Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What’s All the Hype About Wordpress

by: Sandi Smith

First of all, let’s define Wordpress. It is a blog platform. At first glance, it’s attractive because Google ranks blogs higher than web sites. But that’s only under certain conditions.

There are two flavors of Wordpress: and I’ll take each one in turn.

Originally, I was thinking that a few of my customers with really small sites could save hosting fees if they switched to I’m always looking for ways to save my customers money, especially now. But then I looked into it with the help of my very smart assistant and found out about all the limitations, and it just didn’t make sense. is a web application that you can use to start your blog or online presence. It requires no hosting platform, no downloading of files, and no programming. That’s the plus side. Unfortunately, the con side is huge: you cannot use your own URL or domain name ( You are limited by what you can put on your site, including selling links. And you are very limited in formatting your blog. is good for these things: if you are running a hobby and not a business, if you want a personal or family blog such as for Christmas letters or to document the kids’ progress. has too many limitations for a serious entrepreneur. is a very robust programming application that you can download, load onto your hosting platform, and set up and use as a web site. Thousands of people are doing it.

You still need to pay a hosting fee. You don’t need to know HTML, but the application is so robust that there is a learning curve. If you are not technical at all, then you will need to hire someone who is technical to set it up for you. Someone – you or a contractor – will need to go through the learning curve.

It took me about 1-2 hours to download and load the files to my web site. If you use GoDaddy as your host, the file load is automated. After you load the files, you’re ready to get your Wordpress site set up. The time it takes to set up varies on how many pages you have, what plug-ins and themes you want, and a myriad of other factors. is extremely flexible and there are many plug-ins that you can use to increase its robustness. One of the big benefits is that your web visitors can be much more interactive on a Wordpress site than they can on your web site. That’s a great reason to convert.

The next good reason to convert is the search engine ranking. If you’re setting up a new site, your rank will be higher than if you set up a web site. If you have an old site that is ranked highly, then you can move your URL to a Wordpress site and maintain the ranking. What you don’t want to do is start over with a new URL if your old URL has some years on it, because Google values age very highly.

If you have a huge site that you have not updated in a long time, then I don’t recommend moving to Wordpress. You need to be actively adding content in order to benefit from Wordpress. If your web content is very active, then it may make sense to move to Wordpress.

You can also add Wordpress on to your existing site, which is what I did. It causes my site to rank even higher than before (and I have a highly ranked site because it’s so old). Here is my site so that you can get an idea of the layout:

I hope this explanation helps you make a better decision when it comes to implementing Wordpress in your business.

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