Olive & Lake specialises in creating websites for local businesses. Whether it’s a hotel website, tour booking site, restaurant site or anything else – WordPress is the perfect solution.
It’s not just me who thinks that either! According to whoishostingthis.com, WordPress powers 35% of the internet – that’s a staggering 455 million websites.
These are not just 455 million casual bloggers. WordPress actually powers nearly 15% of the top 100 websites in the world including sites such as CNN, TechCrunch and Best Buy.
Fortune 500 companies also don’t turn their noses up at a free CMS. Popular brands such as Disney, Sony and Microsoft all use WordPress to power part of their website.
So, I guess we can safely say “if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.”
Here’s 13 reasons why I love WordPress and why I will be using it on my next project.
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WordPress is a wonderfully open system. It’s open source and completely free.
There have been attempts by some to close it off and restrict users on what they can and can’t do, but these attempts are missing the point entirely.
Restricting WordPress by limiting what themes, plugins and even hosting a user can install is an unusual approach. WordPress has done this (sort of) with their own WordPress.com platform. There are other platforms which also do this and do it well. Sites like Wix and Weebly spring to mind.
The whole point of a self-hosted version of WordPress is to unleash the full power it brings.
Of course, it’s not for the faint hearted nor complete beginners, but if you want a well-optimised site which loads quickly and converts visitors into sales, then you want to take the stabilisers off and go full steam ahead.
We focus our efforts on building high converting websites instead of trying to fit WordPress into a box and close it off.
We provide all our clients with the help and support they need to update their own website. With 150+ successful projects, we’ve never once had a complaint about WordPress.
It’s not fair to say that there is no learning curve, because there are things to learn. But if you can type a document on Word, you’ll soon be editing your own website with WordPress.
If you want to change some text or a photo here and there, you can. You don’t need to understand HTML or CSS.
This allows clients to make edits themselves.
After a project has been completed, we hand over full admin access. Clients are free to change as much or as little as they want. If you get stuck, there’s no need to worry. We’ll help you through it.
All our websites include a 2-hour training session to run you through the basics. We’ll also answer your questions and give our professional advice when asked.
Of course, if you’d prefer us to maintain your WordPress website, we can do that too!
Times have changed. People’s concepts of websites and how much they cost have changed. Our ability to develop high quality websites in shorter times has also changed.
All this is, in part, thanks to WordPress.
Cutting our development times down doesn’t mean that we skimp on quality. In fact, quite the opposite.
We now have more time to do more thorough testing on multiple devices, screen sizes and browsers within a smaller budget.
Also, we can now build out templates and apply them to pages, posts and custom post types.
This allows us to cut down on development times and pass these costs onto our clients.
Our clients get a better and more robust website at a much cheaper price than ever before.
Learn more about our website design service.
With all these time saving benefits, we can devote more time on creating the things that matter. Including:
In the good old days when I used to code websites, they were difficult to maintain. If clients wanted to change anything or take care of their own website, it was hard for them to do it themselves unless they had a basic understanding of HTM and CSS.
If we wanted to add advanced functionality we had to write the code ourselves.
As things are continually updated, our code also had to be updated. It was time consuming and difficult to manage a large number of websites.
Using WordPress and other services, we can now easily manage our websites and automate much of the process. This makes it much easier for us to manage 100s of websites and pass these cost savings on to our clients.
In fact, our maintenance service is now so robust and cost-effective that nearly all of our clients use our maintenance service with their new website.
Not only this, we’re able to do this on 100s of websites simultaneously. This would not be possible without a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress.
Read more about our WordPress maintenance service.
Back when I first started using WordPress, it was still version 2. It was a blogging platform and a very simple one at that.
Fast forward to 2020 and we’re (at the time of writing) currently at version 5.4. It has grown to be so much more than just a blogging platform (although it’s still pretty awesome for blogs too!)
Read the full and glorious history of WordPress here on the official website.
Today, with a vast array of themes and plugins available, WordPress can be anything you want it to be.
While we specialise in making websites for the hospitality industry and other small to medium sized businesses, we have turned wordpress into:
There’s pretty much a plugin or theme for any kind of website you can imagine including:
In fact, you are only limited by your imagination. For just about everything you can think of, there’s probably a theme or plugin for it. For everything else, there are millions of developers who can build it for you!
Since the internet became a common tool for mass communication, the world has become a much smaller place to live. The majority of the internet is in English and many people around the world use English regularly when online.
Having said that, there are hundreds of millions of people who don’t speak English and want to browse the internet in their own language.
Again, with WordPress it’s easy to create websites in any language or you can also create multilingual websites fairly easily. With popular plugins such as WPML and Polylang, it’s easier than ever.
We’ve made websites in many different languages for our clients over the years.
Of course, there are other great Content Management Systems (CMS) available and they do a great job.
I’m not going to say that Joomla or Drupal are awful. In fact, they are very secure and well maintained platforms.
However, they don’t have the same level of support, breadth of plugins nor the same user base that WordPress does.
I’m often asked about WordPress security and my answer is that it’s safe, very safe. We have had hacked websites and malware in the past, but it’s always been because of poor passwords or infected computers.
Yes, WordPress is a target but only because it is the most popular.
In fact, there are regular security updates to the WordPress core, plugins and themes.
However, users do need to pay attention to the way they interact with their website.
We use WordFence, we always use difficult to guess and long passwords, we keep regular backups, we run daily malware scans and more to keep our clients’ websites safe. These scans are a part of our WordPress Maintenance Service.
There are many news sources which report on plugin vulnerabilities. We try to keep ourselves as up to date as possible and fix vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered. We do this for 100s of sites across our network.
You can be assured that your website is in good hands with us and you have nothing to worry about.
OK, admittedly page loading times are not that fast out of the box but with the right tools and a little know how, then it’s easily possible to get some great loading times. Even with media heavy pages – it’s possible to get loading times under 1 second.
For most people, this will require hiring a professional (like Olive & Lake), but it is possible to get WordPress pages to load very quickly.
However, WordPress is never going to be as quick as just using HTML.
But we sacrifice speed for other luxuries in life! We do want page builders, we do want faster development times and we do want it all to be easy to maintain. We want all these wonderful things – so there has to be some sacrifice.
Olive & Lake uses a mix of free, premium and bespoke plugins to keep our websites running as fast as possible. There is not any “one size fits all” solution and we employ a range of methods depending on the hosting and the individual requirements for each website.
Again, out of the box – it’s an SEO nightmare – but with the right tools it’s awesome! WordPress websites rank highly in Google and WordPress as a CMS doesn’t hinder the website’s chance of gaining some great positions in Google searches.
In actual fact, I think WordPress sites are better for SEO than static sites. The reasoning is fairly simple – if it’s easier to update, then you will update it more often.
This means that you can fix mistakes, add new blog posts and update content more regularly. And, it’s more likely that all these things will actually get done.
If you have any kind of problem, it’s likely that somebody else has had exactly the same problem. You’ll find similar questions in the forums (or 3rd party forums) and that it’s been dealt with by the community.
In the unlikely event that you are the first ever person to have such a problem, it’s also very likely that some experts will reply to your forum post and give you the help you need to get things fixed.
As a client of Olive & Lake, you don’t need to worry about this. We are experts and we’ll keep everything running perfectly for you. However, even as experts, we also need to ask for help sometimes and a quick search in the WordPress support forums usually gives us the answer we’re looking for.
Clients often ask us if we can connect to this API or work with this other service they are using. In nearly every case we’ve come across, the answer is “yes” and not only that, there is often a pre-existing plugin which does the job for us.
This means that it’s quick, easy and cheap to connect to thousands of other services or applications.
If there isn’t a pre-existing plugin, there’s usually enough documentation from the service provider about how we can create our own plugin to connect WordPress with their service.
We’ve never had a situation where we’ve had to say – “sorry, that just isn’t possible with WordPress.”
We always advise clients to start small with something manageable and test the demand. If the website has potential, then we’ll build it in such a way that we can scale up quickly.
Maybe your site has gone from getting just 5 or 10 hits per day to 1000s an hour. With WordPress, this isn’t a problem. We’d need to ensure things are well-optimised and you have good hosting, but it isn’t a problem.
It might be that your business has grown quickly and instead of just having one restaurant, you now own a chain of restaurants with multiple locations. Again, we would create the website in such a way that it can be easily scaled up and new locations can be added quickly – but it’s not a problem.
You probably have many of your own reasons and although I’ve covered the main reasons for why I prefer WordPress, there’s probably a dozen or so more.
In most cases, our clients don’t worry too much about the tools we use and trust us to choose the best tools for the job. Although WordPress powers 99% of all websites we create, there have been instances where we didn’t use it.
For small / medium sized local businesses like hotels, restaurants or online e-commerce stores, social media sites or even video sharing websites – WordPress can do it and it can do it well.
I love WordPress and after Olive & Lake has delivered your new website, I’m sure you will too.
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Check your hotel’s rates on multiple channels.