There are millions of business owners out there who need a website, but these individuals often have no idea of the basic factors they should consider before commissioning anyone to start their web build.
Yes, they may start to think about the colours that will be used in the template, they may start sourcing their own images and photos, and they may even take a closer look at a selection of fonts that best reflect their brand. But the people that begin their project with these ideas have already skipped one of the most important decisions they will ever make when it comes to their new venture.
What is this key decision, I hear you cry?
They haven’t determined which platform they’re going to use as the foundation for their site! Because they haven’t looked into what’s available to them, they will be relying on the web developer or builder to educate them on their options.
Now there are many platforms out there and each has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. However, one that immediately springs to mind for its versatility, functionality and unrivalled ease of use is Wordpress.
What is Wordpress?
Wordpress is arguably the biggest open source platform available on the web. Started up by a bunch of developers in 2003, it is commonly referred to as a blogging platform, which is true, but you may be surprised to learn that some of the biggest and best performing websites are built on Wordpress.
It’s user friendly. Wordpress is a notoriously easy platform to manage. Even the most techno-phobic amongst us would be able to work and manage a website built in Wordpress. It has a content management system that allows you to go in and edit or add pages, images and generally amend the look and feel of your website. The best way to describe it is that it’s just like working on a document within a word processor. You type the content, paragraph & structure it as neatly as you can, take a quick preview and publish it immediately if you’re happy with it.
Plus, as Wordpress is so easy to work with, you will not have to contact and pay a web developer every time you want to amend something. You can log into your website and make amendments from any PC as long as you have your user name and password with you (an especially useful feature considering many platforms only allow you to log in from the main ‘host’ PC).
As its one of the biggest open source platforms in the world, it is constantly updated so that it remains the best choice for developers in the ever changing world of web technology. So many older platforms have fallen by the wayside simply because no-one wanted to or was able to keep them up to date and release new tools.
Most importantly from an SEO perspective, Wordpress is very optimisation friendly, which means your website should rank highly within the search engines if your page has been structured correctly and your content reflects your relevancy for each of your targeted search terms.
There are also hundreds of Wordpress templates on the web and many of these can actually be downloaded free of charge. People who have initiative and the slightest bit of knowledge will find them easy to customise, which means they may not even need to employ a web developer after all, especially if they’re only looking to create a simple brochure-style site.
Everything has its pros and cons, though, and Wordpress is no different. There are times when a Wordpress platform simply won’t suit your online business objectives. For example, if you have or plan to build a retail platform and start selling hundreds of products, then Wordpress really isn’t for you. Wordpress can indeed provide the facility to sell products and take online payments but it struggles to cope with any real volume of products. For projects of this scale you would be best to consider a platform such as Majento or Joomla - these are basically the equivalent of Wordpress but are developed for Ecommerce purposes. Although these are slightly harder to work with, they are designed to allow you to integrate the kind of functionality you need into your website.
If you are setting up a website for the first time, have very little experience of working on the web and are not considering selling your wares online, then we would highly recommend that you give Wordpress a try. However, it’s always advisable to get some honest advice from a professional website developer. After all, those who frequently work with a number of different platforms are qualified to take you through the pros and cons of Wordpress, Joomla, Magento or any other systems and will more than likely have their own opinions of each.
From a financial point of view, the web platform you choose could have a significant impact on the amount of money you need to pay out on a regular basis to maintain and run your site. It’ll also determine how flexible you can be with the site’s design and will ultimately decide the impact your business will have online!
The team at Freelance SEO Essex deliver high quality SEO, PPC, copywriting and web design services to SMEs in the UK at an incredibly low-cost.