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Company Site With Integrated Blog: Which Platform?

Somebody on LinkedIn today asked what the best platform would be for a corporate site with seamless blog functionality.

No prizes for guessing what my answer was 🙂

Right out of the box, WordPress offers the perfect solution for a company website that has standard product and service pages, plus the ability to release product news and updates in a blog format.

The Upside:

You can set it up in your root directory and direct visitors to a static page to start with – typically a home page introducing your company.

Then you can create static pages to cover product descriptions, catalogues, user guides, terms & conditions, etc – all the usual stuff.

You can use the Parent/Child functionality to break your product pages down into sub-categories. For example, a parent page could be ‘Cameras’ and different child pages could be set up for each type of camera.

Links to the pages will appear in your menu.

The blog area will appear in your menu as ‘Blog’.

You can use the blog functionality to post product updates, news items, news flashes or whatever – anything that’s time-sensitive. You can then link from blog articles to the relevant product page.

And the appearance will be completely seamless.

If you use your Categories and Tags effectively you can tie related blog articles together extremely well, making your site very intuitive and user-friendly.

Everything I’ve mentioned is standard, out-of-the-box WordPress functionality.

But there are also a ton of plugins that enable you to strengthen the search engine effectiveness, security and manageability of your site, as well as add almost any other functionality you want: a forum, a members area, or whatever you have in mind.

The downside:

WordPress does require some ongoing maintenance – but nothing more than you’d expect with a properly maintained company site.

There will be upgrades to the WordPress core code, the plugins and your theme (if you’re using a Premium theme). These happen regularly and you need to keep everything updated because these updates are often security related.

You should also make sure you do maintenance and backups regularly of both your system files and your database.

None of that is too onerous, but if you don’t want the hassle, or if you want to hand off development of your integrated website, I can take care of it for you. More information here, or contact me here.

Update – 12 March, 2010:

I recently put up a site based on WordPress for my travel business. It’s designed as a static site with an integrated blog, exactly as I described above. So for an example of what I described you may want to take a look at this site.

Update – 5th March, 2012.

Here’s another small business that’s using WordPress for their website, and this one includes an online shop. See it here.

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