Are you looking to start your own WordPress site? Congratulations! WordPress is a great content management system (CMS) for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). So, you searched for how-to guides and watched videos explaining the best way to navigate this new realm. And you now know the difference between WordPress and WordPress.com, right? Don’t worry. I still get confused. There is a lot of material and information out there regarding WordPress. It can be dizzying to understand it all.
Here are some guiding principles as you start creating your site.
Use the Lean Startup Model.
If you are unfamiliar with the lean startup model, I would highly encourage you to get acquainted. It is a superior method of innovating and executing. I believe it is not only applicable to the entrepreneurial world but also in life. I first came across the concept in Eric Ries’s book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Today, the Lean Startup has become a global movement.
In essence, an entrepreneur creates a minimum viable product (MVP) to test in the market and iterate based on real-time feedback. This method reduces the unnecessary during the innovation process. You can use this same principle to create your WordPress site. It is tempting to create the perfect website based on the creative juices flowing in your head. This type of “conceptual innovation” [link: Adam Grant article] is not efficient nor original, as presented by Adam Grant.
Instead, creating a minimum working website (MWW) will allow you to test it with your target audience. You get pertinent feedback on what is necessary. Your audience can help determine what elements of a website are essential. You may not need all the latest bells and whistles.
The benefits of creating a website this way are you will. . .
- Be more innovative.
- Stop wasting people’s time.
- Be more successful.
Remember, this is part of your digital attire.
Depending on who you ask, lean may have different connotations. Lean could also sound weak or cheap, which is certainly not the aim of the lean model. “Lean Start-up isn’t about being cheap [but is about] being less wasteful and still doing things that are big,” explains Ries. Using the lean startup methodology does not mean your MWW needs to look cheap. It should most certainly not look like a scammy site.
There are plenty of options available in the WordPress wardrobe. The lean startup model means choosing the essential components needed to get a website to achieve your immediate business goals. It means tailoring your site for your audience. You would not wear sweatpants to a ball. On the other hand, it is not appropriate to wear every piece of jewelry and accessory you own. After your first grand entrance, prepared with thoughtful consideration, you can see how the crowds respond and see what aspects did not work and what you might need to add. Your website is part of your digital attire. It is your digital identity and perhaps that first handshake with your audience. So make sure you look the part.
Learn from others.
This sounds like a cliche, but it is beneficial when creating your WordPress site. I could have saved myself many headaches had I listened to this advice. A few quick tips and pointers:
- Manage categories and tags early: The lean model means you do not need to plan every category. However, begin with general headings you can throw your posts under. It will be a lot easier sifting through when your WordPress site goes live.
- Plugins can shut your site down: Update your plugins and get rid of those you do not need. This is another application of the lean model. Sometimes plugins can malfunction and dramatically reduce the responsiveness of your site.
- Do not skimp on themes (later on): There are plenty of free themes available. After many wardrobe changes and testing what works, it is time to get a tailor-made outfit.
- Pay the bills: Sounds simple, but often we forget to do the most trivial tasks. You will need to purchase and renew your domain and hosting rights. Do not forget to pay for these on time. Also, remember to make sure your credit card on file is not expired.
Creating a WordPress site provides valuable insights and skills. You learn about CMS and backend development. You do not need any extensive experience coding to create beautiful websites. It is a perfect tool for SME owners to utilize.
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