In March of 2020, the US started to shut down due to COVID-19 and around 30 million small businesses felt the impact. As schools closed and people begin to shelter at home, small businesses immediately felt the pressure as foot traffic halted.
Small business owners needed to adapt to the new stay at home environment — quickly moving their business online to continue serving their customer base. Naturally, this meant looking for an easy-to-use website solution that would allow them to create a responsive, user-friendly website within a couple of hours. Not surprisingly, WordPress became the chosen platform for many small business owners.
WordPress is a proven choice, powering 37% of the websites online. The open source nature of WordPress has also allowed the creation of many robust themes and page builders which gives users the ability to create beautiful websites will little to no code. In addition, WordPress has a large community backing, giving new WordPress users endless tutorials and guides in their site creation journey.
Outside of popularity and modern, easy-to-use website templates, there are a few additional reasons why small businesses adopted WordPress during COVID-19.
WordPress is Free
WordPress is free to download and there are over 5,000 free themes and plugins available. The low risk, high reward element of jumping into WordPress is very appealing to small business owners. Free is appealing when your revenue stream is impacted. With the right theme and set of plugins, the creation of an eCommerce, consulting, attorney, or educational site can be completed quickly and with ease.
Here are a few popular free themes you should consider for the start of your online journey:
WordPress is Beginner Friendly
It is easy to use and does not require coding or technical skills. At its core, WordPress is simply a content management system (CMS) — which allows individuals at all levels to easily publish consistently formatted content to their website.
Small business owners new to website creation and the digital space can set up their website without extensive training or knowledge. Quite literally, anyone can launch a WordPress website within a few hours, especially if they opt for WordPress Hosting for their web hosting. Optimized specifically for WordPress, WordPress Hosting comes with WordPress pre-installed on the user’s domain. Allowing them to jump right into creating and launching their new website.
Once launched, small business owners can also easily manage and add to their website. With the ability to duplicate pages, posts, and products, can users can quickly add to their website as their online business grows.
WordPress is Powerful
Don’t let the free and easy attributes of WordPress fool you. This platform is very powerful. It successfully manages eCommerce websites with thousands of products, forum and membership sites with high traffic and engagement, and supports just about any functionality you can think of. It grows as businesses grow online. Allowing small business owners to focus on their online presence instead of moving the website as it gets larger.
Even better, though plugins (which add specific functionality to the website) are just as powerful as the base software, there is always the option to work with a WordPress developer to build specific solutions for your website needs. This robust platform is also flexible and high-customizable, giving small business owners the freedom and ability to actively seek custom solutions if they cannot find a plugin that finds their needs.
Who Uses WordPress?
Though WordPress is free software that is not owned by a company or ran by a CEO, it helps power the multi-billion dollar online economy.
A third of all websites on the web are WordPress sites, ranging from government sites like the Near East South Asia Center and universities like Harvard.
Here are some other well-known websites powered by WordPress.
WordPress is an open source software. This means that anyone can contribute and assist with the growth of the platform. The WordPress open source community is made up of passionate individuals who want everyone to succeed. They actively work to develop new features that will help the user experience, especially for new WordPress users.
The positive, collaborative spirit of the WordPress open source community has facilitated many amazing features but, also, a large pool of support and assistance. Between forums, tutorial videos, and help articles, the ease of finding support for WordPress is a huge benefit of adopting the software for your website.
Here at InMotion Hosting, our Support Center has a specific WordPress Education Channel to assist our customers and the online community. Additional popular forums include WordPress.org and Facebook.
Go Ahead, Take the Jump
WordPress is constantly evolving! Stay up to date with the latest WordPress news and releases to keep your website modern and secure!