WordPress may have been released in 2003 as a blogging content management system (CMS) but it has grown up since. No longer is WordPress only for blogs. More than 60 million WordPress websites testify to its versatility. WordPress is helping businesses succeed including dog trainers, custom sign makers, branding agencies, and active gear retailers.
Why is WordPress a good choice for a business website?
Control and Ownership
Control and ownership matter to business owners. Your products and services wouldn’t be what they are without you. The same is true of your website. Large businesses may be able to afford a unique CMS (although even the BBC, Bloomberg, and Disney use WordPress) but small businesses usually opt for customizing a CMS already available. Most small businesses turn to WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly. Yet only one of these gives business owners robust control and ownership.
WordPress is open source meaning that anyone can use it or modify it. You aren’t beholden to the hosting solutions (and pricing tiers) of a single company. Choose virtually anyone to host your WordPress website and move it anytime. WordPress’ open nature also means that it is easy for a developer to modify your website. You aren’t stuck living within the walled garden of a single company. WordPress puts you in control.
WordPress also takes your ownership of your data seriously. You own your business and you own your website. You should have complete control of your website’s data. WordPress allows you to access (and export) your website’s data anytime. So if you were ever to move your WordPress site (or leave WordPress behind) you can take your data with you. That isn’t always true of other popular content management systems.
Your business sells something. Whether you are selling software for agribusinesses, custom printed products, or daycare services you may decide you want to begin accepting payments or selling products through your own website.
WordPress offers businesses versatile e-commerce support through e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, payment processors like PayPal and Stripe, and deep customizability for developers. With WordPress it doesn’t matter if the first version of your website includes e-commerce or not – you can always add it later (and have choices in how to do so).
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a mystery to many website owners and often those who begin to study it don’t have the slightest idea of how to implement it. WordPress has plugins (like Yoast SEO) to help take some of the mystery and complexity out of optimizing your business website.
Modifying your permalink structure to fit your search engine needs is simple with even a default WordPress install and generating XML sitemaps or structured metadata can be assisted with WordPress plugins.
Even if you have to hire an SEO expert to improve your site you may not pay for as many hours as you would on some other web solutions due to WordPress’ open and accessible nature.
Your business website needs a blog. Why? Because a blog is one of the easiest ways to both keep your website updated (Google smiles upon this) and churn out new material for your content marketing. Consequently, WordPress’ blogging roots are a benefit rather than a distraction to your business’ online needs.
With WordPress you can manage your blog, post, categorize, draft, schedule, and more. If your company has unique blogging needs like custom post types or formats a developer can modify your WordPress install to accommodate that.
I hope your business grows. Hopefully you even have a business plan that allows you to scale later one. Why shouldn’t your website also have a growth plan? If your business grows so will your online needs. A larger business means more web traffic, a better way to filter contacts, detailed analytics, and more sales (perhaps even through your e-commerce powered website). Your business should choose its online solutions with scalability in mind. Don’t only ask if this web service will meet your current needs. It should also meet your potential needs tomorrow.
With WordPress you can choose a cheap host for your minimal web traffic and move to a more robust hosting solution if your traffic increases, you can begin without e-commerce and add it when you need it, and you can change your mind about a website feature and customize it down the road. In short, you aren’t stuck with a single provider, set of services, or options. WordPress puts you in control so that your website can grow with your business.
Getting WordPress for Businesses
There are two versions of WordPress available to you:
wordpress.com is a website hosting service through Automattic (the organization behind WordPress). wordpress.com is attractive to bloggers because it is either free or cheap and quickly gets them online with the most robust blogging CMS. wordpress.com has a business solution tier that includes a custom domain, design customizability, SEO tools, plugin support, and Google analytics. wordpress.com‘s business tier costs $24.92 a month.
Yet we recommend the more common version of WordPress available to you from wordpress.org. WordPress is open source so you can download the software and install it on your own website with any host you like. That’s what wordpress.org is for. Using this WordPress solution isn’t as simple as the former but it is both more flexible and scalable. Buy your domain (you choose from whom), purchase hosting (yes, you choose this too), install WordPress, and begin developing. If you hire a developer or firm (like Rystedt Creative) to set up your business’ WordPress website we will use this WordPress solution and customize it to specifically fit your business’ needs. The cost to host a wordpress.org website will vary greatly depending on where you buy your domain, who you host through, and what level of service you need. Rystedt Creative’s clients pay an average of $300/yr for their WordPress hosting (which is exactly what you will pay with the former solution’s business plan).