One of the smartest things you can do to further the success of your local business is to create a WordPress Blog. WordPress is a blog software started in 2003, and it was used primarily by bloggers only. It has since become one of the most useful tools for building business websites on the internet. Being the very flexible Content Mangement System (CMS) that it is, it allows you to do this, whether you want it to function as a blog, a website, or both. Read on and find out why you should consider this amazing blog platform for promoting your local business.
Not too long ago you had to write code or hire a web designer if you wanted a website. Just at the right time WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors came about and made things a lot easier, but it was still necessary to know some code except for the most basic sites. WYSIWYG allowed for the text and graphics that were added to a page during the creation process to appear the same when they went live online to the respective site. This greatly increased the popularity, as well as the demand, for blogging and do-it-yourself websites.
Now that WordPress (known as WP) has come into the picture, it has really leveled the field for those who want a business blog or website. WordPress’s flexibility and ease of use are by far its biggest draws. Added to this is the ability to get indexed fast on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and to be found easily and increase your online presence. Additionally, just about anything you can think of for marketing purposes can be integrated into a WP site.
A big reason for the fast success of WordPress is the fact that it is open source, which means it’s accessible to anyone online; much like creating an email account or a social network profile. This source code can be shared and used for development of a WordPress blog and tailored to look and function as you want it to. So, not only the WordPress developers adjust and make changes and improvements, but the users of the platform can create different themes and plugins to fit the needs and demands of others.
Themes or “skins” can best be described as the style you choose and install to make a blog unique. They are much more than graphics, though, they determine the overall look, format, layout, and function of your WP site. This can all be done automatically when you install a theme and you’ll still have the flexibility of altering it as wanted for your purposes. For example, it can appear and function as a conventional website without scrolling posts, or just as a web sales page, or as a landing page. It can also combine all of these elements, like having a website with a blog tab or a blog with as many topic tabs as you need or want.
You may have heard the term “Plugins” bandied around a bit. Simply put, plugins are all the add-ons and extras available to customize, improve, and enhance the functionality. There are many different plugins available; some can be found and activated right from your “dashboard,” others can be downloaded or purchased. Either way, it is essential to have some of the ones that will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) capabilities, as well as, blog security. Many others are just bells and whistles, but a few of those don’t hurt either.
Many of these features of a WordPress blog are free; like the platform itself, lots of themes, plugins, and many other enhancements. This does not mean you should mind paying extra for some superior products to make your site the best it can be and exactly as you want it. You’ll still come out ahead because some of the best products available for the purpose of blog improvement are very affordable and can be used on different sites once you own them. Usually you pay a one time cost; some of the best themes are under fifty or a hundred dollars.
It warrants mentioning the cost of owning a WordPress site. The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is an important distinction and the subject of another post; what is being described here is primarily about WordPress.org. Both platforms are free and provide blogging capabilities, however, with the dot org version you will be the true webmaster and will need a domain name and web hosting to have your site live online. Again, a small price for the many advantages of owning your own site.
To conclude, let me emphasis how nice it is to work with and have a WordPress blog for your business. If you haven’t already guessed you’re on one, although it’s not the fanciest in the blogosphere, it gets the job done and is a work in progress. Watching your business blog develop is one of the rewards and part of the fun. After starting one, you usually start another. I personally maintain several blogs for various aspects of my business, as well as, help others get started in generating publicity for their online or offline business. In my next post I’ll outline further, some of the advantages of having a WordPress blog and some of the uses it has for marketing online.