Common Misconceptions About WordPress

WordPress Truth Lies

WordPress is the most popular blogging software in the world. But it is important to realize that it is not just a blogging tool. It can do many other things besides help you create an attractive, mobile-friendly blog or website. It all depends on what you wish to use it.
WordPress Infographic
WordPress is very popular, but there are a number of common misconceptions about it that can prevent new small business owners from choosing it as the ideal tool for creating their new site.

Blogging explained

A blog, or web log, has become popular because it is a free and simple way to publish content online, in order to get traffic, subscribers and sales from the site.

Not all websites powered by WordPress look and act the same.

A blog can be mainly words on a page. It might also be a photo log, or plog, or a video blog, or vlog. WordPress offers a range of templates known as themes that allow even complete beginners to create a professional-looking blog or plog with just a few clicks. Other themes offer different features and functionality.

Therefore, WordPress is not just a blogging tool. It is also a framework for creating a full-featured website, and can serve as a content management system (CMS) to create a range of content that your target audience will love.

All WordPress Sites Look Similar

A lot of new bloggers use the default theme given by WordPress, which is why a lot of the sites look similar. The truth is that there are thousands of themes to choose from, free and paid. When you are searching for new themes, the site offers filters so you can narrow down your choices. If customization of the theme is important to you in terms of color, logo, main image, background, and so on, there are many themes to choose from, and more are being created all the time.

Even more important than the appearance, however, can be the functionality. Some themes put the navigation on the right or left, while others use a “magazine” format with a range of articles to choose from, completely with small thumbnail images. Other themes will allow your site to look like an auction site, discussion board or forum, and more. It’s your choice.

Best of all, each WordPress site is mobile-friendly, as compared with traditional websites, which don’t always render well on small screens.

Does not Support eCommerce

This being the case, it is easy to see that the myth of WordPress not supporting Ecommerce is completely false. You can build a gorgeous store to sell your products with just a few clicks. All you need are images of each item for sale, and marketing information for the products.

Not Secure

Another common misconception is that WordPress sites are not secure. Nothing could be further from the truth. We're press is continually updating its program in order to ensure that there are no security loopholes. In addition, there are also a range of plugins that add extra layers of security to your already secured WordPress site. If you are not already using WordPress two that it offers.

Why We Love WordPress (And You Should, Too!)

Why WordPress

If you’re not already using WordPress for your website or blog, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to keep up with your competition and marketing your business effectively.

Why WordPress?

It’s FREE!

WordPress Facts
Click to view Infographic By WebsiteBuilder.org

But there are many other reasons why we love it. WordPress is one of the easiest ways to create a professional-looking website even if you have zero design skills. It is also one of the best ways to create a profitable business thanks to all of the functionality it allows you to add to the site. No matter what niche you are working in, WordPress can help you create a high-quality site your prospective customers will love.

Search engines love WordPress

Search engines like Google reward sites on the basis of their algorithm, or formula. One of the components in the formula is recency, that is, how current the content is. WordPress allows you to upload your content in advance and schedule it. WordPress will then publish that content at your chosen date and time. You can upload a month’s worth of content, for example, and WordPress will publish it as needed, for virtually hands-free marketing.

WordPress is fully customizable

WordPress has three invaluable features that can help you customize your site in order to brand your business and give you the kind of functionality you need to impress your prospective customers.

Themes

Themes are templates that control the appearance of the site. It can make it look like it was designed by a pro even if you’ve never written a line of code in your life. It can also determine functionality, such as creating an auction site or ecommerce store. Choose Customizable in the Themes filters and you will find themes that allow you to change colors, backgrounds, logos and more.

Widgets

Widgets are like small building blocks for your site. Widgets can create calendars, show an up-to-date list of all your pages at the site, allow you to run ads, and more.

Plugins

Plugins are mini programs that add functionality to your site. The Editorial Calendar plugin will create a calendar so you can see everything lined up to be published in 3-week increments. This ensures you don’t skip a day, and allows you to drag and drop so you can change the dates if you wish. The AddtoAny Share Button will allow you and your site visitors to share your content on all of the top social media sites with just a click.

Scalable

There are thousands of themes and plugins available, both free and inexpensive, that can help you grow your site and turn it into a lean, mean, content marketing machine. Adding new content and features strategically can help you convert browsers into buyers, and keep your site visitors and customers coming back for more regularly.

Mobile-friendly

All modern WordPress sites are mobile-friendly, so you don’t need to worry about missing out on any business opportunities.

Regularly updated and secure

WordPress is continually updated and their engineers are very security-conscious. They are constantly improving the software, and you can get the latest versions automatically. If there are any major changes, you can update your site, themes and/or plugins with just a click.

Discover The Types Of Websites You Can Create

WordPress logo without textMany people who have heard of WordPress think that it’s just a publishing platform for blogs. In truth, WordPress is an extremely powerful and versatile publishing solution, and can be used to create many different types of websites.

Magazine Style Websites

WordPress can also be used to create magazine style websites. These websites don’t have a strictly chronological organizational structure like blogs, but instead highlight a number of articles on the website’s homepage (with the highlighting often done through a thumbnail image or photograph).

E-commerce Websites

Ecommerce features can be added to any WordPress website to sell physical products, digital products, membership, or services. There are many different e-commerce plug-ins to choose from, some available for free, and others are premium plug-ins that must be licensed for use. There are even WordPress themes that are designed to support e-commerce activities. So yes WordPress can be used to create an e-commerce website. For exampleThe Painted Prezel, a company that was on Shark Tank, uses the WordPress platform for their e-commerce website.

Static Websites

Even though WordPress has the capability of providing a highly dynamic website, you can forego posts and limit yourself to using just pages to create a relatively flat or static website. The advantages of using WordPress to create such a site are that you have many different graphical and appearance options to choose from. You can set up static websites for such as online resume websites, sales pages, or business websites for restaurants and other “bricks and mortar” businesses.

Social Networking Websites

If you have an idea for your own small social networking website, you can use WordPress to create it. The BuddyPress plug-in allows you to provide your website visitors with the opportunity to create their own profiles, manage accounts on your website and interact with other users who have a shared interest. BuddyPress even allows you to offer your social network members the opportunity to run their own fully featured WordPress blogs directly from your website.

Traditional Blogs

Blogs, of course, are the mainstay of WordPress. There are certainly other options for creating blogs, but WordPress is perhaps the most versatile, and certainly the best supported of all the options for creating blogs.

As you can see, WordPress is very flexible, in addition to being very powerful. Regardless of whatever type of website or functionality you desire, there’s a good chance that there is a way to use the WordPress platform to achieve it.

Premise WordPress Plugin Alternatives

I received an email from Copyblogger explaining that they will be taking the Premise WordPress Plugin off the market at the end of this week.
Copyblogger has taken the Premise WordPress Plugin off the market.

Why is Copyblogger going to stop selling Premise to new customers?

All we’re doing now is discontinuing future sales, and building a better suite of tools that you’ll be able to take advantage of soon.
-From Copyblogger Email To Current Users and Affiliates

What should you do if you own Premise?

If you already own Premise you can continue to use the plugin and Premise will continue to be updated.

Should you purchase Premise, now?

If you like the feature set available to you in Premise, purchase it before it is no longer available.

Premise Alternatives For Landing Pages

Here are other WordPress plugins for creating landing pages, sales pages, lead pages, and optin pages.

Lead Pages – I have never used Lead Pages but I have read that it will allow you to create many types of conversion pages. According to Kerry Carron over at Ownwp.com, you can learn to setup LeadPages in less that a day.

OptimizePress – I have used OptimizePress 2.0. If you want to use one of their built in templates it is not that hard to get started. BUT if you want to customize things it may take you a little bit longer to create your page. You can use it as a theme or a plugin, but I prefer to use it as a plugin.
Choose Template
WordPress Landing Pages – WordPress Landing Pages is a free plugin that you can use to create your landing pages, run A/B split tests, and customize your own templates.
Wordpress Landing Page

Premise Alternatives For Membership Sites

Here are other WordPress plugins for creating a membership site.
ExchangeWP – ExchangeWP is an easy to use Ecommerce plugin with a membership addon. The user interface is different from other membership plugins and is geared towards membership sites not needing a lot of development changes.

Paid Memberships Pro – Paid Membership Pro is a great membership plugin for custom membership sites. It is extremely developer friendly but you have to pay for tutorials and support.

MemberPress – This a quality membership plugin by the creator of Pretty Links Pro, Blair Williams. This plugin offers special features such as Product Groups. A product group is a container that collects all the products that are similar.

Restrict Content Pro – I must first warn you that I am a big fan of Pippin Williams, the creator of this plugin. It is easy to use to protect your content from users that are not logged in. Restrict Content Pro offers a lot of add-ons (some paid and some free). Pippin offers great customer support.

In conclusion, I must stress that there is no one best landing page solution or membership when you are trying to create a website with WordPress. The best solution is based on the needs of your project.

3 Ways to Setup a WordPress Testing Environment

I am a big fan of having a testing environment that is sperate from your production environment (the live site). If you are not sure that you should have a testing environment you can read a post I wrote that explains why you should have a WordPress testing environment. Below are three ways that you can setup a WordPress testing environment.

Second Hosting Account

The first way is to set up a second hosting account that is only used for site development and testing. You can set up a quality hosting account with Site5, Lunarpages, or SiteGround. All three of these companies are a great choice for setting up a second hosting account that is only for testing.

SiphonLabs

The second option is to set up a development, staging, and hosting lab at SiphonLabs.com. With this option you development sites and production sites are hosted with the same company. You develop, upgrade, or make any other file related changes on your development site and then inject the changes to the staging area. From staging you can push you changes to the production(live) site. This option will help to improve your productivity once you get used to the workflow.

Updated July 30, 2013 – SiphonLabs is no longer available for WordPress powered sites. Sad but true. So if you know of a hosting solution for development, staging, and hosting leave me the name in the comments.

Local Web Server

The third option is to setup a web server on your local computer. This is the easiest and most cost effective way to set up a WordPress testing environment. If you are on a PC you can setup your local web server using WAMP. If you are a MAC user you can setup your local web server using MAMP.

When you have to manage a website, a testing environment is a must have. What other ways are there to set up a WordPress testing environment?