November 9, 2011
Okay, if not WordPress, try Joomla. But, the key is to have access to your own Content Management System. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
You are a small business and need a web presence? You have little if no software skills? I guess that describes about 99% of us, except those whose business is software!
First, know why you are going on the web in the first place. To be found and to be talked about. Both of these are going to need content; lots of it. A website that does not publish content frequently is dead – search engines give up on it, your repeat visitors come back once and see the same old stuff they saw a week back and are gone; never to return.
So, the investment in website development for your company is more than just a one time investment; it is a continuous process. You need to keep changing the text and the pictures to keep the search engines and visitors interested.
Do get your website professionally done. In fact, even if you are a software company, consider this. Web-design may not be your core competence area. Give it to a professional to do. Drive the strategy and branding, by all means but leave the execution to the experts.
But, and this is important, choose the development platform yourself. Remember, the content has to be kept updated? If your vendor did the development using technology that you did not understand, then every time you change anything on any of the pages of the website, you will need to go back to the vendor to change it. And, that will mean a recurring cost.
When we re-did our website, we looked for a vendor with specific skills on building using WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System).
What does that mean?
It basically means that I have a powerful editor, easy to use at my command which I can use anytime to nip, tuck and even chop and change my website- long after my vendor is gone.
Change the navigation of this link? Sure, 30 seconds. Re-write the copy of the home page? 30 minutes to write and 30 seconds to publish. Change the image on the homepage? 3 minutes. Create a new promotions page and add it to the site? 30 minutes.
Bonus: Have a SEO friendly site with a structured sitemap the search-engines love, thousands of plug-ins for adding functionalities like search, ecommerce, social sharing and so on.
How can you NOT be on WordPress?
Okay, you can be on Joomla or Drupal or other open source CMS platforms too. We used WordPress and we know it worked great for us.
But, isn’t WordPress a blogging platform? I don’t want my site to look like a blog.
All I can say is that it won’t. Ours does not! Ours is simple, but there are some really complex sites out there developed on WordPress or other such open source content management systems.
Go ahead, give it a shot!
One more thing, if you want to know how to play with the WordPress backend and you know nothing about software, fear not. Consider starting your blog first on wordpress dot com. Takes very little time to get the hang of it. Once you know it, be aware that your website’s CMS will work EXACTLY the same way.
Anindya Chatterjee is an international sales and marketing leader based out of New Delhi, India. He now runs Anwesha CRM, http://www.anwesha.in, a software products and solutions company that makes hosted software for sales, marketing, distribution and inventory management.