If you are an entrepreneur looking to build a new website, you may wonder: Why use WordPress? For starters, it is a popular content management system used by 43.2% of all websites on the web. Plus, the use of it is increasing every year.
At face value after reading that, you may think it’s a slam-dunk to use WordPress for your small business. However, your website is an important part of your business – and you may be surprised to find out that there are some businesses it isn’t designed to support. E-commerce is a prime example.
Artist, web developer and coach Kerch McConlogue, owner of wefixbrokenwebsites.com, has worked with WordPress since 2005. In this episode of Small Biz: in 15, she tells us about the benefits and limitations of a WordPress website.
Check out this edited transcript of their discussion on the latest episode of Small Biz in :15.
Why Use WordPress?
Shawn Hessinger: So, what kind of businesses are WordPress websites best for?
Kerch McConlogue: Theoretically, anyone could do anything on a WordPress site. I’m not sure The New York Times is the right answer – but there are a lot of enterprises that use WordPress.
If you’re a small business and just starting, you want people to know where your store is. They want to know where you’re going. So, you need something that is almost slightly better than a brochure. That’s like the basic of “basicness.” So, if you want to have a blog, if you want to do some educational stuff, WordPress is great for that. Or it’s great if you have things you want to sell. It’s good for sales.
Say, I have a book, or I have a sweater I want to sell – then you don’t need WooCommerce, you don’t need Shopify – you don’t need anything else. Essentially, you could use a PayPal button that you get from PayPal put on, and that would work. Or you have three things you want to sell, and you could use gravity forms or something like that to let people buy this one thing. That’s great.
But if you go into selling hundreds of jewelry pieces that will be turning over a lot, maybe Shopify is a better answer. And here’s one that you’ll have to look up: Mouse-eCommerce. If you have things you’re selling and you have lots and lots of options for each thing, WooCommerce is a pain for that. But Mouse does great work.
Shawn Hessinger: So, I think what I’m hearing is if you’re just getting started and planning to set up a whole store, and you have hundreds or thousands of pieces of merchandise – WordPress might not be the best use.
Kerch McConlogue: Something like that is more a store and less a sharing of information. For example, Amazon is not a WordPress site – Amazon doesn’t try to educate you; they try to sell you stuff.
And maybe that’s the bottom line: What are you trying to do on your website? Is its purpose to sell stuff? If so, maybe it’s not the best choice. But if you’re trying to do some education, some more information, you’re trying to pass off, classes or something like that, then it is probably fine.
How to Decide if a WordPress is a Good Fit
Shawn Hessinger: Ok. Then, how do you decide if WordPress is right for you? And are there other ways you can promote your business? Some people have a Facebook page, for example, and nothing else. What then?
Kerch McConlogue: Many people new to the whole thing think, “Well, I don’t need all that. I could have a Facebook page or a Facebook group.” But on Facebook, content has a shelf life of about 20 minutes. And if somebody misses it on that 20-minute thing, then they’ve lost something.
I’m not saying it’s nothing, and you might start there. But once you’re sure that you’re really moving ahead and you really want to have an actual website that actually has content on it and information on it, then you want to move into the next thing.
If you want people to come back to learn who you are, to like you, to trust you, and then get around to buying something, you’ve got to have more than just a store.
Even in a brick-and-mortar store, people come in, they’re going to look…”Can I help you?” “No, I’m just looking.” And they do that a couple of times, and then they decide, “You know what? I’m going to go back there and buy something.” But it has to get through the “know me, like me, trust me” before you can pass me your money, whatever it is.
Is it Better to Hire a Developer or do the Work Yourself?
Shawn Hessinger: I want to use WordPress to set up my business website. Do I want to try and set this up by myself, or do I want to hire somebody?
Kerch McConlogue: The beauty of WordPress is you can get somebody to set it up for you. On the other hand, if you have the inclination to, you could add your content, you could change the prices, you could, you know, add pictures…you could do all those things yourself. It’s relatively easy.
However, it’s tedious, and it always takes more time than you think – even for people who know what they’re doing. That was the line for me when I needed a website. So, can you do it yourself? Yes. Do you want to? Maybe, maybe not.
Shawn Hessinger: I want to find a WordPress developer to set my site up. Where do I go?
Kerch McConlogue: First off, don’t rely on family and friends. They’ll often tire of things quickly, and then you’ll be stuck.
Instead, find a local meet-up and ask questions like:
- Who are you using?
- Who did it for you?
- Can you help me start with something? How do I go about it?
Also, you can find freelancers on websites like Fiverr and Upwork to do your WordPress development. More importantly, make sure you own the domain name and hosting when you do. That way, if they get anything wrong, you still have control.
Why WordPress for Your Small Business?
Be sure to catch the rest of the episode, where you’ll learn more about why you would use WordPress for your small business. In it, Kerch McConlogue goes on to discuss how you can use WordPress Meetups for indispensable help with development, how you can stay in control of the vision of your WordPress website and much more.
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