Most of our clients have one of two points of view about WordPress:
- They love WordPress — that’s one of the reasons they came to us.
- They’ve never heard of WordPress and don’t really care, since we’ll be taking care of their website for them.
But I have had some chances recently to talk to businesspeople who have concerns about using WordPress for business. They hear that it’s a DIY thing and they figure that it’s really intended for bloggers who just want to share pictures of their kids and cats. Or they worry that they won’t be able to do what they want with it.
WordPress is a CMS, a content management system. Anything you can do on a website, you can do on a WordPress website. WordPress allows you or your web firm to make quick, economical changes with your content without disturbing your design. The open source repository of plugins — pieces of software you can plug into your site — also allow you to have functionality that would be very expensive and time consuming if you had to have it built.
Those two facts add up to one simple fact about WordPress for business:
I’m giving a presentation on the subject at a couple of WordCamps this summer. You can download all the slides at the bottom of the post, but here are a few questions and concerns business owners may have about WordPress.
I don’t like that WordPress look.
WordPress sites don’t have to have a particular look. If you have a custom site built by a company like Haden Interactive (the slide above shows a random selection of designs from the past couple of years), your site will look different from all other websites.
What pages do I need in a business website?
A business website should have a blog, but it shouldn’t just be a blog. You should have static pages, including a homepage that immediately makes your unique offering clear, pages about your products and services, pages that tell about your company, and pages that demonstrate your authority in your field.
We work with sites that have 5 pages and sites that have 500 or more pages. There is no limit to the number of pages your WordPress website can have. There is no limit to the number of blog posts. WordPress is used by large companies as well as small ones.
I want special functionality in my website.
The slide above lists just a few of the business functions your WordPress website can accomplish, and just one of our favorite plugins for each. Click on the picture to make it bigger if you want more detail.
If you’re paying every month for software to help you with project management, invoicing, simple bookkeeping, calendaring events, and so forth, you might be able to save enough to pay for your website just by using WordPress’s free functionality.
Is WordPress secure?
Roughly 22% of the web now runs on WordPress, so the number of security issues you hear regarding WordPress may be larger than those you hear about for, say, Mango. However, WordPress is in fact quite security-conscious and the frequent upgrades help maintain its security. Make sure you take sensible precautions and that your hosting company does, too, and you don’t have to worry about security in the software.
As for your particular website, WordPress allows you to set access levels for all users. Many plugins add security roles and you can also customize. The screen shot above shows an e-commerce site for which you can allow people to upload new products and see where things should be shipped, without allowing them to see the financial information. This is a good example of the kind of granular control you can have.
Of course, the most common source of security breaches is carelessly leaving your computer logged in when you leave for lunch.
Fair warning: I don’t just read slides aloud when I give a presentation, so the slides may not be very meaningful on their own. We’ll let you know when the talk is up on WordPress TV, and of course please feel free to ask any questions in the comments, or to email me at Rebecca@HadenInteractive.com.