The Hidden Costs of WordPress Websites for Small Business
Using WordPress's blogging and content management system, or toolkit, has become common practice among today's web developers. While WordPress is undoubtedly a powerful system, it can be daunting for a small business owner to use. Setting up and growing a WordPress website involves countless decisions and worries.
Its world of widgets and offerings can leave business owners scrambling to figure out which they need to download, like payment systems or newsletter subscription forms, and what functionalities they need to optimize for, such as new mobile devices or browsers. In addition to those decisions, owners have to understand how and when to install updates for the widgets.
This all takes a lot of time, creates confusion and can ultimately affect a business's bottom line. While WordPress satisfies some (tech savvy) people's needs, many small business owners aren't aware that a WorPpress website can actually harbor these hidden costs. Take a look at three ways using WordPress can affect a business's bottom line and discover a smart alternative to the system.
3 Problems With WordPress
Maintenance Costs: Once a small business website is created, it takes time and money to maintain it. Whether a business develops new products and priorities or needs to update the site's technology for devices and services like the iPad and LinkedIn, these changes to the website can be costly and time intensive.
Opportunity Costs: Many businesses rely on overworked web developers to update their websites, and the job isn't quickly completed. A delay in web updates can stymie a business's marketing efforts. Plus, as new internet technologies are introduced, all WordPress users must individually update and integrate them -- a massive undertaking.
Loss of B2B Collaboration: Trying to integrate your business's marketing message with another business's brand is difficult when you each have uniquely built sites. More importantly, its nearly impossible for small businesses to integrate with partners like banks and insurance professionals. From this perspective, customization can lead to a loss of major business opportunities.
What About "Web Builder" Tools?
Companies such as GoDaddy, Vistaprint, Wix.com and Web.com increasingly have offered "web builder" tools. While these systems can help ease the development of websites, they still create the problem of mass customization and have the same issues as toolkits such as WordPress.
What's the Solution?
In a word, platforms.
Platforms differ from toolkits like WordPress in that a single entity builds a core functionality that can then be personalized by each business using it. The problems we mentioned earlier with WordPress, like figuring out what functionality is necessary on your site can be avoided with a platform, because it's already included -- you don't have to install or update a thing. Examples of successful platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn and Quickbooks.
Small businesses now have access to website-building platforms such as Ocoos, which offer the following benefits:
Core web presence that customers can directly update and personalize.
Standard methods for content creation and integration.
Deep functionality that includes integrated e-commerce, customer relationship management, social network management, data mining, and analytics.
Benefits of Using a Platform
Consumers experience a consistent look and feel when using the website.
Small business have access to to deep functionality (mentioned above) at an affordable price and, unlike a toolkit, do not have to integrate the technology themselves.
Maintenance costs are minimized since they are shared across all users of the platform.
Opportunity costs are eliminated because new internet technologies can be efficiently integrated across the entire platform.
Platforms allow for streamlined partnerships among multiple businesses.
Do Platforms Remove the Need for Digital Marketers?
No. In fact, the opposite is true. With a platform, digital marketers can focus on core marketing tasks and can easily scale the platform as their small business grows.