We’re big fans of using WordPress as a platform for building small business websites. In fact both Timbo and I both use WordPress for almost every website we build. And here are some reasons why we love using WordPress…
First of all, what is WordPress?
WordPress is an online publishing platform that makes it easy to keep text and images up to date on your website without having to know anything about programming. It’s so easy my Dad can use it (you know I love you Dad, but let’s face it, technology is not your thing). WordPress was originally design for blogging, but has grown into a powerful content management system used for websites big and small.
WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet‘s “top 1 million” websites and as of August 2011 manages 22% of all new sites on the web, so it’s pretty popular. It’s not only used for small websites and blogs though, there are some big names using WordPress, including CNN and Sony, so when your business grows, so too can your WordPress website.
Why do we recommend WordPress for Small Business Websites?
1. It’s free
Yep, WordPress is free to download, and most website hosting services (like my favorite, Hostgator) will offer WordPress as an installation option so you can have a basic WordPress website setup in minutes.
2. You can do almost anything you can think of with it
WordPress has 1000’s of plugins and theme’s which add or alter it’s functionality. This means you can add shopping cart functionality, or a classifieds system, or a photo gallery or… the options are huge.
3. It’s dead easy to use
As I mentioned in the intro, WordPress is very easy to use. I setup a WordPress business website for my Dad, who curses technology (regularly), and after a watching a 10 minute video was able to jump in edit and update his website. You don’t know what a relief was – no more “son, I need to update my website” conversations.
3. WordPress is search engine friendly
With a few tweaks and one of the many SEO plugins, WordPress is very Search Engine friendly. There are also theme’s (skins that change the appearance of WordPress) like the Thesis theme that improve on some of WordPress’ default settings to make it perform better, SEO wise. Thesis is one of my personal favorites for creating SEO friendly websites quickly. Out of the box, they don’t look all that pretty, but whack in a nicely formatted header and make some typography changes and she’s apples.
4. Many web developers and designers know how to code WordPress websites
I used to own and run a web design agency – we had our own content management system that we built client websites on. To my mind this turned out to be a bad idea for both the client and us as an agency because it made it difficult for the client to take their business elsewhere. And believe me, there were times when I wished it was easy for some clients to take their business elsewhere!
WordPress has a MASSIVE developer community so if you choose to build your website on WordPress, you’ll never have trouble finding someone to help you develop your site. Also, because there are so many developers using WordPress, it means you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have things changed if needs-be.
5. WordPress is (mostly) secure
The last thing you want is to have your website hacked and defaced by some pimply faced teen hacker. Believe me, I’ve had one of my own sites hacked before and it’s a pain in the proverbial to get things fixed and repair the security hole.
The smart fellas over at WordPress are constantly improving the software, including it’s security. There are also plugins, like Bad Behaviour, that can help lock your website down even further.
So there you have it, 5 pretty solid reasons why WordPress is perfect for your small business website.