In Marketing Strategy, Small Business Blog

WordPress web design has become a popular choice for small, medium and large businesses! In this article, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of using WordPress for small business.

After completing college in 1996, I got my first computer. Now the internet was just starting to gain momentum, so I didn’t end up getting online for another year or two. When I finally did, I immediately began playing around with html and Microsoft Frontpage.

The Birth of Open Source Website Framework

In early 2000, I learned about Mambo, a content management system (CMS) based on PHP. I quickly downloaded the open source software and began designing web sites for friends and local non-profits.

As the years passed by, Mambo grew until one day when some of the developers split and the project forked into another brand called Joomla.

Joomla still exists today and is a great option when considering a CMS platform. When we began Zeal Media in 2011, we designed sites primarily on Joomla because it is an open source platform that is easy to set up and use. It allowed us to design professional websites for customers without having to charge to code their website from scratch.

WordPress was an option during this time, but was very limited to the blogging demographic.

WordPress Evolves From Blogging to a Full-fledged Web Design Software

A few years later, a friend had mentioned to me that WordPress was no longer just good for blogging and that I should try it out for a website design. It was a fairly good system, but still limited when it came to bigger websites that required more features.

We started doing WordPress web design more often as things improved and more options became available. Today, it’s the chosen website platform for over 33% of the world’s websites!

Though it’s a great platform for small business, even big brands like TechCrunch, Global News, Sony Music, The Walt Disney Company and Katy Perry use it.

WordPress Advantages

Longevity

Around since 2003 and used on over 75 million websites, it’s become a behemoth and so has it’s support community. With so many people using it, most integrations have already been created and most troubles can be solved through an online search or support request.

Customization

WordPress features over 54,000+ plugins and countless customizable themes, paid and free, making it a great platform for small businesses who can’t afford a custom coded website. It’s flexible and is used for blogging, e-commerce, small, medium and large business websites as well as multilingual/multinational sites.

Secure

As an open source platform, coders from around the world work together to make it the best platform out there. Constant improvements in bugs, security and functionality means a stronger, more secure platform.

Portability

Because WordPress is not proprietary, website owners own their website and can take it to virtually any webhost online. Simply transfer the files from one web host to another. Have a website you want to transfer? Switch to Zeal Media for FREE!

Optimized for Search Engines

Out of the box it’s set up for proper SEO formatting with permalink structure, heading hierarchy, metadata and more. Add an SEO plugin and it becomes one of the best website platforms for search engine optimization. It is also designed with minimal php code to speed up page load time. It’s mobile responsive layouts are favoured by Google’s mobile-first algorithm.

WordPress Disadvantages

Prone to Hacking

Without proper setup and security plugins, it can be prone to hack attempts. This is something that can be prevented with a good security plugin and remedied with a backup plugin.

Frequent Updates

WordPress plugins and framework are often updated, and though this is a good thing, it can be annoying especially when you have numerous plugins installed.

Technical Expertise Required

Using WordPress as a DIY system, requires a higher level of technical ability. It’s easier to post blog posts and mange once the website is created, but initial setup can prove challenging to the average computer user. Building your website on WordPress will offer much more functionality than Wix, Weebly, Squarespace or any other DIY website builder sites will.

WordPress Functionality

With the huge library of plugins, WordPress is highly functional. Here are a few of the things we’ve integrated for our customers:

  • Real Estate listings from an IDX/DDF feed synced and updated hourly.
  • Forum community for registered members
  • Online event registration with online payment
  • Appointment booking for salons, tattoo shops and more
  • Scheduled blog posting with auto-posting to multiple social networks
  • Detailed online quote functionality with if/then scenarios
  • Integrated news feeds from popular social media sites
  • Affiliate integration to increase sales for an ecommerce website
  • Banner advertising platform to generate income
  • Google & Facebook shopping integration for advertising
  • Connection & syncing customer relation management (CRM) software
  • Integration with bookkeeping software like Quickbooks
  • Multi-currency & multilingual sites

As you can see, WordPress is flexible and can handle virtually anything that is required in a small business website. If you need a custom function, it may already exist in the WordPress plugin directory. If not, it may be possible to create it with custom coding.

Joomla is still a viable option and has been improved over the years. It tends to be a little more difficult to use and set up than WordPress, but is comparable for SEO, themes and functionality. So when it comes to choosing a website platform, we recommend and choose WordPress as our first choice.

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