Why Use WordPress to Power Your Small Business Website?

by on July 22, 2008 · 269 comments

“I can’t update my website!”

“I’ve got to get my webmaster to do that, but it’s going to cost me…”

“Nooooo, I just hosed my website!”

If you talk to enough small business owners, or friends that want to have a website but don’t spend evenings and weekends tinkering around on the web, you’ll hear frustrations like this a lot.

And that’s from the ones who have figured out how to get a website up and running in the first place. There are many who are still trying to figure out where to start. But wait, there is hope!

WordPress to the Rescue

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging tools available. But what many people don’t know is that it is a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for more than just blogging. With WordPress you can build a blog, a website, or both. This is the first article in a series where we’ll explore why WordPress is a good choice for small business websites, and how to install, configure and use it for your small business.

Web Content Management Systems

A content management system is a tool that helps you manage the creation and updates to web pages on your web site. In 1998 I was one of the early members of a Silicon Valley start-up called Interwoven. Interwoven provided Web Content Management solutions for large enterprises like Ford Motor, FedEx, Cisco and eventually thousands of others large and small companies. I learned a lot about web content management by meeting with hundreds of companies – ranging from the Fortune 100 to smaller companies -  and digging into their web site architectures. The web was exploding at that time, and there was a tremendous demand for managing the ever expanding amount and types of content. During that period, our software sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Using WordPress as a Website

Fast forward to today, and now we have WordPress – an amazingly powerful content management system that is FREE. And it has a lot of power under the hood for a small or medium business looking for an easy way to manage their web site.

WordPress was designed as a platform for blogging, but you don’t have to use it as a blogging tool. With a few tweaks it can be used to run your website, with or without a “blog.” The fact that WordPress was designed as a blogging platform gives it some compelling advantages.

It is optimized for easily publishing and changing content. And getting good search engine rankings requires fresh, unique content. You need a system that does not get in your way when you want to update your website with a new article or newsletter.

So why is WordPress a good choice?

Top Five Reasons to Use WordPress for Your Small Business Website

  1. SEO – WordPress provides good search engine optimization (SEO) right out of the box. There are a few tweaks you need to make, but there are many seo benefits that WordPress provides for free. In fact Google’s own Matt Cutts says WordPress is “made to do SEO well” in this video: Matt Cutts gives tips to small business owners.
  2. Content – it is easy to update content on your website without knowing HTML.  Do you hate the idea of having to learn to use a complex HTML editor tool like Dreamweaver? Do you have to “ask” your webmaster every time you want to make a small change to your website? Well no longer – once WordPress is set up for you, you can easily create new pages or edit existing pages using a simple rich text editor.
  3. Extensions – There is a thriving ecosystem of developers creating themes and plug-ins – imagine free design themes, or the ability to extend your website with polls, contact forms, ratings or hundreds of other cool features without having to hire a web developer.
  4. Support – If you do have problems, or want to add very custom features, it is easy to find support and developers who can help you. There are literally thousands of WordPress developers out there. And there are so many people writing about WordPress that help is only a Google search away!
  5. One-click-installation – Quick installs are provided by many hosting providers, including Bluehost and 1and1.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing tips and tricks we’ve learned by using WordPress for a bunch of small business websites.

More WordPress Articles:

See my WordPress for Small Business Series websites for links to more WordPress articles on topics like: How to install WordPress, should I use WordPress.org or WordPress.com, How to make WordPress look like a Website, and more.

Are you using WordPress for your Website, or stuck with something that isn’t working for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Article by »

Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, the SmallBiz WordPress Theme and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 279 articles on Expand2Web

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How The SmallBiz Theme Makes Your Business Website Way Better

If you're building a business website these days, you're in luck.

WordPress has revolutionized the ease and power of what a website can do and be. Now you can quickly create a website that is optimized for top search results, and update it yourself whenever you want.

As you'll see in a moment, the SmallBiz Theme is much more than a mere WordPress theme. It's a complete solution for your business web presence including a Website, Blog, Facebook Page and Mobile Website.

Let's take a look at each of these, and how they help you generate new business from the web…

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{ 269 comments… read them below or add one }

MCP February 1, 2014 at 4:11 am

Wordpress has grown into a fantastic CMS for all websites and not just blogs. I use Wordpress for my site and it lets me update it easily when I want.

Reply

Blaze Studios March 14, 2014 at 12:13 am

Wordpress is without a doubt the best small business web site solution. Great article.

Reply

Peter March 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Don – excellent article, you share some invaluable tips and strategies that will help others secure a presence on this ever-changing web. I love how Wordpress continues to lead the way for blogging/website platforms, making it easier for even the novice. May God bless your business!

Reply

Suzi April 8, 2014 at 7:18 am

WordPress is just one of the many platforms out there now evening the playing field for us non-techies! Honestly, I wish I would have learned this lesson several years ago after spending thousands on a website. The one I have now I did “mostly” myself, although I SITLL have to ask someone to help me a bit with some design and code. I am still trying to figure out the world of plug-ins. Any interest in doing a blogpost on your top list of plug ins? ;)

Reply

Peter April 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Yes! I second that one Suzi…there are so many great plug-ins out there and many of which are still not widely known. Don’ts the guy to help us ;-)

Reply

Upenyu April 17, 2014 at 7:05 am

Great stuff. l am a novice but l managed to create my first website in 30 seconds using WordPress.

Reply

Anointed April 22, 2014 at 5:57 pm

What about email? I own my domain and I’d like to continue receiving email with the domain email address. Does WordPress have business email solutions, or do you get that through an outside service?

Reply

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