Why Use WordPress for Your Business?

WordPress now powers over 16% of the websites on the internet.  In fact, WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet (source).  Why is it so popular and why should it be your first choice in powering your business site?

Ease of use


The WordPress user interface is simple and user-friendly.  To edit content on a page, simply click “Pages”, then click the title of your page.  Make your changes using a WYSIWYG editor (similar interface as a Word document) and click “Update”.  Everything just makes sense.  Need to add a blog post or news item?  Click “Add New” under “Posts”, create your post and click “Publish”.

The ability to manage your website pages as well as your blog in the same admin will save time and keep everything centralized.  It is also easy to change SEO settings such as page titles and descriptions without having to get into the code of the site.  For a business owner, there is no better system to manage your online presence.

Integration with 3rd Parties


Because of WordPress’s popularity and large user base, outside service providers love to integrate closely with WordPress.  Most integration comes in the form of plugins, which are like apps for your website.  Plugins are installed on your website and include a huge variety of functionality including adding social networking features, event management, member-protected pages, SEO enhancements, text-resizers, email marketing and countless others.  

If you need special functionality for your site, there is most likely a plugin for it.  For example, last week Facebook announced WordPress integration (in the form of a plugin) that allows your posts to be published to Facebook when you publish to your blog as well as adding activity feeds and send/like/subscribe buttons to your site.  You will not find another CMS that integrates so tightly with Facebook.

Search Engine Optimization


As a business owner, your number one priority is to get visitors to your website so they can learn about what you do and eventually become customers.  WordPress gives you a great base to improve your SEO and get ranked for the keywords your customers are searching.  SEO is made easy with WordPress because of a few factors:

  • Awesome SEO plugins that make it easy to create the right settings for your on-page SEO.  Easily edit page titles and descriptions, add XML sitemaps to help Google index your site and change permalinks (URLs) to include keywords you are trying to target.  All of these things are easy for business owners to do themselves.
  • Ability to easily add content to your site to keep it active and up-to-date.  Google loves websites with original content that is added on a regular basis.  This post is an example of doing just that.
  • WordPress outputs clean code that Google loves.  This makes it easy for Google to see your content and not a huge amount of code that is needed to display that content.
  • Easily shareable content.  With social sharing buttons and new Facebook integration, it is easy for people reading your blog to share your content with their network.  This is the best way to build links for your site.

Instead of hiring an SEO consultant for hundreds of dollars a month, you can do your own SEO by optimizing your on-page settings yourself and publishing valuable content that people will share.  This is the most natural and effective way to build links back to your site, which is ~70% of what goes into your Google ranking.



There is no better platform to to be blogging on.  When WordPress was first launched in May of 2003 it was built off of a purely blogging platform. Since then, it has morphed into a full fledged content management system.  At its core, WordPress is built to be a great way to manage and publish your business blog.  

Tools (plugins), easy management of posts and categories and its user-friendly interface all come together to make it easy for you to publish content on your own, which is the best thing you can do to improve your online presence.


WordPress continues to be the leader in systems to manage your business website because of its ease of use, extensibility, SEO functionality and blogging engine.  By combining your blog with your main website, you can improve your SEO and have just one place to manage everything.  WordPress is continually being improved upon and becomes better with every release.  You can be confident that WordPress will be around for the long term and your website will continue to be supported into the future.

New Addition: Standing Desk

In an effort to reduce time stuck to a chair, I repurposed a storage shelf (originally meant to hold shoes) into a standing desk.  Now I can work standing up for most or all of the day.  Inspired by this article. What other ideas do you have to improve your office ergonomics?

Why You Should Be Blogging

Business owners I talk to are usually reluctant to blog (I know I was until I started).  The excuses can go on and on:

  • I don’t have enough time
  • I don’t know what to write about
  • I don’t think it will do any good

Below are four reasons you should start today, no matter how much you are resisting it.


1. Search Engine Optimization


Blogging is one of the most effective ways to boost your rankings in search engines.  It can also be a cost effective way to improve your SEO without having to hire an outside consultant.

There are a number of reasons blogging can help your SEO efforts and have you ranking higher for your chosen keywords:

  • Google loves original content: Blogging gives you the perfect platform to publish original content on your website.
  • Google loves a website that is growing over time: Every time you publish a new post, you are adding a new page to your website.  Adding pages over time shows Google that the site is active and relevant to its searchers.
  • It builds inbound links: Writing valuable content will naturally lead to more inbound links to your website from other blogs and from social media.  Inbound links (links from other sites to yours) are the biggest factor in ranking high for your given keyword.
  • You can target more keywords: Every post (and therefore page) is a chance to target a different keyword.  Think of every post as a new doorway into your website.


2. Blogging Increases Credibility


Writing content that has value will build credibility for your business.  When a visitor reaches your site, they want to know that a real person is behind it and that the person knows what they are talking about.  Blogging gives you the perfect platform to show-off what you know and become a thought leader in your industry.  Today’s marketing is all about publishing valuable content in exchange for building credibility and trust with your audience.  Give more to get more back.  Credibility is also built by responding to comments within the blog.  You can start a conversation within your site by responding to comments and answering questions.


3. Creates an active web presence


Remember when it was fine to have a website that was an exact replica of your printed brochure?  Today, that will not be enough if you want to attract business online.  Your website has to be a living, growing, active marketing vehicle.  The best way to make this happen?  Blogging.  Website visitors will see that you are staying active, still in business, and staying up-to-date on industry trends.  A blog makes a website a living vehicle that is constantly updated, rather than a static brochure of your business. It gives visitors a reason to come back again to see what you have to say.  They will not come back to see your new services page, that is only something that serves you.  You need to serve the customer with valuable content that gives them a reason to come to your website (this is the basis of inbound marketing).


4. It’s Actually Fun!


I know it’s hard to imagine, but blogging for your business can actually be fun.  Blogging does not have to be another thing you check off the list.  It can be engaging, rewarding and enjoyable.  Here are three reasons why:

  • The process: The act of coming up with new ideas, researching those ideas and writing about them can be somewhat therapeutic. You can expand on the subjects that have been stuck in your head and get them out for the world to see.  What benefit is all your knowledge without allowing other people to benefit from it?
  • The conversation: It can be nerve-racking when you get that first comment on a post you have written and need to decide how to respond. But once the ball is rolling, it can be engaging and rewarding.  It gives your website a sense of being alive and makes you think deeper about your subject or industry.
  • The results: What can be more fun than seeing results.  Over time you will be building more links, increasing visitors to your website and ultimately creating more leads for your business.


What are your thoughts on blogging?  Has it been good for your business?

What is a Responsive Website?

Responsive websites are websites that change their formatting based on the size of the browser they are being viewed on.  They change in response to the size of the window, essentially transforming your normal website into one that is mobile ready.

The website you are reading is built using responsive techniques.  If viewing this on a desktop computer, you can resize your browser window by dragging from the bottom right corner.  As you make the width of the site smaller, you will see the site reformat.  This is all done without the need for a another mobile website that would need to be built and maintained separately.

There are normally three different formats that the website will conform to to optimize the viewing experience:



The website will look and function as a standard desktop site, optimized for browser widths of ~900 pixels and larger.  The website will look something like this:

Desktop Formatting

Formatted for Desktop



Images will resize to fit the screen size more appropriately.  Menus and website elements may change their placement to better fit the viewing experience on a tablet device.

Formatted for Tablet

Formatted for Tablet



All content on the website is reduced to one column to eliminate the need to “pinch and zoom” to read small text on a mobile device.  The main navigation is also changed to a dropdown, that makes navigation easier on a mobile device.

Formatted for Phone

Formatted for Phone


Why should you care?

Because you can future proof your website for all future mobile devices, regardless of what operating system or brand of phone your visitors are using.  Responsive websites respond to the width of the browser, not the make or operating system of the device it is being viewed on. When the next new device hits the market, whether it be a new tablet or smart phone, your site will be ready to conform to its screen size.

The other huge advantage that responsive websites have is that you only have to maintain the content on one website.  Your content can be made in one place, but be optimized for viewing in three different formats.  This is contrary  to a separate mobile website where you would have to update content on your main website and then go and update again on the mobile version.  Responsive sites reduce the extra time and cost out of maintaining a cross platform web presence.


http://namevine.com will search domain name availability while also searching for available social media handles for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Youtube.  An added benefit is that is also gives suggestions as you type.  Instead of using Godaddy.com to see if a domain is available, Namevine is a much more powerful tool.

Why It’s Important to Hire a Web Design Specialist

When you look to hire a person or company to build your website, you have a lot of choices:

  • A freelance web designer / A web design company
  • A graphic designer
  • A PR agency
  • A Hybrid SEO, Web Design, Graphic design shop

Why is it important that you choose one that is a specialist in web design and not in the many other facets of design or marketing?  The answer is simple: there is too much to learn, understand and master if that is not their sole profession.  To be proficient at web design, the person/company building the site must have the following tools and knowledge specific to websites :

  • Knowledge of the Technical Components: an understanding of the coding behind the site and how it is structured and optimized.
  • Usability:  an understanding of what makes a website easy to navigate and easy to find information with the least friction possible.
  • Search Engine Optimization: a technical knowledge of what makes a site look good to Google and other search engines and ways to optimize the site to rank well.
  • Aesthetics: a knowledge of what makes a website pleasing to the eye while being formatted for optimal usability.
  • WordPress / Other CMS’s: the WordPress content management system is always improving.  It takes time to stay up on what those changes are and how to get the most out of them.
  • Design Trends:  the person/company building your website should be up to date on the latest trends so that your website can not only look modern, but also have the longest useful life before it looks outdated.
  • New Technologies:  Every day, new technologies are emerging that you will wish your website had if they were on top of the new trends.  Responsive design is a perfect example of this.

So how do you know if the person building your site is a website specialist?  Look out for people/companies that claim they do it all.  If they do logo design, brochure design, social media, SEO, and web design – they are probably not sufficient in any of those.  Each vertical takes a different skill set and bank of knowledge to be proficient.  It is best to find a company that focuses on websites, and only websites, that can also refer you to other professionals that are experts in their respective fields.


Becoming Mobile Ready

Are you ready for the mobile revolution?  There are a few options when it comes to creating a mobile experience for your customers.

  1. Create a standalone mobile website for your business.
    A mobile website is a separate website that visitors are redirected to when accessing your site from a mobile device.  A standalone mobile website acts more like a native application for your phone, but it is not downloaded from an “App Store”.  This means you can build one mobile app that works on all devices and is very user friendly.  The major drawback? You must manage two separate websites (both desktop and mobile).
  2. Create a mobile app for your business.
    The most expensive option, but all the most native experience.   A native app for your business must be downloaded in an app store and can only be used on the device it is designed for.  Therefore, you must build separate apps for each device you want to reach.  Also, you must manage each app individually as well as your desktop site.  This option is only recommended for very large companies with resources and personel to manage build and manage applications.
  3. Utilize responsive design in your website.
    Try resizing this website.  You will see that the format changes based on the size of the browser window.  The website will be optimized to look the best on the device it is being viewed on (be it phone, tablet, or desktop).  The biggest advantages? Less expensive and only one site to manage.  This is the most recommended option for a small business owner.
  4. Add mobile plugins to your website.
    If your website is built on WordPress, there are plugins that you can add to the website to optimize its formatting for mobile devices.  The cons?  Pages of your website are not formatted well.  This option is really designed for viewing a blog on a mobile device, not a full business website.  This is the cheapest option, but carries the least desirable results.


Small businesses should look into responsive websites for its cost advantages and ease of management.  If you have the money and resources, a native app will have the best user experience.

What are your thoughts on mobile websites?

this website

Is your business listed in all of the local search engines? When you are a local business, being found in local directories is key for local search. Use this website to check the status of your business in all the major, relevant local search engines.

What’s the Acronym: CMS

CMS = Content Management System

A content management system is a backend built into your website that allows you to edit pages or posts on your website using a visual editor (somewhat like a Word Document).  A CMS will allow you to edit content in your pages and add posts to your blog, basically giving you (the business owner) a way to manage your website.  A CMS gives your website a backend that you can login into to make changes to your website.  Examples of a CMS are: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.