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Loop through WordPress Posts


Because you’re on a page, that’s only going to display the query for that page. As such, you’d have to create a new query to bring in the posts you want. Replace your loop with this:

<?php
    $args = array(
        'post_type' => 'post'
    );

    $post_query = new WP_Query($args);
if($post_query->have_posts() ) {
  while($post_query->have_posts() ) {
    $post_query->the_post();
    ?>
    <h2><?php the_title(); ?></h2>
    <?php
  }
}
?>

12 Reasons to use WordPress

On the fence with what CMS (content management system) to use with for your website? Considering WordPress but not sure if it’s the right fit?

Well, I’ll get right into it. Here are 12 benefits of using WordPress for your organization’s website.

1. WordPress has Market Share

Have you heard the rumors that WordPress is just for “blogging websites”? While this may have been true a decade ago, this understanding of WordPress is completely false. In fact, of the top 100K websites in the world, Builtwith shows that WordPress owns about 28% of the market.

Why does this matter? Well, because it creates other benefits of WordPress (like support) that I’ll talk about more down the list.

2. WordPress is Widely Supported by Agencies

Another great benefit of WordPress, because of it’s market share, is that many, many, many agencies providing professional web design services use WordPress to develop their client websites; or have at least used in the past. Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that all agencies will do an amazing job with WordPress, but at least you aren’t having to travel far and wide to find someone who can help.

Additionally, there are great resources out there like Codeable for finding a WordPress developer in a pinch.

For best results, I would try and find a web design agency that specializes exclusively in WordPress.

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3. Great Hosting Options

As WordPress has evolved over the years, a few great hosting providers have decided to specialize specifically in WordPress. For instance, WPEngine, as its name suggests, does precisely this and their offering is amazing.

Whenever a business chooses to niche it makes it easier for them to become superior in their market. WPEngine is one of the best options on the market for WordPress hosting simply because they made their business much simpler by not hosting other platforms. Here are some features I love about WPEngine:

  • Automatic daily backups with one-click restore
  • Incredible security – they’ll even notify you if any of the plugins your website is using have known vulnerabilities. It’s easier for them to keep their hosting secure because they really know the WordPress platform.
  • Speed – with WordPress being their only platform, WPEngine has been able to hyperfocus on speed and even has caching software ready to use out of the box

4. Over 54,000 Plugins – A Great Benefit of WordPress

No, that’s not a typo. A huge benefit of using WordPress is that the platform has over 54,000 plugins that can range from simple feature enhancers to full-fledged applications that can help you run your website and your business.

Though you’ll want to be choosey – i.e. use the most reputable and supported companies – a few strategic plugins could save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars by not having to develop custom solutions.Related: How to Select Great WordPress Plugins

5. WordPress Theme Options

In addition to plugins, WordPress has thousands and thousands of themes. In fact on Theme Forest alone, WordPress has over 11,500 themes for purchase. For companies that are strapped on cash, themes can be a great way to save money while getting a website that can meet their requirements.

While saving money in the early stages of your business can be super beneficial, themes certainly come with limitations. Because they’re made for mass consumption, it can be hard to get the exact look you’re going after. It can also be challenging to get the right features you’re needing without patching together a hodgepodge of plugins.

For companies with cash to invest, I’d suggest more of the custom route that I’ll describe next.

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6. You Can Create Custom Themes on WordPress

In addition to purchasing a theme, organizations can also hire an agency to build a custom WordPress theme. By going this route, you’re still using a sophisticated framework with innumerable features built in, but you’re also extending it and creating a design that’s on brand.

Instead of asking “what can this theme do and can we make this work?” you can ask “what do we want to do with our website?”. With custom WordPress theme development, there really aren’t much for restrictions… you can pretty much do anything and that’s a huge benefit of going with WordPress.Related: Custom Web Development: What It Is & Why You May Need It

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7. WordPress can be made Really Secure

Though it’s true that WordPress sites can be hacked – after-all, the bigger the market share, the bigger the target – but another benefit of WordPress is that there are many fairly easy-to-implement strategies for making your WordPress site very secure.

In general, strong passwords, keeping your software up to date and choosing a solid hosting company will remove the lion’s share of risk for your company. But after that, there’s still a plethora of security measures you can take. Here’s an in-depth article on this subject.Related: 3 Rules for WordPress Malware Protection

8. Content Creation is Easy On WordPress

Though the platform has moved far beyond simple blogging, WordPress still has a strong edge over other platforms because of those initial roots. Here are a few features that make content creation easy on WordPress:

  • Built-in word count for targeting long-form content requirements
  • Autosaving feature
  • Easy to switch between WYSIWYG and text editors
  • Distraction-free writing mode
  • Simple insertion of media

And of course, this just scratches the surface. I also like the ability to use plugins like Yoast to create focus keywords and to optimize your on-page SEO.

9. WordPress is Search Engine Friendly out of the Box

In addition to creating content easily, another benefit of WordPress is that it has great Search Engine Optimization (SEO) out of the box. This is important because more than just creating quality content, you want to make sure that your content can actually be found by search engines like Google.

Here’s an article on this directly from WordPress.org.

10. No Costly Licensing Fees – A Cost-Saving Benefit of WordPress

Unlike alternatives like SiteCore, that can cost as much as $40,000 in initial licensing fees, WordPress is open source which means that there are zero initial or ongoing licensing fees. In addition to low-cost, reputable hosting being anywhere from $20-100 a month, this makes WordPress a very cost-effective solution for companies that don’t want to spend a fortune.

But just because it’s free, that doesn’t mean it’s not up to snuff. Here are perhaps some surprising brands that you may or may not have realized are using the WordPress platform.

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11. WordPress is Scalable

Are you still with me? Okay, so for benefit number 11, WordPress is also very scalable. With a nice feature called “custom post types”, developers and agencies can extend your website so that you can have limitless collections of data and individual interfaces for each type. What do I mean by this? Well, what if you could easily add to the following “collections of data” on your website?

  • Staff members and staff profiles
  • Case studies or project descriptions
  • Job postings
  • Testimonials
  • Products

With WordPress, and a competent developer, it’s fairly easy to create as many of these custom post types that an organization could need. When these are set up properly with custom WordPress development, it’s easy to add new entries in a scalable fashion.

12. WordPress Keeps Evolving

My final benefit of using WordPress keeps growing and evolving. And when it does, you get all of the new features for free. Just like I mentioned above – regarding no licensing fees – WordPress updates and patches are also free of charge. For many companies, using a developer to walk through these upgrades may be advisable, but in most cases, these costs should be pretty minimal.

Well, there you have it. 12 benefits of using the WordPress platform.

Did I miss anything important? Do you have a benefit that you really like? Share it in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Getting Started with Marketing: 4 Ways to Get Your Feet Wet

Getting eyeballs on your website is crucial for generating new leads and selling products. But if you’re anything like I was 5 years ago, marketing can feel super intangible. And consistent new traffic? Well, somewhat ethereal. “That stuff is for the high-paid consultants who we could never afford”.

Well yes, marketing is an interesting animal. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be understood. Here’s my operating principal:

Try something out (a marketing strategy) with a little bit of time and cash. If it works, keep increasing your investment. Keep nurturing the winners and ditch the losers.Try something out (a marketing strategy) with a little bit of time and cash. If it works, keep increasing your investment. Keep nurturing the winners and ditch the losers.

Ok, so with this principle in mind, here are 4 simple ways to start marketing your company. 4 ways to get your feet wet.

Option 1: Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Goodness, are you serious? Paying for people to click on an ad so they’ll come to our website? Isn’t that just burning cash? Does PPC really work?

Well, it depends a bit on your industry. For some companies, PPC can be a great strategy to get fresh eyeballs on their website almost immediately. Contrast this with search engine optimization (SEO) that generally can take 6-12 months before you start seeing results.Contrast this with search engine optimization (SEO) that generally can take 6-12 months before you start seeing results.

What if you decided you were going to grab a good book on Google Ads and experiment with say $500? Remember, my goal here isn’t for you to throw $10,000/month at any particular marketing activity. Instead, I want you to put a little bit of cash and time into a few and see what works. I also want to expand your mind and help you see that marketing really can work.

While there is a lot to PPC, it also isn’t rocket science. In the case of Google Advertising, you create ads, bid on certain keywords and then based on your bid and your ad performance Google serves up your ad. Additional components include a/b testing your titles and ad copy and creating compelling landing pages (hint: with current software on the market, you can do all of this without any coding skills). Here is a book that I read a few years ago that helped me do AdWords like a pro: Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes.

Before reading this book, I had unsuccessfully spent a grand or two trying to secure new clients for my web design agency. I ended up with one new client that ended up being a headache and hardly recouped my cost. After reading the book, I was able to successfully turn about $8K in ad spend into over $150K in revenue. That’s all 1,875% return on investment. Not too shabby! And we service all of the clients from this effort still so that’s a growing number.

Option #2: Referral Partnerships

Here’s one that’s pretty easy to grab onto. Find other companies that share a similar customer base with you. Reach out to them and see if there could be opportunities to refer out to each other. Do great work each time and you’ll find that the referral partner is more open and eager to send clients to your website.

Seem like a lot of work? Referral agreements, commission structures, constant communication with another company? Sloooooow down Nelly! Remember, our goal here is to get our feet wet with these marketing opportunities. Instead of asking for marriage, just ask the other company if they’d keep you in mind for a test project.

Stressing about referral terms and the like is pretty fruitless if the relationship doesn’t go anywhere. Focus on starter project where you can prove yourself to your potential referral partner. Then if it works? You guessed it… keep investing!

Believe me. The moment you have a real sales call from a client that visited your website due to a referral partner, you’ll be ecstatic. Who knows, maybe you’ll even become a believer in marketing.The moment you have a real sales call from a client that visited your website due to a referral partner, you’ll be ecstatic.

Option #3: Directory / Trade Sites

My third suggestion for getting your feet wet with marketing is to look into directory sites for your industry. Directory sites are organized around a core focus like construction or doctors. Or in my case, web design agencies.

Directory sites come in all shapes and sizes, but a lot of them allow you to create a free profile with your company basics. If it’s a good directory site, spend more time making your profile perfect. If it’s a mediocre one, I’d just enter your main company details.

But how do you know if a directory site is worth your time? Well, I’d suggest you make the call based on traffic. If a directory site doesn’t get much traffic itself, then it won’t likely generate traffic for you either. You can use tools like SEMRush to see how much traffic a website or a website page gets. SEMRush does cost money, but at the time of this writing, you can register for a free account to get some free queries.

Why do I like directory sites?

Because they’ve been huge for my business. Many of them don’t do much for us, but others do fantastic. For instance, we started “investing” in a directory site called Clutch a few years ago. I was skeptical because I had tried directory sites (unintelligently) in the past and they were a waste of time.

But then something happened.

I closed a website deal for around $25,000 that originated from Clutch. I was ecstatic! Do you think I continued to invest in our Clutch profile? You better believe it. Now 3 or 4 years in, Jordan Crown (my agency) has a 5 star rating with over 40 reviews. At the time of this writing, we also ranked #1 on their list of “Web Design Agencies” nationwide.

Has Clutch been a big win for us? Yes.

Have we closed deals? A lot of them.

Did I know any of this was going to happen? Absolutely not. I’m just not smart enough. I simply decided I would put my toes in the water and keep investing if I saw a return.

Share the Love: Are you finding this resource helpful so far? If so, could I encourage you to share it on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Though there are a ton of different website marketing strategies out there, my last one for this post is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I’m putting this last, because with my 4 ways to get your feet wet with website marketing, this is the more complicated one. But again, just like PPC, it’s a pretty big topic, but it’s not rocket science. Here are my thoughts on SEO:

#1 Fall in Love with Writing

Writing quality content is crucial for SEO. It’s also super important for conversion rates and keeping prospects interested in you. Writing good blogs posts, homepage copy and services pages won’t put you instantly on page 1, but it’s still the foundation of SEO.

Google is a search engine. It’s trying to answer questions for the searcher. Well written content does just that. Falling in love with content and trying to generate some minimal traffic from Google is a great way to get your feet wet with SEO.

#2 Familiarize Yourself With the Basics

I won’t go into huge detail here, but these are essentially the fundamentals for SEO:

  • Quality content creation – as I discussed above.
  • Internal and external links – internal links are links in your content to other content on your website. These links, among other things, help Google understand your content. External links are links to other websites. These connect your website to bigger conversations that are happening on the web.
  • Keyword research – finding keywords – that are appropriately competitive – that you can put into your content as you write.
  • Onpage optimization – optimizing your titles, metadata, word count etc. so that it’s favorable to search engines.
  • Technical SEO – optimizing your website as a whole to be more favorable to Google. This could include speed improvements, mobile-friendliness, 404 corrections, 301 redirects (did I lose you there? There’s a reason why this is called technical SEO).
  • Inbound link building – Securing additional links from other websites. Think of a website link as a “vote”. The more votes a website gets (links), the more Google sees them as credible. But there’s more to it. These should be credible website themselves and not all links are created equal.

Related: 4 Tips for Making Your Website SEO Friendly

For more on the basics, I’d check out folks like Neil Patel. The more you study and try to understand SEO, the more you’ll up your chances for success.

I’ll be really frank though and tell you that understanding SEO can take years… but if you’re going into marketing, do yourself a favor and start now. You can’t make yourself an SEO genius overnight, but you can choose to start now by writing good content and trying to optimize it for search.You can’t make yourself an SEO genius overnight, but you can choose to start now by writing good content and trying to optimize it for search.

#3 Consider working with a firm that specializes in SEO

Ok, so I’ll get straight to the point. Working with an SEO company on our website has taught me more about SEO in the last year than I had learned in the previous 10 years. If you have the luxury of $1,500 or so a month to engage with a reputable agency, this is a fast track to understanding.

But you have to pick a good agency. So look for one that has a great reputation, does work for similar companies and has references that are similar to you. Make sure the references are happy and ask them how long it took to see results.

SEO is a big topic but start with writing good content and trying to understand the basics. This will get your feet wet and allow you to move on to more advanced material.

Conclusion

In this article, I’ve laid out 4 different ways to get your feet wet with marketing. As I’m ending this post, it’s probably good to repeat my main operating principle for marketing opportunities:

Try something out (a marketing strategy) with a little bit of time and cash. If it works, keep increasing your investment. Keep nurturing the winners and ditch the losers.

Your biggest liability in all of this is doing nothing. If you’re not investing time and energy trying things out then you aren’t learning. And that’s the goal, right?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Happy marketing!

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