Building Your Website with WordPress

WordPress logo

Your LTC Pharmacy or consultant pharmacy practice needs a website. Your website is your portal to your customers and your potential customers so consider it the hub of your digital identity. We covered several options for a website platform in a previous post, but WordPress is worth considering.

WordPress is a website platform that is classified within the broad heading of a Content Management System (CMS). These types of websites allow people other than the designer or webmaster to edit content and update articles, posts, and other content. WordPress powers more than one-third of all the websites in the world.

Why Consider WordPress for Your Website?

Unless you know the basic language of website development: html, CSS, Javascript and PHP, you will need to rely on a developer or some type of drop-and-drag editor to create your site. WordPress is a proven platform that, with a bit of training, can be used by non-technical people to create fully functional, interactive websites.

The magic used by WordPress is that it’s built on PHP, which is a server-side programming language that makes it possible for you to create and interact with databases and deliver customized content to your audience. For example, a PHP can manage a login attempt by checking a database to determine whether a user is registered and if the password entered by the user is correct. If so, the user is granted access to your site. If not, the user is invited to register.

PHP also allows your website to handle eCommerce solutions and many other functional elements of a modern website. There are alternatives to PHP, but PHP is among the most popular web programming languages, used by such stalwarts as Facebook, Wikipedia and Yahoo.

Customize Your Site with WordPress Themes and Plugins

A key advantage of using a platform like WordPress is its almost endless number of themes. WordPress themes are site templates that you can customize for your own purposes. There are thousands of free WordPress themes and many of them are free to use and customize. Not every theme is as simple to customize as others, but the great feature of a WordPress theme is that you can swap themes easily to see how each one looks with your images and content without having to do much work.

Plugins Add Features

WordPress plugins are modules that perform particular functions. For instance, there are plugins that create web forms, perform analytics, create pop-ups, eCommerce and a vast assortment of other things you never imagined you needed. Plugins are simply downloaded to your WordPress site, activated and ready to go to work. Again, no coding needed.

The WordPress Learning Curve

While WordPress is simple to use there are a few things that you need to know to use it to its best advantage. Fortunately, since WordPress is such a popular platform there are plenty of tutorials available to get you up and running quickly. One of the most complete sources ins wpbeginner. There is also a You Tube channel associated with this site and can help you get up to speed in short order.

WordPress.com has very good tutorials that will help you along the way and has webinars and prerecorded content for those who learn best by video.

Give it a Try

WordPress may, or may not, be your perfect solution, but it is worth giving it a try. The main attraction is the sheer number of developers who continue to churn out new themes and plugins that can produce professional websites without having to learn a markup language, scripting or programming.

Choosing a Website Platform

 

logoYour website is the central character in your digital marketing efforts. Prospects can search for you and find your business (provided you have optimized it for search). Your website will probably host your marketing documents, content marketing materials and will be a platform for exchanging information to prospects and customers.

There are three primary options for your website platform: You, or your developer, can create a custom site using html, css and server-side technology; you can use a commercial drag and drop platform that makes building a website fairly simple and requires no coding skills, or; you can use a content management system that provides a comprehensive set of tools to enhance the user experience and requires minimal coding skills.

Take some time to review your options when creating your website. Do you have technical support? If so, you might find the content management platform to be a good starting point. The templates used in these sites can be modified but take a bit of skill to make things look right. If you’re on your own you may find the drag and drop platforms to be a way to create an effective site with a fairly shallow learning curve. 

Take a look at our free download: Deciding on a Website Platform to get an overview of the options available.

 

Create Your Movie

We’ve been using words to describe our value proposition, our ideal customer, our products and services and our unique place in our industry. Words are good. Words are cheap (pixels are almost free!). Words, as good as they are, don’t paint a picture as effectively as sight, sound and emotion. We have video for that.

I stumbled upon this truth years ago when I came across a video created by Corning Glass–the company that likely makes the glass on your mobile phone and tablet. The video is called “A Day Made of Glass”. Go ahead and take five minutes and watch it. I’ll wait.

If you’re like me (and maybe you’re not) the appeal of this video is that you visualize yourself being able to use all the great innovation displayed here  and perhaps wishing you could have it now! That’s what you want your potential customers to be able to see and experience.

The Magic of Showing

Whatever you want your business to become, it’s much more effective to show it rather than just talk about it.  So, suppose you had the budget (which you may not, more about that later) to create your own video showing what you plan to become, what would it look like?

Suppose you dream of a pharmacy that outdoes everyone in the area of customer experience, technical excellence, never-fail delivery, customer integration or innovation. What would the movie look like? If you could show your customer, or prospective customer, your dream, what would you show? That’s the aspirational vision.

Make Your Movie

This doesn’t have to be an actual video (but it’s best if it is). Try making a story board. This is a tool used by movie and video producers to outline a story. There is free storyboard software available along with tutorials on how to use it. We will do a video on how to use one of the products in a future edition. Take a look at Storyboard That, or Canva.

When you build a storyboard you can help put your dream in a visual format you can transmit to your staff, your advisers, your friends and eventually your customers. Most important, you will begin to build the video in your mind, and you can measure what you’re doing against the video that plays in your head.