How to make a blog for a local buisness

How do I make a blog for a local storm restoration/roofing business? SEO is a concern, I would like to integrate it with social sharing, email list.

I see that mailchimp has an api, as well as hootsuite (social sharing platform)

The goal of this blog would be to make a base product that small businesses can use to promote themselves effectively, and with ease so they wouldnt have to spend so much time on promoting their buisness but rather actually focusing on their buisness… and maybe I could tweak/customize it down the line and add more features.

Besides [Wordpress] this post (How to make a blog?)…

What could my tech stack be? any open source projects already built out that I could use as a base to start with?

Is it sad that Ive been studying this for three years and have no clue where to begin other than Wordpress? I mean there are so many things im hearing and reading about… Sanity cms, Ghost, Butter Cms, Next js Etc…

Although Ive been told not to fall into the trap of "IF only I learned this specific technology I would etc… "

I have some experience with Javascript, React, Firebase, PHP, Mysql…

If you already have JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL experience you’re doing yourself a disservice by dismissing WordPress completely; especially if you need to build it quickly and without much extra learning.

WordPress also has a huge themes and plugins ecosystem. Need a basic business theme you can customize… there’s may a theme for that. Need to integrate with MailChimp… there are plugins for that. Social sharing… there are plugins for that. Need to ensure your site is following SEO best practices… there are plugins for that. Need something custom, there’s good documentation on how to write your own custom themes and plugins.

Did you know that you can also use WordPress as a headless CMS? This means you can use your React skills (and/or something like Gatsby) to build out a custom front-end while still having the nice WordPress backend for clients to be able to do things like create posts and such?

Here’s a truth-bomb: most clients (the non-technical ones anyway) do not care what technologies you build their site with. The major concerns a client will have is 1) is it cost effective to build and within budget to maintain the site and 2) does it do everything they need it to do (does it meet their business requirements).

If you’ve already made up your mind and don’t want to use WordPress, then just pick another stack and run with it. For any of the technologies you mentioned your going to get a wide array of opinions over who likes what better and ultimately no one final decision of what to use. It’s too subjective. You just need to pick a CMS and go. Don’t fall prey to decision paralysis.

Some of the relevant things you actually want to consider before deciding is:

  1. Go to each CMS’s website and check that “eCommerce” is something it’s good at implementing. It could be possible that one CMS is better suited than another for a specific purpose. In general CMS platforms are pretty flexible, but you might as well choose the one that points out it’s specific strengths for what you need it for. And if they all do, then again just pick one and run with it.

  2. Check any costs associated (platform and/or hosting). Ensure this makes sense with the client’s budget.

The “best” tech stack is the stack that fulfills the customer’s requirements.

E.g. if the customer wants to maintain their blog manually without your services, and they are not skilled in the tech you use, the tech stack is not well-suited.

My best guess:

  • 99.99% of local business owners don’t know how to code (maybe they wouldn’t have their business then)
  • if you are not good at the desired tech stack, you will lose a lot of time if you build the stuff on your own

So if you just read about something like a headless CMS, NextJS etc. then you probably shouldn’t use it in production for a business.

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That sentiment is certainly in the minority. Even most WP devs can’t stand WP’s code.

I have no stats to refute that. All I can say is, like anything in tech there are lovers of it and haters of it and everything in between. It has been around forever* and is constantly evolving, so yeah, I cannot deny that there’s some cruft to be dealt with. I may have been too generous with the term “nice”, what I was alluding to is that you get a backend admin UI out of the box, and it’s a way for customers to be able to go in and edit posts, possibly pages depending on the customers skill level and/or how you customize the site.

To me, I just look at it as a tool. I don’t love or hate a screwdriver. I just use it, like any other tool, where and when it seems appropriate.

I 100% agree with @miku86 here:

And I’m definitely not saying WP should be everyone’s go to. With the info provided, it seems like it would make sense to use it given the scenario and current skill set described.

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Just echoing the call to not overthink this. It’s a blog for a small specialist business. Use a large, well established platform with a theme and some plugins if necessary. WP is fine.

This is basically a solved problem. Just do the above: install (for example) WP, show them how to use it, charge for maintenance and adding features. This is the business model of many agencies, they use a platform (normally WP) with some plugins/services and a designer and they just churn out sites. Bear in mind that most businesses don’t need a blog, it’s a lot of work for them for very little return, they’re fine with up to date details on Google, FB etc. + a basic website. Twitter & FB & Instagram & YT etc normally work fine for promotion, and even that’s a load of work.

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NO ecommerce necessary at the moment. his website is currently:

srsexteriors.com

He said he wants the CSS to be exactly the same or very similar to the current look, I dont have access to the back end so Ive downloaded the front end to my local machine using HTTRack, ive made it into a repo and started making commits:

I suppose he would be able to use a page builder like divi/elementor etc… but would not want to be involved with a text editor. He informed me that he bought a2 hosting to replace his current hosting, spectrum hosting. Spectrum built a CRM back end that he’s not really using, but he is using a total of 3 third party cloud crm services (aculynx, marketsharp, leaptodigital) that integrate in various ways. I suppose he’d like me to replace those all with wordpress or plugins as that would save him money.

how would I turn it into a wordpress site? do I make a child theme of an existing theme or do I have to develop a new theme from scratch? what is the quick way to do it and then I can work backwards from there to a more optimal way (wp-rig.io ??)

So the reason wordpress is good for this is because there is a vast amount of plugins already built that could be customized… I guess the goal would be to use a plugin like hootsuite, or buffer, so that the social media posts could be planned in advance to take off some of the workload… and then maybe customize these plugins a bit.

So ive been reading about action and filter hooks and how to build your own plugins, I suppose this would also apply to customizing exisitng plugins

this is why he is switching out of spectrum hosting+crm and wants me to also try to convert the other 3 crms hes using to wordpress as well and somewhat automate his marketing/social media posting so he doesnt have to hire an agency full time to do it.