Social Media Works recommends using
an installation of WordPress running on your own servers.
The term WordPress can cause some confusion.
Think of WordPress like software running on your computer.
Microsoft Word gives you the ability to edit content. Your email program allows you to send a message out to the internet. WordPress is software that is accessed through your web browser. It allows you to edit content (like Word) and send “messsages” (content) out to the internet.
A site running on WordPress is optimized for easily publishing and changing content. Fresh, unique content is essential for getting good search engine rankings.
It can be used to build a simple blog OR an entire complex website. Your blog and your website become one. Your blog is just a SECTION on your website.
Your entire website will be running a content management system (CMS) tool that manages the creation and updates to web pages on your site. This gives you a lot of power under the hood and small or medium businesses an easy way to manage their web site. No more calling your web developer every time you have a change to make!
Businesses have 2 options for getting up and running.
WordPress.org provides a download of the open source blogging software called WordPress. This gets installed on your hosting provider and will be accessed by going to your www.yourdomainname.com. Social Media Works will set up your hosting and install for you. With this option, WordPress runs on your own web host.
WordPress.com provides a quick and easy way to get a blog online. User can sign up and create a WordPress blog immediately, for free. This is a multi-user version of WordPress that hosts thousands of blogs. The free version gives you BASIC features. With this option, WordPress runs on the WordPress.com web host.
Businesses should understand the pros and cons of each.
|Your Setup Time||5 minutes||None – Social Media Works does this for you!|
|Registering a domain name with us is only $14.97/year, and mapping an existing domain name is $9.97/year||No extra charge|
|Themes||Must choose only from their list of themes available, and you cannot customize them directly||Endless selection, customizable. FREE options available, but we recommend Premium Themes (typically $29-$200) for customization, very advanced layouts & functionality.|
|Plug-ins||Cannot install plug-ins to extend the functionality of your site||Endless selection, customizable. A very powerful and inexpensive way to add functionality to your website.|
|Search Engine Optimization||OK||Need plug-ins to gain the best SEO advantage|
|Extra Storage||Add 5 GB for $19.97/year, 15 GB for $49.97/year, or 25 GB for $89.97/year.||Included in your hosting plan|
|Custom CSS||$14.97/year||Available through themes for FREE|
|Video||$59.97/year||Available through plugins for FREE|
|Ads||Sometimes they show ads on your site, and you are not making money on this option. Also no control over the ads that appear. It will seem you are endorsing them.Removing this is $29.97/year||No Ads by default. Businesses can add their own ads and make extra money!|
|Unlimited users||$29.97/year||Included with install|
|Affiliate marketing||Limits on affiliate programs, multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. Don’t limit your options.||No limitations|
|Future Options for your Website||Your site will always be limited by the WordPress.com options||Gives you the ability to customize things later on. Unlimited options, including eCommerce, Membership sites and more.|
“You get what you pay for.”
If you want anything free, then you are at the mercy of the provider because you have not earned or paid for it. If your business appears cheap (by not investing in a professionally hosted blog and domain) why would a potential customer purchase services or products from it? It’s a competitive market, if you want to compete, you’ll have to look professional and be professional.
“Can’t I start at WordPress.com then move it later?”
Sure, but why go through the hassle of starting it there when you plan on moving it later? Plus after the move, the search engines will re-index your entire site, which could take months, and you would lose all your previous listings!
Why invest the time in created a blog and building a web presence if your options are so limited? If your blog is successful, it won’t be long before you outgrow the free option. Time and money will be wasted when you go back and build it the “proper way.”
WordPress.com is a great way to start a hobby or special interest blog, but for small businesses, it is too limited to be a long-term option.