Ever wondered if sprinkling some oregano on your website would help you get more business?
Me neither. Here is something more likely, and common:
Ever wonder what you could do to have a better looking website? A lot of people I talk to who are interested in building a professional website – or bringing their existing website up to speed – have this most basic of questions. And it is always coupled with cost.
Herbal is a term that has many different connotations to many different people. Herbal, in the sense of what I am writing about here, is added flavor to the meal you would like to present to your customers. You certainly know that a bland, dry, cookie-cutter website is not a tasteful representation of your business and not something you could expect your customers to swallow.
And what’s more – herbs are cheap! A point well-made in this inspirational short post by Seth Godin. ¹
Adding herbs to your website only works when you have purchased the right cut of website from the website butcher… Have I lost you here? Let’s interchange “website” with “meat” as we go through this herbal journey to spice up your business.
The right cut of website is WordPress, hands-down. Yum. Always tasty and never overpriced. Unless, of course, you are a mega-corp and have needs for highly specialized applications, or you have needs for a proprietary website system – then you want to hire a specialized website cutter for something other than WordPress and have your expense account well-prepared.
Having chosen to use WordPress for your website, you have a seemingly never-ending supply of spices (a.k.a. plugins) that allow you to cook a customized website that will be considered flavorful and satisfying. It will be flexible (tender), have built-in SEO which can be extensively enhanced (large portions), and is open source and has a huge support community (easy on the stomach and you can invite people over). There is your item to be spiced!
Here are some favorites from my spice rack; some herbal, some not:
Garlic (Akismet plugin): Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your website’s blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep.
Cilantro (Contact Form 7 plugin): One of many contact form plugin choices. Simple but flexible. Almost always best served with the Really Simple Captcha plugin.
Pepper Garlic (a combo of Platinum SEO , Google XML Sitemaps plugins): A complete SEO solution for your WordPress website, plus Sitemaps which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your website.
Oregano (Social Profiles Widget plugin): This plugin allows you to insert social profile icons into your sidebar via a widget. Very cool looking variations of the icons are included, to facilitate a wider range of recipes.
Basil (Limit Login Attempts plugin): Security enhancement that prevents limitless attempts at tasting your website by party crashers. They’re not invited – don’t let them eat.
Habanero (NextGEN Gallery plugin): A fully integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with dozens of options and features.
Salt (WP DB Backup): Do you take salt for granted and never really think about it? I do. It’s that way for backups, too, so unless you make an effort to make sure your website is properly salted, it will leave a terrible taste in your mouth.
Many, many more spices are available – both free and cheap! Check out the 13,000+ free ones at the WordPress Plugin Directory.
SO, maybe you CAN sprinkle oregano on your website to attract more business…
More on the value of social media in an upcoming post.
¹Thanks to Rob Campbell at Cartoon Thunder