For most businesses, a website is a must-have asset.
Your website is where potential clients will find you and get to know you. It’s how they’d find out how to contact you, how to find you, and what you offer.
Your website is the first place referrals will head to find out more about your business. It’s where you can sell your products and services, brand yourself as thought leader in your industry, and a platform to share your knowledge and skills.
And if you’re planning on building a website you should seriously consider using WordPress. Whilst the cheap DIY website builders offer a good solution for some small businesses and don’t cost a lot, they all have their limitations. What happens when your business grows to a point where your Wix website no longer fits your needs? You’re stuck, and you have to start from scratch.
Most of the business owners I know with Wix websites started with them because it was easy to do it themselves. But then they needed something adding that Wix didn’t offer, and they realised it was time to move on. WordPress doesn’t have to be scary. Anyone can use WordPress to build a website.
You can use your website to offer group coaching programs, to host courses and webinars, to publish a podcast, write blog articles and even book appointments with clients.
And that’s just the front end, the public face of it. A single website has a lot of jobs to do. And if you go with a content management system with the versatility of WordPress you’re able to incorporate all of the above and much more.
You’re not limited with design or functionality and there are no rules. You can integrate your WordPress website with almost anything too. And because it’s open-source, someone else has probably already built whatever you need. And if not? You can get it built and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
WordPress Websites Can Be Setup In Minutes
The beauty of WordPress is it’s popularity. These days most hosting companies offer ‘one-click WordPress installs’, making it easy for almost anyone to get a WordPress installation up and running in just a few minutes.
If you’re looking for WordPress hosting on a budget you can’t go wrong with Siteground. Their support is great, they offer a range of packages for less than the price of a cup of coffee per month, and they offer free SSL certificates too, as well as plenty of other cool tools.
And if you’re looking for a managed solution with a team of WordPress experts to help you get things done, take a look at Flywheel’s managed WordPress hosting. Plans start at $25 per month and include managed WordPress security scans, managed software updates, and mega-fast performance.
Once you’ve chosen a hosting provider and your WordPress installation is done, you can pick a theme and start adding content.
Of course, there’s much more to it than that and it can take months of planning to build a website that makes money on its own, but even if you’re not a web designer or not very tech-savvy, WordPress is easy to use and you can learn the basics pretty much anywhere.
Thanks to a huge, friendly, global community of WordPress users, you can find the answers to almost anything WordPress related.
If you like watching videos you can head to YouTube. Adam Preiser’s YouTube channel, WPCrafter, is a good place to start. Adam has spent hundreds of hours making videos to teach others how to do all sorts with WordPress and he’s a decent guy too.
If YouTube isn’t your thing you can head over to WPBeginner and find an endless library of WordPress articles, or you can take a short course. And if you’d rather learn in-person you can find a local WordPress Meetup and go along whether you’re building a WordPress website for your business, your hobby, or you want to get started as a WordPress website designer or developer.
As an agency, we offer a library of WordPress tutorial videos along with a WordPress user manual to teach our clients how to use WordPress themselves. Most of what we include can be found for free on the web too.
And even as a professional using WordPress to build client sites I still reach out to the community when I need help. I’ve taught competitors how to do certain things in WordPress and competitors have done the same for me. The WordPress community is an amazing space.
Your Site, Your Style
With hundreds of thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available, it’s easy to find a look that’s just right for your brand and business. But be careful when downloading themes. Use trusted theme marketplaces like ThemeForest, or get a tried and trusted theme used by the pros like Astra or GeneratePress. Alternatively, just search the WordPress theme repository from inside your WordPress dashboard.
And what if you’re feeling confident and want something more customised? Lots of themes offer easy, drag-and-drop editing of layouts, colours, and more. Elementor is the best WordPress page builder in my opinion but see what works for you. The free version of Elementor is packed full of features and will suit the needs of most beginners but the Pro version of Elementor is well worth paying for once you’re familiar with it or if you plan to build websites for clients. The list of features is constantly growing, their support is fantastic if you do ever need it, and the pro version has replaced at least three other plugins that I previously bolted together.
Beaver Builder is another popular site builder used by professionals, Divi is a good option too. WP Bakery Page Builder is used with the majority of pre-build ThemeForest themes but avoid it if you can. It will slow down your website and it’s a pain for developers if you do decide to upgrade your website in the future.
And if you want something designed just for you, there is no shortage of designers and developers available depending on your budget and requirements. Just don’t expect to get the next Facebook or Uber built for $1000. And please don’t offer ‘exposure’ instead of payment. Designers have bills too, and families to feed.
Do your research and remember that in most cases you get what you pay for. Prices usually depend on where in the world you live but expect to pay anything from $3000 – $6000 for a 5-page site with basic features or upwards of $10,000 for a more complex website with a sales funnel integrated into your email marketing software and CRM.
Again, you can usually find a freelancer to knock something up for less than $1000 but if you’re building a website for your business then a well-built site should pay for itself in no time.
Plugins Make Anything Possible
WordPress was originally designed as a blogging platform and earned its early popularity by making this rather technical chore easy for thousands of new bloggers. Today it’s so much more than just a blogging tool. Instead, website owners use WordPress as the basis for:
- Shopping carts
- Membership sites
- Property portals
- Sales pages
- Personal journals
- Online directories
- Non-profit fundraising
- Video blogging
- News sites
- Recipe blogs
- Photography sites
- And so much more
The combination of themes and plugins – small software add-ons that install directly into your WordPress site – make the possibilities nearly endless, so no matter what you need a website to do, chances are good that WordPress can handle it.
The WordPress plugin repository has tens of thousands of plugins you can find and install easily. Some premium plugins have to be downloaded from the developer’s website for a fee, but be careful to only download WordPress plugins from trusted sources.
A whole market exists for ‘nulled’ (pirated) plugins and Themes. These are usually available for free or at a massively low cost but many of these are laced with hidden malicious code that will harm your website and give hackers access to your website, and sometimes your whole server. If you are considering a site like this I would strongly advise against it and instead suggest looking for free or low-cost alternatives if you’re not able to pay for the genuine product. Paying the developer not only ensures you get a clean download but also gives you access to updates and support, and provides the developer with an income so that they can continue updating and improving their product.
If you need help or advice with your WordPress website, or if you just want to meet other website designers, developers, and owners, you should be able to find a local WordPress Meetup group to join. These volunteer-led groups can be found all around the world and are open to all. Meetings are free to attend.
I organise WordPress Warwickshire, the official local chapter, and am a member of WordPress Birmingham and WordPress Coventry. You can find these groups on Meetup.com where you can also register for free and go along to a WordPress meetup nearby.