While you probably know (and may even use) WordPress.com as a cblogging platform, you may not realise that it can also serve as your business’s online home. In fact, WordPress has a number of tools and features designed to assist you in establishing a professional online presence, along with the customer support necessary to answer your questions.
Jayne, a Happiness Engineer and Support Lead for WordPress.com Business, has taken the time to offer her personal tips for using WordPress.com for business. Here’s what she had to say.
If someone wanted to create a business site using WordPress, what advice would you give them?
In most businesses, the goal is to develop a traditional website, not a blog. Fortunately, WordPress provides users with the flexibility to do both. Here are a few key tips.
Opt for pages instead of posts.
WordPress.com has two content types: posts and pages. For bloggers, posts are crucial, but not for businesses. A page is needed for creating the static content, such as essential information including address, hours, etc., that is needed on a traditional website. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for people to create an About Us post and later realise they actually needed an About Us page.
Your home page should be static.
WordPress.com automatically displays your posts page (recent posts). However, most websites want their home page to be their welcome page. For a static front page, simply create the page, go to Reading Settings, and select it as your home page.
Know that businesses benefit from blogs.
While a blog may seem unnecessary for a business, it’s actually not. For example, you can set up a “Blog” or “News” page away from your home page (in your Reading Settings) that allows you to display new, up-to-date content.
What live chat support help is available to WordPress.com Business customers?
Users have the option of using forums and direct email support, as well as a live chat service that connects them with Happiness Engineers, who are available Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm EST. For example, if you are struggling to upload a header image, you can click on the chat box to work through the problem in real time. Usually, a problem can be solved in a matter of minutes.
Currently, there are only 11 Happiness Engineers, which means that we’ve been able to develop a rapport with frequent users and watch as their sites develop.
What advice would you offer WP.com Business users before they ask for help to make certain they het the type of support they need?
If you are new to WP.com, it’s a good idea to go through the Learn WordPress.com and Support pages because you can almost always find the answers to basic questions there. Plus, it makes it easier to explain your problem during live chats. Essentially, the same guidelines for emailing support apply to live chats. With a specific problem, have examples to share and make us aware of what browsers you’ve checked your site in if you’re experiencing layout issues.
Do you have any insider tips for small business owners looking to choose a theme?
For WP.com Business users, the Themes Showcase is definitely the place to start. At no additional charge, you can choose premium themes. (Keep in mind that premium themes purchased from other websites can’t be uploaded to your WP.com Business site.) If there’s a theme you are interested in, but can’t find in the showcase, don’t hesitate to suggest it to us.
Frugal business owners who want a basic site may think that WP.com Business is a bit pricey at $299/ year. What would you like them to know?
With the exception of unlimited premium themes and live chat, the features and upgrades available in WP.com Business can be purchased separately. If $299 is a little much for your budget, you can start with one of our free themes that offer a customisable header and widget area. By doing this, you can take advantage of photo editing services, such as PicMonkey, to create your own header. Using Image Widget, you can add images to your sidebar, as well. (It is possible to customise without the Custom Design upgrade.)
For any business, a custom domain is an absolute must-have upgrade because it gives your site a look of professionalism. As long as you continue to renew it, it’s yours to use. Business owners spend plenty of time and effort branding their company, so they should make certain they are the only owner of fancyfelines.com or delectabledesserts.com before another person registers the domain. Custom domains were certainly help with an SEO campaign. Most SEO agencies will advise you of using a branded URL as this is something Google tends to enjoy more so than domains that contains keywords.
If you’re not certain WordPress.com Business is right for you, try it for 30 days. If you’re not satisfied, your money will be refunded. (The refund window for the domain registration portion of the upgrade is 48 hours.)
For further information on WordPress you may speak to one of our SEO Consultant London experts who will advise you on the initial steps to adopting WP as part of your business model.