But today, I’m not going to talk about how to set up or use WordPress (wait for it – that’s coming next week); for this post I’m focusing on why WordPress is so much better than 99% of other small business website options out there, and why, if you’re not on WordPress already, you should totally switch (like, yesterday!).
Those “other” options
Perhaps you’ve tried some of them, or your site is still on one of those platforms. Free site options like GoDaddy’s “Website Tonight”, and blogging-only platforms like Blogspot, are of course only as good as you’d expect free to be. But even the super-expensive (like $30/month!) site-builders like 1&1, BigCommerce, and others leave much to be desired.
So what’s so much better about WordPress? Let me count the ways…
WordPress Rocks Because…
- It gives you choices. You don’t have to hire a designer or developer for every little update, and if you’ve got the chops + time + desire to do it all yourself, you don’t even have to hire a designer in the first place. BUT, if you do need help (maybe you don’t have the time or ability to DIY, or you’ve come to a point in your business where you need a totally custom (from scratch) design job to kick your pro factor up a notch), you can always hire a designer. [With those “other” platforms, you’re limited to the design options they provide, so if you don’t like them, or you outgrow them, you’re only choice is to switch to another website service. What a hassle!]
- It’s totally affordable. All you need is a website host that offers WordPress (basic hosting only costs about $5 to $10 per month, and nearly all of them offer easy WordPress installation). WordPress itself is free (it’s an open-source software platform, which is sort of like being a non-profit – it exists for the benefit of its users, not to make money). So instead of spending $30-ish/month on a lackluster website service that doesn’t even do everything you want it to, you can save that money, even use it to buy premium WordPress themes, plugins, or hire a designer.
- It puts you in control. With a great web host account + WordPress, your website is under your complete control. You have flexibility to do what you want with it, and if need be, to take it wherever you please, without running into roadblocks. [By contrast, with many other platforms/site-builders, you’re stuck with them: for example, GoDaddy’s “Website Tonight” service doesn’t allow you to take your website with you, so if you want to switch to another host, you have to start from scratch. NOT cool!]
- It makes your website and blog a cohesive unit. Blogging is such a great way to build your reputation and get traffic from Google searches, among other things, so it’s awesome that WordPress allows you to have a blog built right into your website. [As for those other website platforms, most don’t even include blogging capabilities. That means if you want to have a blog, you’re forced to create one separate from your main site, which totally defeats the purpose. If all the traffic-generation and reputation-building is being done away from your website, even if you have links connecting the two, your blog will get most of the glory, and your website and the business it represents will get near zero.]
- It gives you the ability to outfit your site with the best bells and whistles, with very little fuss. WordPress is well-known for its plugins, which allow you to add almost any functionality to your site (such as a shopping cart, sidebar widgets, and contact forms) without knowing how to code. Even I can appreciate that, being as right-brained-creative as I am; the less coding I have to do, the better. [The other site platforms offer limited options here; like you have to use the shopping cart they provide, or the opt-in form they provide, rather than bringing in a third-party one of your own choosing. So if their shopping cart stinks, or if they don’t even offer social sharing buttons, you’re out of luck.]
So, you’re itching to switch to WordPress, right? If you have questions about whether WordPress is right for you, or how to switch from your current website system, ask away in the comments below. And be sure to check back next week, when I’ll be talking more about how to get started on, and make the most of, WordPress!
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About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!