A Guide to WordPress for Small Businesses

These days, to have a presence on the web is to exist as a business. Itís not often that you search for a business on the internet and get zero results. Societyís dependence on technology and web-access makes it extremely important for your small business to have an active website. Fortunately, you donít have to be a web designer or developer to make a professional looking website. One of the easiest and most popular ways to create a site is to use WordPress. If you don’t have website for your business and have no idea where to start, refer to this WordPress guide for small businesses. If you have the beginnings of a WordPress website for your business, or know the direction you want to take your site, here are some tips to help you succeed.

WordPress glass logo by Th3-ProphetMan

First, Why WordPress?

First off, you might be wondering why use WordPress. WordPress is the best and most popular blogging and website platform, in my humble opinion (but I’m not the only one who thinks so, there are plenty of web design experts who agree).

  • Itís an easy, free and open source
  • It contains hundreds of free themes, including blog- and business-like
  • Has built-in SEO benefits, which improves your websiteís ranking in search results
  • There is a large community support system among other users for questions and help
  • It has thousands of plugin options to improve the usability of your site
  • It is mobile accessible, so your site can be viewed on any device

Things to Keep in Mind

Before starting the construction of your site, you should plan ahead. Think about what you want your domain name to be (the URL of your site), and then sign up for a hosting service. You should also plan on adding a blog to your site (see below), and prepare topics to be written about, as well as take (quality) photos or find stock photos to display on your site, as posts with images attract more viewers for longer periods of time.

Features to Make Your Site Dynamic

Some essential aspects to include on your site:

1. An interesting homepage

  • This will set the tone of the rest of your site, so it should draw viewersí attention, but not have an overload of information. A minimalistic design is often best.
  • Include your businessís value/mission statement
  • Use imagery or photos that reflect your brand
  • Insert calls to action, like an option to register for email updates and deals

2. Active Blog

A blog that is continually contributed to by you and your employees keeps viewers interested in your brand and keeps your site from becoming stagnant. You should make sure the contributions and topics are related to your business, and donít act as advertisements. If people are reading your blog, they already know about your business, and want to learn more about it. You should include an RSS Feed so interested readers can be notified of new posts.

Tip: It increases blog activity and interest if you allow readers to comment and converse with your writers.

3. Social Media Widgets

Social media has become a prominent source for communication and advertising. Make it easy for readers to share your content by including widgets, so you can more easily get your name out there.

There are a million directions you can take your small business website, but if you’re just starting out, simplicity is usually best. Make sure you read a few WordPress guides before you jump in, and always do your best to stay up to date on web design trends.