Starting a new business involves a lot of planning and details. In today’s online world, when it comes to marketing, if you don’t have a website, you’re a second-class business in your market niche. You definitely need a website.
Sure, you can rely on Facebook for your online presence, but you lose a lot of marketing power and credibility if you do. You will want a business page on Facebook, but mostly as a place to post headlines and link them back to your website.
So, you want to get a website up and running. You are bombarded with cookie-cutter sites. You’ve seen the TV spots telling you that you can have a money-making website up in minutes. “Bull” is the word that comes to mind. However, the baseball movie quote “if you build it they will come,” doesn’t apply either.
A website is a long-term marketing commitment, but it is worth it. Even if you aren’t getting a lot of visitors early on, one thing is certain: People check out businesses by searching for them online and searching for their websites. You can hand out business cards and do print advertising, and people who see them will still check you out online.
Now that we’ve established your need for a site and one that isn’t a cookie-cutter that looks like it, where should you start? Check out WordPress for your site, and here are the top 5 reasons why.
Reason #1: WordPress is Established and Really Popular
A couple of statistics can illustrate the truth of that statement:
• WordPress powers around 28.9% of the entire Web.
• More than 74 million sites are using WordPress software.
Many years ago WordPress broke out of the “blogging software” box. Some of the biggest sites out there that you visit are on WordPress. You can do what you want with WordPress.
Reason #2: WordPress is Free
Now, there’s a good reason! The software is totally free, and it is kept updated regularly by the developers, all at no cost to the user. But the cost is relative to your desire for features and control. Though the software is free, hosting it on the Web may not be.
There are two ways to host your WordPress site. If you set it up on WordPress.com, they host it for free, but there’s a big catch; actually more than one. As you get more experienced with it, you’ll find there are things you want to do with your site, and the free hosted version will charge you for those features, often an annual or monthly fee. Also, you can’t take advantage of the many thousands of free “plugins” that add features and power to your site.
It is far better to pay a hosting service like Hostgator.com or Bluehost.com and place your site there. You can host a basic site for as little as $8/month or so, an acceptable cost for your most important marketing tool. You simply set up the hosting account, and they have an easy installation tool for getting WordPress started up.
Reason #3: There’s a Plugin for That
That’s a cute way of saying that plugins are how you add functionality, features, and power to your WordPress site. Because of the huge popularity of WordPress and it is open-source software, there are thousands of developers writing plugin software for it. If you want automated backups, registration options for visitors, different page formats, forms for lead generation, or pretty much anything else you can think of, there’s a plugin to make it happen. Most are free; some carry a cost.
There you have it. You can’t beat WordPress for your business website. There is plenty of help in Dummies books, as well as a major support community at WordPress.org. Get that site up and running and enjoy the business it delivers.