Just in case you missed the memo, I’m a GI-NORMOUS WordPress fan!! I have been blogging since 2006 and have utilized nearly every platform known to man (or woman for that matter). You name it, I did it, Blogger, WordPress.com, Joomla… well you get the picture. But now I’m a stone-cold WP fan, let me clarify, SELF-hosted WordPress fan. In case you don’t know the difference, if your URL ends with ‘wordpress.com’ then it is a WordPress hosted site (forwarding your domain doesn’t change that). It all boils down to where your website is hosted, or where your files reside.
Now that we have cleared up that bit of data, lets move on to the Why’s. Naturally most of my reasons have to do with branding, but there are a few financial catalysts as well.
1. Go Daddy does not like WP!! – I know that your first instinct will be to go to the Grand Daddy of all website hosting, but I’m begging you to resist the temptation. While I must admit GD is the best place to register and manage a domain name, I am far less than impressed with their WordPress solution. In addition to being slightly cumbersome to get loaded onto your account, the server constantly hiccups and glitches resulting in upload errors and website interruptions. When it comes to WP, they should change the name to DON’T Go Daddy *giggles*.
I personally use Host Dime and most of my clients use Host Gator. In addition to being WP friendly, the hosting companies provide reseller packages which are awesome when you have multiple domains that you want to host all at once. Feel free to check them out!
2. Unlimited Theme Options - There are tons of really really cool themes that can’t be loaded on a WordPress hosted site. Needless to say, when it comes to your online brand reputation, you want the best. Doesn’t matter if you want pretty or practical, there are themes that fit your needs and offer far more flexibility to match your specific needs.
3. Unlimited Plug-ins – Ever wonder how people get their WP sites to do wonderful things like rotating picture galleries? There is a 90% chance that the site owner used a plug-in. There are thousands of neat ways to enhance your site using WP plug-in technology, and while most other platforms have their own solutions/ extensions to improve functionality, none of the networks are as large or as extensive as WP’s developer community. I think these guys have a secret society or something, LOL.
4. Social Media Friendly - If you are not using social media to build brand awareness then shame on you!! For SHAME my little cumquat…for shaaaammmeee!! In addition to driving traffic and building brand awareness, the social-sphere is just plain fun and exciting in this day and age. And guess what?? WP has a ton of ways to connect your social media channels to your site. Automate the process and you can have your feeds bounce all over the web with just a click of the PUBLISH button.
5. Raise Your Google Rankings – So WP has this neat little feature called ‘tags’ that allow you to put in key words on your WP site that helps to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I don’t blog just for fun, I also like to be ‘found’ online, SEO has helped position me as a leading industry expert. As long as you are updating your site consistently the Search Engine Robots will find you every time they ‘crawl’ the web for updates. Pretty soon you are getting ‘found’ all over the place! TAG ME BABY!!
6. Its Damn Brand Friendly - I run a number of blogs and my biggest concern is keeping the integrity of the brand in tact across multiple platforms. Well low and behold, most WP themes offer easy color customization and logo integration. When I first started out, I only looked at themes that matched my color scheme anyway. Nowadays many of the theme authors are developing shells that can be customized right from the theme’s control panel. So there’s no excuse not to Rock Your Brand with a WP theme.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that its easy breezy to set up your own self-hosted WordPress site, but once its up and running you will thank me a million times over!! Besides the set up is the only tricky part, as far as updates, if you can create a Word document then you can create a WP post just as easily. But don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. In my next post, I will offer you some referrals for great WP developers.