Guest blog for Medium: November 2016
You’ve probably heard of WordPress as a blogging platform, but did you know that it’s evolved into a mainstream and powerful Content Management System (CMS)? Without you realising it, WordPress has become the most widely used CMS in the world. The reason for this is simply because it’s so adaptable. Not only is WordPress great for blogging, but it can also be used to create eCommerce and lead generation sites.
In this article, we’ll look at why WordPress is the best choice for your lead generation website.
WordPress is an open source project (or free) and so there is a thriving community based around making the thousands of plugins that facilitates eCommerce sites. One of the most popular of these plugins is called WooCommerce. This is another open source project and is powering 30% of all online stores.
A company called WooThemes created the WooCommerce plugin especially for WordPress. WooThemes had been making WordPress themes for quite some time before developing their own eCommerce software, so they were able to create a plugin that seamlessly integrated into existing WordPress sites.
WooCommerce not only gives your WordPress site eCommerce capabilities, but it also integrates with your backend systems so you can better manage your stock.
As WooCommerce is powering more eCommerce stores than any other platform in the world, there are plenty of web developers with vast experience of working with it, and so you’re not tied to using only WooCommerce’s developers, giving you lots of freedom to choose.
Wide range of compatible payment gateways
WooCommerce allows a large number of payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, SagePay. You’ll need to carefully consider which payment platforms you choose, as they require different levels of security safeguards imposed on you by the credit card companies.
I’ll quickly run through a couple of the more popular payment gateways, so you can see which ones might be right for your eCommerce site.
WorldPay: the WorldPay WooCommerce plugin enables your site to take card payments. Your customers will be redirected to a page hosted by WorldPay. You can customise this payment page with your own brand’s colours and logo, so your customers won’t necessarily realise they’ve temporally left your site. The page might take a few seconds longer to load but using WorldPay’s site means your website doesn’t need so many security safeguards.
PayPal: WooCommerce already supports PayPal so you won’t need to download a plugin. Your customers will be directed to PayPal’s site where they can either pay for the goods they’ve ordered from you with their existing PayPal account or enter a credit or debit card.
Many customers prefer PayPal accounts because it saves them time, as they don’t have to enter their card details all over again. The problem for retailers though is that PayPal’s payment page encourages users to sign up for a PayPal account, which could distract them from carrying out their purchase with your company.
For more in-depth information on eCommerce payment gateways, check out Raison’s article.
WordPress sites are good for SEO
WordPress follows many best practices for SEO and so you don’t need to make many tweaks from a technical SEO point of view. All you need to do is just continue to ensure that your pages are optimised for the right keywords so that your site starts earning backlinks from other relevant websites. This will enhance your company’s profile in the eyes of Google and help you to rank more highly in online searches.
However, if you’d like a little extra SEO boost, WordPress offers many SEO plugins, such as Yoast and All in One SEO. Yoast encourages you to write better copy by writing with particular keywords in mind. This gets you into the habit of thinking about keywords from the outset. While All in One SEO, is a much more comprehensive package. It allows you to craft meta tags and avoid creating duplicate content, as well as a bunch more other features that will boost your SEO impact.
Use themes or custom designs
This is an area where WordPress really shines because there are countless options as to how you have your WordPress site designed. For users on a small budget, there are thousands of cost effective themes available for download online.
This option is fine for local businesses, as it’s unlikely that a competitor will have the exact same design as yours. Even if a website on the other side of the world does share a similar design, they’re probably not going to be selling the same goods as your company. You could pay more money for a web developer to further customise your site, but there’s not much point if your business is unlikely to be confused with anyone else’s.
WordPress themes come in many different styles. The one you choose will be dependent on your particular needs. If you’re only blogging, you might stick with a very simple and general design, but if you’re looking to expand your site out into eCommerce or lead generation, then you’ll want something a little more tailored to suit your specific needs.
WordPress has a great many themes to choose from, just make sure you choose one that’s compatible with WooCommerce.
If you’d like a more flexible theme for your site and one you can make simple changes to yourself, you should consider downloading Storefront.
WooCommerce designed Storefront, so it has been constructed to work seamlessly on your WooCommerce site. Storefront comes with lots of customisable features, enabling you to change the look and feel of your site to your needs.
For businesses looking to go beyond Storefront’s offered features, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a web developer who can tailor your Storefront theme. Much like WooCommerce and WordPress, Storefront is also open source and so developers are actively encouraged to develop new code.
Great developer support
The open source nature of WordPress has encouraged large adoption of the platform and because the code is freely available any developer can code for it. This community based system means you’re not tied to one developer, unlike if you’re using a propriety CMS system. This gives you greater freedom to hire whichever developer you like, which is especially good if you and your developer no longer see eye-to-eye. WordPress’s popularity means there’s a good chance another developer can pick up the code and make the changes you want.
Is WordPress the right choice for your lead generation site?
Get in touch with Attract and Convert and we’ll build a site that meets your exact requirements.