Before starting your website, it is important to ask why you are making it in the first place. I’ve seen many people who start out with great enthusiasm only to kick the bucket within a month. Their ideas are not necessarily bad but the execution is what left wanted. When the desired result didn’t come at the same pace that they made their website, most people choose to take the easy way out. So setting a proper goal, having a game-plan, constant optimization and learning, but above all, lots of patience is necessary for the success of your WordPress site.
So your answer to the title of this article should ideally be ‘to sustain it’. Once you get that part clear, you can move on all other factors.
What kind of website are you making?
Over the years, WordPress has transformed itself into a platform that can host multitude of different content. However, for ease of understanding, I will classify them broadly into three types- Blog, Business, and Service. The strategy required for each one is slightly different and I will discuss about it briefly in this article.
WordPress for Blogs
This is the classic format where you share text-based content, and with the help of SEO or Social Media try to bring visitors to your website. WordPress allows any number of Administrators, Editors or other contributors to take part in content creation, editing and publishing.
Before you start a website, it is necessary to understand that ‘generic’ topics have a high level of competition. For example, if you are writing about Football news and Transfers your primary competition will be from websites like Onefootball, ESPN, GOAL, and the likes. Unless you are a popular creator or have a huge social media backing, it’s unlikely that you will get any traffic here!
Thus, at the start of this new decade, it is important for you to find a niche to write about or have a unique selling proposition (USP). For example, instead of writing about Football in general, you could start writing about a popular domestic league or players. USP comes from sharing information of interest- which might be content that’s different, funny, or interesting enough to go viral. Exclusive content is another good bet to make your website popular.
WordPress for Business
WordPress is now increasingly being used as online storefronts rather than a news platform. The popularity of ‘single-page’ themes stands testament to this fact. If you go to WordPress’s free theme directory more than half the themes are now dedicated primarily for businesses. Apart from stores, people are also using WordPress for portfolio showcase, resume, or even as marriage invites- the platform is that flexible!
WordPress E-Com with WooCommerce
Another important use of WordPress is for E-Commerce. By using their ‘Woocommerce’ plugin, administrators can easily integrate eCom features like product cart, checkout pages, secure payments, shipping options, and more. There is an option for social integration as well (with plugins like BuddyPress) where guest users can register and make profiles on your website.
Personally, I’ve never been able to properly integrate Woocommerce because of all its variables. I still prefer platforms like Shopify to create my dedicated online stores. However, if you have a popular blog and want to sell few merchandises, the former is the best way to go.
WordPress for Service
WordPress for service is kind of a hybrid between the first two. The platform has millions of developers all across the world and they are constantly innovating and creating dedicated products. This is is why their new moto is ‘Social, Mobile, and Application-driven’.
WordPress websites are now being used for music streaming, gaming forums, video and live streaming, podcasts, stock charts, insurance estimation, and much more. However, most of these are beyond the scope of this website and I won’t be going into much detail.
Image courtesy: Nikita Kachanovsk, Hello I M Nik Z1d, Nathan Dumlao and Webfactory LTD