WordPress tips & tricks from the pros – for a small business

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Don’t fear mistakes
We live in a society that often tells us that making mistakes is wrong. There’s no doubt that some mistakes can end up being very costly, especially in the realm of business. However, failures are also valuable learning opportunities. The number one thing that holds many companies back is the fear of taking that first step. It’s too easy for a company to lapse into a state of paralysis out of fear of making an executive decision.
As with any content platform your business might use, utilizing WordPress to its full potential requires some understanding of how it works. It will inevitably take time to build up the experience and knowledge, so before you can use the platform like a professional, you will have to put in your time as an amateur.
In fact, many WordPress instructors advise their students to deliberately mess up their first WordPress site a couple of times. This forces the students to uninstall and reinstall WordPress a few times – something that you want to be comfortable with before you need to actually resort to it.
Choose a theme to match Your brand
One of the big selling points of WordPress, particularly for small business owners, is that it automates much of the website building process. One of the first decisions you will make for your WordPress site is the theme you will use. It dictates the overall appearance of your website, and while there is some room for customization, you will want to choose one that suits your brand by default.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a complicated visual layout is automatically better. Nor should you spend ages trying to find a theme that speaks to you artistically. A business website should, above all else, be informative and easy to use. The layout you choose should be relatively simple and uncluttered. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different possibilities.
Consider your mobile users
Most of your audience these days will be browsing the internet on a smartphone. When you have the convenience of an internet browser in your pocket, you’ll take your phone out and hop online given the slightest chance. Your users will, therefore, expect to be able to access your website on their mobile devices.
Most websites today are dynamic and able to rearrange themselves according to the device on which they are being viewed. If a potential customer finds that your site is all but unusable on their smartphone, they are more likely to leave and go to a competitor than to wait until they can look up your website on a computer.
Make sure that whatever WordPress theme you choose looks just as good on mobile devices as it does on a desktop internet browser. As a small business, you cannot afford to sacrifice traffic, and therefore potential customers, to poor design choices early on in the process. If you are unsure, look online for other people’s experiences using particular layouts. Make sure to check your website on a variety of devices, each with different display sizes, resolutions, or aspect ratios. Your theme should be equally usable on all devices.
Make security your no. 1 priority
Finally, it’s vital that you not only consider security but make it your number one priority. Just because you run a small business, does not mean that it’s immune to hackers. In fact, some hackers will purposely attack small business websites, believing it is easier to gain access to them.
WordPress is, on the whole, a secure platform, so how do hacks occur? Well, the number one reason of security problems is human error. When creating a website, a lot of WordPress admins choose easy passwords that they also use on other sites. When creating a password, make sure to use a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Also, ensure it’s not something that you use on any other site. You can also use password encryption to secure your login even further.
In addition, you should also check that your site is updated to the latest version of WordPress and that all plugins are fully up to date. This is done to ensure security. Also, make sure to scan your PC or laptop for malware as this can as well lead to security issues. If there is malware, you can find out how to remove it.
When used correctly, WordPress is a powerful platform for small businesses that need web presence. Investing in a professional website is a great idea, but it is unaffordable for many small businesses. Services like WordPress put the same power in the hands of business owners who have no website building experience.
This is a guest post by Harold Kilpatrick.

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