Here’s a nuclear truth bomb!
The wonderful world of websites is a massive headache for someone just starting out. Scratch that, please! It’s a migraine for everyone (yes, even for us experienced web designers)! Even still, let’s talk WordPress websites in 2020!
Not only are there now more options than ever to find a place to park that shiny new domain name, there are a wide variety of easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy website builders (like Wix or SquareSpace) and a slew of complicated CMS platforms that actually just impossible labyrinths in disguise (think WordPress).
I’m here to help you understand your website options and why I believe, despite readily admitting it’s a pain-in-the-ass, WordPress remains the best option for anyone looking to launch a website in 2020!
And before we dive too deep into this, know that when I say “WordPress,” I’m specifically talking about the self-hosted software you install through cPanel on your webhost!
The WordPress platform is simply the most flexible, easy to control software available. And the good news is that it can run pretty cheap, so that should make your budget and your wallet sing!
I believe wpbeginner.com says it best:
“A content management system or CMS is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content. WordPress is a Content Management System, that allows you to create and publish your content on the web.”
So Why WordPress?
I’ve already dropped the “why.” It’s because of its flexibility and long-term cost savings! While it may require (depending on your chosen webhost, which I will cover in a future post soon) a pretty penny up-front, you can easily find month-to-month payment plans with certain hosts.
The real question is whether you want or need a web designer to step in to do the heavy lifting on your behalf to really make your message and brand pop from day one. Designers range in price, but they will run you (at least) a few hundred dollars! If you’d like to chat with me about crafting up the perfect quote for you, let’s start our adventure!
If you’re like me, you might be a DIY-er determined to get your hands dirty. You may look forward to learning more about how the world of web design works. Maybe not.
The reality is that WordPress is still the best option for folks with a lofty budget or a nonexistent one. Let’s go through a few reasons why this is true!
I’ve been sitting at the edge of my seat waiting to drop these tables! If cost alone is the only driving factor contributing to your final choice, then ding, ding, ding! WordPress reigns. Just look at that shiny crown! Let’s break down the cost of each service I’ve mentioned assuming you don’t hire a web design and, instead, opt to use a free theme (see this theme I recommend in action here).
For one year on the basic plan of each service, the self-hosted (using InterServer as our host in this example) WordPress option is the hero of this exercise! Are you a creative biz owner that requires a shop? Well, I’m sure you’ll see my point better with this next price comparison!
Simply put, if you plan on selling directly on your website, and you’re on a tight budget, WordPress is your hero! See this info in action for yourself, and research all options based on your needs:
Resources & Community
Have you heard of my dear friend ol’ reliable Google? YouTube? I thought so! Well, that means you’re automatically connected to an abundance of others who have the same questions you may have pop up from time-to-time!
If you’re set on DIY-ing the design, you’ll find that not only are there a fantastic number of creators devoted to specific aspects of this platform (plugins, themes, etc.), but also the thousands of free tutorials and videos to help show you what you can achieve for free, cheap, or fancy!
Diverse Customization & Performance
I’ll be the bad gal for a sec, kay? I honestly hate Wix & SquareSpace. They’re great if you only plan on loving one specific type of look or vibe (usually clean, modern, and minimalistic). However, if you’re new and a complete noob at web design, you may not actually stick with the same look for too long.
This is only my opinion, so take what I’m about to say with a grain a’ salt. But I have a hard time finding two Wix websites that don’t look somewhat the same. Sure, you can splash up a new color and switch around a few modules, but I’ve seen so many websites from Wix to know when a website is made with it.
SquareSpace offers (in my experience) a few more tricks to avoid this problem—and yes…It’s definitely a problem—but it’s still easier to accomplish the same look and vibe as the others in your niche.
To me, websites should be as unique as possible. Your biz and brand isn’t the same as the competition in your area of business, so why clone a website that’s just gonna fall short to the others in your niche?
Let’s wrap this up…
I believe website ownership should be accessible to every person who wishes to open their business, start a blog, or operate something else! While there are a number of other reasons I could dig deeper into, I’m leaving you with the hope that this post helped you in better understanding the real costs of the more popular website hosting options!
Feel free to leave a comment about why you love or use one of the other services I talked about! I’d love to have other experiences guiding us to healthy conversations to steer us all in the best direction for us as individual creative biz owners!