Did you know that WordPress powers over 40% of websites?
So it is no wonder that many businesses use WordPress for their primary digital presence. WordPress is not only available in 196 languages, but it is also visited more than Twitter.
So, are you looking to start a business? If so, it may be worthwhile to consider WordPress. Read on to learn how it can establish your business’s digital presence!
- Why Use WordPress?
- Getting Started On Your Digital Presence
- Getting Started With WordPress
Why Use WordPress?
The reason WordPress is so widely used is because of the many benefits it provides. Let’s first discuss why you should consider WordPress as your home for your business’ digital presence. Then, I’ll cover some recommended themes and plugins to extend WordPress a bit more.
WordPress Is Free
First off, it is free and open-source. This means that many types of developers work on it. Although, it is important to note that you will most likely need to spend some money on a hosting provider, such as Cloudways, Kinsta, SiteGround, or WP Engine.
There are also many themes and plugins for free. However, the paid plugins often are of better quality and will most likely not cause errors that will crash your website.
WordPress Is Flexible
WordPress was first developed to build blogs, but the platform has expanded since and allows for endless types of sites. It can range from eCommerce sites to chatrooms, Q&A websites to membership sites, and so much more. The sky is your limit!
You can start small without the worry of limitations in the future. Your site can grow when you grow as many themes and plugins are available to you with just a touch of a button.
Interested in starting an eCommerce store? Check out our post “7 Steps to Build a Profitable eCommerce Store in 2021” to learn how WordPress can help you!
WordPress Is SEO Friendly
An essential to drive traffic to your new site with SEO. You might ask yourself, “what is SEO?” SEO stands for search engine optimization (SEO). That doesn’t really clear it up, though. SEO essentially allows Google to find and index your website, allowing Google users to find your website.
WordPress is written in high-quality code, which helps Google to find the sites it powers. WordPress also has plenty of plugins that help you rank higher in SEO.
WordPress is User-Friendly
You don’t need to be a coder or a computer engineer to design and develop a WordPress site. Most of the design can be done with a few clicks of a button.
Additionally, there is a large community that has helped create and code WordPress. This means that there is plenty of information and how-to videos for each problem you might face.
Getting Started On Your Digital Presence
The large community and the user-friendly interface means that the steps of using WordPress are easy to follow.
Let’s discuss some of the steps below to get you started.
Choose Your Domain Name
The first step in creating a website is to choose a domain name. Try to think like the visitors who will see your site. Is it easy to remember? Is it catchy? Is it readable?
You will need to remember that a domain name does not have any spaces, and adding special characters like dashes can easily be confusing.
The domain will need to be brandable and be in line with your company name. It is very confusing to your customers to look for your company if there are many similar domain names with a few differences.
Stay away from domain names with numbers or ultra-long domain names. Keep it short and simple!
Also, it’s a good idea to have your domain name match your social media account usernames, so use tools like namecheckr to see if your domain name and username are available.
For domain registration, I recommend Namecheap.
Set up Your Hosting Provider
Since WordPress is a self-hosting platform, you will need to set up your own hosting provider.
I highly recommend Cloudways for the majority of my clients. They allow for easy installation and have an excellent user interface. Speaking from experience, their customer support is very responsive and knowledgeable.
While Cloudways provides an easy to use interface and some nice add-ons, if you’re looking for the fastest provider and incredible support, all while keeping the costs down (or less in my case), then I recommend Rocket.net.
When choosing a host, it’s important to consider if the hosting provider can grow with you and how much it will cost as you grow. Don’t be lured in by incredibly low entry-level prices!
Choose a WordPress Theme
A theme will help you create the face of your online business. There are many options, and you can change them whenever you would like.
While there are many free themes available, you should consider premium themes to give you a professional look with ample customization. I’ll discuss some recommended themes shortly.
Familiarize Yourself With the WordPress Dashboard
The WordPress dashboard is where the magic happens. You can create new pages, posts, and manage your theme from there.
You can also choose plugins that will benefit your website in many different ways.
Additionally, familiarize yourself with WordPress’s different features, such as insights, manage users, and view comments.
Lastly, have fun! This is a great outlet to show your company’s creativity!
Getting Started With WordPress
What Are Some Recommended WordPress Themes?
WordPress has many free and premium themes available. Many of these themes are ready for business use.
I highly recommended that you invest in a premium theme, as these are trusted and reliable. They will be less likely to crash your site and easier to maintain.
The WordPress dashboard allows you to search for themes. You can enter specific keywords like “eCommerce,” “portfolio,” and “blogs” to narrow down the option and get the results that are best for your business!
Some popular themes I recommend are:
It is important to note that some themes are more compatible with mobile devices.
If you think that most of your consumers are mobile users, heavily invest in creating a mobile-friendly website.
What Are The Must-Have WordPress Plugins?
I already covered Rank Math as our favorite SEO plugin, but what about the other aspects of your site, such as speed, forms, security, and more?
For speed optimization, I’ve tried pretty much all the caching plugins out there and our favorite by a landslide is WP Rocket. It’s incredibly simple to use and easily integrates with a content delivery network, also known as a CDN. WP Rocket has its own CDN or you can use something like CloudFlare.
For forms, in my experience, if you’re looking for the most powerful and extendable forms plugin, then look no further than Gravity Forms. They have a thriving community and the add-on plugin Gravity Perks pretty much makes it possible to create any type of form.
I used to use Gravity Forms on this site until I found Fluent Forms, which offers most of what I need at a significantly lower cost than Gravity Forms. Fluent Forms is a relatively new comer, but they’re making big waves with their conversational form, conditional logic, and they’re very developer friendly as there are plenty of ways I can “hook” into an action, such as a form submission, and then do whatever kind of logic I want to do.
One thing is for sure, when it comes on forms plugins for WordPress, you can go crazy trying to pick one out, so I’d recommend limiting your options to Gravity Forms, Fluent Forms, Formidable Forms, WP Forms and Ninja Forms.
For security, I use & recommend iThemes Security Pro. It offers a multitude of ways to protect your WordPress from being hacked and is fairly straightforward to use. If you’re looking for a unique approach and also want some peace of mind regarding hacking and malware removal, look at Sucuri.
Now, I can’t forget about image optimization! You want images to be just the right size and load when they’re visible (this is called “lazy loading”). I really like ShortPixel. They offer two varieties of plugins, one delivers your images via CDN and the other just optimizes your images locally.
For your backup solution, I recommend UpdraftPlus. It automatically creates backups before updating themes and plugins and you can have it run scheduled ongoing backups.
Next, to add social sharing to WordPress, there are a lot of options; however, in our experience, many of them cause way too much bloat or have unnecessary tracking, which can impact the performance of your website. That’s why I like novashare, it’s incredibly lightweight & easy to use.
Last, your WordPress site should show cookie notices to your users. Laws vary by county and state, so it’s tricky to figure out the exact wording on your own.
If you need a Terms & Conditions page, I recommend using TermsFeed to help you generate the text required.
What Else Should I Know Before Posting on WordPress?
When you write blog posts, you’ll obviously want to share them on your social media accounts and your Google Business Profile.
Each social media platform has its own recommended image size for sharing content. So, the one other tool I recommend investing in is Canva.
With Canva, you can quickly create blog post images and then easily create a copy in a new size. They even have most of the social media platform sizes pre-configured for you.
The odd man out here is going to be your Google Business Profile. In my experience, the best image size for Google Business Profiles is 540×405.
The general saying amongst startups and entrepreneurs is “just start!”
There is no time like the present. So get started on your WordPress business site today and start making money.
As always, if you’re looking for a partner or just some advice, feel free to contact me!
Thanks for reading,