WordPress: It’s not just for blogs

It's magical that way

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.

It’s a Content Management System

WordPress is a content management system. Folks in the industry refer to this as a CMS (that’s important; acronyms make us sound cool; acronyms make us sound like we know what we’re talking about). A content management system? It’s pretty simple. Once configured, it basically works like this:

  1. You open up a page on the Internet.
  2. You fill out a form of some kind.
  3. You press publish.
  4. The CMS takes the stuff you filled out and publishes it on your website.

That’s basically it. I mean, it formats your content and makes it pretty and might add a link to the menu on your website or send a notice to the world that you just published something revolutionary, but that’s the basic idea. Fill out a form, hit publish, and it displays somewhere on your website.

It’s more than (less than) a blog

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.

But just because WordPress makes it easy to write blog posts, it doesn’t mean you have to. The same features that make publishing articles a snap, make it very simple to publish web pages to your website.

 

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.

There are Themes for your business

As an added bonus, there are hundreds of WordPress templates out there (some free and some not) that will work for your particular business. Don’t believe me? Do a search on Google for “[your type of business] WordPress theme” and see what comes up. Most of them are not blog focused. Most of them are built to help you get a basic small-business website up and running.

Check out some of these for examples for possible inspiration:

Sample of a WordPress garage theme

On many of these themes, there’s not a blog section in sight—unless you want there to be one. Just a few relevant pages to show people what you do and how you’re gonna make their lives a little better.

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.

Point is this: WordPress, out of the gate, is great for getting a blog and website up and running.

 

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

Shawn Pfunder
Shawn's been working with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners for more than 20 years. He's consulted companies large and small on communication, social media, and marketing strategies. At heart he's a small-business superfan. He believes that working for yourself is one of the most courageous and creative moves anyone can make. Currently, he's the Editor in Chief for The Garage. When he's not hanging out with solopreneurs, Shawn loves to write, run, and travel. He's passionate about teaching and he's convinced that a good story is the best way to do it — especially if it involves El Caminos, potato fields, and really loud music.