6 advantages of a WordPress theme for your small business website

6 advantages of a WordPress theme for your small business website

One of the most powerful features of WordPress (alongside plugins) is the ability to install a pre-built WordPress theme to change the look and operation of your website.  This has been one of the big factors in why WordPress runs on millions of websites and is the most popular choice for self-hosted websites.

Using customisable themes isn’t a new thing but with cleaner, simpler designs for mobile they make a compelling argument over a custom website.  Of course, they are not for every business  There might still be a need for custom website (a design built entirely from scratch) but for those who want a fast and cost-effective solution, using themed templates are the way to go.

As a small business owner, opting to use a template might be more beneficial. What are the benefits though and what might you get for your money?

We are making the assumption here that the installing, modifying and launching of a new small business website is an area requiring outside assistance.  If you have these skills already, good news as you won’t need as much outside help.  If you do get stuck, our support team are ready to help

 

1. WordPress themes can be considerably less expensive than custom websites

Using themed templates to create a website is a more cost effective option for many sites.  It takes less time to set-up and you don’t need to hire designers to create the overall look for desktop and mobile.. Themes also often come with their own ready-made features that you can use to fit your business.  This means you might not need to purchase anything else unless you want to add another feature to your website.

But not always.  Choosing the wrong theme or extensively modifying a theme will increase the time and costs to build.  Additional code will introduce additional bugs and require additional testing.  Sometimes this can end up being more expensive than a custom site from the start.  Write down your objectives for the site and ensure your developer or partner is offering the right advice based on time = money.  There is a sweet spot that avoids “wheel reinvention” and still provides the flexibility to shape the site to fit your needs.

 

2. Quicker to get going

Building a website, for the most part, is a long process. Design needs to be discussed. Features need to be coded and added in. Basically, you create something from nothing and it doesn’t happen overnight. It can take many weeks / months to complete an entire website.  In it’s simplest form, with a prebuilt theme, you can just download the theme you want, install it, and change certain elements like images and some colours.

 

3. Lots of choice

There are thousands upon thousands of themes that you can choose from. And while you might run the risk of seeing a website that uses a similar template to yours, it doesn’t really matter. This is because you can customise it. You can change colours or the order of items in your navigation bar.  You can add your own images or add more pages.  The point is, you can personalise your website to suit your needs and your branding. Choosing a theme relevant to your business makes things easier but some of the most creative sites will be using a theme originally designed for another purpose.

Again – it all depends on how much time you want to spend (or pay someone else) to replace the stock images, colours, typography and layouts and make the site personal to your business.

 

4. SEO and mobile is generally built into the design

Modern designs often have features built into them that optimise your website for search engines. This means that you don’t need to worry about the design elements that search engines use to help your site appear in web searches.  Themes can help your site to meet SEO standards.

 

5. Additional features are often included

WordPress themes can come with many built-in features to to help you promote your services, highlight content, get in touch or maybe even a few administrator options that make changing some elements of the site easier. Built in features remove the need for adding plug-ins, both removing additional complexity and optimising performance.

 

6. Updates Keep Your Site Functional

If you’ve purchased a WordPress theme from a reputable source, chances are, you’ll have free updates to keep you site secure and up to date. Note that whenever WordPress updates and decides to make changes, it might cause some problems to your theme. Updates from your theme developers are often fixes to resolve compatibility issues with WordPress or to further improve the performance of the theme.  So be safe be sure to only use themes that are being actively developed, have a large install base and are marked as compatible with your version of WordPress.

 

So what are the cons?
  • Its NEVER as easy as the theme developer makes out to recreate the sample site.  Even our developers struggle at times to get features working and fix issues –  with mobile especially
  • You need to be both experienced in managing WordPress and have patience.  Expect that some things will be a compromise and you will spend many hours googling if you are not a web developer
  • You spend too much time “tweaking” to make it look your own
  • ….or not enough and your business site looks just like your competition

 

WordPress themes can be a great choice and are worth exploring if you are looking to refresh your site of get something new built quickly. Tomorrow we’ll tell you why custom design may not be the best option for you.

Want to talk more? Don’t hesitate to send us a message or click on the chat icon if you have any enquiries.

How to make a WordPress small business website

How to make a WordPress small business website

Being the world’s most popular website content management system (CMS),  many small businesses use WordPress as their go-to platform for their website.  The power of plugins and open-source licencing has created a vast and rich ecosystem to allow for almost anything to be easily built.

In this short article, we’ll go through essentials of what you need to know to create a WordPress small business website.

 

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source content management system that allows you to create and manage your website online.  It’s easy to use and offers an impressive library of plug-ins that add functionality to the websites being created.  From simple blogs to full-blown e-commerce sites, any scenario you can think of could be built using a combination of plugins and custom development.

 

Name your website and choose your hosting

WordPress needs to be hosted and installed on a server for it work. Now is a good time to search for reliable web hosting services.  This is an area it’s best to pay a little bit more for – slow hosting will kill your site.  We use and recommend SiteGround.

 

Build your WordPress small business website using custom design or a pre-built theme?

Once you’ve chosen a web hosting service, the next thing to do is start building your website.  You can create the website from scratch (custom design) or you can use many of themes for WordPress.

If you have no coding knowledge, you can hire a web designer / developer to create the site for you.  As a bespoke offering this can take a while and prices may vary depending on the complexity of your site and its design.

If you opt to use themes, you can download and install it in less than an hour and you’ll have a working website. However, it’s always best to edit the theme you just installed to give it a little personal flair – or hire a developer to do this for you.

 

Extend your website’s functionality by adding plugins

Plugins are what make WordPress websites work efficiently. There are plugins that help with loading speeds. Some help you create contact forms. Other plugins add new functions to your website.

Installing a plugin is very easy. You can search for plugins within WordPress itself and install from there.

Quick tip: Keep a list of features you want your website to have. Use that to guide you on your plugin search.

 

What’s next?

At this stage, you already have a working website but it’s far from finished. In fact, it’s just the beginning.  You need to manage the site and its plugins, make sure that it is updated regularly.  WordPress security is dependant on you keeping your site updated.   Think about SEO and content to increase traffic, too.

Tomorrow we’ll talk more about using WordPress themes to create your small business website.