WordPress is by far the most popular content management system on the planet with roughly 64% of the market share. It also happens to power 24% of all websites on the Internet. So it is understandable why a business would choose to have a WordPress website.
The challenging aspect to WordPress as a website management tool is that it is a robust application environment… far more than a simple website editor. In fact there are almost 40,000 add-ons available for WordPress websites. These are called plugins and expand WordPress’ capabilities in some manner. Plugins greatly enhance what WordPress can accomplish for a business which is one of the key reasons the platform has become so popular.
WordPress website examples include websites run by CNN, eBay, Facebook, Google Ventures, Harvard, McAfee, Mozilla, and NASA too!
Some of the other key features that make having a website powered by WordPress so appealing include:
- Quick content publishing helps connect readers with content as soon as its available allowing unprecedented content timeliness.
- Comment facilitation allows visitors to engage with your content.
- Flexibility allows the website to take shape to meet the business requirements.
- Search engine friendly from the start… Google loves WordPress.
- Advanced user management allows for subscribers, contributors, authors, editors, and administrators.
- Integrated media handling includes image management plus the ability to easily insert YouTube and Vimeo videos.
- Excellent WordPress website templates simplify custom website design and development.
- WordPress blog capabilities are unparalleled.
- Highly active developers that continue to support and enhance the product.
Interestingly WordPress.com is available for about $98 per year and plenty of professional bloggers are happy to pay WordPress to host their blogs. But a business website typically requires more capabilities than what are offered by pure WordPress.com hosting which is why almost all business sites are a stand-alone installation of WordPress.
This video helps explain the differences between wordpress.com hosting and stand-aline WordPress sites…
Standalone WordPress Website Setup
By leveraging a standalone WordPress website installation, the business gains access to more plugins, more design flexibility, and more power. Of course, this also equals more responsibility to keep WordPress updated and finding a reliable hosting partner.
At Greendays Group we naturally recommend managed WordPress hosting simply because DIY solutions can be painful, less reliable, and prone to problems. Managed hosting takes care of the setup, the ongoing maintenance, and making certain sites are backed up and operating at peak efficiency.
Of course installing and configuring WordPress so it will work is one step in a long line of steps to deploy a website…
WordPress Website Design Critical to Success
There are a myriad of low-quality templates available for WordPress. Selecting the best design with search engine friendly coding is critically important. Customizing that design so that it takes on a unique flare is as important. For example, the last thing an independent insurance agency needs is to have a website that looks nearly the same as a local competitor.
But there’s more to WordPress design than one may realize. A design needs to adequately display the content to the visitor, make navigation easy, and help to accelerate transactions.
Also, many designs include hidden “unsafe” code that can later cause problems for the website owner. This is why it is important to have a design created and managed by a reputable design firm.
Content Is King, Especially in a WordPress Website
WordPress is particularly loved by Google. Greendays Group internal studies show that sites deployed on WordPress are far more likely to be discovered and indexed by search engines like Google than stand-alone HTML based sites. Additionally, WordPress sites appear to outperform sites deployed with other content management platforms. This is simply because WordPress is that much more search engine friendly by default.
But WordPress is simply a content management platform. So the content deployed within a WordPress website needs to be compelling and unique. It needs to offer some value to the reader and it needs to be optimized for search engines while also supporting the primary mission, which is to grow sales through more transactions.
Quality content will take on two forms:
- Pages: These are static bits of content that remain the same over time.
- Posts: These elements are dynamic because entries are being added over time.
Most business sites will have a certain set of pages, which are then supported by ongoing posts.
Understanding Traffic to a WordPress
So the website is finally up and running. Then what? This is where it is important to have some kind of website data analysis system in place to dissect and understand the traffic coming to the website. Yes, there’s Google Analytics and that’s a great place to start, but Google limits the information it shares, so augmenting it with some other form of website analysis is important.
WordPress Website Cost Examples
While there are a myriad of BOOKS written about DIY WordPress, the Greendays Group client values their time and wants to concentrate their energy on running their business. Still, for purposes of education, here are the typical costs involved in setting up a WordPress installation.
Typical Up-Front Website Costs
By-hand Customized Design
Local Design Firm: $4,000 to $6,000
(Main design only, individual page design is typically billed separately.)
Search Engine Optimized Expert Content Placement
Local SEO Expert: $5,000 to $7,000
(Content developed by client and then professionally placed.)
Custom Plugin Configuration
Local Computer Tech: $750 to $1,000
(WordPress plugin licensing fees separate.)
Total Up-Front Costs:
$9,750 to $14,000
Typical Ongoing Costs For a Managed WordPress Configuration
The following costs are the real pricing details from real vendors necessary to construct a true managed WordPress solution that is secure and where the business owner or manager can put their energies into other, more profitable concerns. (What business owner understands the required steps to configure caches, application firewalls, speed enhancement services, plugin optimization, and the myriad of other elements involved in managing a WordPress platform?
Register a Domain
Network Solutions: $34.99 per year
(This rate should include whois privacy and domain protections… many registrars charge extra for the protections.)
Media Temple WordPress Hosting: $240 per year
(Includes basic backups, basic updates, fundamental security. This type of hosting is still subject to typical issues associated with shared hosting including slower server responsiveness.)
Manged WordPress Services
WP Site Care: $1,188 per year
(Includes advanced activity tracking, ongoing site performance optimization, advanced security, basic ongoing SEO support.)
Sucuri: $492 per year
(Includes business-grade security and application firewall layer.)
Ongoing Content Support
Local SEO Expert: $1,800 per year
(Includes up to 30 minutes per month of ongoing SEO content placement for content supplied by the business.)
Total Minimal Annual Costs:
The above are all real figures from real businesses and define what many small businesses invest each year in their web site presence. Larger businesses invest significantly more.
While a business owner certainly can invest time, energy, and resources to handle all of this work themselves, the lost productivity where that owner should be spending their time in growing their business far exceeds the costs outlined above.
Full Service – a Better Mouse Trap
Yes, there is a real cost to running a WordPress website for a business. Sure, a business can go it alone, but at the cost of a learning curve, lost time, potential mistakes, and an increased likelihood of having future difficulties.
With Greendays Group Full Service our helping hands take managed WordPress to an entirely different level than our competition:
- Design: We handle the entire WordPress theme development process to make sure our clients receive a fantastic search engine friendly design that reinforces the value of their content.
- SEO Content Placement: We take care of placing all the content in the site making certain that it is placed in a search engine friendly manner.
- Managed Domain: We’ll register the domain if need be and take care of all the technical DNS bits.
- Managed WordPress: Our entire WordPress environment is specially configured to offer first-rate performance, advanced security, update management, and a selection of curated and managed plugins.
- Advanced Platform Management: We make sure the site is finely tuned for speed, that backups are happening properly, and that all automated SEO tools are working optimally.
- Managed Security: Our proprietary security system protects your website from hackers. It proactively stops threats before they make it to our servers. Hackers hate us!
- “Helping Hands”: The most powerful aspect of our Full Service solution. Clients can leverage time to have us handle the work for them. For example, 30 minutes will allow us time to add content to the site, search engine optimize the content, license an image, and make sure the content looks great.
The point of Greendays Group Full Service is that our team handles all of the details in one unified process to help ensure a site runs beautifully from the first day it’s launched.
And unlike others, we manage and control all of the technologies within our own environment. This means that we are able to offer better support because we know more about our technologies inside and out.
More Than Managed WordPress
As you’ve seen in the real-world examples from above, the true cost of WordPress ownership is more than $3,500 per year. The good news is that our fully managed WordPress website system is more affordable and feature rich with pricing based on the scope and specifications of your overall marketing needs.
At Greendays Group we are known for offering rock-solid managed WordPress that’s:
- Blazingly fast…
- Super secure…
- Able to grow…
But as great as WordPress is, there are certain online marketing tasks that are better served by other systems.
- Secure Live Chat
- Email Marketing
- Secure Forms
At Greendays Group we include managed solutions for each of these critical online marketing needs as a core part of our Full Service approach. Plus our clients can leverage our “helping hands” to take care of creating forms, managing E-mail campaigns, administrating Live Chat, etc.
So with our Full Service program our clients receive the benefit of WordPress combined with other best-of-breed solutions to create an incredible value in digital marketing services. This is why we are known as your “One Easy Step to Online Marketing Success!™”
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