Did you know that WordPress is the most popular content management system available on the web? There’s a reason for that. WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging application to one that any person can use to develop their entire website.
It’s no surprise that many Infusionsoft users – ahem, small businesses – use WordPress because of the total cost of ownership, extensive capabilities and rapid deployment. And they use Infusionsoft because it helps them generate leads, increase sales and save time.
Infusionsoft users represent successful small businesses because they have three great problems to solve for: the need to generate leads, follow-up with those leads and to sell products and services online.
A popular topic that I’ve seen around the web, in our online communities and at our annual user conference is how to use WordPress with Infusionsoft. While there are many, many ways to use WordPress, I want to suggest some best practices when using WordPress effectively with Infusionsoft.
What is meant by a ‘self-hosted’ WordPress installation?
To get stated, I want to explain the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.org refers to the community-provided open source application of WordPress that you can use to host onto your own web host such as a Bluehost, Dreamhost, GoDaddy or Hostgator. Many hosting providers today see the value in WordPress and have done all the technical work for you by easily provisioning the site space, permissions, MySQL and even bundling themes for you.
WordPress.com refers to a free and paid hosting service operated by Automattic. They use a slightly modified version of WordPress.org, but because they host millions of free and paid WordPress sites, they have restrictions in place to prevent code modifications. This is a wise move to maintain optimal security and performance, but is a major drawback for those who want to customize their WordPress installation beyond the defaults provided.
I recommend that you use the community-provided version of WordPress (.org) simply due to the flexibility that you have to modify the code and to streamline costs. Most small businesses can afford a $10 domain and about $200 of hosting services annually. As traffic demands increase, there are premium WordPress hosts available like Pagely, WP Engine or ZippyKid that can scale to your needs. Most quality web hosts have easy-to-use control panels that guide you through setting up your WordPress site easily. We’re actually customers of WP Engine and have been been thrilled with their service and support. In the world of WordPress, you get what you pay for.
For the rest of this guide, I’ll refer to capabilities on a self-hosted WordPress site. In other words, not hosted on WordPress.com.
Four ways to use WordPress with Infusionsoft to generate leads, sales and save time:
- Choose a Reputable WordPress Theme or Theme Framework.
If you’re using an older theme that wasn’t designed in the past year, you may have problems with taking full advantage of WordPress’ features like Widgets. Instead of sticking with a simple one-time-use theme, it may be better to use a powerful theme framework like Thesis by DIY Themes or Genesis Framework by StudioPress. These theme frameworks are designed with commercial use in mind, offer more support and have a number of customizations available right out of the box. They cost about one month of cable, so they’re not out of reach for small businesses.
If you’re on a budget, you could use many other amazing free themes available on the WordPress Theme Directory, but they vary greatly in their features, support and flexibility. If I had to recommend one, I suggest to try Responsive because it is flexible and can do pretty much anything an Infusionsoft user would want like simple landing pages, conversion-focused design and responsive compatibility.
- Use Widgets for Infusionsoft Web Forms.
To use an Infusionsoft Web Form in your sidebar, simply drag over the “Text” widget and put your Web Form code there. For more details on this, read these articles in our Help Center.
- Add the Infusionsoft Analytics Code to Your Footer.
To make things easier, Jordan Hatch has authored a free plugin that adds the Infusionsoft Analytics code to your site. Be sure to never change core WordPress files like footer.php – as updates will overwrite your changes. This plugin is unsupported, but it’s fairly lightweight and easy to use.
- Use WordPress’ Pages as Thank-You Pages.
Infusionsoft users have the choice to use Thank-You Pages within their Infusionsoft account or to point people to another URL. You may want to point people to a specific page on your site. I like doing this myself because it gives people a very consistent look and feel for your brand after they signed up. You can see this in action by opting in to receive blog updates via email.
When designing your Thank-You Page in Infusionsoft, you would create a Page in WordPress and copy and paste its URL into Infusionsoft’s Thank You page URL. Here is a Help Center article explaining how to enter this URL for your Web Form Thank-You Pages. If you’re feeling brave, here’s an article describing how to personalize the display of a person’s name and other contact fields on the landing page.
When you implement these suggestions, you’ll be using WordPress effectively with Infusionsoft. It’s a good idea to stay on top of updates to WordPress for security, performance and reliability reasons. Be sure to keep your plugins updated as well.
What about e-commerce in WordPress?
I’ll be honest with you in saying that e-commerce is not one of WordPress’ strengths. However, if you plan to sell products through your WordPress site, you could use an e-commerce toolkit named WooCommerce for this purpose. Beware though, it can get very technical and complex to setup, but it has a great reputation among the WordPress community.
Since you use Infusionsoft, it’s best to use links to your e-commerce features (like Order Forms and Storefronts) within your WordPress posts, pages and menus.
WordPress helps you carry out every step of the Lifecycle Marketing strategy.
Lifecycle Marketing refers to the strategy and process that small businesses use to serve the needs of their online audience so they become customers. WordPress is a great vehicle to help you deliver helpful content for all stages through its powerful content management system.
I think you’ll agree that when you pair WordPress with Infusionsoft, it’s an unbeatable match for small businesses to generate leads, increase sales and save time. I hope these tips have helped you – and if you have any questions, go ahead and let me know in the comments below.