to turn your startup into something big. You need to come up with ways which quickly align customers with your vision and efforts.
WordPress helps your brand get appropriate exposure and an incredible online reputation. No matter how brilliant your startup idea is, if you’re not marketing it well, all efforts are in vain. I broadly categorize marketing techniques with WordPress in five key types.
- Content Marketing: This is what WordPress is built for. You should blog – not only for pitching new ideas but also as a primary source for communicating and getting feedback from your customers.
- Search Engine Optimizations (SEO): Due to its immense popularity, Google has made some fruitful alterations in its search algorithms and has preferred WordPress websites when it comes to SEO. Startups can create content and plugins like Yoast help them rank very well.
- Email Marketing: It’s a proven fact that email marketing converts better than anything else. WordPress can run sophisticated email campaigns quite efficiently. MailChimp For WP auto responds and collects your email subscriptions in ordered lists. The plugin is best for your startup as it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. And if you want to have more control, try something like Mailster.
- Social Media Marketing: The social media landscape is getting enormous and is here to stay. Your startup can get the most out of it by building social outposts on major social networks with plugins like Jetpack. You can regularly monitor site stats, maintain a commenting platform which quickly gets integrated with Facebook, Twitter, etc. In a few clicks, your latest Tweets and the Facebook page gets embedded to the sidebar. There are 1000+ other social plugins to choose from.
- Affiliate Marketing: With affiliates, you can promote your digital products from any part of the globe. This is also an excellent chance to drive new visitors toward other products with higher profit margins and earn insanely high affiliate rates. Take a look at AffiliateWP.
There You Have It!
With WordPress, you can kickstart your startup’s online presence. WordPress is the key enabler to the Lean Startup concept which can turn your hobby into a small business. Many startups look towards WordPress as an excellent platform for launching an MVP.
Finally, you can catch all of my articles on my profile page, and you can follow me on my blog or reach out at Twitter @MrAhmadAwais; where I write about development workflows in the context of WordPress. Maedah Batool contributed to this article.
As usual, don’t hesitate to leave any questions or comments below, and I’ll aim to respond to each of them.