WordPress – The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It …

WordPress – The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It …

When working with new clients I sometimes get asked why I choose to use WordPress. Besides the fact that WordPress is THE most popular content management solution on the market according to like everyone, it is so powerful and so easy to use, how could I not use it?

When I started dabbling in all things the web, I actually used Drupal as my first platform. I found Drupal to be very powerful and well supported. Major sites like whitehouse.gov had replaced their custom coded site with a Drupal core. One of my first clients, AAA New York, specifically requested a Drupal site. Although Drupal had been around since 2001 it rivaled another free CMS named Joomla. I dabbled for a bit in Joomla as well but I liked the admin interface of Drupal better. Drupal, at the time, also had a giant repository of free and paid templates and plugins.

Next for me came Magento. I had two friends that were looking to open a web store. Shopify was relatively new and their budget was very limited. After doing some research I found Magento Community Edition. They had a paid service but also offered a free packaged stand-alone edition that only required a server running PHP and MySql – just like Joomla and Drupal. Geared towards e-commerce, I was able to produce a fully functioning informational website with a built-in shopping cart – for free. The only expenses were hosting, SSL certificate and then the bank and gateway fees. Such a cost saver.

After much success with Drupal and Magento, I started reading more and more about WordPress. Even though it was really a blogging platform, many companies were switching to WP for their business website and I needed to know why. After many installs and customizations, I was found the reasons why companies were switching. Here are my reasons for choosing WP.

WordPress - The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It ...

Yoast

We all know how important SEO is these days. Not everyone has the budget to run an expensive long-running ad campaign so they rely on organic traffic growth. Just posting content routinely (although a good idea) is not enough to get found. There are certain practices that need to be met and the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress makes that so much easier. You can edit the meta title and description, do keyword research from within, control what get’s indexed and what doesn’t and even set up how social media will see and share your post or page. That is just the tip of the iceberg of what this plugin can do. Yoast SEO is one of the first plugins I install when launching a site and has been a huge game changer for WP.

WordPress - The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It ...

There is a vast abundance of themes and plugins.

Just about anything you could want to do on your site is available with minimal to no coding experience. On my for fun site, WordPress - The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It ...I am considering displaying ads, only after I get my readership up of course. These days there is an abundance of ad blockers available for every browser. Some browsers even have ad blocking built in. I agree being over inundated with ads while cruising the net can be annoying but many people rely on ads to generate income, especially when they are giving away valuable content to the masses for free. A question you might ask yourself, “If I were going to start monetizing my site, how can I make sure that my ads are not blocked?” Download a plugin. In a quick glance, there were no less than 5-10 plugins that will nicely ask users to whitelist your site – and some were even free.

As for themes, there are paid and free themes abound. Just do a search for WordPress themes. Enough said.

WordPress - The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It ...

I love the admin interface.

The WP admin interface is so intuitive that anyone logging in for the first time will have no problem navigating around. Everything can be found rather easily. Also, for Command Line geeks, WP has a powerful CLI that actually will allow you to do things that the admin interface cannot. See https://wp-cli.org/ for more info. Just the other day I needed to delete some WP transients and from the admin interface, it was not possible without a plugin. With the CLI, I could clear one or all transients without having to add another 3rd party plugin.

WordPress - The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It ...

WordPress Page Builders

Everyone these days wants a website but not everyone knows how to code. Along came drag and drop page builders which will allow anyone to create modern looking custom designs. Couple the builder with a template and you will be up and running in a much shorter time than it would take to code from scratch.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t still hire someone, that would be silly on my part. After all, I could use the money, but if you wanted to make changes to your site without having to pay hourly rates, it would be a lot easier using a page builder.

WordPress - The Top 5 Reasons Why I Use It ...

Install is Simple and Super Transportable

Total initial install is only about 15 minutes. That includes setting up the web space, database and copying the site files over FTP. This should decrease the roll-out time. Customization still takes some time. As for being portable, WordPress is second to none. I build sites for clients with my host. Once completed, it is very easy to export the database and site files and transfer to another host. A couple of database changes and the site has been moved.

There are so many more features found in WordPress – WooCommerce for instance. WooCommerce allows you to have your own shopping cart right on your site without having to use a third party.

Some clients have asked me why I don’t use Wix or Squarespace. I have found these drag and drop site builders to be pretty powerful but limited. One of my clients wanted to run something very custom to their site and it just wasn’t possible, at least at the time, on their host. I moved her to WordPress and was able to implement her request rather quickly and without great cost.

Will WordPress be the end all be all for the internet forever? Who knows – maybe with the introduction of Gutenberg in WP v.5, more developers move away from WordPress to another format. But for now, WordPress is the king of all content management systems and why I recommend for all my clients.

Why Do I Need a Consultant to Maintain My Website?

Why Do I Need a Consultant to Maintain My Website?

That’s a question I hear a lot from clients and associates lately, and it’s a valid one. I sat down with a client that wanted a website for her new business. She was in a partnership with a friend and between them had limited funds allocated for web development and marketing, they were putting all their money into the product. They signed up for an account on Wix.com (which is a free website builder and host) and gave forth a great attempt at putting together a “professional looking” website. Problems arose when they wanted custom options that were just not available to them under the free plan. Now they were going to have to purchase a rather pricey monthly plan which would still require some CSS knowledge, a decent photo editing program that has a steep learning curve and as well as tons of time learning the ins and outs of the Wix content management system, SEO, marketing, etc. At the rate they were progressing, they would have ended up spending even more money than they wanted as well as delayed the business open by over a year. Time is money and they wanted to invest time in growing their business not learning new software.

Another client was using a free self-hosted website. He had tremendous amounts of original content including videos, photos and case studies. He also used a free self-hosted site with a free template. The site looked professional but the biggest problem was he had no readership. Just because you build it, does not mean they will come. SEO and SEM are a skill that takes time to learn and execute. This client was more inclined to write and share. He did not want to learn nor worry about optimizing pages, building back-links, check his site for 404’s or register his site with the search engines.

A third client had a website hosted on Squarespace. It for a business site which showcased some past work and had all the necessary means for contacting the company. Unfortunately, there were many problems – images weren’t optimized, the content was poorly written and certainly not SEO rich. The site looked like it was put together by an amateur. There was no sitemap, the business was not indexed by any search engines and he wasn’t getting any business from the web. There was a decent social media presence but again the site was very poor and far from professional.

Yet another client had a site that was hosted on a VPS with GoDaddy.com. The site was built using WordPress with a custom template. The owner had originally paid to have the site developed and installed by an outside company but figured he could maintain it himself. He knew how to post content, add photos and even tweak a thing here or there, the problem was – he got hacked. Sadly, the owner didn’t stay on top of the most recent news and hadn’t upgraded his WP version or plugins in quite some time. A known vulnerability in the version he was using was exploited. Had the site been updated he would never have been vulnerable. Luckily the host had backups of his database and files as he wasn’t making any on his own. By the time we got the backups restored and the site running again he had lost a few days presence on the web, this, in turn, resulted in lost revenue.

Hiring a consultant to develop, install and manage your website might seem like a big unnecessary cost but the ROI will be ever-present. Good professional consultants will be on top of the latest trends and news. They will know when a security risk is present and will work to prevent downtime. Consultants that specialize in SEO and SEM will better know how to optimize and market your site so that you get as much visibility on the web as possible. An expert will make sure you are regularly backing up, will have a test site running so all changes can be tested and make sure you don’t LOSE revenue.