These days, given what is available, it would be a mistake to commission a new website or rebuild that did not include a content management system (CMS).
You have probably heard lots about WordPress, some good and maybe even some bad. This article exists to answer some questions, allay fears and to make you aware of the WordPress all round goodness.
WordPress is not selfish, if you don’t want to use it for your whole site you might want to consider it just for a section of your site such as a blog. You can take as much or as little as you want from it, from fully content managed websites to microsites and blogs.
There are some good reasons why WordPress is such a popular choice for businesses. Here are my top 12 …
Ease of use
The WordPress administration is an intuitive interface for managing your content and constant improvements mean that it will always work well for you and fit your needs.
- Add and update content through a user-friendly interface.
- Upload and manage images
- Embed multimedia including video, audio and even Tweets
- No technical knowledge required
“We enable non-technical people to contribute to our team’s blog and they can actually figure it out in WordPress” NASA
Source: WordPress TV
Media Focus and Targeting
You might have several target markets or products. You can sort your content into easy to manage categories, which will enable you to output your articles under their relevant categories.
- There is no limit to the number of categories you can have
- You can filter content by category, so have a page of articles for each category
- Users can quickly get to the content that interests them
- In addition, the use of tags can further help users and search engines to find your content
Control user submissions
You might not want all contributions to be posted without moderation. Perhaps they are from external sources or junior members of your organization.
- You can have multiple user levels with different capabilities
- Some can post direct
- Others can submit for moderation
- You decide what is finally published
Control Your Social Media Hub
With social media being on the up for businesses and with no sign of that changing in the near future, there really is no option but to embrace the opportunities that it brings. With WordPress you can easily bring the whole thing together with your blog as the central hub for your social media engagement, bringing your brand to the forefront. This approach won’t do you any harm with your search engine optimization either. WordPress has so many options:
- A range of plugins make it a breeze to share content
- Control the content that you share or auto-share as soon as content is posted
- Content that has been shared from your site will include links back to that particular article, thus driving more visitors to your website
- Display data streams on your website, including feeds from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Include social media buttons to encourage and grow followers
WordPress is top for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
So much business is done online these days that we find ourselves beholden to the search engines. You certainly get a head start with the WordPress structure and by sticking with that you will do well. All the same, by adding the SEO extension you can really ramp it up.
- Search engine friendly structure out of the box including friendly URLs and clean code
- Going a step further with SEO for WordPress you can:
- Generate titles and description metatags, automatically or control them manually if you wish
- Generate Google sitemaps
- Use Opengraph tags and Rich Snippets to generate pretty posts in Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more
- Connect to Google publishing
- In other words, full SEO and social media integration
WordPress is Secure
If you have a content management system you will need to take responsibility for it by using strong passwords and choosing secure hosting. Avoiding cheap hosting and getting a reliable, trustworthy host is vital. A myriad of security breaches with many a CMS have subsequently proved to be down to insecure hosting. WordPress is very well maintained by a huge community of developers, who keep it safe.
- The platform is constantly being updated to keep up with security requirements
- Now with automatic updates, security updates are done for you
- Password strength indicators tell you when your passwords are not strong enough
- Extensions can make you aware if anything needs to be checked
- Akismet controls spam comments so you don’t have to
WordPress is Future Proof
With over 10,000 extensions and no limit to the amount of content you can store, the world is your oyster.
- It is scalable to fit in line with the growth of your business
- Add content, products, news articles as you need, there are no limits
- Functionality is extendable when you need it; perhaps you wan to add membership, business listings or eCommerce – there is so much scope to meet the demands of your business
There is a huge repository of themes and many great premium themes that can be purchased. These provide the template for the look a feel of your site. That said, as a business you will probably have a requirement for a custom design.
- There is no limit to the type of design you can have for your website
- There is no set layout, options are limitless
- You can match the branding look of your existing website
WordPress is Open Source
Definition: Open Source is pertaining to or denoting software whose source code is available free of charge to the public to use, copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute.
- Low cost of ownership, the platform is free
- Doing the same job as a high-cost custom CMS
- Constant updates are free, as opposed to considerable cost to update with custom CMS
- Constant improvements to areas such as user interface and coding are free
You Own Your Data
With some platforms, particularly blogging platforms you will find that you don’t own your own data and therefore cannot freely move it to another platform or provider. With WordPress your data is yours.
- Not owned by any blogging or CMS platform
- Easy to move hosting to save money or increase space and bandwidth
- Quick to launch
The WordPress Community
The community continues to grow as the popularity of WordPress increases. We are starting to see many businesses, including blue chip organisations, contributing back to WordPress as they discover new and innovative ways to work with the platform. The community welcomes contribution from all and you do not have to be a developer to contribute. Due to the success of this highly reputable community there is endless support available through:
- Thousands on online tutorials
- WordPress Codex gives information and examples on every aspect of the platform
- Support Forums are there to help, many questions already answered
- Code snippets are available for developers
- Over 10,000 extensions ensure that your site will always be able to do what you want it to
Millions of Other Businesses Cannot be Wrong
21.4% of the top 10 million websites in the World use WordPress
- Marks and Spencer Business
- The Bond 007 Franchise
- Metro Newspapers UK
In conclusion, this is a highly robust and safe platform. Ease of use and control over content mean that you can manage your website or blog from anywhere and any device. The ability to scale up and add functionality to meet the demands of your business gives the future proofing you need. This amazing platform will continue to evolve and I personally cannot wait to see what comes next!