WordPress for startups: what you need to know to make the most of it

Process of building a WordPress site

More and more startups look towards WordPress to get their website off the ground, and for good reason! WordPress is Open Source, so you’re not locked into one vendor forever; it integrates well with search and social marketing; it’s easy to manage; and the themes are either free or cost very little! It’s many a startup’s dream come true.

However, getting a solid WordPress site off the ground is actually not so simple. First of all, it’s a website – it needs to take into consideration everything that any website needs to have, like usable navigation, organized content, calls-to-action, etc. In addition to the standard website issues, it’s important to go into setting up a WordPress site as an educated consumer. Here are some factors that are important to take into consideration:

  1. The quality of the WordPress theme – is the developer reliable? Is the theme too heavy with options that it becomes impossible to make even small changes to the theme?
  2. Hosting – where you host the site is a critical decision, and it’s not just about the uptime, but about the service. Do you have someone to turn to when (not if) your site has issues? This is so critical that we at illuminea actually provide a managed WordPress hosting service to make sure our clients’ sites are updated, backed up, and they have someone to turn to when necessary.
  3. Configuring your WordPress site – once your site is installed, are you making sure to configure it according to best practices? How are your permalinks set up? Are comments moderated? Etc.
  4. WordPress Plugins – installing too many plugins can impact the performance of your site, but there are many plugins that are extremely valuable to have. Do you know which plugins you can live without, and which you need?
  5. The mobile web – is your site responsive? Is the responsiveness useful to the user, or annoying? What the heck is a responsive site?
  6. Security – is your site secure? Did you implement the basic security best practices to keep your site running as smoothly as possible?
  7. Optimization – is your site optimized for search and social? Does it include semantic data?

The above can be overwhelming, and that’s why I gave a talk a few months ago at the Hub in Tel Aviv on this topic. I go into depth on each of the above issues, explaining what to look for and what to avoid. See my presentation below, or here’s a link directly to the presentation on Slideshare:

[slideshare id=29425555&doc=wordpressforstartups-131222054948-phpapp02]

By planning your WordPress site for your startup properly before you get started, you can ensure a longer life for your site, and less grey hairs on your head!