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First impressions count. And if you have a small business, your first contact with anyone new will likely be on your website. That’s why it not only has to look great but also needs to work well – because if it doesn’t, those visitors will bounce before you know what happened. In fact, according to a study by Taylor & Francis, you only have 50 milliseconds to make an impression. 50 milliseconds. Let that sink in.
In this article, you will learn about why so many small businesses prefer to use WordPress as their content management system (CMS) as well as basic security policies you should take aboard your overall website management routine.
WordPress For Small Business Rundown
So, what can a small business owner do to ensure a great online experience? WordPress.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system and website creation tool, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, for beginners and pros alike, and it’s highly scalable. That means that as your business grows, your website can grow, too—without having to move somewhere else. The beneficial features are many. Ranging from ease of use to automated backup solutions. Let’s dive into all the benefits of building your website in WordPress.
Is WordPress Good For Small Business?
Keep reading for ten more reasons small business owners love WordPress:
- It’s Easy to Use–One of the best things about WordPress is that you can create a professional looking website with zero coding or design experience. The intuitive interface makes it easy to add pages, posts, images, and other features quickly and with little effort.
- It’s Open-Source–WordPress is open source, which means that anyone can download it and modify it in any way they like. It also means that countless developers are constantly inspecting it, modifying it, and enhancing it—creating a better product for everyone.
- It’s Browser-Based–That means that you don’t have to download anything or have any special software to access your website – you can log in from any computer, anywhere.
- It’s a Self-Sufficient System–You can create a new page, add images, format text, create galleries, and more right within WordPress, without any 3rd party software.
- It’s SEO-Friendly–WordPress makes SEO easy, right out of the box. Built-in features like permalinks, title tags and headlines, alt tags for images, and quick site speed are all loved by search engines. Best of all? WordPress makes content creation easy—nothing is better for SEO than publishing lots of high-quality, useful information.
- You’re Your Own Administrator–With WordPress, you have control of every aspect of your site on your own. Of course, you can hire someone to manage your site for you – but the simple backend administrator interface is intuitive and easy-to-use without any help.
- There is a Wide Variety of Themes–If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can’t have the same cookie-cutter website as everyone else. And when it comes to WordPress, you won’t. The look and feel of your website can be totally customized, creating a unique experience for all of your visitors. The WordPress.org theme directory offers thousands of free themes, and if you don’t find any you like there, countless third-party options are out there as well. With easy drag-and-drop functionality, lots of amazing themes, and pre-built pages and content to help get you started, it couldn’t be simpler. No matter what you go with, you can rest assured that it will be beautifully designed and will integrate well with your website.
- Easy Blog Creation–Many small business owners start a website with the intention of creating a blog—and WordPress couldn’t make it easier. In fact, it’s sort of what they’re known for. Originally started as a blogging platform, WordPress still has built-in blogging capabilities. Setting up RSS subscriptions, commenting capabilities, and auto-posting to other sites is simple, and adding content is a breeze.
- Hundreds of Plugin Options–While themes can change the look of your site, plugins can change the functionality—and they’re just as easy to use. Plugins can quickly change the look and feel of your site by adding features such as a scheduling tool, online chat, video gallery, or shopping cart. If you can think of a functionality you want, guaranteed, there is a plugin that does it. Having a WP backup plugin can save you hours and plenty of grief for people who aren’t great about remembering to back up their websites.
- It’s Reasonably Priced–Did we mention that WordPress is totally free? You can download it for free, install it for free, and update it for free. The only thing you need to pay for is your domain name and hosting service!
So by now you should be convinced, or at least full to the brim with reasons, why WordPress is a good choice for hosting your small business website.
Hosting Options Explains
Once you’ve designed your website, the hosting requirement is just as critical but seriously overlooked by many who are new or unfamiliar. There are many elements that go into making a successful website and this one is key. So let’s look at the possible benefits of a WordPress website hosted on WordPress Hosting and what you need to anticipate when choosing the right package.
A website absolutely has to be hosted somewhere. It is possible to build your own computer server at home, but they require such fast processing speeds and disk space that it is not necessarily practical to do this on your own. That’s why it is necessary to rent high-end server space from a hosting service. There are four basic hosting options that are available to you:
- Shared Hosting: This is the intro model that is probably best for beginners or those who have a bare bones website without a lot of fancy bells and whistles. On a shared server, the hosting company uses one computer to act as the server for multiple websites. This reduces cost dramatically and allows you to do just about anything you would need for basic operations; including email, in most cases. But if you’re looking for something you can fine-tune to your needs, you will be more in the market for the VPS systems.
- WordPress Hosting: Similar to Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting is a single server which is optimized specifically for WordPress. This server hosts other websites as well, but there aren’t as many configuration issues as only WordPress websites are hosted on this plan. It provides incredible speed and performance for all website.
- VPS Hosting: The next step up is a virtual private server (VPS) Hosting. Similar to the other types of hosting, one server is used to host multiple sites. However, this server is divided into different segments so that each website has its own allotment of disk space and memory. This prevents one website on the server from affecting the other sites. This is a good “middle of the road” choice for websites that are growing at a steady rate, but are still not quite ready to take the next step.
- Dedicated Hosting: That next step is Dedicated Hosting. This is the most expensive option because you are renting out the entire server for just your website. This is the best option for very large business websites that have huge databases and handle lots of daily ecommerce transactions. This server offers the fastest load times and less downtime, but it comes at the largest price.
Web hosting for WordPress can be a scary proposition for those who are getting started. However, it doesn’t have to be. All it takes is some careful planning for what you want from your website and a consideration of the options that are available to make the best decision for your website.
Web Security Basics For WordPress
Security begins at your business doorstep; every person you employ, technology deployments, and even vendor relationships can either strengthen your position or expose you to risk. Small businesses are often targets for malicious attacks because of the commonly held belief that they are easy marks. Developing a strategy early on is crucial so that you are not viewed as a piece of low hanging fruit.
Creating a Security Policy
Develop a suitable policy for your environment and train your personnel. While this may seem obvious, social engineering is a popular tool to fool the unaware. Why? Simply because it works and it’s reliable. Developing a policy that places information security first and disseminating that information through your personnel is the first line of defense against entities that wish your business harm.
Some businesses may find it more feasible to outsource this solution to an expert services provider at a much-reduced cost, while others may prefer absolute control over their security implementations. The benefits are easily summarized; deploying your own hardware allows endless configurability while outsourcing can save a lot of time and money.
Control physical access. In a nutshell: limit access to server or computer rooms. Most employees don’t need to be in those areas as part of regular job duties–and there’s no reason they should ever be in there.
Anything with non-public information (NPI) must be strictly controlled with highly accountable access routines. Consider personal mobile devices and how they can be used to hijack valuable NPI data–adherence to access routines cannot waver simply because you know or trust an employee.
- Finally, consider hiring a security consultant to audit your business. Despite your best efforts, experts exist in this field for a couple of reasons:
- The avenues of attack are wide, expansive, and ever changing
- Your business will benefit from being audited regularly, regardless of whether you have experienced any successful attacks or not
- It helps ensure that any future attacks will not succeed
- Public confidence is a difficult win but easily lost when it comes to personal information
Stay Ahead of Issues
A security consultant stays ahead of the game so you don’t have the burden of trying to be an expert yourself. The cost of a consultant versus the cost of public confidence is easy to work out; we only need to look at a few historical examples of trusted brands that quickly became irrelevant because security was somehow left out the business plan.
You should now have a complete picture of what using and managing WordPress is all about, but as you take the next step, make sure to check some other helpful resources from the InMotion Hosting Support Center: