Disclaimer: I read an article with (almost) this title today, and it was so close to the mark in some places, I wanted to add my own input to the global discussion.

When Should I Use WordPress for a Business Site?

WordPress is perfect for most types of small- and medium-sized business sites. It has advanced in every quadrant to become a top-flight CMS. It is free and open-source, and it’s fully search-engine-optimizable (SEOable), as long as a decent theme is used or built.

A high percentage of small and medium business web sites consist of:

  • static information, including
    • company profile
    • services
    • marketing messages
    • case studies of past clients
    • testimonials
    • etc.
  • contact information and email form
  • a blog
  • basic social media integration, such as facebook like buttons, retweet, etc.
Easy Content Management

All of these needs are readily fulfilled by WordPress, in a way that makes sense for most businesses.

A top complaint of business owners is the difficulty of maintaining their company’s web site. Because WordPress has beautiful, simple user interface design, clients who have owned web sites with clunky custom admin areas love using WordPress.

Writing and editing content is done in an editor that looks a little like Microsoft Word. Content maintenance becomes (almost) fun.

Galleries of Work

Many companies, including Quoin, need to display images of their work. There are a wide array of gallery plugins available for use on commercial sites. If you know CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), you can tailor them to work with your site’s branding.

Search Engine Optimization

WordPress-based sites are able to reach the heights of PageRank and hits in whatever keyword niche (or swath) you’re targeting. Available tools for SEO include

  • Automated XML Site Maps which notify Google when you post new content
  • Custom page titles, meta data for each page and post

Tools for categorizing and tagging your posts help both your users and Google’s search robots browse and organize what they’re seeing.

Content Management Permissions

Another tool provided out-of-the-box by WordPress is multiple levels of user access which allow you to tailor content management work flows to your company’s organizational chart.

Depending on how you set it up,

  • subscribers can have access to read and comment on the site,
  • contributors can post drafts which…
  • editors can then check over before posting
  • and of course administrators have god-like powers of creating and deleting any content and any user.
Company Intranet Site

Using the Private WP plugin, you can even create an simple, easy intranet site for your company to keep everyone on the same page. Yes, it still comes with the RSS feed, so everyone gets real-time updates even if they’re not visiting the site on a regular basis.

When shouldn’t I use WordPress for a Business Site?

Be Cautious with E-Commerce, Forums, & Social Networking

If you’re considering a specialized use for WordPress, such as an e-commerce (shopping cart) site, a forum (such as a software support forum where users can get answers about their product), or a social networking site, There are plugins out there for you. Make sure you (or your site developer) set up a test site that you can give a dry run before you put time and money into developing a custom WordPress theme (or even customizing an existing template). Some of these plugins work great. Others should be avoided.

High-Volume Sites with a Lot of Hits

WordPress can place a lot of demands on a server. Depending on how the site is contructed, the number of calls for external files can be on the high side. Thus, if the site is getting a high number of hits, a custom CMS is a good idea, or at least one in which some more control is available over the amount of resources the admin or dashboard area requires.

Custom Data Requirements

Larger sites with unusual custom data requirements might be able to still use WordPress, however, by the time the WordPress core has been customized to hold the data, you might be better off building from the ground up, or using another framework that is more specialized.

What’s the most unusual use of WordPress you’ve seen?

Seen a great idea lately? Please comment.
Quoin customizes and develops WordPress themes every day. If you’d like to learn more, just Email Us.