Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 31, 2015. It was updated on October 20, 2018.
Is WordPress only for blogs? Or can it handle blogs and so much more?
I know a lot of small business owners who have heard about WordPress and wonder if it’s something they should use. It’s certainly a buzz-worthy topic when it comes to building websites. But they have questions. How much does it cost? Is it hard to learn? Isn’t it only for blogs?
Well, if you’ve got those questions, let me help you out. It doesn’t cost much, it’s not hard to learn, and no, it’s not just for blogs. You can use WordPress for your small business website and never write a blog post. Ever.
WordPress is a Content Management System
WordPress is a content management system, which folks in the industry refer to as a CMS. A content management system is a software solution that supports creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content to the internet. Once configured, it basically works like this:
- You open up a page on the Internet.
- You fill out a form of some kind.
- You press publish.
- The CMS takes the stuff you filled out and publishes it on your website.
That’s basically it. A CMS allows everyday users to build, edit, and maintain their own websites. They are powerful and they are magical all at the same time.
WordPress is Everywhere
WordPress dominates the web. It’s used on more websites than you would imagine. Large or small, WordPress is everywhere. Don’t believe me?
Let’s look at some interesting WordPress stats from BuiltWith:
- 26,938,805 live websites use WordPress
- 31.91% of the top 1,000,000 websites are using WordPress
- 50% of the websites using a CMS, use WordPress
Now let’s look at a few notable websites on WordPress:
- The New York Times Company
- The Walt Disney Company
- The Clorox Company
- Boston Market
- Toyota Motors of Brasil
- Dassault Aviation
- Facebook Newsroom
- Sony Music
Everyone from publishing companies and universities to banks and consumer product companies uses WordPress. This wide adoption and usage shows you the true capabilities of WordPress and that it truly is so much more than a simple blogging platform.
Is WordPress only for blogs? It is and it isn’t
You see where I’m going with this? Because a content management system makes it so easy to publish stuff, a lot of people use it for blogging. An article a day? No worries. Type in the title, type in your article, select a category, and press publish.
Home, About Us, Menu, Services, Testimonials, Contact Us. All simple pages to build in WordPress. In fact, WordPress comes with a specific feature for building those types of pages and, in many cases, it adds them to your main menu as you add them. Start with a home page. Add a second page when you’re ready. Feeling industrious on a Thursday night? Add a third.
WordPress offers prebuilt themes for your business
As an added bonus, there are thousands of WordPress templates out there (some free and some not) that will work for your particular business. Don’t believe me? WordPress.org offers over 3,000 free themes you can quickly download and install. And then there are even more options once you step into the premium theme market.
If you do a search on Google for “[your type of business] WordPress theme” you’ll be amazed at all the industry-specific options that will be available. Most of them are not blog focused. Most of them are built to help you get a basic small-business website up and running.
Want to dig even deeper into themes? You can head on over to the WordPressThemeDector website and see what theme any WordPress website is using. You can also see a list of top WordPress themes in use based on their data. Genesis, Divi, Newspaper, Avada, and Enfold are often the top themes on the list.
GoDaddy offers it’s own list of top themes installed in the Hot 100. Our list shows Twenty Seventeen, Divi, and OceanWP as the current leaders.
If you are a Managed WordPress hosting customer, you have access to lots of great themes too. GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Themes feature 8 pre-built customizable pages, easy drag-and-drop page building, and easy access to thousands of WordPress plugins.
GoDaddy offers WordPress themes for the following industries:
- Arts and Entertainment
- Construction Service
- Drinks and Beverages
- Financial Service
- Food and Drink
- Government Services
- Health and Medical
- Home Service
- Real Estate
- Science and Technology
- Sports and Active Life
- Utility Company
Geeking out a little more
For the truly geeky: I’ve seen WordPress used for project management, real-time chat between teams, classifieds, and even patient management at a hospital. It was set up to track, monitor and update each patient (essentially a post or user in WordPress). If they come back to the hospital? You do a search and edit the same post. You can export the data and run reports and tie it to existing systems at the hospital. Take that clipboards! No more trying to decipher some crazy doctor’s handwriting.
There are thousands of templates to choose from and thousands of plugins to help you extend your website and accomplish more online. It’s a content management system. You add content (a webpage, a blog post, a photo, a calendar, a video, a patient record) and depending on how you’ve set it up, the content displays on your website.
It’s not magic, but it feels like it. And what’s wrong with a little magic in our lives? Magic makes us smile. It impresses our friends. It inspires us to do new things. Try it.
P.S. WordPress is pretty dreamy, but it comes with some risks as well. Just like the software you use on your computer, you’ll want to keep it updated to the latest version to avoid potential security risks and avoid installing anything your not sure is safe. That’s a ton of work. I recommend you go with a Managed WordPress solution, instead of installing it on your own server or on a traditional hosting account. If that doesn’t make a lot of sense to you, don’t worry, just remember the phrase “Managed WordPress.” Search for that, and it should point you in the right direction.
P.P.S. We have amazing Managed WordPress at GoDaddy. Just sayin’.
Image by: I Love Milwaukee