With Multiply.com shutting down completely on May 6, 2013, a lot of Indonesian and Philippine sellers hosted on the site will be displaced. Multiply has discontinued its social networking, blogging, and sharing services last December, and it was with little surprise that the remaining functionality of the site (a free platform for e-commerce) followed suit five months later.
This article will not be discussing what went wrong with Multiply.com, as there’s already plenty of that elsewhere on the web if you Google it. What we will tackle is a great alternative to Multiply, the wise alternative, if I may say so myself. If you’ve been a WAHMaholic reader, you might have an inkling what I will be suggesting. What is it? Why, a self-hosted WordPress e-commerce site, that’s what!
We all witnessed how WordPress evolved from being just another blogging platform to becoming one of the world’s leading fully functional content management system (CMS) in the ten years of its existence. What, it’s been ten years already? Yep. WordPress is celebrating its tenth year anniversary on May 27, 2013. I myself entered the WordPress realm in 2009, and have not looked back since.
So why WordPress, you ask? I’ll give you a list of the reasons why.
- Easy to use. The WordPress dashboard is one of the cleanest interfaces I’ve seen. Coupled with e-commerce plugins designed to do the job, managing your products and/or services is as easy as pie. It entails a shorter learning curve than most other CMS, even if you’re new to online selling. Which you’re not, if you came from Multiply. No wonder WordPress is powering more than 17% of the web.
- Full control. With free e-commerce solutions, you aren’t exactly the master of your data. Products and/or services (or worse, your whole shop) can easily be taken down without a notice. If you own an online business and you want it to succeed, you gotta have full command of it. With a self-hosted WordPress you can do that and more. Use your business information in any way you please and own it, without fear of it disappearing for reasons known or unknown. No one has control to your valuable business data but you.
- Completely customizable. Anyone who’s ever had a love affair with WordPress will agree, the amount of things that you can do with this CMS is mind-blowing. From top to bottom, your site will never have to comply with a boring, standard layout again. You can go wild, and show the fun personality of your shop, or go professional, to show your customers you mean business. It’s up to you.
- Flexibility. WordPress can be as basic or as feature-rich as you want it to be. Just want an information site for your business? No problem! Want a shopping cart and a gallery to showcase your products? You can do that easily as well with WordPress. This CMS is as flexible as an Olympic gymnast. The only question is how you want to use it, and what want to use it for.
- Extensible. Because WordPress is open-source, their vibrant and supportive community is bustling with developers. There are literally thousands and thousands of plugins designed to boost your e-commerce business into the right direction. All that power and more is in your hands.
- Search engine optimized. You want customers to find you, yes? People use search engines to look up products and services they want and/or need. With WordPress taking care of 80-90% of the mechanics of search engine optimization (SEO) for you, what’s not to love? And if you want even more control over your business’ SEO, there are plenty of SEO plugins that will allow you to do just that.
While moving to a self-hosted WordPress platform is obviously not the only way to go, I can say with utmost confidence that it will be the best decision you will ever make for your online business. And I speak from experience, since my WordPress design shop has been using this CMS since I launched four years back and I’ve never regretted my choice for a moment.
There will be a learning curve, but it will be short. There will be associated costs, but that is only to be expected from a business as part of your investment. You will sometimes find yourself lost, but the WordPress forums is a wonderful (and free!) place to get help. Remember, the use of WordPress as an e-commerce solution is only limited by your imagination. And there’s no better time to start than today.
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. ~ Raymond Lindquist