WordPress, you’ve probably heard of it and if you haven’t then you’ll become a little more accustomed to it by the end of this post. WordPress was known as a blogging platform, a program that you could use to start a blog on a website, but it quickly morphed a few years back into a cms (content management system) that allows you to manage the content on your business website.
It’s not the most friendly of systems out there, but it is quite simple to use. And, just like Microsoft Word, it’ll piss you off when you can’t get something just right. However, for both novice and professional it offers a reliable and powerful interface that helps businesses to promote their brands on the web.
I’ve been using WP as my go-to system since 2009 and I’ve come across a lot of obstacles in the road, especially from individuals (including web design professionals) who still see it as a blogging platform.
It’s open source
Wouldn’t you want thousands of programmers working on something every day to improve and make it better? That’s what happens with WordPress. There’s ways you can change the appearance through themes and frameworks and individual things you can add, such as a contact form, by using plugins (like apps on your iPhone or Android).
It changes as the web does
WordPress is used by a huge number of different websites on the internet as a CMS (content management system: how your content is placed and displayed online) and that means there’s a huge demand for the platform to be updated constantly, and that’s just the core! There are literally thousands of
It doesn’t tie you to one developer
The old way of doing things was to get your brochure site setup and then leave it as your ‘marketing engine’. Those days are gone. Now, it’s a case of constant communication with your current and potential customers and really connecting and engaging with these individuals to cement your business and brand in their minds.
What if you want to make a change to your website (or an all important update) and your web developer is too busy or has ‘disappeared’ (like so many ones do that undercharge for their services). WP gives you the ability to bring in someone else and have them make changes or adaptions to your current web presence without the need to fully overhaul everything and start again from scratch.
This doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily going to be cheaper and more cost efficient to do, but it’s not going to take forever to make changes.
It also means that you’re not going to be stuck with one design or designer if you want a fresh change and look to your website. But, there are negative impacts to changing your design in regards to Google search, read more about that here.
In short, WordPress is easier to use, versatile, many people are improving it every day, and making changes is simple.
Concerning Disadvantages To WordPress
With its growing popularity there has been a growth in hackers. Individuals who get a kick out of hacking into your WordPress website and either (most commonly) putting links or malware on your site or inserting a ‘we support terrorists’ page on your business website.
Truly annoying, right?
But, there are good things to websites that have WordPress as a CMS hacked. The security for the software improves and there are a whole host of plugins for you to use to secure your web presence.
Yes, I have had WordPress sites in the past hacked. And yes, it was down to them not being very secure in the first place. Today, thankfully, I take security and backups very seriously for all of the WordPress websites I either control or consult over. Security is the first thing I look at regarding a website.
Other points to note:
- Constant updates required (every month or so)
- It was originally made for blogging
- ‘Out of the box’ it isn’t SEO friendly (people who say it is are mis-informed)
Affects on Business
You’re probably thinking “thanks for the insight, Nick, but what does this all really have to do with my business website?” Well, a hell of a lot. If your computer is slow and you can’t really fix it you’ll change it, right? If your car doesn’t provide the correct image to match the rates you’re charging, or the type of partners you’re trying to attract, then you’re probably going to change it.
Having WordPress control all aspects of your website is a step in the right direction and I’ve been smiling quite cheerfully as certain agencies and professionals who help business owners with their online presence have been slowly moving away from the idea that “that’s just a blogging platform. Pffft! I’m not using WordPress for a client’s site. I’m going to custom code it!” to “They seem to want WordPress and there’s so many different things that I can get (themes and plugins) that I’m going to be able to develop and build something even more epic.”
There’s one important point to keep in mind: Business changes constantly – you’re not in the same position you were a few years ago, you’ll have different clients, different marketing methods, different ways of engaging with people – and that means your online web presence needs to move with you. WordPress enables you, or more commonly, and some would say more advisory, that a professional can implement changes much more quickly when using a CMS such as WP.
The Big Why
For me, it’s simply the speed of change and adaptation. Your business isn’t standing still and neither are social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but that also means that your website shouldn’t either. Business websites are going to be around for a long time and they’re going to need to be updated more so than ever. Those that aren’t? Will see the dust balls conquer them and leave a negative impression on customers/clients you want to attract.