Within the last six months, my graphic and web design business has seen a shift. WordPress-powered sites are becoming quite popular with my clients. And who can blame them? The features a blog-based site gives them outstrips old, static websites. Also I’m finding this powerful content management system has something to offer everyone.
Here are my Top 5 Features Customers are asking for with WordPress.
1. Control Over Their Content
When I visit with a new client. I can tell you the first topic they bring up. It goes something like this, “I have this website, [insert name of young relative, inexpensive web design co. found in yellow pages, or themselves] designed it. It’s okay, but I can’t update it, and when I want to it takes days to update it.” Sound familiar? It’s a refrain I hear from clients all the time. WordPress solves this by putting the control over content back in the proper place, the site’s owner. With the user-friendly dashboard interface, I can train most people on how to update their site once it’s set up and customized in a matter of hours. Want to update your site? Take your pick of pages, posts or widgets and you’re ready to go. Clients love that they can ask for a certain look and feel to their site with WordPress and then it can be turned back over to them to expand and develop their site and online brand the way they want.
2. Tie Social Networks into My Site
Many of my customers are dipping their toes in the social networks or they have dived themselves and their company whole-heartedly into social marketing. A blog-based site helps you wherever you stand or “swim.” With the thousands of plugins available for WordPress and the ease of which sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn make it to cross-reference and cross-populate your social networks, the hours spent tweeting about your latest project or the comments you’ve gotten on your work on Facebook can all be featured on your homepage. With automated features such as tweeting your latest blog post, making social media marketing a part of your marketing mix, a WordPress blog becomes very attractive.
3. I want easy-breezy, lemon-squeezy ways to upload photos and video
By giving my clients some training on WordPress, I find they pick up rather quickly on how to upload and feature their photos and videos in WordPress and, more importantly, on their website. I have a real estate firm, Dan Helwig, Inc. Realtors that is using WordPress to feature the properties the want customers to know about. They upload hundreds of image every year and WordPress helps them feature all of them and a few “special” properties on their homepage. WordPress makes it easy.
4. Migrate my old content to my new blog
Another client of mine, Environmental & Engineering Solutions, Inc. recently added a WordPress blog to it’s site. By doing so, they were able to eliminate the older model of creating a subscriber-only area on their site for newsletters and information. By migrating all of this past content over to the blog, we were able to quickly add existing content to the blog (enhance SEO) and organize the content chronologically to offer EES clients a searchable, tagged database of all its past articles, related websites and commentary on environmental engineering issues. The subscriber model has changed a bit, rather than supplying an email to access the information, a customer can now subscribe to the blog’s feed and be updated automatically when EES posts something new. It greatly simplifies the site for the user, enables them to find what the want when they want it, and keeps EES in the front of their mind for future projects.
5. I need to organize my site
Another way WordPress helps is by organizing content in a fashion most people can understand. With Categories, Pages, Posts and Widgets, I haven’t found a business or organization yet that can’t benefit from organizing their content in this fashion. I find it particularly powerful for non-profit organizations that have upcoming events and updates for members to be able to post the latest information for its members and the public. Two recent examples I’ve worked on are MidAtlantic Tax Solutions, Inc., a firm that helps homeowners reduce their property taxes and Flourtown Fire Company, both are enjoying new WordPress-based sites. MidAtlantic is enjoying the fact that update no longer take hours to complete and are excited by the ability to expand the site along with the business. Flourtown Fire Company, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization also is enjoying being able to update the site soon after responding to an incident, but also the ability for multiple members to update the site and feature upcoming events. The various areas of the company from Ladies Auxiliary, to officers and its rich 100-year history all have a place on the site and can easily cross-reference with one another through tags and categories.
As you can see I’m a big fan of WordPress and have been finding it answers the needs of my customers. What are your thoughts on WordPress and what are your favorite features? Let me know below. Until next time, Tim