While I’ve worked with a variety of content Management Systems (CMS) including Squarespace, Shopify and Sitefinity in the past, I’ve now chosen to build exclusively on WordPress.
Here are my reasons for making the switch.
Yes you read that correctly.
WordPress itself is free, open source software.
Where other providers may charge you up to $299 per month, plus payment processing fees on top of what a payment gateway like stripe or pay pal charge, these costs can quickly add up.
With WordPress, the only ongoing costs for a typical website are hosting. This cost can range from $3 – $50 per month depending on the hosting plan and inclusions. For example some hosts include daily scheduled backups to keep your investment secure, or you might opt for your website to be hosted on a private server, which is beneficial for speed, security and search engine optimisation. These features incur an additional charges, but in my mind are worth the investment, particularly when compared to other providers.
As I mentioned previously, WordPress is open source software. What does this mean? It means that it is available to anyone to view, use, modify or change the source code.
Because of this powerful flexibility, WordPress has become the most popular Content Management System in the world, with over 75 million sites using the software.
This means that WordPress can integrate with almost any other software on the internet, and can be configured to do almost anything you need it to do.
In my line of work I find the majority of clients coming to me have outgrown their cookie cutter template builder website and are looking to level up their online presence.
This is where WordPress excels.
As a designer first, WordPress is without a doubt my tool of choice.
It allows me unparalleled design freedom and flexibility.
I’m able to add custom animation effects to draw the eye to important calls to action, hide or show specific elements depending on the device size, and work within a blank canvas to bring a brand story to life.
It’s also for this reason that I recommend clients start with what I consider to be the best of the best. To save reinvestment down the track and to start out with the best online presence possible from the get go. It’s my highest belief that this investment pays dividends over time in building trust, connection and brand affinity with your clients from the get go.
One of the problems with building with a templated builder is that you’re always going to be limited to approved inclusions.
For example, last year Shopify turned off their integration with MailChimp, and more recently their Instagram Feed connectivity.
These steps are incredibly frustrating for users who have invested time and money into building their digital shopfront on the platform. To lose integration with additional marketing software that in turn drives sales and brand awareness is less than ideal, and the time/cost to rebuild automated marketing funnels on another platform can be prohibitive for many small businesses.
Easy to manage
I know, this is the opposite of what most clients expect.
Upon first glance the back end of WordPress can seem complex and overwhelming, but with a little training, best practice settings, the right build and the correct plugins I promise I could have even my mother managing her own site in no time!
I provide all clients with a training manual upon website handover, which allows them to make their own changes, add blogs, new pages or products on their own time. This can save a business owner thousands of dollars in development fees over the years!
Search Engine Optimisation
There are a number of ways that WordPress is beneficial for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
It’s incredibly lean with clean code. This means that it’s fast. People like this, so do search engines. You only have a couple of seconds to capture a clients interest! Make it snappy.
There are a number of plugins that allow important SEO functionality like image alt tags, page meta descriptions, title tags and featured snippets.
These are the things that help with accessibility, help your site get listed with search engines, and consequently found by the exact people who are actively searching for your offer.
Of all of the digital marketing strategies to invest in, SEO is up there. It has a long shelf life, meaning if you take the time to get it right now, this can pay you back for years to come. Whereas with paid ads, the second the set stops running, so do the leads.
Have you been on the fence about taking the leap into a custom WordPress site?
I’d love to chat more about any hesitations or questions you might have.