Today, it seems like any business owner and creative entrepreneur needs a website and blog. Digital presence allows you to surpass the physical restrictions of geography. Potential customers, clients, and readers could quite potentially be anyone. With this accessibility, it is important that you select a platform that best suits your needs at the best cost.
There are several different platforms – WordPress, Blogger, Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix – you can choose from. In my professional opinion, other than Shopify for e-commerce sites, none of the other platforms compare to using WordPress for your self-hosting needs.
Control Over Your Site
With WordPress, your options are limitless.Select your own hosting provider and domain registrar. Your site design is only limited to what you can afford. You can easily add functionality to your site through custom code or plugins. As your business evolves, your site can evolve. For me, it is very important that my site is not limited by restrictions. It is very important that for my clients, their custom sites are not limited as well. You don’t rely on any business for your site to exist.
Easy Setup, Manage, and Update
WordPress is very easy to install, and most hosting companies offer one-click installs. You don’t need to download anything. Once your site is installed, you can manage the content all from the dashboard, and update your site as necessary. The dashboard also allows you to add custom code to header and footer (as needed), install plugins, update page content, and even change out the whole look of the site.
Use For Blog and/or Website
WordPress original started as a blogging platform, but it quickly evolved. You can setup a Portfolio or E-Commerce site quite easily on WordPress. Above all things, I believe that WordPress is an optimal blogging platform, especially compared to Blogger and Squarespace. WordPress provides unlimited options for bloggers to curate their content and transform their site. Plus, since it works so well for both types of sites, if you ever consider going from blog-to-business owner, you are already on a platform that is conducive to both.
With WordPress, bloggers and creative entrepreneurs have unlimited options for their website design and functionality. You can have everything from a blog to a membership site using WordPress. The options are dependent upon the theme, not on your host. If you want a membership site, you could likely find a premade theme for that functionality.
Search Engine Friendly
As I’ve mentioned (here, here, and here), WordPress is great for SEO. I definitely believe significantly more so than Squarespace. For example, I know I have a significantly higher MOZ score than some similar sites who get significantly more visitors than I do. With YOAST SEO, you not only are able to specify SEO for each post, but you get actual, tangible feedback, so that you can improve. I’m also going to note this. Google searches are based on your past browser history, so simple searches are never going to give you an accurate idea of your SEO.
WordPress is an open-source platform based on people contributing to the development and growth of the Content Management Software (CMS). WordPress.com is a non-profit, but self-hosted WordPress is completely based on the contributions of the community. The community is full of passionate developers who want to make the platform better, not a company trying to monetize a platform.
You can setup a blog or website with less than $100. I recommend purchasing your domain through Namecheap (around $8-$11 depending on the domain name, first year comes with free privacy protection), hosting through SiteGround (around $3.99 a month for shared WordPress hosting), and blog theme ($50-$75 from the Blog Shop). With less than $100, you have a beautiful, responsive website for your blog or business. Each year, you will have to renew your domain and hosting – $50-60, but your blog theme is a one-time purchase (and there are also free options).
If I have a family member or friend who wants to start their own website, I always recommend WordPress. I know that it is the best investment for their brand, and I wouldn’t use anything else for my business.
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