Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Statistics And Market Share About WordPress – Understanding WordPress For New Users

This blog post is part of a detailed multi-part article series aimed at helping you understand how the WordPress content publishing platform can help your small business achieve its business goals online using the WordPress content publishing application.

WordPress

For more information about of the article series, see this post: The Small Business Owner’s Guide To WordPress

In this blog post, we present a number of statistics about WordPress that will help you understand why millions of businesses around the world use WordPress and what kind of businesses and people are using WordPress today.

Statistics And Market Share Of WordPress

The short version:

  • WordPress began as a blogging tool in 2003.
  • WordPress offers users two formats: a hosted platform (WordPress.com) and as a self-hosted, downloadable software (WordPress.org).
  • 23 out of every 100 new domains registered in the U.S. are for installing a new WordPress site.
  • There are well over 60 million installations of WordPress worldwide. This number increases everyday.
  • Over one-sixth of all websites worldwide are driven by WordPress.
  • More than 60% of all sites that use a content management system are built with WordPress.
  • Over 30,000,000 searches are made on Google each month for WordPress related terms.
  • WordPress is completely free to download, use and modify. The WordPress application is built using an open source content management system.
  • WordPress is built by volunteers. Thousands of people from all around the world work on developing and improving the WordPress application each day.
  • The WordPress application is regularly updated to fix bugs and improve both its features and security.
  • WordPress delivers content online to visitors worldwide. WordPress has been translated and localized into over seventy languages and dialects.
  • The WordPress repository currently makes available thousands of free WP plugins, themes and widgets to WordPress users.
  • There is virtually no limit to what can be built using WordPress.

WordPress Popularity

In simple terms, a content management system (CMS), is a web tool for non-technical users. It is a web application designed to make it easy for non-technical website owners to add, modify and manage all content on their website.

WordPress began in 2003. It was originally written by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Since then, WordPress has grown to become the widely-used self-hosted CMS application in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

WordPress is owned by Automattic.com, which currently employs around 300 people, all of whom work from home. Despite being a distributed company with so few employees, WordPress.com (the hosted version of WordPress) currently attracts more unique monthly views than Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Twitter and Yahoo …

WordPress (hosted version) unique views

(WordPress.com unique monthly visits. Source: http://ift.tt/m0pJp8)

Here are just some of the latest figures on WordPress usage:

Over 60% of websites worldwide are not CMS-based. Of those that are, WordPress is the clear leader, with more than 60% of the market share.

WP CMS usage figures

WordPress usage stats

In terms of CMS dominance, no other platform even comes close to WordPress …

WP usage figures

In fact, more and more websites are now using WordPress.

WordPress is so popular, that even keeping up with statistics on WordPress is quite difficult, because the information changes so frequently.

For example, at the time this post was written, here is the current number of downloads of the latest WordPress version …

current number of downloads of the latest WordPress version

(Source: http://ift.tt/2k0cWXQ)

Information

Note: The above numbers represents only the most recently released version of WordPress. Less than half of all current users have upgraded their installations to the latest release …

WP versions currently in use

(WordPress versions in current use. Source: http://ift.tt/2k0dnS5)

As this article was being written, the number of downloads had already increased. If you click on the link above and visit the WordPress download counter site, you should expect to see a much higher number of downloads … perhaps even a newer version, as the WordPress developer team continually updates the software to fix security issues and bugs, and add improved or new features.

Speaking of updates, WordPress has released over 100 new software updates since 2003 …

WordPress release archive

(Over one hundred new WordPress versions have been released in its first 11 years)

WordPress currently releases a new update every 3-4 months …

WP release versions

(WordPress regularly releases new software versions honoring famous Jazz musicians)

Info

Interestingly enough, all major WordPress releases have a tradition of being named after Jazz musicians, eg:

  • v.2.0 = Duke Ellington (December 31, 2005),
  • v.2.7 = John Coltrane (December 10, 2008),
  • v.2.8 = Chet Baker (June 11, 2009),
  • v.3.4 = Grant Green (June 13, 2012),
  • v.3.8 = Charlie Parker (December 12, 2013),
  • etc …

Who Is Using WordPress

In a nutshell, all different types of organizations and people are using WordPress to publish content about everything under the sun.

Giant brands, businesses, technology companies, celebrities, politicians, famous artists, universities, government sectors, not-for-profits – even countries are using WordPress to run their official websites …

WP Showcase

WordPress.org Showcase

Here are just some of the sites, organizations and people who have built their online presence with WordPress:

  • Global Brands & Companies: Factory Jackson, Dole, Dassault Aviation, McDonald’s Singapore, Mercedes-Benz, etc …
  • Celebrities, Politicians, Sports Stars, Actors & Musicians: US Air Force General Chuck Yeager, Rush, Nancy Pelosi, Justin Bieber, Dallas Mavericks, The Rolling Stones, Katie Couric, Gabriel Iglesias, Jason Mraz, etc …
  • Colleges & Educational Institutions: Nicholls State University, International Relations Online at American University, Bates College, The University of Mary Washington, etc.
  • Magazines & Media: Thrive Magazine, New York Post, InStyle News, CBS New York, etc.
  • Government Sites, Public Services & Humanitarian Organizations: Sweden’s Official Site, Canadian Museum of History, Slow Food Italia, CURE International, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, etc.

Earlier, we mentioned that WordPress is available as a hosted platform (WordPress.com) and as a self-hosted, downloadable application (WordPress.org).

  • Businesses prefer to download the self-hosted version, which can be installed on their own domain and freely modified to suit their needs. In fact, most WordPress self-hosted installations are used for running some form of enterprise.
  • More than half of all WordPress users use the hosted version on WordPress.com
  • In 2014, blogs that are part of the WordPress network (blogs hosted either on WordPress.com or externally-hosted WordPress sites) published on average 17 posts every second (around 1.5 million per day).

You can see a live map showing user activity across its hosted service …

WordPress (Hosted Version) - Live Users WorldWide

WordPress.com – Activity Around The World

In other tutorials we address the main differences between WordPress.com (hosted) and WordPress.org (self-hosted) versions.

Additional Statistics About WordPress

WordPress Plugins

WordPress users have access to over 37,000 WP plugins at no cost …

WordPress free plugins repository

(WP free plugins repository)

We have written a detailed article about plugins here: Using WP Plugins To Enhance Your Website’s Functionality

WordPress Themes

WordPress users can also access over 1,700 free WP themes from the WordPress themes directory …

WordPress.org theme repository

(WordPress.org theme repository)

For a detailed article about themes go here: About WP Themes – A Newbies’ Guide

Translations Of WordPress

WordPress has been translated and localized into over 70 languages in addition to English …

WP language translations

(WordPress language translations)

WordPress Searches Online

The search term “WordPress” alone receives around 2.7 million monthly searches on Google. Adding WordPress-related terms (e.g. “WP themes”, “WP plugins”, “learn WordPress”, etc. brings the total number of online searches for WordPress terms to more than thirty-seven million …

(WordPress-related searches online)

(WP searches online)

If you compare searches for WordPress to other CMS platforms, WordPress gets searched 5 x more than Joomla and 9x more than Drupal.

WordPress Rates

According to WordPress’ own “State of the Word” 2014 survey, one quarter of all WordPress users who answered the survey stated that they make a full-time living off WordPress. An earlier survey conducted by WordPress (2012) also found that the median hourly rate of WordPress projects is around US$50.

You can find WordPress designers and developers for hire at freelancing sites like ODesk.com

WordPress Freelance Developers ODesk.com

According to ODesk.com, typical job cost ranges for WordPress are between $10 – $500 …

WP Job Cost Overview - ODesk

(Source: ODesk)

As you can clearly see from the information presented above, WordPress is set for continued growth for many years to come.

In other blog posts, we will explore the following areas:

  • Why WordPress is the best platform to grow your small business online,
  • Dozens of reasons why you should choose WordPress for your business website or blog, including a detailed review of the unique benefits, features and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform,
  • Ways to automate your business marketing with WordPress,
  • How to drive targeted traffic, increase conversions, and how to sell more products and services with WordPress.
  • Plus, we’ll be regularly posting ongoing tutorials and examples of how you can use WordPress to expand your business online, while also saving thousands of dollars on the costs of web development and web design.

Information Sources:

The above figures were sourced from various locations around the web, including the following sites:

Want more help with WordPress? Please post a comment below or share this article with your friends.

The post Statistics And Market Share About WordPress – Understanding WordPress For New Users appeared first on Quick Click Hosting.


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Everything You Need To Know To Grow A Successful Business With WordPress

WordPress … are you familiar with it?

The Small Business Owner's Guide To Using WordPress

Maybe you know about WordPress, maybe you do not. You could be forgiven for thinking that WordPress isn’t really something that you need to waste your time looking at – that it’s mostly just a “technical” web tool that mostly excites code-loving techies and geeks such as website developers and web designers.

It’s easy to understand why you would feel this way. Maybe you feel that, as a business owner, your focus should be 100% on your business and not on technical things like websites. That’s why businesses engage web developers, web designers and web masters to build and manage their sites, isn’t it?

In the Digital Economy, any boundaries between the “offline” and “online” areas of your business are no longer distinctly marked. A digital presence is now an integral part of your business whether you care to admit this or not, and growing your business online, is just as important as growing your business offline.

Think about this:

Don’t Ignore Your Competition

No matter what business you are in, there is global competition for new customers even at the local business level. You may not be targeting customers in your local area online, but your competition most certainly is. You need a digital presence that helps you compete in today’s global economy.

Using WordPress To Grow Your Small Business Online

Your Website Is Not Enough

Businesses can’t afford not to have an online presence. Having a “static” website is no longer enough.

You need to constantly promote your business online with new content, social media, different channels and different content formats in order to let potential customers know that you exist.

Using A WordPress Blog To Grow Your Business Online

How Are You Communicating Online With Your Potential Customers?

Marketing “to” your website visitors is also no longer as effective as communicating “with” people, responding to their questions and acknowledging their comments and suggestions.

As you are no doubt aware, nowadays customers expect an instant response online, and the sooner you reply the better.

The Business Owner's Guide To WordPress

This requires a strategic business plan and an online vehicle that lets you successfully achieve your business objectives.

Learn How To Grow Your Small Business Online With A Powerful Online Vehicle

Although many web developers and web designers are very enthusiastic about building sites with WordPress, WordPress is not something that just excites “techies” and “geeks.”

Using WordPress To Grow Your Business Online

Once you truly discover everything that WordPress can do to help you grow your business online, it will be very hard to contain your enthusiasm!

The Small Business Owner's Guide To WordPress

WordPress For Small Business: The Beginner’s Guide To Growing A Small Business With WordPress – Article Series

In this comprehensive series of articles for small businesses, we will help you understand exactly why the WordPress platform is the vehicle that can help you achieve your business goals online.

Using A WordPress Site To Grow Your Business Online

Over the entire course of our instructional series of articles, we cover the following areas in great detail:

  • Why millions of businesses around the world choose WordPress to power their business websites and blogs,
  • Why WordPress is the best platform for growing your small business online,
  • Over fifty compelling reasons why you should choose WordPress for your website or blog, including a detailed breakdown of the unique benefits, features and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform,
  • Ways to automate your business marketing with WordPress,
  • How to drive targeted traffic, get more leads, and how to sell more products and services with WordPress.
  • Plus, we’ll be publishing loads of tutorials and great tips on how you can use WordPress and expand your business presence online, and save thousands of dollars on web development and website design costs.

Are you ready to begin learning more about WordPress? Great! Then click on the link below to get started:

How Popular Is WordPress? Facts And Figures About WordPress

Tip

Don’t Have A Business Website Yet?

Website planning is regarded by many online business strategists to be the most important step of building a successful web site. See this article to learn why better website planning can help grow your business and what to do before you spend your money getting a website built for your business:

The Importance Of Web Site Planning – What To Do Before Spending Your Money

The post Everything You Need To Know To Grow A Successful Business With WordPress appeared first on Quick Click Hosting.


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Sunday, January 15, 2017

How To Save Money With These Web Site Planning Tips – Part 3

Web site DesignAre you thinking about taking your business online?

Then this article on planning your website is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article where we take you through the process of planning your business website.

A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2

Up to this point, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Your Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Website Name
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
  • Step 4 – Define Your Audience
  • Step 5 – Identify Your Key Phrases
  • Step 6 – Defining Site Categories
  • Step 7 – Creating Your Content Strategy

How To Save Money With These Web Site Planning Tips

You’re almost there with your initial website planning work. In this phase of the site planning process, we are going to set up an initial blogging schedule, define what type of content you are going to create for your website or blog, and decide who is going to do what on your site.

Step 8 – Creating Your Blogging Or Content Publishing Schedule

You need to publish content regularly for your business to grow online. A content publishing system is the most productive and effective way to plan, schedule and track your content creation and publishing process.

Create Your Content Publishing Or Blogging Schedule

Creating Your Content Or Blog Publishing Schedule

After creating an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial blog or content publishing schedule.

Info

Although this step may not seem to related directly with building your website, by creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create and who will be responsible for managing all of this (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what type of additional services and resources your business will need to have in place once your site has been created.

Useful Tip

Content Scheduling Tips:

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

Adding new content to your website consistently is vitally important for building an online audience and increasing your site’s search engine rankings and results.

This is the step where you are actively marketing and promoting your business with content, and so it’s essential that you create a habit of publishing content on your website regularly.

Start by making a commitment to publish a new post each week or fortnight to your website. Decide on a specific day of the week and time that you will sit down to write your articles. Allow 1-2 hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each item of content.

Now, commit to turning this into a regular habit. Keep monitor this commitment and if you need to, adjust your schedule accordingly.

Remind yourself when you sit down to write your content that you are you are working on growing your business, instead of just simply working in it.

Tip #2: Content Scheduling Tools

If you are going to publish content on your site consistently (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheet-based Editorial Templates to help schedule and track the content content publishing, or use a WordPress plugin.

Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates

You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using any spreadsheet program …

Simple Content Template Created With Spreadsheet

Content Planning Template Created Using A Spreadsheet

Use this master spreadsheet to plan your content production and publishing schedule. For example, in your spreadsheet, you can create the following columns:

  • Publish Date: Enter the date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when content has been published. You can also create a second column to record 1) the date your content needs to be written by, and 2) the date your content is scheduled to publish on your site.
  • Author: Who will write or create the content. (See Step 10 below)
  • Type: Enter the kind of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, enter the blog post category you will publish this item under.
  • CTA: What is this specific item of content designed to help you sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your article headline, title of your content item, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content.
  • SEO: The main keyword phrase your content is targeting.
  • URL: Once you have published the item, record its URL here. This will make it easier to find the content URL when promoting your content (e.g. on social media, emails, etc)
  • Short URL: You can also add a shortened version of the content’s destination URL for promoting on Twitter, or tracking your campaigns.

You don’t need all of the above columns. You can keep things simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing just these essential columns:

  • Publish Date
  • Content Author
  • Content Format
  • Category.

If you want to create an Editorial Calendar to help plan your content every month, just search online for “free monthly calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com

WinCalendar.com - Calendar Maker

WinCalendar.com – Calendar Maker

WordPress Editorial Scheduling Plugins

If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, there are some useful plugins you can install:

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar is a Free plugin for WordPress that allows you to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your site.

The Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of your scheduling and when each item will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts inside the calendar and manage your entire blogging schedule.

Editorial Calendar - Editorial Plugin For WordPress

(Screenshot source: Editorial Calendar website)

To learn more visit this site: Editorial Calendar – WordPress Plugin

Edit Flow – WordPress Editorial

Edit Flow

Edit Flow lets you collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress.

Some key features of this plugin include:

  • Calendar – A month-by-month look at your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Define key workflow stages.
  • Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion between writers and editors in the admin via threaded commenting.
  • Editorial Metadata – Helps you keep track of important details.
  • Notifications – Lets you receive timely updates on any content you’re following.
  • Story Budget – Lets you view your upcoming content budget details.
  • User Groups – Helps you organize your users by department or function.

Edit Flow - WP Plugin

(Screenshot source: Edit Flow website)

For more information visit this website: Edit Flow – WP Editorial

Oasis Workflow – Plugin For WordPress

Oasis Workflow - Plugin For WordPress

Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress that allows you to automate any editorial workflow process using a simple and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).

Some of the many useful features of Oasis Workflow include the ability to configure your work flow using a visual work flow designer and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow

(Above screenshots taken from plugin site)

It also also offers role-based routing, lets users view their current assignments and sign off on their tasks once assignments are completed, process history for auditing purposes, task reassignment, due date and email reminders to help you to publish your articles on time, and an out of the box editable workflow to help you get started.

Oasis Workflow also has a “Pro” version that includes additional functionality, such as allowing you to create multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, auto submit, revise published content and more.

To learn more visit this site: Oasis Workflow

Step 9 – Define What Kind Of Content You Will Publish

What Kind Of Content Will Be Published On Your Website Or Blog?

What Type Of Content Will You Publish On Your Website Or Blog?

After setting up your schedule for creating content, the next step is to establish what kind of content you are going to create to publish on your website.

Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, interviews, product comparisons, downloadable PDF reports, etc.?

Knowing what types of content you intend to create for your website is useful, because this helps you understand what other technologies and resources you will need to purchase or budget for to create your content. This could include purchasing video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.

Step 10 – Assigning Roles And Responsibilities

Who Is Going To Handle All Areas Of Your Website?

Who Will Handle All Areas Of Running Your Website Or Blog?

The last step in the website planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various areas of your site and content and assign these to your human resources, or consider outsourcing.

There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a professional digital presence.

When completing this step, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
  • Who will create the content (e.g. researching, writing and rewriting, sourcing and creating graphics and logos, videos, audios, newsletter content, training content, FAQs, etc.)?
  • How will you communicate what needs doing to others? How will people communicate with each other to ensure that everything works smoothly?
  • Who will manage the scheduling and publishing of content on your posts and pages and update any outdated content?
  • Who will promote and market the website with search engine optimization, online advertising, social media marketing, video marketing, etc.?
  • Who will maintain and upgrade site software, install new applications, customize web templates, provide technical support, etc.?
  • Who will be responsible for setting and monitoring the budget for all of the above areas (including budgeting for the cost of building your site)?

Who is going to be accountable for all areas of your site?

Depending on your situation, it may be just one person doing it all (e.g. you), or a few people, or perhaps even some outsourced help.

If you don’t know the answer to the above questions before getting your website built, you could end up investing a lot of time and money building something that will not only not help you grow your business, but cost even more of your valuable money and time.

Useful Tip

Tip: Focus On Processes, Not People When Assigning Responsibilities

Document or flowchart exactly who will do what in terms of managing your website and content creation.

Focus on documenting which roles should be responsible for the processes involved before assigning names to responsibilities or making people in your team accountable for managing these. This will help you understand how much responsibility and work is involved in each part of the process, explain why you are asking people to take on additional responsibilities, and assist you in planning the allocation of resources accordingly.

Congratulations! You have completed all of the sections of the website planning process. You can now begin looking at options for getting your site built.

A Cost-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners

Tip

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of the web site planning process and how WordPress can help you get better results online. If you need information or assistance with any aspects of web development, see the other articles we have published on this site or contact us.

Please consider subscribing to our blog, as we plan to add lots more content, resources and useful tips for small businesses on developing your online marketing strategy.

The post How To Save Money With These Web Site Planning Tips – Part 3 appeared first on Quick Click Hosting.


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Follow These Web Site Planning Tips To Build A Better Web Site

Web DevelopmentThis is Part One of a 3-part series of articles about how to plan your website.

Are you thinking about taking your small business online?

One of the many decisions you need to make is whether or not to build this website yourself, or get someone to create the website for you.

Both choices have pros and cons. Whatever choice you select will depend on many things like:

  • What kind of a budget you have allocated for website development
  • How much time you can put into building your website
  • Your business priorities
  • Sense of urgency
  • Your level of technical skill
  • Your level of commitment to supervise and manage the project
  • etc …

If you have a small budget and you want to save money, you could choose to develop the web site yourself, but it goes without saying that you will then need to invest time figuring out how to put things together.

How To Plan Your Website – What To Do And What Not To Do

Whether you decide to build a website yourself or get someone else to build it for you, the first important step is to do some website planning. In this post we explain why planning your website is important and what to avoid doing when planning a web site for your small business.

The Web Site Planning Process Explained - A Basic Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners

Planning your website is regarded by many online marketing experts to be one of the most important aspects of the whole process of getting a website built. Taking time to carefully plan your website upfront helps to avoid costly errors later and results in a better end end product.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive primer for non-technical users aimed at helping you better understand the website planning process. We will also cover the dos and don’ts of planning a website or blog, and give you tips on how to talk to your website developer to ensure that you end up with a website that will perfectly meet your budget, suit your needs and deliver you great results online.

Important

Important: Before setting up a website or registering a domain for your web site, it’s absolutely important that you first spend a little time doing market research.

Building a successful digital presence requires more than just getting a professional website set up. It requires amongst lots of other things, a commitment to develop and implement an ongoing digital marketing strategy.

The Site Planning Process Explained

So … you have decided that you want an online presence.

Let’s start, then, by gaining a better understanding of the website planning process.

Before doing anything else, study the process chart below, and let’s work step-by-step through the information in this post together.

Note: To view a larger image click on the image or the link below the process chart.

A Basic Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners

(click to view larger flowchart)

To make this process easy to follow, we recommend downloading and printing the Website Planning Flowchart shown in the above image.

Once you have downloaded and printed out the flowchart, grab some paper and a pen, or whatever you takes notes on, so you can jot down your thoughts and ideas as we walk you through the process. Also, make sure to shut out all distractions over the next 15-45 minutes.

Step 1 – Define Your Goals

No matter what type of website you decide to build, the first step is to define one or more goals for your website and make these as specific as possible.

Ask these questions:

  • What kind of web site am I planning to build? Is it a business web site, e-commerce site, a personal blog, or some other kind of website?
  • What specific objectives would you like this website to help you achieve?

For example, your goal could be to:

  • Sell products or services online – you might need to build a site with e-commerce facilities. Depending on your objectives, this could also require the addition of a membership site area that only your customers can access.
  • Capture new leads – you might want a simple site built with a “squeeze” page (landing page), or a lead generation form where all of yourvisitors get directed to,
  • Have a portfolio site that will help build credibility and trust for your professional services or brand, post news, announcements and information about company events, etc.
  • Get more exposure online for your existing business – you may want to look at getting a blog built on a separate domain, or added to an existing website to interact with users and keep customers informed about your latest product updates, or help establish your authority and expertise in your specific niche.
  • Or something else …

Record whatever goals you want your website to help you achieve on your worksheet, a blank sheet of paper, or wherever you are recording this process.

Once you have written your list, go through your list and choose the goal that is most important to your business.

Write down this goal on your process chart (in “Your Website Goals” section) as “Goal 1“.

Now, go back over your list and repeat this process to find two more goals and write these down in your worksheet as “Goal 2” and “Goal 3“.

Information

You’ve probably heard the old saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

But, what if you already can’t manage?

Building a website is going to pile on a ton of extra responsibilities on your plate.

Your website planning process is an integral aspect of your business marketing planning processes. It’s important, therefore, that you continually refer to your marketing plan to make sure that you will have the resources and capabilities available to implement the strategies to help you achieve your goals.

So, with this in mind, take a moment to complete the following right now:

After listing at least 1-3 goals and written these in your planning chart, go back to “Goal 1” and ask yourself this question: “how will I measure this goal?”

In other words, what benchmarks will you use to measure your website’s performance? How will you know if your site is on track to help you achieve your business objectives?

For example, your website’s objective could be getting a certain number of leads every week through your site’s contact form, or getting “X” numbers of subscribers per week, etc …

Think about the resources and costs associated with managing the process of monitoring your goals. If you need to, revise your business plan to accommodate your findings.

Useful Tip

Note: It’s also important to keep your goals as flexible as possible at this stage, so you can re-evaluate these as more information is collected from your website from visitors.

Step 2 – Name Your Website

After you have clearly identified your site’s goals, the next step is to come up with an appropriate name for your website.

This is an important step of the website planning process, so take your time to think carefully about coming up with a good name for your site.

Brainstorm your ideas or mastermind with others. Call a few customers (or potential customers if you haven’t launched your business yet) and get their input.

Try to think beyond just the name of your company, especially if your name isn’t something that immediately brings up your products or services to mind. Remember, most online users have never heard about you.

Put yourself in the shoes of an online customer. Who would be looking online for the very product or service your company sells? What would they be typing into a search engine or browser to find you? Once you know this, try to come up with a name that would entice your users.

Note: You can be creative and clever with your name, but it’s best to avoid being “too creative”. the same can be said about choosing a catchy, memorable or a stand out name. You can have a fun or quirky name, but it’s best to avoid names that may sound offensive (and definitely stay away from trademarked or registered names or phrases – you’ll just be asking for trouble!)

If you go online, you can quickly find out what other companies in your industry or niche have named their sites. Study your competition, especially those who occupy the search results that you would like to show up in.

For example, if you are planning to start a food blog, a quick search online for “cooking blog” reveals some great blog names like: “Smitten Kitchen”, “Cooking With Amy”, “Shockingly Delicious”, “Worth The Whisk” and more …

A Basic Guide To Website Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners

So … this is the step where you can get inspired. Make a huge list of potential names and then begin narrowing your list down.

After narrowing this list down to the best candidates, repeat the same process as above to craft a description, tagline or unique value proposition for your site.

Your description should be concise and inform the reader with as few words as possible what the website is all about. For example, in one of the cooking sites we came across while searching online, the site description was “Fast, Fresh, and Simple Recipes Easy Enough for Tonight’s dinner.”

Including keywords in your site’s name and description can also be useful.

Once you have completed this step, it’s time to look at your domain name. If you plan to add a blog to your existing website and feel that this blog should be its own entity, then go ahead and register a new domain name for your site.

There are different strategies you can use to register domains names for your web site. For example, you can register keyword-rich domain names (i.e. domains that include the key phrase you would like to rank for in the search engines), expired domain names (domains that the previous owners have decided not to renew and that can be registered again, other top level domain names and domain name extensions, etc.)

Useful Tip

Tip: Subscribe to our site to learn more about practical strategies on registering domains and tips on how to develop your web marketing strategy.

Step 3 – Managing Your Technology

Once you have settled on a name and description for your website, the next step is to develop a clear plan to manage the technology that will host, support and help drive your online marketing vehicle.

We highly encourage you to consider building your website with WordPress.

WordPress

WordPress is not only a robust web-building platform, but it is also easy-to-manage and great for non-technical users.

WordPress is also the world’s leading content management system (CMS), and, as you can see from the screenshot below, WordPress powers almost 50% of the world’s CMS-driven websites.

The Website Planning Process: A Comprehensive Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners

A WordPress-powered website or blog is ideal for publishing content and communicating with existing and potential clients.

A business website or blog created with WordPress lets you interact with site visitors, and makes things like posting content, special offers, promotions, news and announcements about your services, company or industry very easy, especially if you have little to no technical web skills. In fact, no coding is required to publish content on a WordPress site, and managing things like file and data backups and software upgrades can easily be automated.

In fact, many businesses no longer use static websites built using traditional website building tools. More sites are now being powered by technologies like WordPress, which can provide businesses and their users with all of the functions and capabilities of a regular website.

If you would like to have better control your business online and don’t have the time, need or desire to learn “web code” languages such as HTML, then you should consider using a WordPress-powered business website or blog.

Website Hosting & Web Site Management

In addition to using to build your web site with the WordPress web publishing software, you should also choose where you are going to host your site, and whether you are going to outsource your site management to someone else, or manage the website yourself.

A Money-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners

Useful Tip

We use and recommend WordPress for most website applications, and we also provide more information about the benefits of using WordPress and tips on subjects like domain name registration, webhosting and website management in other sections on this site.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

Step 4 – Defining Your Target Audience

After you have the basics of your site worked out, then it’s time to define who will be your target audience.

You will want to know key information about your site’s target audience, such as:

  • Audience demographics
  • What your audience needs and wants
  • Problems your audience experiences, or will encounter in the future
  • How they consume digital information
  • How they generally see themselves
  • What they expect from you andor your business

It’s essential that you try and create as accurate a profile of your ideal visitors as you can. Try to picture the actual person that you will be communicating directly with when presenting your information to.

To work through this process, begin by asking important questions, like:

  • Who is the ideal visitor for your website?
  • What will visitors search for on your website?
  • What difficulties are people experiencing that your website can help them solve online? What specific solutions are people searching online for similar problems?
  • Is your audience technology-savvy? How does your audience consume information? Will they prefer videos to visual content like images or graphics and text? Will they need downloadable content (e.g. price lists, schedules, timetables)? Do you need to create content like videos, audios or multimedia presentations regularly in order to engage your audience?
  • Where are they located? Can geographic location and factors like education, relationship status or income level impact the success of your site? If so, what segments of the population will your web site be marketing to and how will you find and target these demographics online?
  • How do your target users see themselves? Who does your audience form relationships online with? What music are they downloading? What else are they buying or consuming online?
  • What do your target users expect from your site? What kind of information are you willing to provide to them for free or for a fee? What kind of information will you not be providing to them for free?

Being able to define your website’s target audience is an important step in the website planning process and it will help you communicate better with the web developer and everyone else assisting you in developing your website, and help to ensure that you get a better end product.

Useful Tip

If you don’t have access to accurate market information about your target audience, then start with a “best guess” based on your experience and whatever research you can get your hands on.

Also, try not to limit things too much. You could be going after a niche that is just too small, or an online opportunity that may not be worth pursuing.

Finally, unless you plan to build a portal website and have the resources to do so, avoid trying to make your website be “everything to everyone”, or you’ll just end up creating a ton of extra work for yourself when it comes to populating your website with content, as you will learn when we continue exploring the website planning process in another post.

A Basic Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners

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This is the end of Part 1

To read Part 2 of this article, click here:

Why Planning Your Website Is Important – What To Do Before You Build – Part 2

Tip

We recommend that you subscribe to this site, as we will be posting loads of great content, resources and cost-effective tips for small businesses on how to develop and implement a successful website marketing strategy.

The post Follow These Web Site Planning Tips To Build A Better Web Site appeared first on Quick Click Hosting.


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