WordPress is the best CMS for SMBs in 2018 … as it has been for years now (see below for caveats, however).
Around 25% of all websites, large and small, use WordPress. And there are plenty of good reasons:
- It’s easy to use
- It’s multi-functional
- The design is customizable
- It’s secure and constantly being updated
- It’s free
WordPress is going strong today and it will still be going strong for years to come.
On top of the benefits listed above, there are a few reasons why I think SMBs should choose WordPress over other content management systems.
Here are three big ones:
1. WordPress makes design and development cheap and easy
Custom-built websites can cost a fortune, but WordPress sites can usually be found for under one or two thousand dollars.
I’ve found one agency in Tokyo that charges around $400 for a basic site.
Personally, I think that’s too cheap … and I’m absolutely positive there are hidden fees or upsells behind that $400 price tag.
You should expect to pay a minimum of $500 or $1,000 for a WordPress site, depending on the experience and quality of the person or agency you choose. While you may get lucky and find a quality developer who charges such low rates, dirt-cheap prices often indicate lack of experience.
But WordPress will still be cheaper and easier than most other development options, making it a good choice for small businesses that just want a straightforward website with a blog.
After all, WordPress is a DIY website “kit” that can be installed, setup, and customized very quickly … you can easily build out a “pre-fabricated” site in a day.
Of course, more complex sites – such as ecommerce sites, large corporate sites, or sites with 100% custom branding and design – can cost 10 or 100 times as much.
However, it’s this flexibility that makes WordPress a great CMS for SMBs – a lean site can be built cheaply, then beefed up as necessary.
2. Anyone can learn to use it, so anyone can post updates and make changes
Once the site is up and running, it’s easy to add blog posts, pages, or content to the site.
WordPress’s ease of use allows small business owners to manage the site themselves or hire subcontractors to do the work for them.
This, of course, saves money in the long run, since business owners won’t have to be paying a website developer to make updates.
Note, however, that other content management systems are built with the same feature. But when combined with the other features I mention here, I think WordPress comes out on top.
3. Social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing are cheaper and easier with WordPress
SEO plugins, social media marketing plugins, and other WordPress plugins make marketing simple and fast. And, as mentioned, once staff are trained, they can figure out how to manage the site without paying a developer to do the grunt work.
As I mentioned in another article on SMB marketing, social media and local listing sites are more important than ever. Not only do most customers use them to learn about brick-and-mortar locations, search engines use them to help verify and rank local businesses.
A WordPress site, setup with the proper plugins, can become the hub for a content marketing program, feeding social media sites, offering up landing pages, and serving as a gateway for new business.
WordPress has been my favorite website builder for years.
I can spin up a new installation in minutes and have an attractive site in hours, replete with photos, graphic design, and an attractive color scheme.
Publishing content is a breeze. And WordPress offers a vast array of web functionality, from ecommerce to digital marketing.
When WordPress isn’t the right tool for the job
WordPress is popular for many good reasons, but it isn’t always the appropriate solution.
After all, WordPress started as a blogging platform.
At its heart, that’s what it’s designed for.
Businesses should consider other platforms if they need:
- Integration with specialized software or apps
- Advanced or specialized functionality that go beyond content management
- Customized features or design that might require digging too deep into WordPress code
- An outside developer or agency to handle everything for them anyways
As a web designer and developer myself, I know that WordPress isn’t the end-all be-all.
Ruby on Rails, for instance, is better suited for businesses that want to develop a web app or product in addition to a blog.
In short, if you need custom web apps or software, you may want to look elsewhere.
Conclusion: WordPress is the best CMS for SMBs in 2018 and beyond, but it isn’t the only tool out there
WordPress has been used by companies both big and small, and, as mentioned, it makes up around a quarter of all websites.
Although it’s not perfect, it’s a great solution for SMBs that want an online presence that’s attractive, affordable, modern, and easy to use.
For more information, be sure to check out some more of my articles on WordPress and website development.