There is an appeal to small business owners who need control in their entrepreneurial world and WordPress offers that control in a Web publishing format. WordPress is a publishing program this is free thanks to the joint efforts of thousands of programmers worldwide who want nothing more than to be able to contribute to mankind. Its Content Management System provides a graphical user interface that allows its administrator or small business owner to create, add to or modify content, add images and multimedia files, create calendars, and much, much more.
I retired from a rather comfortable full time sales position in 2010. I say comfortable since it became easy to manage after 28 years. For I had built up a client and referral base and was somewhat well respected for my product and application knowledge, as well as my integrity and attention to detail.
However in retrospect, I realize that although I was an entrepreneur at heart, I was locked into a large corporation’s top down hierarchy which has the inherent lack of flexibility coupled with a lack of desire to change. Throughout the years I would do things and perform tasks completely out of the box and “not possible” according to the rules mandated by certain procedures as well as management personnel.
I needed to be in control of my own destiny in order to satisfy me customer yet I had no control over my destiny within that environment. All I could hope to do was maximize my own efforts in control. I was increasingly frustrated with the inability to get the entire job done as planned as the economy (again) slowed down. There was always some thing or someone interrupting the desired outcome which ultimately affected my customer’s expectations as well as my satisfaction which in turn lead to frustration. There was more grimacing, complaining and arguing going on than attempts to accomplish the task at hand. So I eventually left.
During the decision making process (which took 4½ years) I launched a Web site for my wife’s party business. I required the same need to be in control of our destiny when it came to building that initial Web site. I did not want to depend on a developer to publish a Web site for I did not want to be ‘locked’ in to someone else’s expertise. Even after publishing a site, you would needed the developer to add or change any little bit of content. Even changing the copyright date meant a fee, unless you were under an annual maintenance contract. Change a product picture, add a service, or change a price? Ca-Ching! There goes the cash register ringing in the developer’s ear! Or you get the response: “Ok, when I get the time (maybe never). And the bill is in the mail.” Or one day the developer disappears and so does access to your Web site!
I also had no desire to learn to write code in HTML (hyper text markup language). No patience, please afford me instant gratification! The course of least resistance led to a program in a box where I could use my photo manipulation and layout strengths with just a smattering of coding language in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) program format. So I opted for that program in a box. I had a free copy, so what the heck! (I am now on my third upgrade, with the fourth announced just weeks ago – Gotcha!)
A year or so later I stumbled upon WordPress, a content management system used primarily for ‘Web logs’ which was later shortened to blogs. Blogs are a series of articles, or posts, published in reverse chronological order. The newest entry pushing down the previous one to the number two slot; and so on, and so on.
But, I had control over the content of every blog post. And, if I want to add a page to the (blog) site…all I had to do was “Add Page”! Upload a picture or graphic? No problem! Embed a video? Well at that time it was a little trickier, but it could be done. And, everything I wanted to do was published instantaneous since the software resided on a server not on my hard drive. Click the “Publish” button and it was ‘live’ on the Web in less than a second. No need to ‘upload’ new files to a server via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) in the middle of the night because of traffic congestion. Heck, I was in control of the content and how quickly it got published!
Then WordPress started getting friendlier for us folks who wanted to build entire Web sites on the platform. It expanded beyond its simple origins as a blogging platform. That to me, and other small business owners is important. While many complicated sites as well as ecommerce sites still need developers today, not so for the average small business owner. WordPress’ content management system allows control for a company with a handful or a considerable number of products or services to offer!
Yes, there is a learning curve because of unfamiliar jargon and navigation. But with a little help (time out for a personal plug for my services as a WordPress tutor), the travel time down that road can be shortened considerably. And, the long term benefits far out way the costs in that regard. You no longer need to be a slave to the whims of a developer nor pay the freight charges to have minor changes made to your Web site. You have control. That can be as little or as much as you desire.
Read more on my WordPress pages.
More to come… This is one in a series of articles planned on the benefits of WordPress as a WEB publishing program.