Maybe you are about to set sail on starting a new website project, or you have decided to revamp your existing one. Either way, chances are you’ve heard of WordPress at some point over the years and it is highly likely, the logical choice for your website design and development.
WordPress themes are the best thing to ever happen for small businesses as far as web development goes.
A lot of businesses and startups don’t know how great WordPress is, or why they should use WordPress for business, so in this article, I’m going to tell you why you should use WordPress for your business or startup website.
Aside from the fact that WordPress is free, WordPress is awesome. It’s easy to use, super powerful and you can do just about anything with it.
So how do you know if it’s the right solution for you and your website?
Here are just 5 good reasons why we recommend WordPress to the majority of our clients.
WordPress is Easy To Use
Over time Content Management Systems (CMS’s) have aimed to make content management easier for users and a forerunner in achieving that goal has certainly been WordPress. It is clean and has an easy to navigate User Interface (UI).
WordPress is intuitive and easy to use.
Maybe WPBeginner’s description does WordPress more justice. They define a CMS, and WordPress specifically as:
“A content management system or CMS is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content. WordPress is a Content Management System, that allows you to create and publish your content on the web. Although it is mostly used for web publishing, it can be used to manage content on an intranet, or in a single computer.”
This helps ‘non-technical’ people to learn how to use the dashboard and find what they’re looking for. The WYSIWYG editor and built-in publishing tools make editing content relatively easy with some training. With WordPress, in some cases, you can create a great looking website without ever touching a line of code. If you want customisation though this may require some coding.
It is Highly Customisable
Yes, WordPress was made to be customized and seriously no one wants their website to look or feel exactly like someone else’s. Luckily, when it comes to using a theme, customizing sites in WordPress is generally well-supported if chosen discerningly.
WordPress’s open-source code can be used and adjusted by anyone, which means there are very few limits to what you can achieve with WordPress. It is written in what is known as PHP and a quality theme usually comes with extensive documentation. This means it’s easy for developers and coders to jump in and create a custom website, whether from scratch or from an existing theme.
Support is Great
WordPress experiences a large number of updates which sometimes makes you feel like every time you log into the dashboard there are updates to do. It often feels like there’s always a notification on your site to update something or other. That believe it or not is a good thing!
WordPress cares about the security and the experience of its users and is always working to find, fix bugs and prevent other issues from arising such as hacks through what are commonly known as ‘backdoors.’
WordPress is well-supported, by WordPress and by the many experienced developers who use it and share their knowledge online on a range of sites and forums. If you’re having an issue with WordPress, chances are someone else has had the same one, and since WordPress is so ubiquitous, it’s not difficult to find a solution to your problem or a developer with the ability to diagnose it.
Additionally, to being well-supported, WordPress is well-documented and very open about providing information on how to use their functions or what the best way to implement their features may be.
Plugins and Themes
Because of the free and open-source nature of WordPress, there are thousands of free and paid plugins and themes that you can use on this platform. With a built-in plugin and theme directory, you can access the tools you need to provide an abundance of additional functionality to your site, again without even needing to know how to code them yourself. Paid themes and plugins can be found externally, on sites like ThemeForest, and typically come with a period of support time and updates to make sure you can hit the ground running with them.
You can purchase any number of out the box themes from sites like Themeforest. They have specific themes for a number of industries, and a range of all purpose themes that come with built-in page builders can be easily scaled.
You can access and edit basically everything you would need to from the WordPress CMS, and if you find something you can’t, there’s generally a plugin you can install that will help you.
Like this handy plugin for installing Google Analytics on your website, for example.
This plugin removes the need for a ‘code solution’ and you can just input your Google Analytics ID to connect your Google Analytics account and your WordPress business website.
Unlike closed CMS systems like Shopify or Wix, where you are limited in what you can edit and access, WordPress is an open CMS system where you can edit and access everything!
Word of warning though – out of the box solutions are not always perfect and if you want to customise you are best off using a professional WordPress developer.
Scaling WordPress vs Shopify
Let’s say you wanted to build an online store. Let’s compare scaling an online store on WordPress an open CMS to scaling an online store on a closed platform like Shopify for example.
And before you ask, you sure can build incredibly professional online stores through WordPress using Woocommerce.
They even offer a free, beautiful, functionality rich ecommerce theme that you can plug right into your WordPress website and get going straight away selling online.
What does Shopify cost
The regular Shopify monthly plan costs you $79 per month, with taxes that’s probably $95 per month. This is just to actually exist on the Shopify platform. So the annual cost of Shopify is approx $1140.
If you want to use the advanced plan meant for, in Shopify’s own words, scaling your business, the cost is $300 per month, so $360 per month with taxes, and $4320 annually.
I’d hope that you do end up scaling your business, because that is one serious dent for a small business starting out, just for access to some functionality that is available for free through platforms like Woocommerce.
This is without including the cost of the apps you need to run a successful Shopify store. In WordPress plugins are a generally free and open source method of adding on functionality to your store. On Shopify, you have to pay for most things. Below I’ve outlined the typical monthly app costs for a successful Shopify store.
- $15 Restocked Alerts
- $15 Bulk Product Edit (because bulk editing of products in Shopify is awful!)
- $15 Checkout Hero (display discounts or vouchers in the shopping cart)
- $7 Cross Sell (app to control what recommended products customers see)
- $45 Store Pickup & Delivery (app to offer in store picks or local delivery to customers)
- $20 Crush Pics (image compression to speed your website up and make sure high quality images don’t show it down)
- $10 Sufio (automatic invoicing)
- $24 Privy (email popups)
Another $150 bucks a month just for the basics that mostly come with Woocommerce for free. None of this exactly screams scalable for a small growing business!
Total cost of standard Shopify plan + basic apps = $245 monthly or $2940 annually.
What does WordPress cost in comparison
With WordPress the only things we need to pay for are our domain, hosting and theme. Your domain and hosting are annual fixed costs, your theme is a one off cost.
We provide Australian based managed hosting solutions for our customers. This ensures faster load times due to reduced latency.
We provide fast world-class customer support (from actual developers), are cost effective, have fast servers, the latest PHP version available and run on CPANEL.
Next step if you are going to do it yourself, is purchasing a theme. I recommended a few above. Avada for example costs $60 USD, which is the price point for most of the top premium themes. So let’s work out our total cost.
Total cost of Woocommerce online store through WordPress = $91 hosting per year.
Scaling WordPress vs Wix
The Wix plans are actually pretty cheap in comparison, comparable to paying for hosting.The problem scaling a Wix website is that the functionality is limited, Wix is bad for scalable SEO, though not as bad as it once was and the designs aren’t great.
Not only that, but you are forbidden from moving your website from Wix. As per Wix’s own Ts & C’s:
2.3. You agree and undertake not to:
- copy, modify, create derivative works of, download, adapt, reverse engineer, emulate, migrate to another service, translate, compile, decompile or disassemble the Wix Website
So that kind of eliminates any method of scaling a Wix website from the get go.
If you can’t move your website from the Wix platform or duplicate something similar elsewhere, what’s the point?
Scaling WordPress vs Drupal
3.7% of websites on the web use Drupal, according to w3techs.
Does it cost you more to purchase a Ferrari, or ride the bus? I’d hope you’re not paying $200,000 for your bus tickets. The reason a Ferrari costs so much is because it’s a luxury item and it is scarce as opposed to abundant. There aren’t a lot of them around, relatively speaking.
WordPress is cheaper
The same argument applies with CMS systems. WordPress developersare abundant, Drupal developers are scarce, relatively speaking.
This is also why the more skilled a developer is, the more in demand they are and the more they get paid, because as development skill increases, abundance decreases.
Take a look at Freelancer.com, a popular marketplace for hiring freelancers, for example. They have a whole homepage category dedicated to WordPress, and a landing page setup specifically for people looking for WordPress help. Drupal and Joomla are nowhere to be seen.
Issue is though, finding a developer that can do what you need without the pain and frustration that can ensue.
WordPress is more innovative
Not only does abundance dictate price, but it drives innovation. To survive in a very competitive market, you have to innovate or do something different, or better than the other guys, to keep growing.
WordPress as a platform has better integrations, plugins and tools for growth, more on this shortly.
WordPress is easier to use
Drupal is harder to use for a non-technical person. Drupal is referred to as a Content Management Framework rather than a Content Management System. If you’re not a developer, you will almost certainly need the help of one to build and maintain your website.
Don’t take my word for it, this is what a Drupal community expert had to say on Quora:
Scaling WordPress vs Joomla
When weighing up WordPress vs Joomla, the reasons for using WordPress are the same as they are with Drupal.
WordPress is the most user friendly CMS, and as most people building their website with WordPress are not developers, the whole point of the CMS should be to make it as easy as possible to build a clean, good looking website that can scale with your business.
“Drupal, Joomla and WordPress are all fantastic content management systems. … However, WordPress beats them with its ease of use, huge global community, plugins and themes. We feel that most non-developer users would find it much easier to build with WordPress than Joomla or Drupal.”
WordPress wins on it’s huge community, plugins and the amazing power provided in it’s premium themes which are incredibly cheap given the sheer amount of functionality they provide.
Install a well built theme and you have a blank canvas for building whatever you want.
It’s quick to build with
As someone who works with WordPress every day, I can tell you it’s quick to wireframe new websites with, using tools like Elementor Pro.
As a startup or new business, moving quickly and improving based on data is key.
It seems to me, that instead of spending thousands trying to get the perfect website, it is more cost effective and efficient to build something quickly with WordPress, and improve based on data.
For startups especially, chances are everything you thought about your customers and product will change in the next 6–12 months, leaving you with a hole in your pocket and a website that doesn’t fit your new direction.
We built our own website on WordPress and it went through several completely different iterations before we landed on a style and layout we liked.
By now your website should definitely be mobile and tablet friendly. If it isn’t, come on!
There’s no excuse for not having a responsive website in 2018, yet somehow back in 2015, which isn’t that long ago relatively speaking,only 11.5% of businesses had a responsive website, according to Search Engine Land.
By default, any correctly coded WordPress theme should be fully mobile responsive. Make sure you read the specifications of your Theme before you purchase.
I have yet to see a good premium theme that isn’t responsive, so if you do your homework and buy a well reviewed, well recommended theme, your website will be built using a responsive web design framework.
There are tons of free tutorials and guides
As WordPress has the largest CMS market share, it also has the largest library of tutorials, guides and how to content, which makes WordPress maintenance a lot easier too.
Some great resources for free WordPress tutorials and guides are:
It’s built for delegation
The whole team can use WordPress. WordPress comes with a built in users section that makes it easy to delegate access to new users based on the level of access it’s appropriate to assign.
For example, if you want to give your developer access, they may require admin access to access the source code of the website.
This is not the same level of access a contributor to your blog will require, and you may wish to assign a lower permission level as a result.
What can you build with WordPress?
With WordPress you have the power to build something as simple as a blog, or as complicated as a multi vendor marketplace with Woocommerce.
Here are a list of some things you can build with WordPress:
- Build a one page website or landing page
- Build a professional business website.
- Build a blog
- Build a landing page
- Build a sales page
- Build a portfolio
- Build a resume
- Build a directory website
- Build an online store with Woocommerce
- Build a multi vendor marketplace with Woocommerce Product Vendors
- Build a course based online learning platform with Woocommerce Sensei
- Build a membership subscription website with Woocommerce Memberships
- Build a booking website with Woocommerce BookingsWoocommerce Bookings
The list is endless. Anything you can think of, chances are there’s a plugin, extension or some open source code to get you on your way.
It integrates with everything
As WordPress is the most commonly used CMS in the world, it integrates with everything (near enough). If there’s a service you’d like to integrate with your website, chances are there will be a WordPress plugin, or at the least an easy to use API.
For example, here are some of the most popular services that integratewith your WordPress website:
If you can’t integrate it, you can plug it in.
O.k that awful sub heading aside, PLUGINS.
For everything else you could want to add on to your WordPress website, there’s a plugin.
Plugins are a big part of really what makes WordPress so great.
“Plugins extend and expand the functionality of WordPress.”
Pretty short and sweet right? Plugins are little magical boxes of functionalitythat you can install on your website to add on ready to gofunctionality.
For example, let’s say your website needs a contact form but you don’t currently have that functionality. You could download Contact Form 7 from the plugin marketplace and activate it.
What sort of plugins are there?
I’m glad you asked, because I actually prepared a list of some of the most popular and useful plugins for WordPress below.
If you aren’t familiar, Google Analytics is a free to use platform for measuring the performance of your website. There are a number of free plugins for installing Google Analytics on every page of your website, like this one.
If you aren’t sure if you have Google Analytics on your website, check out this helpful guide on How To Check If Google Analytics Is Installed On Your Website.
Yoast is an amazing plugin for managing your SEO. Yoast describe themselves as:
“Yoast SEO is an all in one WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin handles the complete technical optimization of your site for search engines. It also helps you write content visitors like to read, by giving readability advice.”
Sounds awesome right? You can download the Yoast plugin here.
You are then ready to start launching your website SEO.
ActiveCampaign is the market leader in email marketing, so of course, they have a WordPress plugin, which you can download here.
The plugin allows you to easily embed ActiveCampaign signup forms anywhere on your website, so your website email signups integrate seamlessly with your email marketing platform.
For those who have really taken their marketing to a whole new level, Hubspot is an all in one marketing automation platform that has pretty much conquered the space. Hubspot integrates well with WordPress and has an easy to setup WordPress plugin which in their own words allows you to:
“The HubSpot for WordPress plugin allows HubSpot customers and WordPress users to integrate their blogs and websites with HubSpot’s inbound marketing and sales software.”
You can download the Hubspot plugin here.
Popups. Love em, hate em, they seem to be popular and must work. Ninja Popups is a plugin that allows you to build and deploy pop-ups across your website (without having to code them of course).
You can download Ninja Popups here.
Header and Footer
Header and Footer is one of my favourite plugins. It provides my clients with an easy way of inserting scripts into the header or footer of their website, without using PHP.
This is especially useful for adding tracking codes and scripts necessary to integrate services with your website including Facebook pixels and Google Analytics.
You can download Header and Footer here.
My favourite. Woocommerce can be installed for free on your WordPress website using the Woocommerce plugin. Woocommerce is:
“A fully customizable, open source eCommerce platform built for WordPress.”
You can download the Woocommerce plugin here.
Woocommerce Multilingual (Currency)
A neat little extension for Woocommerce is the multilingual plugin which allows you to serve your store in multiple languages and currencies.
You can download the WPML plugin here.
10 years ago the ability to serve your website in multiple languages probably wouldn’t have been available to the average small business. Today you can use tools like Polylang which allows you to assign multiple languages for pages, posts and media on your WordPress website.
You can download the Polylang plugin here.
Memberpress is an easy to use membership plugin for WordPress. You can use membership to build membership subscription websites. According to Memberpress:
“MemberPress will help you build astounding WordPress membership sites, accept credit cards securely, control who sees your content and sell digital downloads
… all without the difficult setup.”
W3 Total Cache
Caches improve the performance of your website by reducing the download times of content and files on your website. W3 Total Cache is a popular caching plugin that you can install on your WordPress website to increase its performance.
You can download W3 Total Cache here.
Easy Social Share Buttons
Every website blog needs social media share functionality, how else will you get the word out if you don’t make it easy for people to share the content you work so hard at?
I’ve tried quite a few social media plugins and my favourite to date is Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress. It costs $19, but is well worth it, as you don’t want a slow, bloated social sharing plugin to slow down your website.
You can download Easy Social Share Buttons here.
Akismet is a free anti spam solution for WordPress. Akismet helps block out comment and form submission spam, which is quite annoying. While offered for free, they do accept donations, so if you find the plugin useful and use it on multiple sites donate them an appropriate amount.
You can download Akismet here.
SumoMe is a popular all in one marketing solution for growing your WordPress website. SumoMe provides a range of tools for your website including a Welcome Mat, List Builder, Social Share Buttons and Smart Bar.
You can download SumoMe here.
A really useful plugin for ecommerce. Proven is:
“Proven is an easy to use WordPress Plugin that leverages social proof to increase your conversions.”
Proven helps you make more sales by leveraging the power of social proof.
You can download Proven here.
Envira is a popular gallery plugin for beautiful responsive media galleries. Envira describe themselves as:
“The Best Premium WordPress Gallery Plugin”
You can download Envira here.
What happens when you need something beyond a simple menu for your website? Enter Max Mega Menu, the solution to all your complicated menu worries. Max Mega Menu provides an easy to use drag and drop menu builder that builds on top of the build in WordPress menu system.
They even have a simple video explaining how it works –
You can download Max Mega Menu here.
For some reason the word smush always reminds me of that Jersey Shore show. Simpler times. Anyway, WP Smush is a super awesome plugin for compressing media on your website.
Large images and videos slow your website down, which is bad for usability.
WP Smush plugs in nicely to your website and allows you to bulk compress anything that may need compressing.
Again we are lucky enough to have a cool video to explain the service for us.
You can download WP Smush here.
There are a few affiliate management solutions for WordPress on the market, I liked the look of Tapfiliate’s solution however. Managing affiliates is something that used to be quite difficult and the fact that it’s now within the grasp of small business owners through WordPress is amazing.
You can check out Tapfiliate here.
More cool WordPress plugins
If those weren’t enough for you, here are a collection of some WordPress plugin lists you can look through to see if there’s anything else that may be useful for your business.
Choose an easy to use CMS, choose flexibility, scalability, affordability, extensibility, abundance, integrations, plugins, happy developers, happy marketers, happy business owners, choose WordPress.
I would recommend you build on WordPress for all of the above reasons and if I’ve managed to help you learn even a little more about WordPress in this article and consider using it as a CMS then it’s been a success as far as I’m concerned.
It’s Not Going Anywhere
Because WordPress has been around for so long (since 2003), it’s built a reputation as a reliable CMS and become ubiquitous in the field of web design. Almost any host you choose will provide you with the option to install WordPress for free, and almost any web developer you meet has some level of experience with it. The accessibility of WordPress support and developers lowers the cost for you, as more complex CMSs are often supported by specialized developers who charge much more for their services. WordPress has become one of the biggest names in websites and has options to fit the needs of a wide variety of website users and creators.
If you’re still wondering why WordPress might be a good fit for you, or what kinds of websites can be made with it, be sure to get a call on the books and let’s talk it through. We’ve served loads of clients using WordPress and built a variety of custom websites with widely different needs.