Using WordPress In the Corporate Environment

WordPress (WP) has become the dominant force in blogging platforms for a very good reason. Because it’s open source, creative developers are constantly looking for ways to improve the product to meet the needs of both personal and business bloggers. Consider that WordPress can be hosted on your own server (or hosted by whichever service you use), has an army of theme designers (both free and premium), and attracts traffic by a variety of add-ons.

A quick list of the competition: TypePad, which costs $14.95 a month for the “pro” version. You’ll need to learn a specific TypePad programming language to customize your blog. Tumblr does not allow comments so if you used it, you would have to embed Disqus to enable comments. Movable Type offers customization, but requires a license for business use, which ranges from $50 to $1,000, depending on how many people will require access to make updates.

WP is a free download but many themes have a cost attached. You can find some great free themes, but be sure to look for support. If a theme designer’s website has a forum, that’s a very good sign. It means they’re open to questions and helping you when needed.

Once you set up your WP blog, avoid spammers by activating the “Akismet” plug-in. What this plug-in does is protect your blog comment section from being spammed. There are many great plugins for business blogs. Search Engine Journal has a few here and a helpful article with more plugin recommendations from Better Business Blogging.

One of the reasons WP is loved by businesses is because it is SEO-friendly. Google and other search engines play very nicely with WP. Once you create a powerful header and add keywords within your post, a search engine will notice. Searching for relevant keywords? Try Google’s search-based keyword tool. It will give you ideas of what people are searching for in your industry and you can adopt a few of those keywords to drive traffic.

WP also allows multiple users to contribute to the blog. You can also schedule blog posts to be published at a later date. If you have multiple users, it may be a good idea to filter the posts through a gatekeeper (such as HR or marketing) before posting, to ensure a consistent message for the organization.

WP has updates, like any software. Install an automatic update plugin to help you stay on track. Use strong passwords for logins and have strong file permissions set.

Another way to secure your blog is by using a secret key. In WordPress, the wp-config.php file is the file that stores the database information that WordPress needs to connect: name, address and password of the MySQL database. Go here and copy the results into this section of your wp-config.php file if you haven’t already set up a secret key.

Blogging can be an excellent way for your organization to stay current in its industry. By consistently posting relevant blog posts for your audience, you have the opportunity to inform them and stay connected. Using some of these tips will help make the most of your blog.

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