WordPress as a Content Management System
In my opinion, WordPress is the easiest tool to use to build a small business website. WordPress is very easy to customize, is search engine friendly and is available for free. Learning WordPress can be time-consuming. But what most people do is have someone set-up a basic WordPress website, then they learn how to edit and add new content. This spares them the burden of learning how to actually develop a WordPress website; rather it enables the owner to take control of their website by focusing on learning the elements that they will need to run their business. Learning to use WordPress after a developer has set one up for you is pretty easy. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that teach WordPress and there is even a WordPress.tv website that you can reference. Of course, your developer can provide you with a brief introduction. If this still is not enough, there are multiple books available at your local book store or public library. As far as costs, a typical WordPress website set-up should run you anywhere from $ 500- $ 1,500 depending on how customized you want your website to be. Once the website is developed, you then can take control and learn how to manage it yourself.
Extend WordPress With Plugins
What makes WordPress so easy to use is the amount of plugins they have available. Plugins are features that can be added to your website to increase its functionality. For example, if you want to do ecommerce and have a check-out page, there is a plugin for that. WordPress plugins take about 5 minutes each to install, activate and customize. Here is a list of WordPress plugins to install on your website, or, ask your developer to include them.
- The All-In-One-SEO pack – This plugin makes WordPress search engine friendly by reminding us to include the proper title, Meta and Keyword data to each page we create for the website. Using this plugin routinely will increase your websites ranking.
- Contact Form 7 – This is the second plugin I install when I create a new website. This plugin makes it simple to create a form on a contact page that will allow people to email you a question or request a quote.
- Sexy Bookmarks Plug-In – This plugin makes it easy to install social bookmarking buttons on your websites pages and / or blog posts. These buttons can then be clicked by your website visitors and instantly shared on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Digg; there are over 40 social media platforms that can be added, these are just a few and many of them are in multiple languages if you need to add that functionality.
- Google XML Sitemap – This plugin will make it easy to include a sitemap page on your website. A sitemap is basically a map that includes all of the pages and blog posts that are included on your website. This is helpful to have because when Google crawls your website looking for pages to add to its index it can easily find your sitemap and run through all of the pages that you have. This speeds up the process to get your website include in search iEngine results. You can also add your sitemap to the Google Webmaster Tools section and notify Google of its existence further increasing the speed with which your website will get noticed.
- Twitter Tools – This plugin will allow you to link your Twitter account with your WordPress website; making it easy to automatically share the content you create with your Twitter followers. By doing this all new content that is created, be it a new page or blog post will automatically get "tweeted" and shared with your followers.
There are literally hundreds of WordPress plugins that can be used to increase the functionality of your website. Think of them like apps for and iPhone or Droid; chances are no matter what you want to do with your website there is a plugin for it. To learn more about WordPress here is a link to a page on our website where you can download resources, find links and how-to guides to learning and maximizing WordPress as a do-it-yourself website development tool.
Source by Jason M Murphy