Every business wants a successful website, but very few businesses know what a successful website needs. Of course success means different things to different people, but a successful website is a similar thing for many businesses. It must have a good user experience for people that land on the website, it must attract visitors and it must convert these visitors into sales.
There are other things that business owners want from their website, but traffic, sales and a nice website for the visitor are the main goals.
In this blog post we look at the must haves of a successful website. The things that a blog post needs to make it work. Some of these things your website may already have, other things you might need to sort out, and lots of the things we can help with.
So, what are the must-haves of a successful website?
1. Modern Design
From a marketing perspective, one of the principles when it comes to promotion, brand awareness, etc… is to be where your potential customers are. Have a quick think! Is your customer reading a local magazine, newspaper, listening to the radio, searching for local businesses in YellowPages?
Yes, maybe. However, the majority, especially the new generation, are on social media, on facebook. And where do they go when they need something? Well… Google, of course. However, to have a piece of that equity in the search results on Google, you need to have a website. You can’t win at the lottery if you never play.
So… Where do you start? Which platform should you use for your website? There are plenty of options out there. Here at Brilliant Digital, we prefer WordPress and in this article, I’ll show you the reasons why.
First, let’s find out what exactly is WordPress.
What is WordPress
WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform that allows people to build a website, and for a typical business owner, the website is the first step in building an online presence.
WordPress is classified as a CMS = Content Management System. A CMS allows you to create, edit, organise and publish your content on the web.
I won’t bore you with all the history and technical details, as there are plenty of great articles who do just that, a great one which goes year by year through the history of WordPress is this. Just know that WordPress hasn’t always been like this.
First time I came across WordPress, was probably back in 2005, where I was playing around with other platforms like Joomla and Drupal. At that time, WordPress was just starting to expand their presence. They started as a blogging platform.
Now, a decade later, not only that they’ve managed to grow to be the best content management system holding around 60% of the market share, while 2nd place is taken by Joomla with just 5.2%, but they also power over 34% of all websites on the internet. That is AMAZING!.
The numbers speak for themselves as to why you should use WordPress for your website, but let’s look at a few more reasons:
1. Affordable Websites
WordPress it’s a FREE software. You can download it from WordPress.org and then install it on your web host to start building your custom website. Many web host companies these days offer a 1-click install, which means you can install WordPress much easier, without having to download the actual software and then manually upload it to your hosting, create the database, etc..
This is NOT to be confused with WordPress.com which is a separate paid hosted solution. It’s still easy to use, you don’t need a separate hosting package, however, you lose a lot of flexibility depending on which paid plan you are.
If you truly want to be in control and own your website, the first option from WordPress.org is the best solution.
The second aspect of WordPress being a cost-effective solution is the fact that you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. Imagine having to pay someone to develop something from scratch, write code black on white, that could cost tens of thousands of pounds, compared to if you already have a platform which allows you to achieve same functionality much easier. That can easily be a 10x saving.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to poo-poo the traditional web development side of things. That has its uses. In 90% of the cases, WordPress + a few extra plugins can accommodate any type of website, however, in certain scenarios, let’s say if you wish your website to connect and pass data to some sort of internal database, which is connected to a different system, that is when a standard plugin might not be enough and you have no choice but to develop that functionality from scratch.
2. WordPress is a Popular Option
As already mentioned above, WordPress is a very popular platform, rapidly growing, currently powering over 34% of all websites on the internet as of right now. That’s a 4% increase from last year.
Out of all the Content Management Systems out there, WordPress is the top option, with a 60% market share.
With such a big user base you have other benefits, like:
- Big developer community – If you ever need help with your website, or let’s say you can’t get hold of your old web designer, with WordPress you will never be stranded, as you’ll always be able to find someone to help you
- Tutorials & Guides: You want to take the matter into your own hands, perhaps learn how to post some articles, or learn how to make some small changes here and there, again, you won’t be disappointed as there are thousands of tutorials on Google or YouTube.
Let’s have a look at some examples of well known brands that use wordpress for their website:
Sweden’s Official Website
3. Easy to use
WordPress is a Content Management System, which means it allows you to control the content of your website in a fairly easy way.
Instead of you having to edit the source code of a website, WordPress comes with an easy to use interface, Admin Panel, where you can add new Posts & Pages to your website, install new plugins, themes and much more.
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you can get into more complex areas, but even then, with the help of a huge variety of plugins available out there, you might be able to solve your problem without having to touch a single line of code.
I guess another benefit which comes as a conclusion of this point, is that you don’t have to completely rely on a web developer, as long as you know what you’re doing.
Here at Brilliant Digital, we offer WordPress training for those who want to manage the website themselves, or we can help manage their website as part of our Website Maintenance Plans.
4. Flexible: Start Small - Grow Big
The great thing about WordPress is the fact that you can start from a very simple website, and then scale it as your business grows.
We’ve helped many business owners start with a one-page website which later on turned into a bigger site. Or we’ve started with all the essential pages, e.g. Home, About, Contact, Services, Portfolio, etc.. and then we worked closely with the client to expand their website and turn it into an online shop.
WordPress is a very flexible solution and you can create pretty much anything you want:
- Brochure websites
- E-commerce websites
- Membership Sites
- Landing Pages & Sales Pages
5. SEO: Google Likes WordPress
Another aspect that we need to look at when building a website is SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the process of optimising your website (on-page SEO), as well as what’s happening around it ( off-page SEO), to rank higher in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc…
First of all, “Content is King when it comes to SEO”. That’s because Google loves new content. So considering WordPress has started as a blogging platform, it allowed users to easily publish new posts, articles => therefore very quickly it got into Google’s good books.
WordPress also allows you to install plugins as we’ve already mentioned above. We can take advantage of that to install an SEO plugin. One of the most popular plugins is Yoast SEO.
Using an SEO plugin, you can optimise your content further, to make it easier for Google to assess how it should rank your website in search results. The more optimised the content is, the higher the chances that you will be ranked in top results.
SEO it’s a little bit more complicated than that, so we’ll have to leave that for another article. Meanwhile, you can check out our local SEO tips guide.
WordPress is the best way to build a new website for your business
Whether you are a new business owner, a startup looking to create a new website for your venture, or perhaps you already have a website which needs updating and you’re looking for a new platform – these are just some of the benefits of why WordPress is the best solution for your business website.
Not only that will save you time and money on the initial website design, but it will also make it easier to manage your website in the future, and allow you to expand, as your business grows.