If you’re building an online business with specialist requirements, you probably need a great web design and development team to work with you on building a custom site that has the functionality your audience and business demands.
But for many small and medium sized businesses, the purposes of a web site are fairly consistent – information, contact forms, portfolio, FAQs, perhaps a careers/jobs section, files available for download, etc… These are all functions which have been done millions of times over by other businesses, and somebody has already well and truly invented this wheel.
Of course, you still want to have a professional, branded appearance to your web site and be able to add to and refine the site as your needs change or as you have the opportunity to work on it some more.
If you’re in this class of business you may well want to take a look at WordPress. WordPress is what I describe as a ‘platform’ which which to build a website or blog. Originally developed for bloggers, it’s become so popular, powerful, and flexible, that it can be used for business and even e-commerce websites.
Because WordPress is completely open source and modular, thousands of developers have created their own plugins that are easily installed at the click of a button, adding endless functionality including custom themes (that allow you to instantly install a particular appearance/style and layout for your site), social media integration, e-commerce modules, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), statistics/analytics, security, bulletin boards & discussion forums, mobile device optimisation, media galleries… The list is phenomenal! Many of these plugins and themes are free, and others you can purchase for a small fee.
If you visit WordPress.com you can sign up immediately (for free!) and create your own ‘blog’ – however, with a little customisation and a small fee you can add your own domain name to it and create ‘Pages’ to turn it into a pretty impressive website.
If you visit WordPress.org you can grab all the WordPress software to install on your own web hosting, where you have full control over all of the code and can add a lot more components to your site. This enables you to go way beyond what you can do on the WordPress.com hosting.
To get an idea of what’s possible, I’d suggest you start browsing some of the theme galleries that are on the web. Once you see what’s possible you’ll be raring to have a shot at it yourself. The following links should give you plenty of inspiration:
Have you already used WordPress and have some suggestions or feedback? I’d love to hear about your experiences!Tags: ecommerce, modules, plugins, SEO, themes, website, wordpress