When designing a website on WordPress, one of the most essential pieces is going to be its structure.  In many cases if you have a fully customized website, you will include various plugins to supplement parts of your website when utilizing the WordPress platform.  This allows for much easier creation and management than a custom coded and managed website. Plugins are used within the WordPress platform because they are programs designed to do specific things to augment and bolster your site, without needing custom code.  

programmer coding a website

What is the biggest difference between using a platform like WordPress and coding your own website?  

The largest would be time needed to create the websites and the cost of the projects.  WordPress websites can typically run in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you wanted a web development team to create a website you would be looking at at least a $10,000 bill which can be overwhelming to many smaller companies.

Deciding the main purpose of your website will be key in deciding the path you need to go down.  If you are looking for fully customizable and unique functionality, you may need a web development team for a larger scope project.  However, most businesses will find that the WordPress route will allow them all the customization that they will need. WordPress allows for merchant processing and e-commerce plugins to be integrated.  This allows businesses to run their shops fully digitally in many cases without spending a large amount of money.

laptop with WordPress open

The bread and butter to any WordPress website is going to be plugins or unique code used.  There needs to be a balance of plugins with your other content. Having too many plugins can slow down your website.  Alternatively, there may be a point where plugins are messing with each others settings meaning that you are not getting the full usability in some cases.  Kallen media is here to breakdown 3 common uses for plugins on the WordPress platform.

1. Search Engine Optimization

Often times the purpose of working on WordPress is to avoid digging to deep into the coding elements of your website.  Search engines look at all elements of your website unless you specifically tell them not to. When these search engines crawl your websites they are looking for a variety of different factors to rank your site.  There are some elements that you can control like how many keywords you embed and if you have all your proper tags in place.

search engine bar over map

There may be other elements like proper image sizing, 404 redirects, and a variety of more complex problems that  you may have a harder time solving. This is where specific search engine optimization plugins come in. By utilizing a variety of plugins you can have images automatically resized to better fit your website.  You can have SEO plugins give you recommendations for pages as to how you can get the most search traffic.

2. Visual Builders

We are now at a point with website builders that we can design websites completely through a visual view.  This eliminates the need to code and allows for complete front end development capabilities. Some of the most common that Kallen Media would recommend would be Elementor and Divi.  Elementor offers a free version with limited features while the Divi package offers yearly and lifetime licenses.

Utilizing visual builders allows you to bring design aspects directly into your websites.  Adding icons, pictures, and visual effects has never been easier. There are several beginner tutorials online that can guide you through building a website within a few hours from Kallen Media.  Of course there is much more depth and capabilities once you dive deeper, but this is a great starting point for someone interested in creating a website. Alternatively, you could utilize Kallen Media to design, create, and teach you about your website.  This way you are both informed, as well as fully capable of making changes to your website without the need of a third party.

3. E-Commerce

The digital market is constantly expanding, and with it, so is e-commerce.  In order to be successful as an online business you need to be able to process payments online.  This requires that you both have a merchant processor, and oftentimes, an e-commerce website. WordPress allows you to link merchant processors easily with their plugins like WooCommerce.  One other essential piece that you need to keep in mind is that you need to have a HTTPS security key in order to process payments through your website. This can be purchased through most hosting websites, or contact Kallen Media for additional assistance.

store front sending out messages

Once you are working within an e-commerce website builder,you can display your products.  Whether it is physical products you ship out, or services, your can display your business within an online store.  Setting up product pages is easy and has full customization to make your business stand out from the competition. Integrating e-commerce software can seem overwhelming, but Kallen Media can make it simple with a free consultation!

After reviewing what WordPress has to offer, we would recommend trying your first website on WordPress.  If you are much more experienced and know exactly what you want to create, you may need to look into a web development team.  For now, we hope you enjoyed the article and would love to hear your feedback in the comments!