Are you wondering if WordPress is right for your coaching website? Wondering if the rumors are true about it being easy to learn? Are there better ways of going about your website?
Well, in this article, I’ll give you my opinion (good, bad and fugly) based on 16+ years of being online, from coding websites by hand (old-fashioned way), to using nearly a dozen site-building tools including recent ones like SquareSpace, Weebly and Wix.
Good: There are lots of slick themes for WordPress that make your site look gorgeous.
A theme is simply a set of files that are uploaded to WordPress which give it a great visual design, a specialized layout, added functionality, and handy tools for managing the appearance of your content.
It’s the outer layer of your website so to speak. Just like the stage is the setting for a play, the theme is a similar stage for your website content (images, text, etc).
There are may theme authors out there and lots of great themes to choose from.
With a little searching around, you can find a great one that feels good to you and has a content structure that fits your needs.
Good: WordPress is easy to learn, sort of
If you stick to the basics, WordPress is easy to learn.
The basics include installing a theme, writing pages, writing posts, and uploading images.
This will account for most of what you need.
For the not-so-technically inclined, get a WordPress teacher to guide you or a book or course to learn from.
For the office worker who is good with office software like Excel, go ahead and dig into WordPress, you’ll be fine.
Good: WordPress is super fun to learn!
It’s a lot of fun to have the power to post new content to your website and know it’s now available to the world.
It’s a blast get creative and write blogs, or a coaching program, or design a nice looking page.
It’s awesome to, in a few clicks, suddenly add a contact form or subscription form to your website.
There’s no doubt, WordPress is a blast.
Good: You can quickly publish content to the Web on WordPress
It sucks to pay someone to post content to a web page that you could simply do yourself in the same amount of time it takes to write the email. And you won’t have to wait days before your assistant does it.
That delay slows momentum.
Just think, after drafting a blog, you can easily post it to your website with an image and send it off to your Facebook group and email list and be done with it.
Speed is good.
Good: WordPress is fantastic for blogging
Let’s say you open a new cafe.
And you want to sell soda for your customers.
Which brands will you carry?
Probably not all of them, but you will have Coke I’m sure.
It’s because Coke is the most popular brand.
Similarly, if you plan to blog, you must use WordPress.
Not only because it’s just fantastic for publishing blogs and getting them around the Web, but because it’s the biggest blog platform of them all. And as such, other websites and technologies will first want to work well with WordPress.
For example, say a new social media website comes to the scene. And let’s say this new site permits you to post your blogs to your profile. Which platform do you think they will support first? Which platform would they make sure worked perfectly? You got it. WordPress.
As another example, if you were a programmer and wanted to write some new software to help bloggers write better blogs. What platform would you create it on? Yes, you’d aim for the biggest platform, WordPress.
If you intend to blog. WordPress is a must-have.
Good: WordPress is super duper for social media marketing
Yes, WordPress plays well with social media marketing.
You can …
- automatically share your fresh blogs to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more
- invite readers of your blog to like, share, or send your article to social sites and more
- track Facebook Likes to your blog giving your work higher credibility
- use Facebook to handle comments which then alerts the commenter’s friends and gets you more visible
- advertise your blogs very fast on Facebook with a click of the “boost post” button and that helps you reach people
The move to make as a coach who wants to build credibility, trust and professional image is to post great blogs and get them into social media sites, and ideally automate that and target places where your ideal clients hang out.
Good: WordPress is flexible for business growth
Since there are tons of plugins and themes, as your business grows, you can add new functionality to support it.
You can do things like …
- Setup a “membership only” access to content
- Create online courses
- Integrate it with social media sites
- Sell ebooks or other digital products
- Setup calendar software to schedule clients
- Manage clients and progress
- Launch a new product or program
WordPress is great for a quick lean start online and easy to enhance to support your business needs as things evolve.
Good: WordPress is incredibly handy for search engine traffic
Google loves to give high search engine rankings to fresh, easy-to-read content from sources that people trust.
Publishing articles on your WordPress blog is a great way to impress Google.
With some attention to keywords as well, you can attract people who are interested in what you have to offer.
And with plugins like Yoast, you can quickly learn and implement best practices attracting searchers.
Bad: With WordPress, it’s easy to make a mess
Again, with all the settings, options and themes available to you inside WordPress, it’s easy to make a mess.
Common messes include:
- Customizing or tweaking a theme to look a certain way and it ends up looking bad on mobiles.
- Using plugins that aren’t maintained and functionally cease to work (or get hacked) and your site breaks.
- Using images that aren’t prepared properly, like a logo that’s too big or an image that gets stretched wide.
- Using too many fonts, text sizes, and colors because you can – and you get unreadable pages.
- Adding in functionality that isn’t needed at the start like calendar scheduling software that sucks up time and confuse people if not set up properly.
- Not updating WordPress and testing functionality regularly and then hackers and viruses show up.
My best advice
- Marry the theme and try not to customize too much
- Go lean and keep your site simple with the basics to see if you can’t gain traction (like get leads)
- Avoid too many shiny objects that keep you busy tinkering forever
- Update WordPress regularly
Bad (but good): WordPress is targeted by hackers and troublemakers
Pickpockets choose touristy places to do their thievery. That doesn’t make visiting The Eiffel Tower or Times Square a bad place to visit.
Just the same, WordPress is a target for hackers and viruses because of the simple fact that it’s popular. That doesn’t make WordPress a bad website platform.
You just need to take basic precautions.
Thieves go for easy targets. So don’t be one. So, when visiting the Acropolis in Athens, keep your money tucked away, avoid dark empty streets, and stay away from seedy characters.
Online evil-doers target vulnerable websites. So, when using WordPress, regularly run backups, habitually update your software, avoid shady plugins.
Bad: There’s a little bit of work to get started with WordPress
You’ll have to …
- Install it, which is often 20-30 minutes of time filling in some forms.
- Get your theme going, if you don’t use the default theme, which has been a hit or miss.
It’s not as instant as using Wix or Squarespace.
But it’s not a big deal. Your host company will make sure you’re set up properly.
Fugly: WordPress can be a huge time sink
When you log into WordPress, you can go into shock with all the links and settings you can mess around with.
It’s like being a woman (I know, I know, not all women) or a geek like me and looking under the hood of a car. ;P
And you can get lost in the options.
Also, because there are so many themes, plugins, widgets and tools out there, you can spend forever messing around with them – a very common thing to do for the curious coach.
Also, you can customize your theme. As you do make edits in one place of your website, it can easily break something somewhere else and you find yourself spending hours trying to fix it.
Yes, WordPress has a lot going on that can suck up your time.
A few things to help …
- If your a little afraid of technology, go with a guide or take a quick course
- Be wary to not spend time on things you don’t need
- Aim to go “lean” (keep it simple) for your first website
In summary …
In short, the good is it’s fast, versatile, and great for blogging and content marketing (a smart move especially for coaches).
The bad is there are technical thingies to be ready for. But with a good teacher, course, or techie on hand, or a patience for technology, you can really make a hit.