Why WordPress is trusted by millions
There are a thousand different website builders out there, on hundreds of thousands of servers.
As a small business owner, there’s only one that meets the needs of every entrepreneur across industries.
Here’s why WordPress is trusted by millions (and rightfully so!)
First, a little background.
Developers love WordPress for 4 reasons:
No.1: Ease of Use — With a user-friendly interface, it is easy to create and manage a website.
No.2: Large Community and Resources — A large user base and numerous plugins and themes make it versatile and customizable.
No.3: Open-Source and Free — It is free to use and has an open-source code, allowing for constant improvement and innovation.
No.4: SEO Friendly — It has built-in SEO features and plugins to optimize websites for search engines.
Now, that doesn’t mean that starting a WordPress website is easy, or free.
As an entrepreneur, you have better things to do with your time than sifting through message board posts looking for tech solutions.
At this moment you may be asking:
What does all this have to do with you as a business owner?
The purpose of a business website is to have a place for customers and clients to land online, that conveys all of the relevant information that consumers need to know about your business.
A website is, quite literally, your virtual storefront. When shopping for commercial space, at an absolute minimum, you likely are looking for a property that has good flooring, walls, and a sturdy roof, convenient bathroom facilities, functional utilities, and doors that lock.
Then comes the paint on the walls, furniture, floor coverings and decorative objects to instill branding, reinforce your customers’ consumer identity, and provide comfort.
Shopping for virtual realty is no different.
Here are the top requirements businesses should look for in a virtual storefront purveyor:
Uptime well over 99%
Whether your business is open M-F 9-5 or your online storefront is open 24/7, your website needs to be up and available all day every day.
Granted, this has less to do with the platform (WordPress, Wix’s builder) than the servers it’s hosted on.
Right now, most of the builders and large hosting providers boast similarly stellar uptimes, so on this topic, WordPress vs. Wix comes to a draw.
Just like your product, your site has to look good! Pleasant use of space, good flow, use of color and images… All of these need to be as on point as your presentation in the physical world.
Free and cheap online builders do a pretty good job of this, and some of them even keep up with the trends.
That said, they greatly limit what you can do with your design.
You might only be able to use certain color schemes.
If your logo doesn’t fit their settings, it won’t display properly.
You get to choose from a few page templates, but every other person on the platform is using the exact same templates.
Stand out from the crowd? Not likely!
With a WordPress website, you have access to thousands of sitewide templates, known as themes.
Its open source license means that hundreds of developers create and share new themes all the time, often for resale, but many are free too.
Once you’ve picked your theme, it’s easy to further customize it thanks to an innovation in WordPress called plugins.
This is why most WordPress sites are different. Each one has been built from the ground up.
With Wix and other builders, you’re purchasing a small suite in a strip mall. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Alternatively, with most WordPress sites*, you’re building your office or storefront from the ground up to suit.
Builders such as Weebly, Wix and Squarespace include limited options for being able to use your site to complete complex tasks, such as online sales.
Within those apps, there’s not much customization available, but they do provide a way to hook up the website to Square or Stripe and accept payments online. Some of them even allow you to manage or connect with an inventory and fulfillment system.
WordPress plugins allow for almost infinite customizations to both a site’s frontend (what the visitor sees) and backend (the admin panel and everything that determines what happens on the frontend).
- Organize lots of media
- Add animations, slide carousels, and other visual effects
- Set up a custom online storefront that’s connected to the inventory management software you already have
- Offer a private area of the site where customers can login
- Integrate Google Analytics and SEO optimization right into your site
…. and hundreds of thousands more! Over 60-thousand of them are free.
For growing businesses, WordPress is the easiest to scale to accommodate growing traffic and business.
You won’t have to get a whole new website every time you launch a new initiative or product line.
When you use a builder, you’re stuck with whatever security they offer.
You’re also stuck with their customer service and their timetable.
I had a client who was using a platform that was bought out by a company based outside of the U.S.
In making the switch, they broke her site — and then were constantly unavailable to help.
She spent hours on the phone trying to reach them, only to be continually told that they were working on it, that they’d get to it. Months later, they were still taking her money in exchange for a broken website.
Another client of mine went through a time period when their website was subject to multiple Denial of Service (DNS) attacks per day.
Sometimes, the attacks took down the site. When they didn’t, they ate up the site’s bandwidth so that it was slow and frustrating to use.
And yet another was victim to hackers constantly attempting to break into their site from the login page.
While using WordPress will not eliminate these problems, WordPress is the platform that is able to most quickly adapt when new threats occur.
WordPress is regularly updating its core code, and implementing the updates is as simple as clicking a button. And since the software is open source, there are thousands of developers worldwide with a vested interest in keeping the platform as safe and secure as possible, sharing fixes and updates with each other as soon as any threat breaks out.
Plugins can be used to add additional security. I install one on all of my clients’ custom sites that renames the login page to something unique, so hackers can’t find it.
I’m just going to come out and say it:
WordPress is more SEO-friendly and has better built-in SEO features than the competition. Hands down.
As Google evolves and adapts to the ever-changing online ecosphere. As a result, businesses built on free and cheap builders are penalized with lower reputation and authority scores than businesses with standalone website.
That penalty increases when you’re using a free site paid for by external ad placement on the page, and scares away site visitors who see it as an indication of a poorly managed company or even worse, a scam.
Consumers want to know that you’ve invested in your business, and by extension, in your product.
To put it simply: Using a free or cheap builder (like Wix, GoDaddy Builder, Weebly, Squarespace, etc.) puts your site at an immediate disadvantage.
Your rankings will be lower. That’s just how it is.
This of it this way: Remember the strip-mall analogy above?
When it comes to search engine rankings, the difference is even more stark.
Using a free builder or even the cheapest plan on a builder is like renting out a room inside another business and calling it your storefront.
And that’s exactly how Google treats it.
There’s more to it than this, but this is the #1 reason why, if you want to optimize your SEO, WordPress is the way to go.
Sometimes, WordPress has its limitations too.
*This is where the asterisks above come in.
WordPress is so vast and pervasive, that it offers its own builder for non-developers, and even offers a free version of that builder at WordPress.com.
WordPress.com also offers paid plans.
Here’s what new business owners should know about hosting with WordPress.com:
No.1: Never use a free plan with ads, even if it’s on WordPress.com.
Always opt for a paid plan. The business you won’t lose to people turned away by external ads on your page will more than make up the difference.
No.2: Plugins make the world wide web go ’round.
If you’re just starting out with no capital, the Business plan on WordPress.com might seem beyond reach.
If you start out with the Premium plan, upgrade as soon as possible. Being able to use plugins on the Business plan is worth its weight in gold.
Finally, you’ll be able to create an online property that stands out from the competition, and integrate functionality that will make doing business online easier and more attractive to your customers.
There is a plugin out there for almost anything you can think of that you want your site to have or do.
No.3: You site is now super scalable!
As your business grows, eventually you’ll need to graduate to a managed maintenance plan, where you work with a developer to keep your site fresh , secure and fully up to date on the backend.
Any developer worth their salt has a hosting platform they prefer to keep all of their managed sites on, one that they know to provide high quality service and excellent uptimes.
If you are using any builder other than WordPress, when the time comes to upgrade your site you’ll have to have a new one built from scratch.
For many entrepreneurs, that is actually the perfect time to have a new site built.
With a WordPress site however, if you have built your site to be scalable, you can move the whole site to a new hosting provider with minimal issues.
No.4: The customization options really are endless.
You can’t move a Wix, MailChimp, or Weebly site anywhere without significant effort. With a new WordPress site, you can be reasonable assured that, should you want the site to look exactly like what it did on Wix, your developer can create a close approximation for you.
If you’re doing that, though, why not have a designer custom tailor a new site for you, created to attract your ideal clients? There’s no “one size fits all” template for that!
Spin Up Your Web Presence with WordPress
Do you have lingering questions about which platform to use?
Are you ready to upgrade your virtual storefront to WordPress, but don’t know where to start?
I started Webbed Presence specifically to help other business owners through these challenges.
Here on the Eastern Shore, there is a thriving small business community. An impressive and hard-working entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in these parts, often spanning generations.
Hard work and service to others is truly the backbone of this culture and community, as it is across much of the nation.
Yet I’ve been surprised to learn how difficult it can be to find what you need locally. People often choose the larger corporate names over local shops and services for reasons that can easily be overcome with a little technical know-how.
With over twenty years of relevant experience, I am passionate about helping other businesses close the gap in their local marketing, and put their companies in front of their customer’s eyes, right where they’re already looking.
Are you ready to take control of your web presence?