WordPress is becoming an increasingly common term in the word of small businesses. All it is, is a free bit of software that makes it very easy to manage your website. If a significant part of your business is having an online presence, then having a website based on WordPress will save you a significant amount of time in the long run. And as a small business owner, time is a precious commodity isn’t it?
So here are some of the practical aspects of WordPress that will save you time and effort, valuable time which you can spend on your business!
1. Writing pages and articles is really easy
Very few of us have the time or interest to learn too much technical stuff, so thankfully, WordPress makes it really easy to update your pages or write articles. If you’re comfortable using Microsoft Word, Open Office, or even Pages on Mac OS X, then writing a page or article in WordPress is no problem.
Pick a title, write the article, choose a category or two, proof-read, and publish it. Job done!
2. The blog feature is already built-in
A big part of having a website is having a blog so that you can keep your website updated with fresh and interesting content. Additionally, blog articles allow you to demonstrate to potential clients and customers the reach of your expertise.
Given that having a blog is that important, it’s nice to know that WordPress is built on top of a blog article publishing platform. With a couple of simple tweaks, you can have your blog up and running in just a couple of minutes.
3. Your colleagues can update your website
You might be lucky enough to have a team of colleagues who want to get involved with updating the website. WordPress has a user management, which simply means you can add lots of different users to WordPress, each with their own username and password. So you might have a virtual assistant, a writer, a marketing specialist or an employee writing articles or updating the website.
Even better, WordPress makes it easy for you to control what each user is allowed to do with the website. For really advanced role management, you could try the free Role Editor Plugin for WordPress.
4. WordPress and 95% of WordPress resources are free
The fundamental aspect that keeps a business running successfully is cashflow. Therefore having a considerable number of resources for free will help ensure you minimise your outgoing costs.
If you’re really serious about your WordPress website, you will end up spending some money on it at some point, such as getting a customised design to match your companies’ branding or adding customised functionality. However, before spending money, always try out the free resources first!
5. It’s easy to manipulate the design
WordPress makes it really easy to choose a different design for the website using what are called WordPress themes (or templates). These templates come as a package of files that change how your articles and content are presented to the website visitors. Changing a template leaves your content completely intact, so you can change the templates as often as you like!
Once you’ve chosen a template, many come with options that allow you to tweak the design further, still without any technical skills. You can also use ‘widgets‘, where you drag and drop bits of functionality into your template. These widgets include menus, lists of your latest blog articles, recent tweets from Twitter, and so much more!
6. It’s easy to add extra functionality
As with templates, you can easily add new functionality to WordPress with plugins. At the time of writing, there are 12,618 free WordPress plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory.
So what can these plugins do? Well, you can get contact form plugins where visitors can email you from the website, and you can get social media plugins to integrate Facebook and Twitter with WordPress. You can even get a plugin to make your website load more quickly (so visitors aren’t twiddling their thumbs!).
7. WordPress automatically creates a search engine-friendly structure
If you have a website, you’ll understand the importance of having a website that the search engines can crawl their way around. WordPress automatically creates a website structure that’s easy navigated by the search engines, which that’s something you don’t even need to fiddle with. Although you’ll get even better results if you use a free WordPress plugin such as Google XML Sitemaps, which tells the search engines about every single page on your website.
So those are the main benefits of using WordPress for your small business website, with the emphasis being you save time and money. Hopefully I’ve whet your appetite for WordPress, so here are some more resources to get stuck in to.
If you’re just getting started with WordPress, I recommend you take a look at WP Beginner for useful how-to guides on working with WordPress. For more advanced WordPress users, you’ll enjoy WP Recipes, where you’ll get lots of free code snippets to bolt on new features to your WordPress website.
About the author
Dan Harrison is a Web Developer and WordPress Consultant for a web agency called WP Doctors (WP is the recognised acronym for WordPress). Dan typically creates funky features for small businesses who want to squeeze a little more juice from their WordPress websites. Dan also has a free newsletter called the “The Website Insider” where you can learn easy and practical tricks to get the most from your website.