To be successful in today’s digital-first consumer landscape, your business needs a website. However, there’s more that goes into creating a powerful site than simply purchasing a domain name and a hosting plan.
If you want to stand out among your competitors, capture the attention of your audience, and drive conversions and leads, there are some essential elements to consider. From its theme and plugins to its content and branding, being strategic about your site’s design and development can have a significant effect on its performance and, in turn, your return on investment.
In this article, we’ll discuss how creating your business’ website using WordPress can help you win over clients and customers. Then we’ll walk you through the five keys to building an effective WordPress site. Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Using WordPress for Your Business Site
There’s a reason WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMSs) in the world. In addition to being easy to use, even for those with no web development experience, this platform lets you customize your site according to the specific needs and preferences of your business.
Among the many benefits of WordPress is the flexibility and control it offers. There are virtually infinite ways to use the available themes and plugins to personalize your site’s design and enhance its functionality. From business and portfolio sites to e-commerce shops and job boards, WordPress can be used to create nearly any type of website.
Plus, it’s quick and easy to get started. After signing up for a WordPress account and downloading the software, the next step is to purchase a domain name and choose a reliable hosting provider.
The best hosting plan for your site depends on a number of factors, such as your budget, the level of support you need, and your expected traffic. It’s best to explore various options and compare multiple plans’ prices and features before settling on your favorite.
5 Keys to Building an Effective WordPress Site for Your Business
Once you have a domain and a hosting provider, you’re ready to start creating your WordPress website. Let’s take a look at five essential ways to build an effective site that benefits your business and brand.
1. Choose a Responsive Theme With Friendly Navigation
The theme is the foundation of your site’s design. It influences the look and layout of the pages, as well as the fonts and colors involved. Therefore, it’s important to choose an attractive and responsive theme with friendly navigation.
A responsive theme ensures that your site’s content translates across devices. In other words, visitors will be able to easily access and navigate through your website, no matter what device type and screen size they might be using.
Friendly navigation is also important for website accessibility. Site accessibility means that users with disabilities or impairments, who rely on screen readers or assistive technology, can comfortably understand and move about your website.
While there are many different resources you can use to download or purchase themes, we recommend checking out the WordPress Theme Directory:
The WordPress Theme Review Team requires themes to meet certain criteria before they’re listed in the directory. Therefore, you know you’re getting a quality and reliable theme, and one that happens to be free.
To find a theme, you might consider using the Feature Filter setting to narrow down your search. For example, you can apply filters to search by Subject (E-Commerce, News, etc.) or Features (Accessibility Ready, Full-Width Template, and so on).
You can also search through the Theme Directory by going to your WordPress admin dashboard and visiting Appearance > Themes. Testing the demo versions gives you a better idea of how each theme will function. Once you find one you like, you can install it and start customizing it.
2. Add a Blog to Your Site to Keep Its Content Fresh
A blog is one of the most important and effective elements you can add to your business site in order to drive traffic. In addition to being a valuable resource for visitors, a blog can also help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Regardless of your industry, adding a blog to your website is a powerful way to generate leads, grow your audience, and establish authority. There are many different kinds of blogs you can write and share, including how-tos and tutorials, opinion pieces, news articles and updates, and more.
If you’re uncomfortable with writing or don’t have the time to do so yourself, you can hire freelancers or guest bloggers to contribute to your blog. The important thing is to add one upfront, so you have a place to publish posts when the time comes.
To add a blog to your new WordPress site, you can go to your dashboard and visit Pages > Add New. Title the page Blog, leave the text field blank, and then click on Publish.
Next, navigate to Settings > Reading. Under the Reading Settings, click on the drop-down menu next to the Posts page and select Blog. When you’re done, select Save Changes at the bottom of the page:
There are a handful of other options and steps you can take to further customize the blog. For example, you can choose where it appears within the menu and navigation. However, if you’re new to WordPress, you may need to use more comprehensive tutorials and guides.
3. Take an Online WordPress Course to Learn From Experts
When it comes to setting up and customizing your WordPress site, the number of options and features available can be a bit overwhelming. To save time and make the most of your website building experience, we recommend learning from the experts.
The WordPress community is filled with support forums and industry expert blogs (ours included) that can make learning and navigating WordPress design and development easier. From podcasts to e-books, there are many resources you can use to familiarize yourself with the ins-and-outs of the CMS.
However, when you’re first getting started, we recommend taking an online WordPress course as well. One place you can do this is through LaunchParty:
Among the many resources offered by LaunchParty is a free three-day challenge. This guide is designed for beginners and covers the basics of setting up and designing a WordPress site.
Even if there are some aspects of the platform that you’re already familiar with, having resources like this readily available can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes. You can use them ahead of time, or reference them on an as-needed basis.
4. Install Powerful Plugins to Handle Security and Maintenance Tasks
Plugins are extensions that you can add to your business site, in order to improve the functionality and user experience. The WordPress Plugin Directory has thousands of plugins, both free and paid, which you can use for a variety of purposes. For example, tools such as Yoast SEO and W3 Total Cache help with content optimization and site performance and speed.
Some of the most powerful plugins you can install are the ones that streamline security and maintenance tasks. These types of solutions work behind the scenes to help keep your site secure and updated. One of the plugins we recommend installing is Jetpack:
This tool is available in both a free and a premium version. It helps to safeguard your site from malware and other types of attacks.
5. Create a Brand Style Guide to Keep Your Content Consistent
A fifth key to building an effective WordPress site is creating a brand style guide. Put simply, this is a resource that includes guidelines for your team to adhere to. Developing a style guide is an effective way to keep your content consistent.
Some important elements to cover in your brand style guide include:
- Colors and typography
- Brand story, mission, and values
- Image sizes and filters
- Brand voice
There are many free guides and tools you can use to create a style guide from scratch. For example, HubSpot offers a downloadable toolkit that includes templates:
Having a brand style guide benefits your organization, as well as non-team members. For example, guest bloggers can use it to meet your criteria and increase the likelihood of being accepted to post on your blog.
Creating a business website is easy. However, the goal is to build a website that generates leads and turns visitors into customers. To do that, there are a handful of steps you should consider taking.
Five keys to building an effective WordPress site for your business include:
- Choose a responsive theme with friendly navigation.
- Add a blog to keep the site content fresh.
- Take an online WordPress course to learn from experts.
- Install powerful plugins for security and maintenance tasks.
- Create a brand style guide to keep your content consistent.
Do you have any questions about building a WordPress site for your business? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pexels.