WordPress – Every Affiliate’s Friend

October 19, 2009 Steve

Steve wrote in recently unsure as to whether WordPress is the best platform for smaller niche sites with limited products:

“WordPress seems to be the hot thing for non-techies to get a site up and running with ongoing content management.  However, for projects that only have a few products, WordPress doesn’t always seem the most appropriate platform.

For example, for a site with limited products (~10) that are unlikely to change or have that much more added, the post format of WordPress and the concept of continually updating it with new information/products doesn’t sound like the best solution.

Can you recommend any other simple to use platforms that would help a non-techie to put up a site with the same ease as WordPress?  If not, is the only option to outsource the development?

Many thanks.”

Here’s what the docs had to say:

Kieron

Kieron DonoghueI’ve been saying for years now, WordPress is THE only cms system you will ever need.  As I see it, your problem is that you want to build a site with limited products, less than 10.  I’m struggling to see what the problem is because no matter what cms/site building software you use, you will only ever have less than 10 products so always only a “thin” site.

My advice is to use WordPress, you will be very surprised at just how customizable it is, it can do pretty much anything in terms of layout and structure.  Then simply add fresh unique content to supplement your few products.  This will give the search engines more opportunities to latch onto content and send visitors your way.  Trust me, WordPress is every affiliate’s friend.

Kier

Kier MarstonHi Steve.

There are loads of products out there to help you get a site up, Joomla is a popular alternative to WordPress.  As you’re looking at building a basic product review site with around ten items, my advice is to head over to a tutorials site such as http://www.webmonkey.com and just give it a go.

Basic HTML really isn’t hard at all and anyone can get the hang of it without any other ‘technical’ training.  An hour or so with notepad and you should be able to get something passable made that you can get online and then improve as you go.  For something like this it’s not really worth outsourcing.

Lammo

John LamertonHi Steve.

This probably isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but I don’t see what’s wrong with WordPress – you can do as little (whack up ten pages and leave it) or as much (open up the bonnet and get customising) as you’re comfortable with.

As a non-techie myself, I love WP.  Of course I break things every now and then and it drives me mad, but I can create pretty much any type of site I want, quicker and easier than outsourcing it to anyone.  Ignore the fact that it’s blogging software and think of it as an SEO-Friendly CMS system that can be hacked away at if you want to.

Apologies if you really, really don’t want to use WP, but as far as I’m concerned, it really is the mutts nuts!

Editor

Steve KennyHope that helps you out Steve.  Put simply, give WordPress a go, you can find 1000’s of templates to use, both free and premium dependent on what you’re after.  This site uses WordPress and was a custom design which is more expensive, but there are plenty of ready made solutions out there.  If you do pick a free theme, make sure it isn’t hiding any dubious links in places like the footer – see Kirsty’s post on removing encrypted footer links from WordPress.

What CMS platforms are you using for your affiliate sites?

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9 Responses to “WordPress – Every Affiliate’s Friend”

  1. I finally took the leap and tried out WordPress probably this time last year. Everyone was talking about it (EVERYONE!) and so I thought why not… It was easily the best decision ive made in affiliate marketing.

    It’s easy to customise, theres plenty of really professional looking themes out there and its super easy to update (from any computer in the world!).

    I’m not that techy, but I find myself ripping apart the files that come with the themes. Once you work out how to do it once you can do it over and over (if that makes sense!?).

    A particularly good free themes site – http://www.skinpress.com/category/wordpress/

    Mark

  2. I don’t think the Doctors really hit the mark because they are so experienced!

    The vast majority of WordPress themes put the date all over the place, last post, popular post etc. There are a few exceptions.

    As a newbie when you see WordPress from the beginning all you see is date stamps all over the place and think of it as a blogging tool needing to be fed content to feel alive.

    If your last post was written jan 09 looks to a visitor as if the site is defunct and they won’t stay too long. And you don’t want to be constantly republishing all the time to make it look up to date, if you want and easy life you just want it to sit there and not need any maintenance whilst you launch another 30 thin sites!

    But the answer which the Doctors mention is you need to look at the theme a starting point and realise the date can be stripped off all the posts and headers etc , things can be shifted all over the place to make it look more like a site than a blog.

    But, it’s amazing how many top affiliates from IT backgrounds assume people can attempt any sort of code themselves. There’s a huge ammount who are clueless about code and intend to remain so. They may be skilled at ideas, or have expertise in a niche but they will never code.

    The downside for these people is the extra investment in getting some tweaks done. This costs from £15 for a whizz kid graduate to £60 per hour for a pro. Then add on top the cost of the theme if it’s a premium one.

    So if the site doesn’t earn they may not recoup their investment in which case they need to look at something that isn’t WordPress.

  3. I have found that the wordpress sites are perfect for people with a lack of technical knowledge, like myself and they make building a website extremely simple. Although, over time, I decided it was worth purchasing a decent template as a number of the free wordpress themes were a little difficult to reconfigure and lacked the options of a purchased template with help and support if required.

  4. Thanks for the comments Mark, Paul and Nick.

    @Mark absolutely. I’m still stumbling across new theme sites and amazed at just how many themes there are out there. I’m still not comfortable on ripping the themes apart yet!, but I’ve got some of basics already.

    @Paul – I’m not going to speak on behalf of the docs, but I’m sure one or two will pop on to tell you otherwise. Yes, they’re experienced in Affiliate Marketing/Marketing, but not every one of them is a techie, far from it.

    The main point is that WordPress is about as close to a non-techie based platform as you can get. I’m not a techie either and know bugger all about code! But you can make WordPress as complicated or as simple as you like (plugins can do a lot of the complicated stuff).

    Just make sure you select the theme you feel fits the job, and if you’re worried about support or need some help, it’s worth investing in a theme that comes with free support. Mark’s mentioned a theme site above, and another example is the hugely popular WP theme developer http://www.studiopress.com.

    You’ll be hard pushed to make a go of things if you want an ‘easy life’, but if you’re looking to create sites that have content that you plan to leave (i.e. static), you can create pages instead of posts (they aren’t timestamped).

    If a new affiliate isn’t prepared to risk the minimal outlay of domain name/site (WP/whatever)/hosting, then they’re in the wrong game. You’d be hard pushed to find another potential business with such low startup costs.

    @Nick I do the same. £20+ investment for a theme is a bargain for what you get.

  5. Hi Paul,

    I’m one of the docs who hasn’t “really hit the mark because they are so experienced!”

    Allow me to sum up my technical experience:

    I used to use Yahoo Geocities WYSIWYG editor to create basic looking sites. I now use WordPress.

    I know how to create a text link.
    I know how to make stuff bold
    I know how to centre stuff.

    Erm.. that’s about it.

    What I love about WordPress is that you can upload it, add your content and be done if you want, or you can open up the bonnet and play (which even I, as a total non-techie feel comfortable doing).

    You want to remove the dates? No worries.. I’ve done that – Open up the relevant php file, find the bit that corresponds to the date (just search for the text around it – “Posted by… on” etc to find it) and delete part of the code – as long as you keep a backup of the original file, you can hack away at it and see what effect your changes have – it’s no hassle to undo your changes if they bugger things up – just re-upload your backup file.

    In short, WP can be 100% hands-off, with the only customisation being different themes, or you can tweak it and play with things without too much technical know how.

  6. As everyone has said WordPress is fine for a small site.

    I started off using HTML and doing them by hand for my smaller sites but now I just use WordPress with a theme a made myself.

    The site looks like a normal website but I have the WordPress CMS in the background so adding content is very quick and easy.

    An example would be this site I am starting: http://triathlonwetsuit.org.uk/

    Joe

  7. Hi Joe.

    Thanks for your feedback and welcome to the site.

    Yep, don’t think I’d use anything else unless it was a custom build.

  8. […] taking. You just need to look for them.If you still need convincing then try reading this article WordPress – Every Affiliates Friend which should turn you […]

  9. I have only been using WordPress for approximately a year and in that time everything about WP has changed. WordPress is no longer just a blogging platform; even without coding experience you can now build your WP site to suit your exact needs and wants, assuming you are using the correct tools!

    Firstly lets look at two of my sites: Martins Boots & Mens Boxer Shorts (they can do with some improvement but are more than suitable for my needs)

    Both i have created myself using two basic tools; Headway Theme & Easy Content Units

    I am not a coder but believe that i have found a perfect combination with these two products. I hope i have helped you find it too.

    Remove dates? huh, mere click of a button, no php required.

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