WordPress is one of the most widely used website platforms with excellent reason, having stood the test of time and evolved from a blogging platform in 2003 to the robust content management system or CMS we have today.
Suitable for Websites and Blogs
WordPress has proved to be highly suited to most website applications from blogging, to micro and small business sites, and includes Top 100 sites like Time Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, eBay and more, all of which accounts for an estimated 22.5% of all websites on the internet.
Open Source with Excellent Support
WordPress is an open source platform supported by a vast community of users and developers who provide more than 4454 WordPress themes and over 48,849 (and growing) plugins via the WordPress repository. The software is free to download, install and customise in any way you choose. We recommend WordPress be self-hosted and not to use the hosting provided by WordPress.org
The reason for this is to maintain complete control over all aspects of hosting, managing and displaying how your website appears.
For the same reason, we do not recommend the so-called free platforms that are available that do not provide complete control and which host sites via a subdomain of the platform domain name. E.g. www.mywebsite.wordpress.org or similar is highly undesirable.
See recommended training:
Installing WordPress 4 – Installation, Registrars & Hosting
WordPress is relatively is easy to use with basic training and an understanding of its flexibility which enables customisation to suit most website requirements.
Initially, a site can be set up without any knowledge of coding or functionality of the platform. However, at some point, the threshold is passed where this is no longer possible, and the support of a WordPress webmaster or developer will be required to enable the use of more advanced features that are available. To best understand the issues that are in the background and compromising performance and ranking, run some simple audit tests on your site (or others) which will highlight the issues that need to be resolved to meet website best practice. More on this later in future posts.
The process of mastering WordPress does not happen overnight. Using the many support forums and the training available on www.Udemy.com will save you a considerable amount of time and angst.
Our story is for three years we relied on third-party providers to build and manage our business websites. WordPress was not even on our radar as we started on other platforms, recommended at that time by these people. Self-managing our sites were not in the frame.
At some point, we became frustrated enough by these service providers to review of our website performance and value proposition, or lack thereof!
Quickly it became apparent we needed to change direction. A case of rolling up our sleeves and learning about creating sites using WordPress.
From a zero knowledge base, we have been able to master creating and managing websites for ourselves and a multitude of small business clients.
These sites have generated significant sales and lead generation for these firms and included the use of Google Adwords and Adsense.
The best example of this is sales of $160,000 in a single month.
In hindsight, it could have taken a great deal less time to master WordPress using the many resources available from the vast support community and if only we had known about the training on Udemy!
See recommended training here:
WordPress for Beginners | Master WordPress Quickly
Easy to Manage
WordPress can be self-managed once sufficient training and knowledge are applied, and the use of a WordPress developer should only be necessary when advanced development is required, or technical difficulties arise.
Maintenance and Updates
All WordPress sites need constant and regular updates to maintain functionality, security and performance. There are no exceptions.
WordPress relies on many components, which when working seamlessly together provide the outstanding performance required. However, all too frequently conflicts arise where WordPress, themes, plugins and hosting are updated where these updates have not been sufficiently tested and contain poorly written coding., the bane of all Webmasters!
The WordPress dashboard provides an Updates notification area to show pending updates for all WordPress, Themes, Plugins updates and should be kept up to date on a regular basis.
Safe and Secure
Website security has been and always will be an issue, and WordPress is often a target. Good quality hosting will include sound security measures, and we suggest not to rely on this alone.
We use and recommend a plugin called All in One WP Security that takes some mastering and is highly effective in closing off the areas WordPress sites are most vulnerable.
Good housekeeping and ensuring WordPress, the theme and all plugins are up to date go a long way to maintaining security.
Search Engine Friendly
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an enormous and complex topic to which a significant amount of time, energy and resources are devoted to understanding what Google, Bing and the multitude of other search engines require for pages to rank well.
Out of the box, WordPress requires optimisation for search engines, which can be readily achieved using the right hosting, themes, plugins and expertise.
The overriding consideration in optimising any site is to comply as closely as possible with the Google Quality Rating Guidelines updated in March 2016.
In simple terms, this defined what is now the pillar of SEO, being E-A-T or expertise, authority and trust.
See Bruce Clay, Inc SEO Checklist that provides a comprehensive SEO Checklist of 36 factors to be up to date.
For some time, Google had been broadcasting their intention to penalise any website not mobile friendly. On the 12th May 2016, Google rolled out their new algorithm which could give mobile-friendly websites rankings boost in the mobile search results.
All quality WordPress themes are mobile friendly from initial installation and if that is not the case ditch it for one that is!
Speed and Performance
Google and Bing both say website speed matters and that speed is a ranking factor although to what extent is a subject of debate. Google is all about providing an excellent user experience and to deliver this requires a page that loads in less than 2 seconds.
The quality of hosting of a website is the most important factor in determining page speed and shared hosting will not deliver the required outcome except for the smallest of sites.
We use and recommend VPS hosting on all of our sites, no exception. Simply put, quality and high-speed hosting improved all aspects of a website functionality and performance.
See recommended training here:
WP Faster WordPress Speed Optimization Master Course
This course presented by AJ McKay is first class and includes lots of quality information that we have implemented on all of our sites with excellent results.
Return on Investment and Creating a Saleable Asset
It is important to remember that a business website with commercial intent requires the investment of time, money and expertise.
Sites that achieve commercial outcomes that can be verified, by way of analytics and other supporting data, have a very real value and are bought and sold based on performance and ongoing sustainability.
Your investment should be kept in focus to avoid over capitalisation and to ensure realistic returns on investment.
Websites that specialise in the sale of the Buying and Selling of Quality websites include Empire Flippers.