By Nick Hoover
Your fly shop website is on life support. You need updated content STAT. It’s time to start using WordPress.
If updating your website has become a chore (or you end up waiting for someone else to do it), I’d like to introduce you to WordPress. WordPress had a humble beginning as a simple blogging platform. It has since evolved into a robust Content Management System used by bloggers, small businesses and Fortune 500 Companies. I’m sure many of you already use WordPress everyday. If you are among those who don’t, it’s time to make a switch, and here are three reasons why:
1.) It’s Free. That’s right, you don’t have to pay a dime to run WordPress. Look at that big gift horse and stare at this mouth all you want. WordPress will still be free tomorrow. The software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and is offered to you at no charge. I can guess what you’re thinking: “Volunteers built this thing… no thanks.” Hold on a second. You should know that WordPress runs over 60 million websites throughout the world. Really awesome sites like Angling Trade, CNN, Rolling Stones, William Shatner, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s “Take Me Fishing” and My Site all run on WordPress. Yeah it’s legit… I mean, Shatner uses it.
2) It’s Easy. WordPress is free and really popular. So what? That’s probably not enough to switch over, right? Perhaps not. But what if I told you it is also ridiculously easy to use? One of the biggest draws of WordPress is how simple it is to set up and start posting. I tell my clients, “If you can type an email, you can update your site.” Simply write your content, hit publish, and you’re done. In mere moments, that video of your client landing a 30″ brown can be live on your site. (You know… the video you’ve been waiting for your web guy to add to your site for months….) Moreover, it takes about five minutes to install on your server. That’s faster than you can put on your waders.
3) It’s Adaptable. It doesn’t matter if you are selling millions of dollars worth of equipment or running a fishing blog out of your basement, WordPress is flexible enough to do either. If you want to create a custom look for your business or blog, a web designer familiar with WordPress can do that also. Did you just come up with a killer fly pattern like “the Double Rainbow Trout Slayer” (trademark, by me, pending) and do you want to sell it online? Install one of the hundreds of e-commerce plug-ins, and sell, sell, sell. The only thing holding your WordPress website back is… well, nothing. If you can envision it, WordPress can probably do it. As a designer who has launched my share of custom WordPress sites, I love the flexibility and ease of use.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. When you’re talking about software that powers 60 million websites, you could go on for pages and pages, but we all have other things to do now. The last great thing about WordPress is the support of the online community—whether you want to pay someone like me to help you or get involved online and figure it out on your own. There are literally thousands of people who are willing (and able) to help. You just need to decide if you’re ready to make the switch.