Why WordPress is the essential CMS for SMEs
Here at Artemis we have worked with pretty much every content management system (CMS) under the sun. From custom built platforms designed for bigger or more specialist companies to very basic systems accompanying free website building software. Every system has its challenges but some can be truly awful to use from an SEO perspective. Those free website builders, in particular, are every technical SEOs’ worst nightmare! The limitations often include: inability to access the site files via FTP; inability to apply 301 redirects and extremely limited control over the architecture and coding of the site. Luckily, only a small minority of our new clients arrive at our doorstep having used a free website builder or having installed a CMS which is detrimental to their search engine rankings. But occasionally they do which then leads to their question “which CMS should we be using, then?” 9 times out of 10, our response is usually:
WordPress, WordPress, WordPress
This then leads onto the question, “well, why WordPress?” I could probably list about a hundred reasons why the vast majority of small to medium size businesses should be using WordPress but I am going to limit it today to just my top five.
1. It’s extremely flexible and easy to use
Some CMSs really overcomplicate matters and, for internal staff who are not especially tech savvy, you will need a Ph.D. in Computer Science just to figure out how to get past the login screen. WordPress is incredibly easy to set-up. If you are building a website from scratch, many website hosting companies will offer 1-click install for WP, meaning you can have the framework installed on your web space in a matter of minutes with no coding or FTP experience required.
2. Popular with developers and easy to customise
Many developers specialise in designing good looking WordPress sites, including our own here at Artemis. For clients on a shoestring budget, there are literally thousands of WordPress themes that you can quickly and easily install that will pretty much work out of the box (some faffing about with xml imports required and, of course, setting up your pages and menus). Unless you have a very specific business proposition or technical brief, WordPress is likely to be able to handle whatever it is you need to do; from basic brochure site and lead gen through to complicated eCommerce functionality – the framework to do what you need is likely to already be there.
3. Great for SEO
Google seems to love WordPress sites, dependant, of course, on how the theme is coded. Originally built as a blogging platform, many businesses have adopted it as the engine behind their main website front, in part because it is so search engine friendly. There are some technical issues which often need to be addressed after your theme is designed and your pages are up, but plugins such as Yoast are incredibly easy to install and (with a bit of knowledge) easy to configure. Yoast can sort an awful lot of the technical SEO basics, from ‘noindexing’ specific pages to whole archives or remedying common issues to WP.
4. Big Community
Because WordPress is open-source, it has a huge community behind it. If you’re having a technical issue with your WP site, a quick Google search containing a few keywords about the problem will normally return the answer you need to get it fixed. A big community also means masses of development – there are themes and plugins available for almost anything you can imagine; from Mailchimp integration to job board functionality.
5. Great for blogging
Might sound a bit obvious, given that it’s a blogging tool, but WordPress is great for keeping your customers, clients and database up to date with your latest news and articles. Hugely flexible in terms of archiving, author branding and displaying news content; it can be adapted well to meet the requirements of simple local businesses through to professional journalistic organisations.
Like any platform there are always the downsides. WordPress requires frequent updates and security is a major concern; especially for any businesses dealing in sensitive customer data or payments. Security software is an essential must-have, for any business of any size, and you will need to ensure that both WP and any plugins running on the site are kept up-to-date.
Need advice moving over to WordPress or building a new WordPress site? Give us a call today, we’d be happy to help!