If you’re already using WordPress and this article is to help you to locate and use the best plugins and themes for business, then much of this information is probably not going to be news to you. However, there may be a couple of new features or features you haven’t been exposed to before that could be very valuable.
If you’re new to WordPress, or you’re considering using it for your next website or blog, then this article should get you excited. For the average business person, WordPress is a complete solution for all of your business Internet and Web marketing needs. It’s extremely powerful, and the features that make WordPress an excellent Content Management System (CMS), also make it easier to use on a daily basis by anyone who can use a word processor like Microsoft Word.
What is a CMS? Basically, it’s a software solution that acts as a file room, with file cabinets, drawers, and folders. Building a comprehensive and well-organized file room allows you to find information that you’ve filed away without pawing through piles of paper. It’s the same with information created and filed on a computer hard drive or online. The great thing about WordPress as a CMS is that once it’s set up properly, with tags and a category structure, information items are just a click away.
Once you’ve set up your WordPress category structure, when you create new content, you select the category, or categories, in which it should be filed away. Unlike folders you may be familiar with in email systems like Outlook, you don’t have to select just one place to put something, then hope you remember later where you filed it. Use a website about cooking as an example.
You have a category for Recipes, and possibly a category for Meats, with a sub-category of Chicken. You can categorize the chicken recipe in both the Recipes and the Meats categories, and later you will find your recipe in both places. If this recipe is a chicken with a pasta dish, you may also have a Pasta category. You can place this recipe in all three categories, and it will be found by your site visitors from three different recipe-search perspectives.
WordPress creates the displayed Category Page when it’s called for by the visitor’s click, and the posts/articles show up by default with the newest and latest at the top going backward in time. You can change this default to older posts first in your setup. It should be clear that your category structure is very important to help your site visitors to locate information quickly and easily, contributing to a good site experience and encouraging them to stay longer and return often.
This article isn’t about teaching you WordPress basics, but there are plenty of great how-to books out there for you. However, a well-designed and structured category plan is good for you as an information management tool but even better for you as a marketing tool by providing a good navigation experience to your visitors.
It’s not just about CMS.
While this CMS structure is a great feature, WordPress is far more. No longer should people think of sites on the Web as either a “website” or a “blog,” as it’s simply not the case. You can have the best attributes of a static page website and the best features of a blog and CMS all in one solution. In fact, with more than 60 million WordPress websites, many have no blog component at all. They’re just using WordPress to build out a website with pages of static information for business purposes and marketing.
Also, for navigation, WordPress offers Menus under the Appearance tab. Whether your theme allows top or top and side navigation for pages, Menus allows you to decide which pages should display in this navigation and in what order. You can drag and drop pages into whatever hierarchy or order you want, leaving out those you don’t want to display automatically. Why would you want to leave pages out?
Simply, navigation can get too complicated with too many options if you have a large number of pages with detailed information. Suppose you’re displaying products on your site with a page for each product, and there are hundreds. You wouldn’t want a page link to show up in a menu or dropdown in your navigation, as there are just too many of these pages. However, you can group your products by type and have only the type pages display with links on those pages to the individual products.
You can also use Categories in your menus instead of pages or along with them. This makes setting up an easy and visitor-friendly navigation structure very easy. Using the Recipes example, you could have a Recipes main menu item in your top navigation, and the dropdown options under it could be Meats, Vegetables, etc. Once you set it up, simply categorize your content as you publish it, and it will display precisely where you want it to and where your visitors can find it.
This has been a VERY basic overview of the power of WordPress, and there are literally hundreds of great features that make this software a great choice for business, not the least of which is that it’s free!
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