What I learned at camp: 3 types of WordPress sites for your business

So glad I went to camp.   It was educational and inspiring and for $40 I got a free lunch, a t-shirt, and a whole day of workshops.  I walked out of camp with a solid introduction into the world of WordPress and what its capable of.  At times, I had no idea what people were talking about but by the end of day, the vocabulary seemed a bit less daunting and I was excited to get started.

This is what I learned: WordPress is not only a blogging platform but also a logical and economical choice to design and develop a website–especially for small businesses!  This is why:

WordPress is modular!  You can start with a simple template and as your business or blog grows you can add design and functionality to it.  It reminded me of my iPhone.  Plug in’s are like applications you use to customize your site with what you like and what you need.  Need a store or the capability for people to pay for your services online? Add Shoppe.  Want to track who’s visiting your site?  Plug in Google Analytics.  Want to add a window on your site of your favorite videos?  Plug in Vodpod.  So cool and easy!  Even I did it!

What I also learned (thanks to Daisy Olsen aka WPMama) is that there are essentially three types of WordPress sites:

Free site!  There are a lot of good free themes!  My site is free.   If you’re concerned about traffic for your blog, Google only cares about words not design.  So you can conjure up a fair amount of traffic by the words you choose and the use of SEO (search engine optimization–which is a whole other topic). Yes, the design is simple and basic but if you’re someone who wants to focus on content and build later, you can eventually do that!  If you have the time and patience, you can really teach yourself a lot about how to customize your site.  There are lots of great tutorials on YouTube and lots of discussions and blogs to read online.  But if you’re like me and new to blogging, this is a good way to get started and there’s no financial commitment.

Commercial site: this means you pretty much buy a template from someone who has designed it already and you get to change the colors, fonts, and add some plug ins.  After looking at a few websites, I was really impressed with StudioPress.  One of their developers was also sitting next to me at the workshop.  What’s nice about commercial themes is that you get to customize your site and there’s support available.

Custom site: these are created by scratch by a developer and are probably the most expensive.  But the look is unique and entirely your own.  If you go this route find a designer who’s also a developer.

If you want to learn more about choosing WordPress as a tool for your business, please visit www.wpmama.com.  Daisy was super sweet and posted her slide show from the workshop on the site.

Another thing I love about WordPress is the large community of people who use it and who are willing to support and lend a hand to other WordPress users.  The culture of using, sharing, and innovation within the community is inspiring.  Camp also gave everyone a chance to meet in person–allowing technology to lead to interaction, partnerships, and collaboration.  Just what I was looking for.


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