What Is WordPress and Why Is It Good for My Trade Business Website?
Every website needs an engine under its hood to keep it running and free of technical problems. And WordPress is the most popular website “engine” in the world. But does that make it right for your trade business?
If you plan on managing your own WordPress site you’ll face a steep learning curve, but if you’re partnering with an agency then WordPress is a proven platform to grow trade businesses.
WordPress is top of the food chain when it comes to SEO, it’s fast and creates easy-to-use websites (so your customers love it) and with tons of customisation options, you can turn your site into a customer-conversion engine.
You might have heard that our custom websites are built on WordPress which sounds great on paper, but what does it actually mean?
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which just means you can build a website and publish content without having to code it from scratch. You don’t need any technical knowledge, all of that is taken care of within the WordPress platform.
You will still need:
· A website host
· A domain name (or URL)
· Pictures and content
But overall WordPress is a favourite choice for tradies because Google loves it (so your SEO gets a head start) but more importantly your customers love it, and we’ll explain exactly why…
Let’s leave jargon and buzzwords on the table and keep things simple.
WordPress is one of the most popular “operating systems” available for your website. Just like your mobile phone runs on Android or iOS, the majority of websites on the internet run on WordPress.
There are plenty of other “operating systems” you can create a website on, like Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, and Pedestal. But WordPress is the most common.
To put that popularity in perspective, 40% of ALL websites are running on WordPress. This might not seem like a massive number, but the next biggest website platform is Joomla which powers 3% of all websites, so if you go with WordPress you’ll be running with a very popular crowd.
“Is WordPress good for beginners?”
WordPress comes with a steeper learning curve than other website builders on the market – but that can lead to a website better suited to your goals.
Your choice of a website builder should always come down to your goals as a tradesperson.
If you want a simple website with your contact details, a few pictures, and one or two pages then you can go with a simple website building platform like Wix and have a website up and running in a few hours.
But these simple website building platforms are, well, simple.
So we don’t recommend going with Wix if you have plans to grow your trade business through digital marketing, run an SEO campaign down the line, or want to bring in qualified leads 24/7.
Wix websites don’t have the in-built marketing features or the SEO tracking tools that you’ll need to monitor your marketing campaigns. This can leave you wasting money on SEO strategies that don’t work. Or, leave you blind to crucial data.
In contrast, WordPress websites are known for their marketing features, SEO compatibility, and ability to track all sorts of data.
So far we’ve covered how popular WordPress is, but we haven’t touched on the REAL power of a custom WordPress website, and that’s the SEO benefits.
Google doesn’t favour WordPress websites explicitly, but WordPress sites do tend to rank higher than all other sites.
Why? Because WordPress’ CMS framework is so easy for Google to discover and index (which means your site is recognised by Google and eligible to appear when people go searching).
WordPress websites also have a ton of built-in SEO functionality so you can track your SEO efforts and make changes to boost your SEO. So if appearing on Google and attracting quality inbound leads is a goal of yours, WordPress has your back.
“What type of trade websites could you make with WordPress?”
Any of them.
Plumbing, building, landscaping, roofing – you name a trade and WordPress can build a website suited to their goals.
Go back 10 years and WordPress was used more to create blogs rather than proper business websites. But in 2021 WordPress is home to trade business websites in every niche.
Plumbers, turf layers, concreters, builders, you name it and there’s a WordPress site out there bringing in new customers.
This is, in part, due to the thousands of possible themes and layouts available on WordPress – available for free or as paid versions. You can customize your teme to make it original, or use it as you find it.
However, when you choose a template without adding your own customization, you risk picking the same template as thousands of other business owners. This can leave your WordPress site looking identical to a few hundred other contractors who had the same idea as you.
This won’t be an issue if you’re partnering with a web design agency. Outsourcing your website means you’ll end up with a custom WordPress website, so your website will look one-of-a-kind.
WordPress websites also have over 50,000 plugins to choose from – which can be used to tweak your site or add extra features, like contact forms or data tracking – to make your site more appealing to potential customers.
“What is a WordPress plugin?”
Let’s say you were doing a little weekend renos in your kitchen.
One cabinet in particular always bugs you because it’s so tough to open. To make things easier you screw in a small handle and *boom* your cabinet is now more user-friendly than ever.
Plugins do the same thing. Only, they make your website easier to use.
Each plugin is a small piece of software that modifies your website in a small way. This is super useful because not every theme you choose will have all the features you’re after. Even if you choose a theme that’s pre-made for plumbers or builders or bricklayers, you might want to tweak a feature or two.
Unless you have experience in coding you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to make that change without accidentally imploding your website – but not with WordPress.
Once you install a plugin to your site you get to enjoy its features. This could be to add a shop on your site to sell home improvement vouchers or to add a contact form at the end of each blog post to funnel readers towards your ‘Request a Quote’ page.
Again, this can sound overly technical but if you’re partnering with an agency to build your custom WordPress website, you can sit back while your site becomes easy to use and designed to turn site visitors into leads.
“If WordPress is so great, why isn’t every home improvement business using it?”
Because it’s not the type of platform you can pick up in 20 minutes.
Tradies are time-poor at the best of times. When you’re replying to quote requests, balancing the books, heading out to jobs, and spending time with the family, there’s not much time left to sit in front of a computer and learn how to use WordPress.
Simple website builders – like Wix – have exploded in popularity because they remove the problem of time. You can sit down in front of Wix and have a website finished in a few hours. But sit down in front of WordPress and you might only have learned how to publish a page or change the phone number in your website’s footer after a few hours.
Customisation options also require experience. Each theme will let you play around with colours and images, but if you want to make a major change to the website itself you’ll need to know how to code.
In short, plenty of tradies avoid WordPress because the learning curve is steep.
But that learning curve is steep because the end result is so powerful. So if you’re working with an agency you get all the benefits and none of the drain on your time. Win-win.
Curious whether a custom WordPress site is right for your business?