by John Vanover, founder and owner of Buildbuyer, a marketing & technology company that is celebrating 15 years of assisting independent business grow.
The short answer yes. The long answer is yes, but it’s no free ride. Expect to budget both monthly and yearly for updates, monitoring, and server costs.
6 Things to Consider When Building Business WordPress
- Open source is not free. Build monthly and yearly WordPress maintenance into your budget
- Make the most of WordPress Core and utilize the WordPress API for best security practices and integration with other systems (Salesforce, Quickbooks, etc.)
- Use Plugins & Themes with caution. A few great ones go a long way. Always delete unused.
- Only use 3rd party plugins, widgets, themes, etc from developers who are actively supporting and developing them (see reviews in wordpress.org.)
- Keep researching new customer services tools for WordPress sites, there’s something new and cool every day launching.
- Make it open and as public as possible. A few simple verification tools along with occasional human monitoring can make your WordPress site an engaging customer hub in the World Wide Web.
Even taking into account the consistent, even constant, security vulnerabilities that come with running WordPress, relative to other options WordPress can offer a solid platform on which small and medium sized business can actively manage their web and digital assets.
From apps to docs to transactions WordPress can scale as your small business grows. But no, open source is not free. And no, WordPress cannot do everything you will want it to. But it can, if you set it up right and manage its limitations, be a business building hub in the World Wide Web.
First and last issue for your WordPress site, of course, is security. Do you know how many WordPress sites are infected with malware and don’t even know it? Security maintenance and planning is not optional in a WordPress environment. You will get hacked. It WILL happen. You will get malware and will not even know it because why would the hackers want you to know they have compromised your site?
There are obviously a million primers on WordPress Security planning out there, so I will just add this – have a human being review your WordPress security every month. Whether an hour or two, whatever it its, don’t think WordPress security can be automated %100. Given the byzantine nature of how WordPress does its updates, it will behoove you to have somebody review your site’s WordPress, theme, and plugins version at least every month, as well as anti-malware software scans on a regular schedule.
Second, and just as important is, how does WordPress build my business? The nice thing I think about WordPress stems from its blogger software roots, in that all the hard parts about creating and managing users, files, tags, and categories is all ready to go Day 1. Whether you need the full tool kit is another question. But the tools to open up your digital doors, show people finely searchable stuff, encourage them to sign up, sign in, enter card here, it’s all here and ready to be customized to your workflow.
Because let’s face it, the World Wide Web still has a lot of Wild Wild West in it. Between hackers, spambots, and phishers it’s a wonder anybody wanders out in the WWW at all. So first, you want to have a safe environment for your visitors/members/customers. But you also want to give them some tools, some searches, some offers. WordPress properly configured can provide real value to your all your site’s visitors, from first timers to ancient customers.
And finally, the real reason why use WordPress for your growing small business is, it’s still better than anything else out there. Now let me explain. Yes there are are ‘better’ CMS systems out there. But guess what, when your ‘better’ CMS breaks who’s going to fix it? WordPress wins out as the best CMS not because of its code but because of the humongous world of designers, developers, and coders working around it. Need a WordPress site fixed? Jeez, that’s going to be a difficult person to find (sarcasm alert.)
WordPress is not a perfect product, and it is frequently beset with ongoing security vulnerabilities. But as long as you understand its limitation and actively manage security, WordPress can be a good customer sales and service hub in that volatile marketplace known as the World Wide Web.