Wordpress has moved far beyond its blogging roots to become a powerful tool for online retailers.
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There’s a misconception that WordPress is for just for blogging. In reality, it is an incredibly robust, intuitive content management system that makes maintaining your website less complicated, and some may even say a little bit fun.
WordPress is an incredibly flexible site building application allowing you to add just about any feature you can think of through the WordPress plugin library.
While all web hosts allow you to install WordPress, Managed WordPress hosting has been specifically optimised for WordPress websites.
With automatic WordPress installation, backups and software and security updates, it’s more like a concierge service that deals with the technical hosting side of getting a website – allowing you to get on with designing your site, publishing content, and running your business.
Managed WordPress is for small businesses who want a robust website but don’t have the technical hosting knowledge needed to insure your site loads fast and is ready for large traffic spikes. Managed WordPress helps to take care of that for you.
Like any tool, it’s important to get the basics right to help get the most out of it. Below is a list of hints and tips for getting the most out of WordPress.
1. The dashboard
The dashboard is the control room that allows you to navigate your entire website. The menu bar on the left of the dashboard provides the option to do what you want, with submenus dropping down from each item you select.
Before you start, it’s helpful to understand the difference between posts and pages, and the benefits of each. A post works for things that will be updated frequently, such as blog or news articles.
A page works best for content such as a contact section, something unlikely to need updating very often. Most themes will display your most recent posts by default. However, you can change this setting to always display a page.
2. Appearance menu
A picture can tell a thousand words, and as a business you want those words to be positive. The appearance menu lets you select a theme, upload a new one, and even make customisations. Your website is the online shop window for your business, so you need it to be visually consistent with your branding.
3. Plugins menu
Plugins are ways to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress, and tailor them to your website needs. There are over 43,000 plugins that let you add functionality to your site like online appointment setting, event calendars, and ticket sales…just about any feature you might need.
WordPress is designed to be agile, and you can add as many, or as few, plugins as you choose. Get the basic plugins installed first – those that address things like security – before tweaking and experimenting with more advanced additions.
While we’re on security, make sure your Managed WordPress site is secured with an SSL certificate. SSL certificates secures information collected on your website, and as an added bonus, Google places importance on sites with an SSL certificate in place, helping your site to rank higher in search results.
Take time when selecting the theme for your site. WordPress comes with several defaults installed, and there are many free themes to choose from beyond the default options – all of which are customisable.
The theme impacts the background colour and layout of your content, so think about the impression you want to leave with visitors, your brand image, as well as the customer journey.
There should be a flow to navigating your pages, and a good experiment is to start on your homepage and see for yourself how many clicks it takes to get to a certain section. If you feel like it’s too many, tweak the layout.
5. Adding content
Most content is added via a page or post. Once you’ve started a new one of either, you can enter a title, which acts as the headline to the content. You will see two tabs on the right, “Visual” and “Text”. Make sure you are editing in the “Visual” tab. The “Text” tab shows you the code markup if you need to make specific code changes.
You can save an item in draft format if it isn’t yet finished. This saves your changes, but doesn’t make them live to your website. Only posts and pages that are published will be visible, so you have the ability to play around with content until it’s perfect.
When it comes to WordPress, the most important thing is to take your time. For any business, having a strong online presence is becoming increasingly important. Starting with an engaging site using Managed WordPress helps your brand look professional, your site be more secure and load faster, making it more likely for visitors to return and do business.