15 Oct Why we use WordPress for Business Websites
There are a lot of platforms a company could use for their business website. A lot of our clients are surprised when we tell them 90% of the sites we use WordPress for Business Websites, and not just for blogging. Why do we do that? We’ll get right to it:
Content is King
Deliver fresh content to your customers quickly and easily
WordPress gives our users the easiest way to engage in content marketing. It is easy to post new information, add new pages and all it can be easily accomplished using your own staff. To learn more about Content Marketing read this post. Content marketing is one of the most beneficial ways businesses of all sizes can rake in new customers.
Change the look without a complete redesign
We started developing websites the old fashioned way with HTML static pages and also some database driven Microsoft technologies. But in the end, the ability to keep our backend framework the same and update the Theme to give a brand new way to interact with the content is a no brainer. Themes are the visual interface that people who visit your website interact with. It includes all the page “design”, fonts, colors, CSS, branding and navigation. When one of our customers needs upgrades or wants to change the look it is easy to accomplish.
Our clients are able to get support from a growing number of vendors
We are not a lock-in vendor. Our goal when we develop a site is to have 100% hand off to our clients if they wish. They should never “need” to contact us to update their site or add new information. If they ever decide they want to upgrade or add new features to their site, they will be able to choose from a huge number of WordPress developers who can support their site. A majority percentage of our clients choose to stay with use and we are happy they choose to do that. WordPress.org doesn’t provide support for your website, you’ll need to pay a third party if you want custom features added or find a reputable plugin.
Search Engine Optimization
Google results, quickly and easily
Is WordPress the only platform that is SEO friendly? No! But WordPress makes it super easy. The permalink structure is customizable with a few easy clicks and there are awesome plugins that help use and our customers make smart decisions on SEO and content marketing. We are a fan of WordPress SEO by Yoast, but others are available. WordPress has pretty good SEO right out of the box.
Manage your whole site in a smart and powerful way
We typically don’t use WordPress out of the box. We have a suite of professional plugins we use to push WordPress into a fully featured Content Management System. That means we create backend editing features that make it easy to add new products, add new staff, provide contact forms, categorize your content, filter the content and display accordingly. We have used WordPress to manage content for Engineers, Realtors, Retailers, Software Developers, Designers, Farmers, and the list goes on. WordPress started out as blogging platform, but we feel it is most capable as CMS platform.
Cost and Value
We spend money on the things that matter most
First, the software for WordPress is open source and free. If you have good knowledge of domains, hosting and basic computer skills you could create your own WordPress site with little help. Many companies offer free themes that could get you up a running pretty quick. Our budgets for custom Websites haven’t really changed from the days when we would create HTML or ASP.net sites. The sites we create are not free and in fact our budgets are typically higher now than they ever have been. Why is that? We can provide more value now by spending more of our development resources on the things that matter most – User Interface, Content, Calls To Action, Branding, and Features. Our customers now get a website that is fully featured and performs better than what we could have delivered 5 years ago.
They can save you thousands compared to custom solutions.
WordPress third party developers are creating awesome new plugins every day. The exciting part about the third party plugin market is the niche tools that they provide. More and more developers are seeing the benefit of providing industry specific tools that enable use to develop very powerful tools very quickly. You must be careful when deciding what plugins to use. We test plugins before using on a final site and we also typically use only professional paid plugins that offer support staff. If you have a need that can be filled by using a third party plugin vs creating your own bespoke (custom) solution it could save you thousands of dollars.
Let’s talk about Myth Vs. Reality
For the most part, we’ve found that a lot of design shops have relied on the income that custom development earns them. WordPress has cut into a lot of that custom development, except for the very best. Talented teams that develop great applications are doing very well in the current state of technology. But developers who made their buck on simple and repetitive basic web functions and simple content driven database sites are seeing less work. Here is what you will hear from developers that don’t want you to use WordPress.
It isn’t a good application framework
This is probably true, if you plan to build the next FaceBook or Groupon, I wouldn’t suggest using WordPress. If you have a completely custom solution that with a need for a complex back-end infrastructure then WordPress isn’t right for you.
It isn’t secure
The code is open source and millions of websites run using the WordPress platform, so there are inherit risks in being hacked. But WordPress isn’t the only platform with vulnerability and static websites are just as prone to attacks. WordPress security has improved and the way we develop using WordPress creates a very secure environment compared to the default install. We also partner with Sucuri.net to scan and harden our WordPress installs.
It isn’t coded well
It isn’t perfect, but it does what it needs to do and it is improving every year. Look, if you want to spend $50,000 plus on a custom Ruby-On-Rails site go for it. We are the first to admit if WordPress doesn’t fit the bill. We focus on small to medium sized businesses who need to market and make money.
Drupal and Joomla are more powerful
Again, this could be true in certain situations although the gap is closing. Our goal is to provide a website that is easy to manage by our customers and helps them market their company. Drupal and Joomla simply don’t provide the simplicity that WordPress offers its users. We don’t find a compelling reason to develop on Drupal or Joomla although we do support some of clients that use that platform.
Isn’t it free? Why do you charge so much for a website?
Yes, WordPress is free, you can download it here. If you have the chops, you can also install the framework on your hosting servers (some hosts make this easy) and install a free theme and enter your content. If that works for you then do it. We cater to clients who want performance that a WordPress Business site can offer. We take time to design the user interface and make WordPress a fully capable CMS. We build our own plugins and shortcodes as necessary and organize the site in a systematic way. Our clients aren’t looking to save money necessarily, they are looking for value and ease of use. Most are not looking for WordPress, they are looking for a solution. It just so happens that WordPress is where we start.