Have you ever said the words “Here’s my website, but the information’s a little out of date” and blushed a little out of embarrassment to anyone who’s asked for your web address? Or do you Google your name, business name or keywords and your site doesn’t show up on the results?
You know, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.
People expect you to have a relevant, up-to-date web site. Especially if you’re a small business. It’s as common as a handshake, and now it’s just about as simple as one too.
WordPress is an open-source (read: free) content management system (aka CMS) that’s taken over the internet. Over 13 million websites (http://en.wordpress.com/stats/) are running on WordPress including People, The New York Times and Wired Magazine as well as Syndicating Your Content.
So what’s the fuss?
Isn’t WordPress just for blogs?
WordPress is for more than blogging. One look at The New York Times will tell you that it’s not just for telling everyone about your dog’s latest escapades anymore.
Over the past few years WordPress has grown from a simple blogging platform to a robust publishing system that can do just about anything you want it to, provided you have the coding skills.
And if you don’t have the coding skills, WordPress is perfect for getting your web presence set up in a matter of hours instead of weeks. And you don’t have to bug that recalcitrant web guy to change the copyright date on your web site.
So why should you use WordPress?
- SEO: Google loves wordpress, and you can easily get on page 1 of google with strategic keyword placements in your blog posts.
- Control: Once you have WordPress installed, you have control over all your content. You can edit your pages to your heart’s content, as easily as you can create a Word document.
- Looks good out of the box. WordPress comes installed with a clean, professional-looking default theme that allows you to change the header image and background without touching a line of code.
- Change when you want to. Since your content is completely separate from how the site actually looks, you can change the theme whenever you feel like it without touching your content.
- You can blog. Or not. There is no rule that says you have to blog. Honestly. But if you want to, WordPress is built to handle this. Or you can just hide the feature if you don’t care for it. I would, however, keep some sort of regularly-updated something on the site. Make use of the blog for news, announcements, coupons, specials or sales instead.
- Huge user base and support. There are millions of WordPress users. And you’ll be able to find the answers to your questions and problems pretty quickly out there on the web, or find someone to fix your problem for you. WordPress.org even has a pretty extensive knowledge base and well-monitored forums.
- Inexpensive. There are thousands of free and inexpensive themes for you to install to change the look of your site. If you’re the DIY type, you can learn enough to be able to make WordPress look how you want for free. If you’re not the DIY type, there are more than enough people out there who can make your site look the way you want it for anywhere from $500-$3000.
Gone are the days where small business web sites are held captive by too-busy web guys. And gone are the days where a small business had to pony up a second mortgage to pay for a site that looks halfway decent only to never be able to change a thing.
WordPress puts control back into your hands, right where it should be.