As the head honcho of all things websites for the Thrivetime Show business coaching program and Make Your Life Epic marketing agency, I’m, understandably, asked a lot of questions about websites and search engine optimization. I enjoy helping business owners better understand how their web presence can help their businesses grow and the part that they can play in getting to the top of Google.
One of the biggest questions I’m asked by business coaching clients and business conference attendees is, “Do I have to use WordPress?” The short answer is no. You could definitely build a custom PHP-based site for approximately $10,000+, get to the top of Google and be held hostage by a rogue web developer or two. But let me explain why we use WordPress and highly recommend that you do too.
When you are trying to run a successful business, you have to understand that while you can do the thing, especially for us techie types – like updating your website and hand-coding out all of your webpages – it is not always the best use of your time and energy. In my 10+ years of experience building websites, I can say that WordPress offers the best out-of-the box search engine compliant website building experience. It provides an easy way to maintain and manage your web presence while removing most of the technical obstacles. With the option to add plug-ins – code that extends that original capabilities of WordPress – the possibilities for your website are literally only limited by your imagination, your web developer’s abilities and your server’s capacity to handle the workload.
But what about website builders like Squarespace, Wix and Weebly?
The before mentioned website platforms all work to provide great, visually appealing websites and can be built, in most cases, within just a couple of hours. And while the visual appeal is tempting to go after, it’s what lies underneath the surface that can limit your website’s ability to rank highly in search engines. Our business coaching founder, Clay Clark, often mentions that having a beautiful website that is not optimized is the same as creating an amazing billboard and putting it up in the middle of the woods. Yes, it’s awesome and glorious, but no one is going to see it.
Here’s a list of the biggest drawbacks that website builders cause for search engine optimization:
- No ability to create an HTML sitemap
- No ability to create an XML sitemap
- Limited to no ability to add meta keywords for pages and posts
- Limited ability to add meta titles
- Limited ability to add meta descriptions
- Limited ability to add alt tags to images
The list can continue on, but to learn about the key factors to ranking in Google, be sure to check out TheBestSEOBook.com for the free eBook Search Engine Domination. This book breaks down the ins and outs of how to get to the top of Google and dives deeper into why WordPress is the best platform for search engine optimization.
So yes, you can use a platform other than WordPress, but it is going to be like choosing to start a race a full lap behind your competitors and while you may eventually catch up and win the race, it could cost a lot more and take a lot longer than necessary.