As customer purchase journeys evolve to include more online research activities, brands that fail to prioritize their online presence risk missing out on valuable engagement opportunities.
Customers now have access to an endless supply of online tools for discovering, researching and buying new products and services without ever directly engaging with a brand’s sales team. This progression has led to sweeping changes in the way buyers approach the procurement process. In fact, a 2017 B2B buyer journey report by Forrester indicated 68% of today’s business buyers now prefer to research products or services independently online and 62% of buyers develop selection criteria based solely on digital content.
Building the right website for your brand — one that provides a superior user experience, loads quickly and can be updated with new content easily — is paramount to any organization’s digital marketing strategy. Below are four reasons Words At Work recommends brands use WordPress as the foundation to build powerful, no-fuss websites that can deliver on a variety of KPIs.
1. #1 WEBSITE PLATFORM USED WORLDWIDE
WordPress is now used by 32.4% of all websites worldwide and growing, according to W3Techs. The next highest CMS usage rate belongs to Joomla at just 3.1% of websites. There’s a reason WordPress has become the platform top brands trust — its user-friendly, open source functionality empowers marketing professionals to create highly customized websites with relative ease.
Just like Microsoft Office before it, WordPress is quickly becoming a standard business tool. As a result, we’ve found our clients request WordPress more than any other CMS. Over the past five years — and many website projects — we’ve developed only one non-WordPress site.
2. COST EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT
Traditional web development budgets can be a significant investment. But all too often, it doesn’t take long for the money to run out without much to show for it.
Brands that choose WordPress can save significant upfront development costs, leaving more money for content (ebooks, case studies, whitepapers, etc.). WordPress enables businesses to stretch their web development budgets allowing them to spend more on design, brand messaging and search engine optimization.
A large — and growing — WordPress developer community also means a wide range of plugins are available and can easily be deployed to tailor website features and functionality to your exact specifications. Custom features like dealer locations, booking systems and gated access used to be out of reach for most marketing organizations, but can now be implemented cost-effectively and with ease.
3. COMMON-SENSE SECURITY FEATURES
Any open-source CMS platform comes with its own set of security risks. WordPress is no different. However, WordPress has taken a proactive approach to help users prevent and avoid breaches.
Since 2013, the CMS has helped websites reduce their risk of WordPress core hacks by automatically executing minor updates. As a result, less than 10% of all WordPress hacks come from WordPress core vulnerabilities.
The single largest known point of entry for WordPress hackers is through third-party plugins (55.9% of all WordPress hacks). Whether on WordPress or another CMS, outdated installs and unverified plugins can leave your website vulnerable to attacks by hackers. To minimize these risks, the WordPress security team routinely checks that plugins in the repository are secure. If and when a vulnerability is found, the team contacts the plugin author to fix the issue or removes the plugin from the repository.
By staying proactive about security and maintaining up-to-date software, brands can avoid most security risks on their own. Additional security features and security plugins can always be added to any WordPress website to make it more difficult for breaches to occur.
4. FAST, SEARCH-OPTIMIZED DESIGN
When it comes to websites, speed matters. According to a case study by StrangeLoop, a one-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions and an 11% decrease in page views. Page speed also plays a role in search engine page rankings. In the past, WordPress had a reputation for slow responding websites. But the root cause of slow load times is often low-cost hosting services.
By pairing a WordPress site with a managed WordPress hosting service, like WP Engine, brand websites can avoid lagging page load times. WP Engine helps brands achieve sub-second website load times with server configurations that are specifically optimized to run WordPress websites.
Many of the most-visited brands on the internet — including The New York Times, GM, UPS and Sony — have already trusted WordPress with their websites. Its unique position as the industry-standard CMS with access to an expansive developer community empowers brands to build tailored websites that deliver on each of their marketing objectives.