Even if you don’t plan on blogging, WordPress is very often an ideal platform for business websites. WordPress started out as a blogging software in 2003 and has grown into a full-fledged Content Management System (CMS). It’s a robust platform that is perfect for both large and small business websites. Large companies like MTV, Lexus, Ford, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and Ben & Jerry’s use WordPress, but it’s also perfect for our clients—most of whom are small business owners and solopreneurs.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Using the Web for business is more important than ever before, and so is creating content that people will appreciate and that search engines will interpret properly. WordPress is search engine friendly from the start and with the right plugins it can be a SEO powerhouse. We recommend the Scribe plugin on a regular basis. Scribe makes it easy to optimize your text for search engines whenever you make changes.
After writing or changing your text, run an evaluation to see how it will appear to search engines. Next, review your feedback, make text changes, run the evaluation again, and see how your efforts score. You’ll get instant feedback on your SEO efforts along with helpful explanations about how to make improvements—all without leaving your website. SEO plugins will also ensure that you never forget to add important information for search engines beyond the text itself, like the page descriptions you see in search results for example.
Many small business owners prefer to add or update their own content whenever possible rather than waiting for a web pro to do it. After your WordPress site is set up, adding or updating content on most pages is easy for the average person (although sometimes pages can have unusual features that require more skill to edit properly). You’ll still need a web pro to maintain and update the WordPress software efficiently and effectively, but the days of submitting content update requests for every little change are long gone.
Plugins & Widgets
Plugins are tools that can be incorporated into your site to extend the functionality of WordPress. Some plugins create widgets that appear in the website’s sidebar (our sidebar is the column you see to the right of this post). There are over 15,000 plugins listed in the WordPress directory—but beware, not all plugins are worth using. A skilled Web Developer will be able to find the gems and even create custom plugins for your site when necessary.
For example I wrote a plugin to create a News widget allowing our clients to post quick news updates to their site’s sidebar or footer. I initially wrote the plugin for Janet Cromer, an avid blogger who needed to promote outside articles she’d written and other important news on her site.
WordPress—Not Just for Blogs
There are many other benefits to using WordPress, but search engine friendliness, ease of updating content, and the flexibility that plugins and widgets provide are the main reasons we create client websites with WordPress.
Full disclosure: We participate in Scribe’s affiliate program because we use, know, love, and recommend their product.