Katie Keith, CEO of UK WordPress web design firm Barn2 Media, discusses the small business advantages of using WordPress. WordPress is the most widely used web design platform, powering over 25% of websites globally. With tens of thousands of accessible themes and modules, small businesses can build almost any type of website without writing a single line of code. WordPress businesses and independent contractors now provide services for websites for small businesses, offering a mix of professional design services and bespoke design options. WordPress also provides total control over content management, allowing non-technical users to make simple edits and make important changes.
As the Operations Director of UK WordPress web design firm Barn2 Media, Katie Keith helps companies make the most of their websites.
We recently questioned her on the advantages of utilizing WordPress for a small business. What she said was as follows:
WHAT SMALL BUSINESS ADVANTAGES COULD YOU MENTION OF USING WORDPRESS?
WordPress is the most widely used web design platform in the world, powering over 25% of websites globally, a percentage that is increasing yearly. The size of the WordPress community makes it a great platform for websites for small businesses. There are tens of thousands of accessible themes and modules, both free and premium. Almost any type of website may be built with them, usually without writing a single line of code.
When we established our WordPress web design business in 2009, we were one of the first companies to focus on the system. WordPress businesses and independent contractors now make up a whole sector of the economy that provides services for websites for small businesses. Owners of small businesses have the choice of creating their own website (though I wouldn’t necessarily advocate this) or engaging a WordPress “assembler” who would create the site utilizing cost-effective resources.
A professional website design service with bespoke design, functionality, or any mix of the two is available to businesses with greater budgets. WordPress is perfect for both ends of the spectrum and can be customized to each company’s demands and budget.
WordPress gives small company owners total control over their material as a content management system (CMS). Simple edits to the text and photos on websites and blog posts may be made by non-technical people. People with a little knowledge may add pages, slide shows, and change layouts on their website, among other more important changes. Small company owners no longer have to pay their web designer every time they want to make a change, unlike the static HTML websites of the past.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES OR MISCONCEPTIONS RELATING TO WORDPRESS WEBSITE CONSTRUCTION?
I regularly run into small business owners that think WordPress websites don’t need any upkeep since I operate a web design firm. WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which gives the false idea that small company owners can handle EVERYTHING without professional assistance once a website is online. I can’t even remember how many websites we’ve created when the customer declined our maintenance offer and let the website’s software fall woefully behind. Things start to break down over time, and the website is far more prone to be hacked.
Maintenance has nothing to do with a website’s ability to change its content. A WordPress blog with a few plugins, a WordPress.org theme, and can probably be updated and managed without expert help. However, the vast majority of commercial WordPress websites are more intricate. For instance, they could feature a premium theme, a number of different plugins and unique functionality, as well as challenging-to-update plugins like Visual Composer or Revolution Slider. These websites need expert help to run well, but many customers are hesitant to accept this.
The second myth I hear a lot is that company owners can create their own WordPress websites. Yes, the resources are there, and many WordPress pros build sites without writing any code. However, building a successful website still requires professional expertise that the typical business owner cannot do alone. You must be familiar with WordPress well enough to use it effectively rather than against it. You must be able to select premium plugins and themes. You must decide what functionality is important and refrain from adding extraneous components that will make the website sluggish and unstable. Even if you’re utilizing a theme, you still need to have a firm grip on current web design trends and a keen sense of aesthetics. You must be aware of efficiency and image optimization. As instance, we receive a lot of questions from people who tried to construct their own WordPress website but gave up when they discovered it was harder than they thought.
HOW SHOULD BUSINESSES USE THEIR WORDPRESS SITES TO THEIR FULLEST EFFICIENCY?
WordPress offers enormous business opportunities, however they are not always taken use of. Make use of the CMS to keep the material on your website current.
Business owners frequently sigh with satisfaction when their WordPress website goes online and move on to other tasks. Their content eventually gets dated. Because search engines like websites with fresh information and are aware that the website is not regularly updated, their search engine rating starts to fall.
Because they offer free advertising, websites are advantageous. After paying for your website, you may add as much material that is optimized for search engines as you like without incurring any further fees. Your leads and sales may rise dramatically as a result, frequently to the point where you may lower your marketing expenses.
Create periodic reminders for the main pages and blog of your website. It might seem like a hardship when you have so many other obligations, but it can have a huge payoff.
WHAT FACTORS SHOULD BUSINESSES THINK ABOUT BEFORE BUILDING A WORDPRESS WEBSITE?
WordPress websites come in both simple and complicated varieties. This affects how simple it will be for firms to upgrade in the future.
I advise keeping things simple if you lack technical knowledge. The overall look and feel of the website might be pleasing, but you must follow the rules for page content and structure. WordPress comes with a WYSIWYG editor that is similar to Microsoft Word or other similar programs by default. The majority of people may easily add and edit material thanks to this.
On the other hand, shortcodes and page builder plugins like Divi Builder, Beaver Builder, and Visual Composer may be used to enhance WordPress pages. These provide you the ability to create WordPress websites with layouts that are far more complex, such as numerous columns, content blocks, rows, toggles/accordions, and so on. A WordPress developer can also make unique templates with the necessary layouts. A company website’s “wow factor” is increased by complex page themes, but this also makes it more challenging to edit. Only if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort to learn how to manage them should you think about intricate layouts.
HOW EASY IS THE TRANSITION TO WORDPRESS FROM ANOTHER CMS?
There are several tools available to help with content migration from another CMS to WordPress, which is rather straightforward. However, this just represents a piece of the whole picture.
You need a WordPress theme to switch over to WordPress, either by creating a new layout or creating a custom theme to go with your current website. Using either custom code or WordPress plugins, every feature of the prior website must be reproduced in WordPress. And for the new theme to look good, the material you moved from the previous CMS has to be restyled and structured. You’re effectively creating a new website from scratch, even though some content is being moved from the old platform.
Businesses commonly get in touch with us to switch from another CMS to WordPress. The majority of the time, their old website didn’t meet their needs for style or content because it had been there for a while. It is typically best to utilize this as an opportunity to revamp and refresh the website rather than trying to reproduce the old website in WordPress.
WHAT WORDPRESS UTILITIES DO YOU PREFER? WHY ARE YOU ATTRACTIVE TO THEM?
Our whole portfolio of WordPress websites is hosted on WP Engine. They stand out from other hosts that provide WordPress hosting since they are a host that is optimized for WordPress.
Page load speeds are substantially slowed down with every website migration we do to WP Engine, usually by several seconds. This is as a result of the wide range of performance options provided by WP Engine, including integrated caching and content delivery network (CDN – depending on your package). It is challenging to find such instruments elsewhere.
Additionally, WP Engine provides a number of WordPress solutions that streamline operations for businesses. They are far easier to use than all the backup plugins I’ve tried because they back up the site automatically every day and let you make more with just one click. Furthermore, server-level backups are far faster than backup plugins for WordPress and won’t slow down your website. Additionally, it is absurdly easy to restore a website to a prior backup if something goes wrong, giving business owners a great lot of comfort.
I also enjoy WP Engine’s staging areas. These allow companies to create a duplicate of their website so they may test changes without affecting the live version. You may easily move your changes from the staging site to the live site whenever you are pleased with them. These tools offer a safe, expert setting for managing WordPress business websites without putting the live site at unnecessary risk.
WHAT CAN BUSINESSES DO TO GET THEIR WORDPRESS SITES NOTICED?
By consistently adding new information, such as blog entries or news stories, you can keep your website looking current. By doing this, you will be able to tell Google the keywords you want to rank for and increase the amount of keyword-rich material on your website, which will help you improve your search engine rating.
Additionally, you need to use SEO (search engine optimization) strategies by boosting your online visibility and optimizing your website. When developing your WordPress website, work with a business that will conduct keyword analysis and search engine optimization. Spend money on continuous SEO and internet marketing to focus on activities like social media marketing and constructing relevant, high-authority links to the website after it is live. Your content should continue to be optimized.
Every SEO effort must be ethical, “white hat,” and in line with the most recent best practices and methodologies. Saving money here is not the point. Pay an SEO firm if you have the money to do so, or see whether your web design business offers WordPress SEO services. If you don’t have a budget for SEO, it’s better to do it yourself rather than cut corners. Think about the keywords that your target audience is searching for (if possible, use a keyword planning tool), find out which websites are linking to your competitors using Google, and then reach out to those sites to request links to your website.
WHAT ARE THE BEST METHODS FOR HOUSEKEEPING AND MAINTENANCE OF WORDPRESS SITES?
All WordPress websites require upkeep, as was already said. This requires, at the very least, keeping WordPress, the theme, and plugins current as well as regularly assessing the website. This is absolutely necessary since it guarantees the safety and smooth operation of your website. One of the main reasons WordPress websites being hacked is outdated software.
Software created by several people is integrated to create a WordPress website. For instance, each plugin, the theme, and the core of WordPress were mostly created by other companies. One of the biggest benefits of using WordPress is that you may benefit from its extensive ecosystem rather than having to build everything from scratch. This does put a load on maintenance, therefore you must have a strategy in place for continuing testing and maintenance.
I recommend keeping things organized behind the scenes in terms of routine housekeeping. Unused modules should be removed since they will make your site slower and have a bad effect on SEO. From the Media Library, delete any photographs that are not essential. Use a plugin like WP-Sweep to carry out tasks like database optimization, post revision removal, and spam comment eradication.
WHAT CURRENT WORDPRESS TRENDS OR INNOVATIONS EXCITE YOU THE MOST?
WordPress recently evolved into a framework that can be combined with just about any other platform thanks to the WordPress REST API. This has already paved the way for additional exciting advancements like front-end frameworks that enable WordPress website customization without the need for PHP or the WordPress administration panel. I’m interested to see how WordPress will view this possibility and what doors it may open in the larger web community.
WHOM DO YOU GO TO IN ORDER TO LEARN HOW TO USE WORDPRESS?
My two most-used WordPress resources are wpMail and wpLift. The best WordPress tutorials and articles from across the world are collected in these email newsletters. I no longer need to subscribe to a variety of WordPress blogs because everything is available in one place.
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