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WordPress Is Still The Best Choice For Small Business Websites

February 3, 2014 3 Comments RSS Feed

Wordpress is still the best choice

For new small business owners, a website is a necessity. Tech startups get all the attention in the media, but the fact is that most small business startups don’t have a web technology expert among the founders. The plumbers, electricians, realtors, and consultants who form the largest contingent of new business owners usually don’t have the skill to create a cutting-edge site from scratch; nor do they have the many thousands of dollars to invest in hiring a developer or designer to do it for them.

Content management systems — including WordPress, Joomla, and MODX — are all less difficult to get to grips with than building a site from scratch, but content management systems are designed with different use-cases in mind. Some, such as MODX, are extremely flexible, but that flexibility brings along a level of complexity that makes them a challenge for the inexperienced.

In my experience, WordPress hits the sweet spot between flexibility and user-friendliness, which is a major cause of its massive popularity. Despite the multitude of available options in the CMS space, WordPress is still the best choice for a small business founder who is prepared to learn a little bit but doesn’t have the time or the inclination to dive deep into web technology.

Why Choose WordPress?

A content management system allows a site to be modified without needing to tangle with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Once configured and deployed, anyone who can handle a word processor shouldn’t have much problem managing a WordPress site. But, the main benefit of WordPress is that it is so easy to set up in the first place.

All good WordPress hosting companies provide one-click installation of WordPress, so there’s never any need to fiddle around with files and folders on the command line. After WordPress has been installed, creating a compelling site is usually just a matter of finding a suitable theme, installing it, and tweaking the settings until it’s ready for content to be added.

New functionality can be quickly and simply integrated using the thousands of available plugins. Need to backup your site? No problem; there are plenty of plugins that make it a breeze. The same is true of SEO, social sharing features, and caching. The learning curve is not nonexistent, but it is flat enough that anyone with moderate technical ability can figure it out.

That ease-of-use doesn’t mean that WordPress isn’t a full-featured and powerful content management system. Users can go as deep as they like and WordPress will go along with them, providing the access and functionality necessary to build sites of almost any level of complexity — WordPress is used by everyone from freelancers to the New York Times.

Additionally, if business owners do come across any problems they feel they can’t handle, the massive popularity of WordPress means there are plenty of WordPress professionals available to help out at a reasonable price.

If you’re considering setting up a new business site, the combination of WordPress and a decent hosting company will make the task much less daunting that it might seem.

Posted in: Nexcess
  • I still can’t get into WordPress. I dig Statamic and ExpressionEngine. Once you have a workflow it’s difficult to get into a different groove.

  • Thanks for the response, Marcus! Statamic and ExpressionEngine are definitely awesome, and for people who have time to explore, it definitely makes sense to try out a variety of CMSs to see which has the functionality and features that work for their specific business needs. If they have some help from you, ExpressionEngine would definitely be the smart choice :) For someone just getting started though, WordPress can definitely ease the transition a bit.

  • Thanks for the compliment. And for the record, if someone visits this page and wants to talk EE don’t hesitate to hit me up.

    Back to the article though, I find that WordPress works up to a point. If you find a theme that works for what you want and just need to get something up quickly then it is great. But as a front end dev that knows little PHP I quickly run into a situation where making modifications are more difficult in a system like WP. EE & Statamic both make no assumptions about my code or my content and allow me to (quickly) define those. And, after 8 years in the business, I find that the user experience is better for those two systems as the workflow is the same for all content. With WP, depending on the content you may need to access it via a different mechanism.

    Different Stroke for Different Folks and all but I like to have more control over my design, code, and user experience. And the cost is negligible. I’m not embarrassed to say we’ve done simple Statamic and EE sites for as low as $3k. And really, anything less than that is not worth the ramp up and overhead costs.

    ymmv.