A WordPress website: A tonic for your business?
What it is, how it works, and how it has the potential to radically reduce costs and improve your online presence and visitor engagement all at once.
Did you know, there are over 75 Million WordPress websites?
That’s around 20% of all websites.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source web-based content management system (CMS) used to create fully managed websites.
WordPress comprises of:
- a front-end, the website, which the visitor sees.
- a back-end, the administration interface, which is used to manage and update the website.
How WordPress can massively reduce the cost of development.
The way in which WordPress has been developed in an open-source environment has allowed it to grow with effective input from thousands of people all over the world. A WordPress developer is typically integrating various technologies and customising designs to suit your needs. Nearly all of the most common developments have been covered in some way, shape or form. This means that you typically do not have to pay for a lot of bespoke development. After all, why re-invent the wheel?
When it comes to the look and feel of your website, there are thousands of themes available off-the-shelf which cover virtually every application possible. Any theme will need to be tweaked and customised but, with the sheer quality of some of the premium themes available you do not have to pay big design bills. Most themes now offer responsive, mobile friendly websites, which is great news for any business looking to update their website.
How WordPress can improve your online presence and visitor engagement.
The is actually quite simple. You can have so much more than you probably thought possible. All those wonderful features that the big sites seem to have that your current developers can’t do or want to charge you the earth for could be yours for comparatively low cost.
What are the core features of WordPress?
A theme provides the general look and feel of the WordPress website. There are two kind of themes, free and premium. Free themes tend to be limited in their options, whereas premium themes are often packed with features and numerous configuration options. There are themes designed for specific purposes such as:
- Estate agent
- Corporate / Business
- Photography / Portfolio
and much, much more
Plugins offer custom features or functions while enable WordPress websites to be tailored to specific needs. Plugins again are may either be free or premium, however there are so many free plugins which will solve problems perfectly. There are almost 40,000 plugins available for WordPress which usually means that if you need something for your website it has already been developed. Plugins perform specific purposes such as:
- Search engine optimisation
- Booking / availability calendar
- Contact forms
- Social media integration
- Photo galleries
and tens of thousands more
Plugins reduce the need for development. If you have a WordPress website and you need something new the chances are it has already been developed. For example, if you need eCommerce there are complete systems available that will only need integrating and customising rather than developing from scratch.
WordPress has an integrated link management system which is search-engine friendly. Articles may be assigned to multiple categories and tags can be added to posts and articles.
WordPress was originally developed as a blogging engine but has developed out in to a full website CMS. Think of the Blog as the place to publish your news and updates and connect to share your content across social media channels. We call pages upon which tis content appears Posts, as opposed to the static pages in your site which are called pages.
There are many features within the core system and themes which allow you to automate processes. For example, if you publish a news article in the blog section a summary can be automatically added to your home page. With a portfolio, adding a new showcase item can automatically be added to the portfolio list, to the navigation, the home page and shared across social media channels.
Page / post management
Your Page and posts have a version history with them so if you make a mistake you can roll back to a previous version.
What are the common issues with WordPress?
Firstly the bad news, if not correctly set up and maintained WordPress is vulnerable to a host of security issues. Apparently only around 25% of WordPress websites are correctly maintained. Now for the good news: there are plugins that help with security, and if your developer knows their stuff you can enjoy a website free from malicious attacks.
How to put this all together
To set-up a WordPress site correctly is not necessarily as simple as it might sound. Far from it, it takes knowledge, skill and experience to create a great WordPress website which not only looks good and is packed with features, but also works well on search engines.
Does this all sound good too good to be true?
We all know the saying “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is”. However, more often than not, with WordPress you can probably have what you want without the overhead.