I’m a big fan of WordPress.
If you’re not familiar with it, WordPress is a content management system for creating and editing websites and blogs. It’s an easy-to-use, robust and powerful technology, but this isn’t a technical article – I want to focus on its true value to you as a business owner: an easy way to share your vision, products and business content online. Whether it’s a blog post on an important business trend, a new page to share a new product, or an event you want to add to your website menu, WordPress is an immensely simple way to update and communicate online.
In short, WordPress is how I share my digital voice – and I like to speak for myself.
Yet, all too often when I’m talking with business people about WordPress, they shy away from it, voicing concerns that they “aren’t technical” or they can “put a request in for their web developer to update it” when they have new web content.
It’s time that small business owners step up to technology, not back away from it. Here are my top six reasons why you, as a small business owner, should embrace your ‘inner geek’ and learn WordPress.
1. It puts you in control of your digital voice
Whether you have a website that you worked on with an external website developer, or you developed your site yourself, using a simple but powerful content management system like WordPress means that you are in control of your content. I like to understand the core elements that support my business and WordPress is certainly one of those.
2. You can keep your content updated and fresh
Static websites where the content is stale and irrelevant, is bad for business, sales and search engine optimisation. It doesn’t matter whether your business is selling online or using the web to communicate to customers that will buy from you offline: you need to have updated, informative and relevant content. Your website is your storefront – make the most of it.
3. You can do it yourself – without waiting
As a business owner, I get it – you don’t want to be doing everything yourself and your ‘not-to-do’ list is as important, if not moreso, than your ‘to-do’ list. So your team needs to be able to use WordPress – but to me the power of being able to change things myself (and when I want to) is important. Like many business owners, I’m not one for waiting; the ease with which I can just click and edit a page or write a blog post straight into WordPress means I get to say what I want, when I want. WordPress gives me fast-paced business momentum.
4. It changes how you think about content
Armed with WordPress and a constant ability to share thoughts, opinions, ideas and expertise with target audiences has changed how I think about communicating. A visit to the Natural History Museum inspires me to write about business pace and dinosaurs; a conversation at a networking event has me setting fingers to keyboard to share exciting ideas and opinions; feedback from a customer becomes a simply posted reference and endorsement of our products and services.
5. It opens your eyes to online possibilities
Beyond the ability to post content, WordPress has 29,358 plugins and widgets, technology add-ons that can bring specific functionalities to your website. Having an awareness of these can expand your thoughts about how to communicate, engage, share ideas and sell online. As an example, polling plugins enable you to survey your customer base; social media plugins encourage you to think about how your customers may be using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other channels; rating plugins help your customers share what is important to them. Just browsing the WordPress plugins and widgets can inspire you and reveal some of the business opportunities that are there for the taking.
6. It’s easy
Unlike many skills, areas and topics I’ve had to learn as a transatlantic business owner – regional sales taxes; international differences in employment; sales skills and cashflow management, WordPress is straightforward, easy to learn – and fun! So go, commit to your personal development and that of your business, and get online.