Should You Run Your Website on WordPress?
Here's why WordPress is the content management system of choice for many colleges and universities across the United States.
Your college or university prioritizes web design and development. But, despite your best efforts, managing your school's website is still a hassle. To alleviate this problem, you may want to run your website on WordPress.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) used to run over 41% of websites worldwide. Harvard Law School, Georgetown University, and many other prestigious colleges and universities choose WordPress for several reasons, including:
A typical higher ed website includes both fixed and dynamic content sections. Fixed sections, like the About Us page, are unlikely to change. Dynamic sections, such as News and Events pages, are updated regularly.
In the past, colleges and universities were often forced to use a CMS to deliver information via fixed content pages, but they would also have to set up blogs to share dynamic content. This doubled the work to create and manage these sites.
WordPress lets higher education institutions develop and control sites however they choose. The CMS ensures schools can set up website sections under the same installation and domain name, so they can function as a website or blog.
2. Cost and time savings
WordPress tends to be more cost-effective than comparable CMS options for higher education institutions. This is due to the fact that WordPress makes it fast and simple to add content to a college or university website.
For example, consider how your institution adds a faculty or student directory, career or job board, or other sections to its website. You may need to hire a web developer to integrate the new section into your site, which can be expensive. Plus, there is no telling how long it will take a web developer to complete this task.
With WordPress, colleges and universities can reap the benefits of a modular and customizable web development platform. These schools can leverage WordPress extensions and "plug-and-play" add-ons (plug-ins) to integrate new sections quickly and affordably.
3. Attractive themes
Research indicates that 94% of first impressions about a website are design-related. If your site is poorly designed, visitors are likely to be turned off immediately.
WordPress offers thousands of themes you can use to make attractive web pages. Both free and paid themes are available, and most of them can be customized to accommodate your school's requirements.
4. Search engine optimization (SEO) support
SEO is a must for colleges and universities. If a school can optimize its content, it can drive its web pages to the top of search engine rankings and generate a lot of web traffic.
Thanks to WordPress, colleges and universities can receive comprehensive SEO support. WordPress offers insights to help schools develop SEO-friendly web pages from scratch. It also supports All in One SEO and other SEO plug-ins.
Is WordPress the right CMS for your college or university?
WordPress is unlike any other CMS available today. There are many reasons why higher education institutions select WordPress for their websites. However, it is important to understand the cons of the CMS as well.
To get the most value out of WordPress, you will likely need to use plug-ins. These will need to be downloaded, installed, managed, and updated accordingly.
There is no guarantee that a college or university WordPress website will perform at top speeds or rank at the top of search engines from the get-go, either. You will still need to find a reliable hosting provider that can keep the site running consistently. You will also need to continuously use SEO techniques to ensure the web pages rank high in search engines.
Best practices for building and managing a WordPress website
Don't expect a WordPress website for a college or university to deliver the desired results overnight. Instead, use these best practices to develop and manage a site that hits the mark with your target audience.
1. Choose a web hosting provider
Find a web hosting provider that has WordPress expertise. It often helps to browse WordPress-specific hosting plans and third-party options. Then, you can identify a provider that should have no trouble keeping your site running at peak levels 24/7.
2. View theme demos
Take advantage of WordPress theme demos, so you can see a variety of website designs. Next, you can select a theme that meets your expectations.
3. Install an SEO plug-in and Google Analytics
Download and set up an SEO plug-in to helps analyze and optimize your WordPress website's content. Also install Google Analytics, which is free, to track and assess your site's performance data.
If you need extra help with WordPress or other content management systems, KWALL can help. For more information or to request a free website audit, contact KWALL today.