WordPress is an amazing platform and CMS for building a plethora of websites. Originally built for blogs, it has since expanded to be quite the “do everything” CMS. Its theme and plugin system has allowed it to become the most versatile and easy to use way to build a website. WordPress.org is the free, open source version, and WordPress.com is a commercial hosted solution by Automattic. We will be working with the self-hosted WordPress.org system.

Many people pick up how to use it by pointing and clicking, but others struggle with it.  The good news is, DIY website building is totally in right now, and here is why the WordPress platform is the best, especially if you’re starting out:

  • Professionals do not use DIY builders such as Wix, Weebly, Webeasy, etc. If you are looking for an easy jumpstart on your site, be aware that anyone who takes their web career seriously won’t use this kind of tool. This puts a damper on when you do want to expand, because you’ll have to have the whole website redesigned from scratch. You don’t want something you’ll be “stuck” with.
  • Self-hosted WordPress is portable and more flexible! You can move from host to host, and you actually own your data. In fact, going the self-hosted route instead of WordPress.com is best, because you have access to more of the functions of WordPress that make it great. Thousands of plugins and themes of your choice are available with no restrictions.
  • Your website will grow with your business, not hold it back. You’ll be able to start out on your own, but when you’re ready to hire a professional, you can! It will be entirely up to you if they will just update things, or if they will be redesigning from scratch. On top of that, the beauty of the plugin system means that if you need something added, there is probably a plugin you can just install with a few clicks to get that functionality.
  • WordPress is open source, and updated both frequently and regularly. When you use a builder tool, you are often at the mercy of their development team to be responsible for making sure all sites on their server are secured properly. Many times vulnerabilities are found weeks and months before a fix is implemented, in some organizations. WordPress, on the other hand, enjoys a regular update cycle, multiple times a year, and they do push out patches when needed. Because it is open source, there are thousands of volunteers in the world who help maintain the code, in addition to the fine folks at Automattic.
  • Did I mention the point-and-click plugin and theme system? Thousands of plugins and themes exist, that can do everything from collect contact requests from customers, to a full-blown online shop. The sky’s the limit, and it won’t have anywhere near the restrictions that a site built in a typical DIY editor does.
  • Ease of installation. Most hosts offer the chance to have WP auto-installed with your hosting account, or at least provide an easily used installer (Fantastico, Softaculous, Installatron, etc) to install with a few clicks. It’s also pretty easy to change hosts when you have an active site.
  • Easy to get help. WordPress is not just the top CMS in the world, it is also been turned into an industry itself. It is so ubiquitous that solutions to most problems are easily searched online, with easy to follow instructions to resolve. A lot of hosts are willing to help with it as well. When you use a builder, your only source of assistance is from your host, and that might take days to get a resolution. Don’t you want to be able to find a fix now? Not to mention, finding great tutorials and classes online isn’t hard either, some are even free!
Getting Started

Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge, and you’re ready to start, it’s time to pick a host.  I personally prefer Nuova Webs because of their no nonsense approach and business-friendly services. They’re also great to work with if you’re in the business of building websites for others.

Ordering Hosting

Again, I recommend Nuova Webs for hosting, as they have a package for $4/mo that is great for a single domain. If you go for at least 6 months, you can get a free domain name, however that is optional.

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For this type of project, the Mini will work for most people. It is a single-domain hosting account, so if you only have one domain name, you will do just fine. However, if you have more and you want to host, then you should definitely go with the Standard.

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Click Signup Now, and order your hosting package. Don’t forget to use coupon code NUOVA20 to save 20%!

 

Wrapping up for Today

It’s been great, but we need to stop here for now. Next article we will cover the installation of your WordPress site, as well as selecting a theme, and installing some plugins to make site management easier. Until next time!

 

Further Reading

Building Your First Website in WordPress, Part 2

Building Your First Website in WordPress, Part 3