WordPress is one of the most popular platforms used by small businesses for their website. While it’s a smart idea to outsource your small business marketing to a professional so you can focus on running your business, there are a few website fundamentals that are good to be aware of. Below we showcased a few WordPress basics every small business owner should know.

What is WordPress?

WordPressChances are if you’re reading the blog post, you already have WordPress for your website platform, but in case you don’t and are considering WordPress, here’s a quick overview.  WordPress is web publishing software you can use to create your own website. WordPress allows you to manage your own full-featured website using just your web browser, adding functionality and customizations through simple plugins. Its interface is very similar to Microsoft Word, making it easy for most people to work on a WordPress website for their basic editing needs. You can easily update and create your own content without having to learn how to code. There are thousands of themes and plugins that enable you to change the entire look of your website or even add features like an online store, a photo gallery, or a mailing list. While more comprehensive updates should be left to web developers, there are several very simple basics of WordPress that will help you manage your website.

Blog posts vs. pages

Almost every website out there will have multiple pages for content such as the home page, about us, etc. However, many websites will also add a blog, which allows them to add fresh, new content to their site on a regular basis. But what’s the difference? Pages are used for static content, whereas posts are for more timely content that is regularly updated. Depending on your website, you can have any combination of pages and posts. Pages hold cornerstone, standard information for your website, whereas blog posts can dive deeper into a topic, be more temporary in nature, or be timelier with updates. Here’s a great article about the difference to get a better understanding.

Tags vs. categories

tags vs. categoriesTags are labels you can put on your posts to associate similar posts with one another. Categories are folders on your website that posts go into. Here’s another way to put it: Categories are best used for broad groupings of topics. Tags are much more specific topics that you want to use to associate related content. At a minimum, you’ll want to identify at least one category for each blog post you create; tags are not necessary but do help find like content throughout your website.

Featured images

Featured images are the primary image you assign to each blog post you create. While you can add additional images to any blog post, the featured image is the one that will likely show up when your blog post is shared. As a general rule, this image doesn’t appear within the body of the post itself, though most of the time it will appear in your post’s header, somewhere near the title.

Plugins vs. themes

pluginsWordPress themes are designed to make sitewide changes to your website’s appearance. This includes its design, layout, colors, navigation, and everything else involved in its overall look. Depending on the WordPress theme you choose, your site can look drastically different from other WordPress websites. WordPress offers numerous themes to choose from to help you dictate the overall look, feel, and functionality of the site. Plugins are used to add additional functionality to the site. While all WordPress websites come with foundation functionality, themes can add additional functionality. Plugins can offer forms, tracking, SEO optimization, and much, much more. Then of a theme as the overall house and plugins as all the cool appliances, etc. that make a house a home.

While most small business owners have little time to truly work on their website on a regular basis, it’s always a good idea to understand the WordPress basics so you can communicate clearly with your small business marketer or others who may be working on your website. Need more help understanding how your website works? Contact us! We’d be happy to help you better understand how you can get more out of your WordPress website.

Patty Hughes
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