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Matthew Karge

WordPress Practice Director & Business Development Manager

With more than 20 years of digital marketing and sales expertise, Matt guides Northwoods clients across diverse industries to maximize their ROI. He’s always happy to meet over a cup of coffee (either in person or virtually!) to listen to your needs and provide the resources to help you succeed. By embracing the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, Matt helps clients thrive using data-driven strategies. Off the clock, he enjoys writing and taking care of a small menagerie of pets that includes cats, fish, turtles, and chickens.

WordPress for Manufacturers with Catalogs

April 10, 2023 | Matthew Karge, WordPress Practice Director & Business Development Manager

3 Minute Read

Manufacturers and distributors with large parts or product catalogs understand the importance of an effective online presence. But how can they properly balance that importance against cost and effort?

Ten years ago, effective display of online catalogs required highly complex content management systems (CMS). These platforms still exist, and usually come with steep licensing fees and significant site-development price tags. These sites can sometimes be so complex that no one but the developers can maintain them.

The days of complex, high cost, and unmanageable websites are coming to an end as technology advances. Numerous low-cost content management systems – Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, WordPress, et al. – are displacing them in the market.

Some have cataloging tools. Some don’t. Some platforms have practically unlimited usage guidelines while others are strict. Some have no license fees and others are paid subscriptions with fees that add up over time.

The challenge for a manufacturer or distributor is to select the one that best fits its budget and its content needs.

WordPress is one of the best CMS platforms for small- to mid-sized manufacturers and distributors. It offers cost-effective and extensible tools, which can be tailored to fit any budget or catalog size.

Here are some of the reasons why WordPress is right.

Price Entry Point

Most small- to mid-sized manufacturers have small budgets and big needs. WordPress has options to fit every budget. You can choose from free or premium templates, plugins, and page builders, or go with custom development to suit your specific needs. No matter your budget,  you can create a website that meets your specific needs and provides a strong return on investment.

WordPress costs contrast sharply with those of licenses for big, complex CMS platforms, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Most licenses for WordPress-related tools are in the hundreds of dollars. The return on investment for a WordPress website is achieved much more quickly!


Manufacturers’ websites typically do more than just display content. They have calculators, integrations with ERPs, quoting forms, and lead generation systems. WordPress offers the largest library of available applications and plugins – more than 60,000 plugins are available to add functionality to your website, as of the publication date of this post.

WordPress has made this installation of apps and plugins as easy as possible; most don’t require a developer. This ease, low cost, and flexibility give you the freedom to build and grow your website as your business grows.

Ease of Use for Marketers

The other low-cost CMS platforms I mentioned above come with numerous easy-to-use website building tools, such as drag-and-drop capability. These platforms aim for super-simple user interfaces that require no developer knowledge. Most succeed at this.

WordPress relies instead on a massive library of user-generated content to walk you through any possible challenge step by step. Simply type your question into YouTube, TikTok, or Google, and you’ll find thousands of answers.

If it happens that you can’t solve a problem yourself, thousands of vendors (including your digital best friends here at Northwoods) and quite a few plugins – are available to solve it for you.

If you’re interested in learning more about WordPress for your manufacturing business, reach out to our expert WordPress team!