What Is WordPress?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten or twelve years you already know that WordPress is an open source website platform that is a favorite among the bloggers of the net. Originally designed to make blogging a breeze, WordPress has matured and is now much, much more than just a blogging machine. So just what is WordPress today?

What makes it so special? For starters it’s free. More importantly it is a snap to use and you can literally have it up and running in a matter of minutes. And probably most important, WordPress delivers sophisticated site architecture, an incredible content management system (CSM) and a permalink system that Google just gobbles up.

If you are a small business thinking about jumping into the digital world or updating your existing website then permalinks, CMS and site architecture probably don’t mean a thing to you. But the idea that you can have an attractive and effective digital presence that doesn’t require a degree in geekology to operate has to be attractive. Of course the fact that thousands of the top websites on the net are using it doesn’t hurt its credibility either.

How WordPress works

Unlike static websites that are based on HTML where each web page has to be uploaded to a file separately, WordPress uses PHP and MySQL to create a content management system that automates and accelerates the design and structuring of the site. For the small business person this translates into no or low webmaster expense and much more control over appearance and content.

Installing WordPress takes about 5 minutes if your webhosting company offers a C Panel. Learning how to set up WordPress website does involve a shallow learning curve but compared to a static site it’s a piece of cake.

Thanks to its theme processor, editing the look and feel can be as easy as dragging and dropping. The base installation comes with great support for tagging posts and articles and automatic filters insure that the formatting and stylization of text is all kept standard. In other words it spits out a polished product and saves a ton of time with little effort on the part of the site owner.

Why WordPress works especially well for small businesses

The base install come with some pretty powerful stuff but with a little intelligent tweaking a small business WordPress website can become a lead generating machine.

The bulk of traffic that comes to any website comes as the result of a search inquiry. There are over 15 billion searches each month. Not so long ago Google determined that as much as 75% of the searches’ were initiated as a result of a local need. In other words search was becoming the new Yellow Pages. As a result, local business have the same, if not better chance of ranking on page one of Google for any search involving goods or services.

Google and local business returns

Now that the small business can be competitive on Google, the challenge is to provide a website that will outperform the competition. Because WordPress comes stock with excellent Search Engine Optimization features it is an ideal choice for small businesses.

If there is a downside it is in the choices of themes that are available for business. WordPress offers thousands of themes and plugins for a business site which means it’s pretty easy to be overwhelmed. In addition there are other alternatives and you will want to explore other sources for WordPress themes for small business. A knowledgeable developer can tweak the plugins to make a site more Google appealing for a specific geographic area. Having great built in SEO and Google attraction for the local market is a combination that spells success.


Don Campbell’s career AHA moment came at a very early age, 13 to be exact when his parents gave him his first computer. Today after extensive experience with Interwoven and Microsoft, Don owns a company that helps hundreds of small businesses create WordPress Websites and position themselves for top local search results.