The website is at the heart of almost every business. It’s also usually the first port of call for customers, so it’s essential that it provides a great first impression of a brand.
In today’s connected world, consumers will no longer tolerate slow, clunky or difficult to navigate websites - they will simply take their business elsewhere. Because of this, businesses must put their website on a pedestal and ensure it’s created, developed, and maintained with the customer at the forefront.
An effective website serves its role as the primary access point for customers by providing all the information they may need in a simple, easy to use fashion. A website which conveys your business' personality, which clearly communicates your products and services and which scales and develops with your customers will help create a loyal customer base.
Many businesses may lack clarity regarding the type of platform which can help them to achieve these goals. WordPress, stemming from its blogger origins, is simple to use, reliable and offers individuality and customisability with its range of plugins – it’s a great choice for businesses of all sizes. But why, and what needs to be considered?
Scalability and reliability
Websites must be reliable. As consumers want access 24/7 – there’s little time for excuses and customers will not tolerate downtime - they’ll simply click to your competitor’s site. For some businesses such as retailers, there will always be fluctuating traffic levels to their website, depending on the time of day or month. Whether it’s your average Wednesday in April or Christmas Eve, businesses must be able to provide customers with a stable website, or risk losing them forever.
Along with retailers, all businesses face the challenge that incoming traffic to their website may change dramatically or spike at any time. Maybe an article in a national newspaper becomes highly popular, maybe it’s a seasonal holiday, or maybe discounted products become a hit. The key is having a platform which can be scaled immediately depending on demand. A platform like WordPress provides this and ensures that no matter the increase in traffic, businesses have the capabilities to adapt quickly and meet demand without the risk of downtime.
Choosing the right plugins
Websites need to resemble a company’s personality. It needs to be personalised to portray the brand while being secure and safe. One of the greatest aspects about choosing a web platform is the host of plugins available which allow businesses to customise their site and enhance and maintain its security. WordPress, for example, has over 43,000 to choose from to support security, SEO, maps, live chat, and many others.
Even websites on the same platform can have different structures and a strong sense of individuality. The number of unique plugins which now exist allows companies to build a unique website, adding and changing functionalities to suit the business as it grows and develops.
Publishing engaging content
A crucial aspect of any website is to promote and showcase the great information and content companies have to offer. Today, many brands are taking publishing into their own hands and looking to build direct relationships with customers. For many businesses, which may not be able to employ large teams of technical specialists, there is a need for a simple CMS that can be managed by anyone.
Companies want to be able to publish engaging content themselves. With a simple platform like WordPress, there is no need for technical know-how which allows a greater diversity of content to be shared online. The ease of use and flexibility of WordPress is really driving this ‘brands to publishers’ revolution.
The website acts as the most important extension of the business, and in some cases the website is the entire business. By making it secure, making it personal and making it work 24/7, businesses have a great access point to customers to develop brand loyalty and increase sales.
Fabio Torlini, MD EMEA, WP Engine
Image Credit: Shutterstock / GongTo