These days with the existence of Wix and Squarespace anyone can build a website. No, really. There are DIY website platforms popping up all over the web. Sadly, not all CMSs are created equal. Stick with us and I’ll breakdown the key reasons why they aren’t your best bet for a successful website.
Ask anyone why they use one of these sites and they will tell you, “To build my website myself”. Cool. What about when you’re done, what then….huh?
This is where WordPress shines above the rest. That’s right folks, WordPress powers a whopping 25% of ALL websites on the internet. Let me rephrase that: If 4 people have a website, odds are that at least 1 of them use WordPress.
There must be a reason, right? From the ground up WordPress is designed with security in mind. Not only that, but the level of ongoing control and built in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is unparalleled.
Building a Successful Website
Remember I said anyone can build a website? I meant it. Whether you’re a freelancer, agency, or a do-it-yourselfer, you can build a great website with the proper foundation. This is critically important because if you skimp on the foundation, you will greatly regret it later. Now that I have your attention, you might be asking yourself what makes WordPress such a great foundation. Well, I’m glad you asked.
- Out of the box performance: It’s no secret that people stick around fast websites and quickly abandon slow ones. Upon getting WordPress setup, it’s blazing fast, other platforms not so much.
- Best in class security: Scratch that…best security, period. Having a fast website is cool, but if it’s been hacked it’s pretty much useless.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): These days if the search engines don’t see you, you don’t exist. Right out of the box, WordPress has the tools you need to get started on the right foot (or left, we don’t judge).
- Extensions: WordPress is easily modified to add whatever functionality you need. If you can’t do it yourself, they have the largest community of experts that can help. Never be stuck wondering how to do a task due to lack of support.
- Backups: OK, so this isn’t a feature of WordPress really. However, since so many people use WordPress, backup options are plentiful.
So, now that we’ve identified what we need, what do we do? Well, ideally you want to tick all of these boxes with as little effort, expense, and Masters Degrees as possible. Luckily, taking things a step further is a piece of cake.
This one pretty much boils down to page load time. An often overlooked factor that is just as important as the features you have on your site. It has been said that for every 1 second your webpage takes to load, you have an 11% decrease in visitors. This is particularly damaging if you are a service provider of some kind, as visitors will often form an opinion about you solely depending on your site’s load time.
Top Notch Security
Though the WordPress core is incredibly secure, it takes a little more effort to make things even better. Some of the most important things you can do are keep your core files, plugins and themes up to date. Sadly, these days, even “better” isn’t good enough. To harden your WordPress site even further, you will need to implement regular security scans and address any issues that are found. You can read more and find out how we can do this for you on this blog post.
Search Engine Optimization
These days we can use all the help we can get. Especially when it comes to gaining traffic. Why put yourself at a disadvantage by not optimizing your site for search engines? The process is a little complex, and there are no guarantees. However, there are best practices. The best way to ensure these practices are being followed is by using a good SEO plugin. There are many out there, but our choice is Yoast SEO.
Ah yes, the bread and butter of WordPress. You can do just about anything with the use of a WordPress plugin. OK, well almost anything. Need to take event registrations? There’s a plugin for that. How about setting up a social media network? Yep, there’s a plugin for that too. You see the genius behind WordPress is it’s modular construction. Installing a well built plugin will enhance the core application without causing it to break. This is a total win for end users as WordPress can be “programmed” to do nearly anything you can think of. Jump over to WordPress.org to find more plugins.
This is probably one of the most critical pieces of this architecture. You NEED to have backups. What if this plugins I just spoke about weren’t so well built? Perhaps a page accidentally got deleted, what would you do? I’ll tell you what I’d do. I would calmly look for my most recent backup and have it restored as quickly as possible. You can try to do this manually every day, but I have no doubt this will get really old, really quickly. Instead, it will likely be more worthwhile to setup automatic backups that are stored offsite. If you need assistance with this, please contact us.
Overall, there is no “one thing” that will make your website great. It takes hard work and dedication. Using a DIY builder like Wix or Squarespace won’t get you there. WordPress provides a good base with lots of security that you can improve on with little to no coding knowledge needed. Of course, if you do need something with a little more pizzaz, there is no shortage of WordPress developers on the internet. So, roll up your sleeves and get into it!
I’d love to hear about your favorite WordPress themes and plugins. Have a favorite tool that you use when building your site? Let us know in the comments. We love to chat with our visitors.