WordPress for small business

 

This article is discussing WordPress for small business (entrepreneur wise) and is part of Engagement based dialog via email featuring tools for business.

TDLR:

  • Best use of WordPress
  • Plugins ecosystem
  • List of plugins I use on every project
  • Case studies (aka self-promotions)
  • Common concerns

Best use of WordPress for small business

  • Solution for blogging, i.e., the speedy launch of a tool for content marketing
  • Relatively simple online stores (we generally use it for 20 – 500 SKUs range)
    • Digital products in particular
  • Promo sites
    • e.g., we build WordPress thing while coded an app on a subdomain in the second repository
  • Relatively standard building features, e.g.
    • marketplaces
    • membership sites
    • digital products
    • podcasts
    • learning platforms etc.

Plugin ecosystem review

I’d say there are three source categories of plugins and themes for WordPress.

  1. WordPress directories. Plugins and themes are free or at least have a freemium model. If you have a general query like ‘something to kick start a blog‘ browse through ‘popular \ trending’ lists. On my second guess and 1 hour of some HTML & CSS clean up I ended up with http://blog.website-costs-calculator.online
  2. Envato marketplace. So-called premium themes & plugins. Generally, much higher quality and features included because developers get profit for each sale. I also noticed a significant shift toward niche solutions over the years – e.g., themes for real estate, auto renting, beauty services, etc.
  3. Stand-alone solutions. E.g., WPMU Dev guys selling their plugins on a subscription model, App Sumo plugins

List of plugins I use

  • Easy Social Share Buttons
    • They might be easy, but with a crazy amount of settings, every social network possible, friendly analytics and what I recently discovered is popup forms to collect emails (duh)
    • Drop me a line if you want the zip archive to try it out before buying. It is a full version, but I think its ethical thing to rewards a developer for such a masterpiece)
  • Intercom
    • Well, yes, it is not WordPress plugin per se, but I just like the tool.)
  • OneSignal. Push notifications
  • Yoast SEO
    • Thinking about switching to the Premium version, but $100 per ‘redirects’ feature is too much
  • Occasionally I use Slider Revolution. It is a slider but with so many features that you can build a website with it alone.
  • Here is also a list worth checking out. However, I never used any of the items listed myself
    • AffiliateWP. Quite a straightforward way to build an affiliate marketing channel. Things to keep in mind:
      • Affiliate thing only works if you sell directly on the website (e.g., e-commerce or digital products)
    • Easy Digital Downloads. “From eBooks to WordPress plugins, to PDF files and more, we make selling digital products a breeze.”
  • I don’t use any visual builders to create unique templates. It slows down a page (load time) a lot, while the better result achieved via custom coding & templates built in WordPress (our entire site https://the.gt/ is built on WordPress by the way)

Addressing common concerns

WordPress is only for blogging

It was and still is the best fit for blogging, but nowadays via plugins and themes, WordPress can be extended to simple online stores (we generally use it for 10 – 500 SKUs range), online learning platforms, membership sites and many more.

It is slow

Many custom coded sites are bulky as well. It does not mean that PHP or Python is slow.

None of the big companies use it

They do actually