WordPress is used on lots of websites.
- What is it?
- Should you use it?
That’s this month’s topic.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is free, open source software for creating websites. “Open source” means it’s developed by thousands of volunteer programmers and is free (open) to use.
There are others like Joomla and Drupal; they have their fans, but WordPress has won, so to speak. It’s more widely used, and it has a large community of people, groups and websites that offer WordPress themes (template designs) and plug-ins (extra features). There are thousands of options, probably tens of thousands.
Some themes are free but the best ones cost a little (from $30-$75). Compare this to the $500-$1500 for a custom design from scratch.
Many big companies still need custom development, but for small businesses and even big companies, WordPress offers a lot for the money. If blogging is part of your marketing strategy, WordPress is the best option for that.
WordPress works like other content management systems. It
- runs on a web server.
- uses a shell or template for most of the site design.
- gets text and images (content) for each page from a database.
- inserts that page content into the template.
Third-party plug-ins and themes can add features like calendars, search engine optimization and advanced forms. And lots more.
Could your site be built with WordPress?
For many small companies, the answer is usually yes. There are other great choices, but WordPress is usually a workable option. A basic installation is a good start; add some plug ins and a nice theme, it can do lots more.
Is it easy?
Yes and no.
It has lots of bells and whistles available, either free or at very reasonable prices. Generally, they work well together.
Strength: It’s all things to all people. It does lots of stuff with lots of options.
It has lots of bells and whistles available. Sometimes they don’t work well together.
WordPress by itself is very stable. Even with third-party plug ins, it’s pretty stable. But you know how computers work: problems can come up with any new plug-in or new version.
Weakness: It’s all things to all people. The code is complicated, glitches can occur, and the pages served to your audience are usually bigger than they need to be.
Should I Try WordPress Myself?
It’s worth a try. The simpler your needs, the more likely it will work easily. You’ll still have to study a little to learn how to install it and edit your site. If you have the time, why not? There are lots of hosting companies that offer cheap plans for DIY websites.
Professional WordPress Websites
Of course, Pacesetter Media can get your WordPress site up and running quickly and easily. Just like Pacesetter Site, you’ll be able to update your site once it’s set up. And we’ll make it look good, of course. 🙂
Call Pacesetter Media: 813-685-9206
How many people visit your website? You want to know, don’t you? Even if you’re only curious, don’t you want to know? Let’s talk numbers. That’s this month’s topic.
Businesses Dependent on the Web
If your business is mostly dependent on online sales or website traffic, you already pay attention to your visitor statistics, perhaps in great detail. This edition of the Pacesetter Media newsletter isn’t for you. I suggest you visit Annie Cushing’s website. She spends her days, nights, probably weekends and sleeping hours thinking about data. She has good stuff there.
For Businesses not Dependent on the Web
If you’re like many small businesses, your website is only a part of your marketing. And you never or rarely pay attention to your website statistics. This newsletter is for you.
You can get some important information from visitor statistics. For instance, after you run an ad or exhibit at a trade show, would you like to know if your website traffic increases? When you add a new product page to your site, would you like to know how many people visit that page?
Limitations of Website Statistics
Website data isn’t perfect. All methods of getting statistics miss some visitors. Why? Technical reasons that would only distract from the main topic here. Just realize that you won’t get every visitor counted, nor will you get every detail about any one visitor.
Google Analytics (GA) is great for viewing trends and changes in your visitor statistics, and it’s FREE.
- audience (number, language, regional location, browsers)
- traffic sources (referring sites, search engine keywords)
- page visits (number of visits per page)
- and more
The statistics almost any business wants to see include:
Let’s say you exhibit at a trade show or place an ad in a local newspaper for a week. You’d expect to have more visitors that week. The Audience Overview would show you that.
Search optimization for an existing site includes a look at the searches that lead visitors to your site. The Queries report shows you that.
The Content report shows you which pages on your site are viewed most.
Website data can be as intricate as any other statistical analysis, and GA is not the only option. Whichever statistics tool is used, it takes time to analyze the data in extreme detail. Whether it’s worth it depends on how important your website is to your business.
In any case, the basics are readily available and easy to understand with Google Analytics.
Starting Google Analytics
Here’s how to start:
- Get an account at Google (if you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google account).
- Set up a Google Analytics account.
- Add your website to the GA account.
- Get a small bit code from GA.
- Add that bit of code to your site.
There are more details in those steps, but that’s the gist of it.
If Pacesetter Media created your site, we routinely set up GA with new websites. Give us a call, and we’ll get you set up with Google Analytics.
For general information, check out Google’s documentation.
The best way to see what GA offers is to look at your site’s reports. If you need help setting up Google Analytics, call Pacesetter Media at 813-685-9206. We can help you with Google Analytics, of course.