Is WordPress Good for Small Business?

When getting your small business off the ground, it can be hard to understand what you need to build a good online presence. You need the right tools to build a great looking, affordable website that will also be able to scale with your needs in the future.

The WordPress Content Management System has been around for more than 20 years (launched in 2003) and with that time has come a lot of product scaling, redesign, enhancements and tweaks! But is it too robust for your small business needs? Let’s dig in.

What is WordPress

WordPress is software that you install on a web server to build out a website. WordPress can (and is) used to manage huge websites, all the way down to small little blogs. It allows you to create a look and feel with a theme, manage different web pages, content and blog posts, and install add-ons that can essentially make your website do anything, such as e-commerce, tracking user data, creating login systems.

WordPress is designed to have an easy-to-use user-interface that can make it more straight-forward for anyone to pick it up and start managing their new website. That is the theory anyways, but not something I’ve always found to be true in practice. Especially for those starting their own business that have a lot of other things on their plate, and not a lot of time to explore the software and play with it.

Using Themes to design your website

The use of WordPress to build and manage your business website allows you to implement Themes to give your site it’s look and feel. There are tons and tons of themes available, and they are all fairly customizable, but not all themes are good. Some themes may not have responsive design integrated, or may use plug-ins that are slow or insecure. When picking a theme for your website, it’s best to do some research and put some thought into which one you choose. Often the best themes aren’t free, and you should be willing to put some money into the design, as this is going to be the foundation of your footprint for your businesses online profile.

Since WordPress has been around for so long, and is so widely used to design and manage websites, developers and designers are constantly creating new themes to match with the newest website trends.

User interface

While the base WordPress interface is straight-forward and easy to use – as soon as you start adding plug-ins and custom themes, it can start to get hard to find where settings are and how to configure them properly.

WordPress UI example

The interface for editing and designing pages changes within WordPress depending on how the site was designed and if there are site builders and designer add-ons installed. Installing a WordPress theme that uses a convoluted, outdated site builder can slow down your site immensely and make it hard to make any changes that don’t break the rest of the website.

Generally, I find that the WordPress user-interface is good for non-technical users from small businesses if they are looking to be able to edit current content or add new basic layout blog posts.

Where it can become cumbersome is trying to install and configure new themes, or designing new pages that you want to have a good visual presence. This all depends on the time you, as a business owner, are willing to put in to explore the software. With enough investment in time and a good baseline WordPress theme, you can find where all of the configuration options are, and be able to understand how to tweak and modify the visual presence of your page with ease.

With the help of a good web designer, you can have your site built out, and have the designer hand over the keys for you to manage the site from there.

Using WordPress instead of Squarespace

One of the most known “DIY” website builders out there is Squarespace, and it definitely can work as an alternative to building your site with WordPress. Squarespace uses a fairly straight forward ‘drag and drop’ system for designing that makes it pretty easy to build your site from scratch. But there are quite a few downsides to using Squarespace.

Cost advantage

One of the great things about WordPress is that the software itself is free! You can install WordPress on any web server for zero cost. There are some costs on top of that, including hosting fees, domain fees, and cost for any premium themes that you use, but overall, WordPress is a very cost effective way to host your website. The flexibility of being able to use any webhost service that you like also allows you to keep your hosting fees to a minimum.

Can you use WordPress for your small business website?

WordPress is a great option (among many) to build your businesses website and start to build an online presence. While the initial setup can be a bit of work and you may need the assistance of a professional to get a great looking site, it makes for easy on-going management of your site, and leaves you open to customize and add features to your site in the future. You never know how fast your business will grow and how soon you may need access to additional features to better serve your customers.

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