When you start thinking, “I need a website” one of the first questions to arise is, “Which platform should I build it on?”
I love to answer, “WordPress.” You can use WordPress to build almost any kind of website imaginable!
Years back, when I first started my business, I had many options – Squarespace, Wix, or even custom design. As I learned the website design jargon and it all started to make sense, I went for WordPress, and it has been a great learning journey since. It was my first website, but later, it became the platform we recommend to our clients, for static and eCommerce websites.
Many frown when I say WordPress. They think of coding, complexities, not being easily manageable and so on. In fact, what I hear most is that it is definitely not ideal for a non-tech savvy person. But here, I mention, “Have you tried using a page builder like Elementor (or any other out there)?”. And here it is – my first argument for WordPress – that like any other software, the platform has evolved and is much more user-friendly, and does not require you to code everything.
What’s great with a page builder is the drag-and-drop option that allows you to visualise what you are doing in the backend of the website but you know how it looks in the ‘real world’. This is a great first point, don’t you think? Especially if you didn’t know this!
Creating a website involves a lot of back and forth between you and your team, or you and a website designer. And if you’re doing it on your own, you still need to gather the information to put on the website. It doesn’t have to take 6 months and be a painful and discouraging project – especially when you only need a few simple pages on your website to start with.
Knowing how to code isn’t necessary to build creative and engaging websites. You pick a theme that’s aligned with your vision to start with – the look and feel you would like your website to have – and you add a page builder like Elementor that makes it easy for non-coders to create any WordPress website they want. WordPress allows you to customize your website without any technical knowledge. But that’s just one advantage of WordPress. Here are a few more:
1. WordPress is free – you just need to buy the hosting
I describe hosting like the terrain your house is built on. You need to pay a yearly fee to have your website (the platform) sit on the ground.
WordPress, unlike many other platforms, is an open-source project, which means it’s developed by a number of contributors, allowing anyone to download, edit, customize and use it.
2. Adding website content can be done by you with a page builder
If you’re curious and motivated to learn – and also have the time, then you can do this all on your own. It’s easy to create a new page or a blog post on WordPress, and edit your content just as easily.
You also have the option of your team members working on your website in the capacity of editors, authors, or administrators. You can retain the admin role, or give it to someone you trust, considering it means the full control of your website.
3. Flexibility – plugins for pretty much any new functionality you need to add are available
Once your website is up and running, you may realize that you need new features such as a booking calendar, an Instagram feed, a quiz section, etc. to help you interact better with your customers. These can be easily added using plugins that WordPress offers. They enable you to do just about anything on your website and expand it further.
Begin with first-level plugins and then upgrade for a premium cost if you need more advanced features. Of course, what you choose completely depends on how you want to build your website and which functionalities are required.
Keep in mind that updating the theme and the plugins to avoid security issues is a must.
4. It is optimized for search engines – a plus for SEO and organic traffic
WordPress is an easy-to-use platform where SEO is concerned. With a plugin, it allows you to manually enter the keyword, the title tag and the meta description for each page and blog post after thorough keyword research and strategy, ensuring your SEO accuracy.
While there are many plugins you can use to help with SEO, Yoast is highly popular and we have been using it for years. It analyses your content and SEO to help you fine-tune it, for better acceptance by search engines.
WordPress offers a clean, organized structure that helps website pages load faster, and the platform allows you to create XML sitemaps that inform Google’s bots about your web pages.
5. You have complete control of your website
WordPress gives you the driver’s seat regarding website decisions such as adding new features, scaling it and more. You own your website and everything on it, and can move it to another host any time you want. And since all your website files are accessible through the WordPress dashboard, you can make advanced edits if you so need.
6. Blogging is easy
No other platform comes close to blogging ease and elegance as compared to WordPress. Right from a one-author blog to an online magazine with multiple user types for contributors and editors, WordPress can handle it all with its advanced tools and simplicity of use.
7. It adapts to creating any kind of website
A common misconception is that WordPress is only meant for blogging. While that was true many years ago, today, WordPress supports any kind of website you want – eCommerce websites, business and personal websites, artist portfolios, eLearning modules, business directories and more. Its vast themes and plugins enable you to create any functionality you need.
If you want a business website that does everything you want it to do and doesn’t require custom coding, WordPress is the answer. It is robust, adaptable, flexible and most importantly, scalable.
That being said, WordPress is not some magic wand that you wave twice, and see your perfectly crafted website in an instant. As with any other platform or digital tool, you need to be willing to embrace the learning journey.
And like anyone else in a corporate job or as a business owner, there are things we don’t know – we cannot know it all. We find the answer, learn and do it ourselves or we ask for help and someone does it for us.
Many of our clients knew nothing about working with WordPress, yet after working with us and identifying what they could do on their own, they showed great aptitude for learning and are now managing most of their WordPress websites. I say ‘most’ because you would require help from a tech savvy person if you’re considering making major design changes or optimizations. This is true about pretty much anything that comes with running a business. You hire people who are great at the things you are not.
There are simpler platforms to start with, but most don’t offer all the functionalities that WordPress does. It all depends on your business requirements and objectives. Start by asking yourself a few questions before you start designing your website. Determine the purpose of your website, find out about the different platforms, ask around about the pros and cons, limitations, and get real-life feedback from other business owners who have a website.
Remember to listen to what others have to say, but make a decision that is attuned to you and your business. Your website should be exactly what you had envisioned and what you need. And yes, you can love your website! It is your 24/7 best ambassador after all. You can refer to these 10 things to consider when you design your website.
At Them You & Me Digital, we specialize in designing and optimizing creative, functional and scalable WordPress websites. Get in touch with us if you require our assistance with your website or a tailored digital marketing strategy.
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*Please consider our content as recommendations and not concepts to apply as is, without questioning it. Every business is unique, so find the solution and strategy that works especially for you. You may keep what you need and disregard what you don’t.