8 Tips for a Smoother Transition to WordPress from Accounting Websites

WordPress is a free platform for blogs.  It has been around for several years, and has skyrocketed in popularity.   You can use WordPress for your accounting or QuickBooks website as well and combine your accounting blog and your accounting website in one smooth installation.

The 2 huge advantages to WordPress are:

  1. Users can easily add pages and blog posts.  The dashboard user interface is easier to use than most CMSs (content management systems).
  2. The search engines rank WordPress sites higher than regular websites because they are considered a blog, and social media ranks higher than anything else.

So it just makes sense to embrace it.  The problem is it’s not exactly free, and I want my accounting customers to understand what these hidden costs are before they jump into the “free: solution everyone is raving about.  Here are 8 essential things for accountants to know about the WordPress platform:

  1. Installation.  WordPress installation requires hosting setup, database setup, encryption key generation, FTP (file transfer protocol), and parameter editing in a php file.  Not exactly a piece of cake for a non-technical person, expect 30 minutes time from a webmaster to help you get WordPress installed.
  2. Backup.  Unless you have a special piece of software, you are NOT backed up if you are running a WordPress blog.  We were so lucky a few weeks ago; one website client was making a change and got locked out of their dashboard.  Luckily we had made a WordPress backup about 3-4 weeks earlier.Surprise! You may not be backed up (it’s the database portion that’s tricky); check with your webmaster, and get this resolved immediately.  (We have a little WordPress backup package if you want us to do it.)
  3. Moving website hosts.  This one may never apply if you do not move website hosting companies.  But if you do, it’s tricky to move a WordPress website to a new website host.  You’ll need expert help if you decide to change website hosting companies.
  4. Themes.  You can control the look of your WordPress website with a theme.  There are hundreds of free ones and you can spend hours looking through them and learning them.  We can cut our bill substantially by installing the same theme for every client and then customizing it for the colors and banner preferred by the client.  Look for a WordPress expert who knows the theme you are using, or expect to pay more for their learning curve.
  5. Customization.  What’s brilliant is you can pretty much get your WordPress website to look like anything you want to.  What really adds up is the extra graphics and style changes that we have to make to get your website looking great.  This is the part where it’s not free any more.  Expect 1 to 10 hours of webmaster time depending on how complex your website is.
  6. Search engine optimization.  Although this is a strength of WordPress, there are many more things you can do to make your WordPress website even more attractive to the search engines, however, this requires a plug-in and more time from your webmaster.    The good news is it’s always a fantastic investment to make your website attractive for search engines.
  7. Adding your own web pages and posts.  It’s very convenient to add your own web pages and posts, and some clients love the fact that they have control at 4 in the morning to change something if they want to.  Without a webmaster to help you decide what should go where, you might miss out on maximizing your website’s response if you make too many sweeping changes.
  8. Upgrades.   WordPress is constantly evolving its platform, so there are frequent upgrades that are available in WordPress.  They often fix important security issues, so sometimes they are important.  The problem is, they can cost money to install.  They can also conflict with any customization your webmaster has done.  Themes also have upgrades, and it can be even more dangerous to upgrade a theme and wipeout important changes.  Get an expert’s help before you click yes to upgrading WordPress or your theme.

Even though WordPress is not completely free, I am 110% in favor of embracing it as the best website/blog platform going today.

I hope this helps you make a smoother transition from your existing accounting website to a WordPress website.

Are you ready to move to WordPress?