YES AND HERE ARE 5 GOOD REASONS
So – you have decided to set up a web-site. Good for you. It’s a lot of fun and you will feel a real sense of achievement as you build it just the way you want it – especially if you decide to use our favourite platform – WordPress.
It’s good to get a few things clear in your mind before you start, such as the reason for your site, how you intend to put it together and what platform you will use.
First – what is your purpose in having a site?
- Do you want to run a personal blog?
- Do you want to blog for the public, as an expert in your field?
- Do you want to start an authority site?
- Do you want to use it to spread the word about your business?
- Do you want to run an on-line store?
- Do you want to mix it up a bit?
- Or is it another one of the myriad of reasons that motivate people do this thing?
Secondly – how will you put it together?
- pay someone to do everything for you,
- pay someone to do the tricky bits you can’t handle, or
- do it all yourself.
The first option can be hugely expensive, but if you are wanting something really fabulous, to be a window into a premium operation, this may be your best bet. (Assuming you have no previous experience, that is.)
If you are just starting out with a small biz and little money, using someone to help you with the tricky stuff is probably the way to go and if you are planning a personal blog, well, you should be able to handle it yourself without too much hassle.
For those who choose the DIY options, WordPress is definitely right up there at the top of the list. There are other platforms and CMS (content management systems) both free and paid for, that are available and which are very highly thought of, but this is our favourite and I hope that as you read this you will come to agree that, for all its perceived short-comings WordPress, either .com or .org is what you need.
.com or .org?
First though, let’s clear up one point that confuses many people when they are new to WordPress.
Yes – there are two different types of WordPress sites and it is important to have an understanding of what each version provides before you decide which one you want to use.
I say this, because although you will read that you may easily change from .com to .org further down the track that is not necessarily possible.
On a personal level, I was unable to do this because of the large number of images on my site and the host company I used could not or would not import such a large amount of data. I could have taken them all down and re-installed after the event, but I decided against that solution and moved on.
So – just take care.
The main difference between the two is that WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress. Everything is done for you, it is free and is straightforward to use, so no complications if you are new to this and you can have your site up, running and looking beautiful in no time. The URL (the address) of your site will be something like this: blogtitle.wordpress.com
Customizing your site is also not always so easy as the themes may offer less flexibility, i.e. you can’t fiddle with them to any great degree and you cannot access the source code to make changes. Widgets and plug-ins are restricted, too. However, there are up-grades that you can purchase that can overcome some of the restrictions.
Your other option is WordPress.org. Here you’ll need to find your own hosting and set up your own site. This is more complicated than using WordPress.com but it means you own your site which gives you much more freedom to change things around. Your URL will reflect your independence and will look something like this: http://yourname.com
In this article we’re going to focus on WordPress.org.
So – five good reasons for getting a WordPress.org site:
– Its Flexibility
There is a vast number of themes and plug-ins available for the WordPress.org platform and possibilities are endless when it comes to designing a web-site that suits your purposes. You have control over the fonts and colours, you can add widgets, you can change page formatting, add specialised pages, insert videos and images and you can even add a shopping cart and alter the source code, should you wish.
– It comes at no cost
WordPress is Open Source – that is you can download it for nothing. If you go with .org, you will have to pay for domain hosting, your domain name and perhaps some of the plug-ins you choose. You may also opt to purchase a premium theme rather than use a free option or a ‘lite’ version. The actual WordPress set-up though comes at no cost at all if you can do it yourself.
However, if you are technically challenged, having your site set up for you is not an expensive gig either. You will still be able to do most of it yourself, so costs will be minimal.
– Easy maintenance
Site maintenance is really easy. There are free back-up plug-ins available that regularly back-up your site so that there is always an up-to-date version available should you need one. There are security plug-ins that filter out unwanted visitors and scam is kept at bay by Aksimet, a free program that is supplied to you.
Up-grades to your site can be applied automatically by WordPress and advice regarding up-grades to plug-ins and themes are noted on your dashboard when they become available. Most just need the click of a button.
– WordPress is Search Engine Friendly
Unlike some ‘template’ website builders, this platform is great for search engine optimization (SEO). It is written using reasonably high-quality code and there are plug-ins available at no cost that will help you to optimise your site along with each page and post.
– Support is Every-where!
A vast community is open to you, all WordPress friends who are only too pleased to offer the support you may need. You can get your questions answered on a heap of web-sites as well as the official forums at wordpress.org/support. If you need a WordPress expert to help you with your site, they are everywhere and easy to find on Fiverr or similar websites.
And don’t forget Youtube. Dozens of videos there that can be of help to you.
Here is a list of sites that can help you overcome any problems with your WordPress site and/or can offer some training.
- 1.https://codex.wordpress.org/ (basically the WordPress Bible. It has everything, free)
2. http://www.wpbeginner.com/ (free)
3. http://wordpress.tv/ (free)
4. http://code.tutsplus.com/categories/wordpress (free and paid)
5. http://wpapprentice.com/ (paid)
6. https://teamtreehouse.com/ (paid)
7. http://www.lynda.com/ (paid)
8. http://www.sitepoint.com/ (free)
9. https://www.sitepoint.com/premium (paid