South Jersey Business Owner? You Need a WordPress Website
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Why are websites important for small businesses, and why is WordPress the best content management system? These are questions that I hear a lot, so let’s demystify some things a little.
First of all, we’re almost in 2018. If you don’t have a professional website that represents your brand and business on the web, what are you doing exactly? I’m not even going to bother saying that it’s “essential,” because that sounds trite. We’re also beyond the point where a business website merely served as a “digital business card.” Unless you are promoting your products with sales funnels and are blogging or otherwise providing value to your client and customer base, you are losing out on money.
This holds true in any niche or industry, even if you have a vibrant, busy corner store or out-of-home landscaping business. Yes, there’s great ways to advertise in South Jersey and the tri-state area in order to get clients, but a solid website that represents your brand and message, and that generates clients on autopilot is a business necessity now. If you’re not taking advantage of the power of a professional website, you better believe your competitors are.
If you’re in need of a website, you really can’t go wrong with WordPress. If you are new to the web and are thinking of starting a website for your small business or freelance work, you might have heard of WordPress but not completely understood what it is. Well, WordPress is a content management system (popularly referred to as a CMS) that powers over 25% of websites that exist, including some of the biggest brands and companies out there. In other words, it’s simply a powerful foundation for any website. Here’s a few reasons why it takes the top spot for content management systems:
1. It’s Always Getting Better
WordPress has been around a long time and it’s still being updated constantly with bug fixes, improvements, security features, and support for an ever-expanding range of plugins, themes, and features. In terms sheer experience in the field, WordPress and its developers are light-years ahead of most other content management systems.
2. Despite its learning curve, you do NOT need coding experience to use it
There are a wide range of options for customizing the code of a WordPress website, but you never need to dig that deep. WordPress works just fine right out of the box, and if you have a great theme, you can do all of your customization with drag-and-drop / WYSIWYG editors. It’s only as complex as you want it to be. Once you get a site built for you, it’s actually quite easy to learn how to run the entire website yourself. My team and I typically only need about 6 hours of time with a client before they completely grasp the fundamentals and can take full control of their website if they so choose.
This makes WordPress especially appealing for small business owners who don’t have the time to learn some complicated software or have no interest in coding. With just a few hours of time investment, they can be their own webmaster. In the digital age, this is an essential skill to have for any business.
3. It’s FREE
The WordPress platform itself is 100% free to download and install on your website. As long as you have a domain name and hosting, it costs nothing to put the WordPress platform in motion, and the vast majority of all the themes and plugins you’ll ever need are also free. If you do opt for a premium theme, for example, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 dollars, but as I tell most of my clients, this is superfluous. Unless your website itself is the main arm of your business, there’s no reason you would ever need to pay a dime for a WordPress theme.
What’s awesome is that the premium content you can buy for WordPress is usually worth it, though. Premium themes and “builders” as they are sometimes referred to provide a litany of features that supercharge your website and can give you just about anything you could ever want out of a website.
Premium plugins function much in the same way. Unless your website is the primary means in which your business makes money, there’s no reason you would ever need to pay for a plugin. Investing in your website is worth it, however, as the functionality that some premium plugins provides can of course give you leverage versus your competitors.
4. Optimized Out of the Box
Though you have access to some of the best SEO plugins imaginable with WordPress, it’s true that right out of the gate, the CMS is rather well suited to get your website noticed by search engines. It’s easy to find where to place alt-tags, header information, tags, meta data, and keywords so that every bit of your website performs its best and attracts Google. This is where other content management systems just fall flat. Wix and Squarespace are two examples of premium CMS platforms that just don’t have the best natural SEO, and this is coming from someone who loves both platforms and owns a website built in each. They may have great website editors and other features, but when it comes with search engine indexing, especially for blog posts, they really don’t get the job done compared to WordPress. Add a simple free plugin or two in the mix and you have an SEO juggernaut on your hands.
5. Installation is Famously Simple
Even on its own, WordPress is rather easy to install on your domain, as far as self-hosted website platforms are concerned. What makes WordPress easier than ever to install however, is the fact that many hosting platforms now come with what are called “one click installs” for platforms like WordPress. This means you don’t even need to download WordPress files and dump them on your server through FTP or cPanel. You can literally log into your hosting, click one or two options, and bam, WordPress will be installed fully in your primary directory. All you have to do is set a username and password and then log in and start creating. It really doesn’t get easier than that.
6. It’s the Most Supported
WordPress has become a worldwide professional platform. As such, there are metric tons of support forums, instructional YouTube videos, and other resources all over the web that can help just about any problem you may encounter during the course of building and maintaining your website. Beyond this, WordPress is also a recognized and supported platform all over the world, meaning that you don’t have to be on American hosting to enjoy it. WordPress comes included in packages and one-click installs on hosting all over the world. Just about anyone has access to it. I can’t think of one singular web-based platform that has as much support as WordPress does. It’s simply an industry staple.
Small Businesses Need Digital Representation
These days, people look to Google to tell them what a business is all about. If someone reads your ad in a circular or gets your business card, more than likely they will be looking your website up on Google to get more information. The only thing worse than not having a website is having one that looks old or unprofessional. Representation is everything.
WordPress enables small businesses to get that “enterprise” feel, that’s why it’s my personal choice for clients and what I recommend to small business owners in New Jersey and Philly. This website, in fact, is built in WordPress. The level of customization and features that are open to you on the WordPress platform make it the obvious choice for anyone who is serious about branding and representation on the web. You want your business to not only give your clients and customers what they want, but you also want to stand out from the pack. That is why it is important to either learn WordPress or hire someone who knows what they are doing. I offer such WordPress services, but do your homework and find a great fit for your business if you are interested in having a WordPress website built for you or your business. It’s virtually essential. Don’t be that guy that has a lukewarm Facebook page with 68 likes and a weak Google Business listing as the entirety of your digital branding.
If you want more information on WordPress for businesses, feel free to drop a comment!