Websites are expensive. A good design and development team to do your site professionally isn’t cheap. I know that.
You’re likely here because you want to start your own online business of some sort. I’m here to tell you it’s not necessary to hire a professional team to get your website up and running.
Places like Wix, Squarespace and several others offer this service but then you’re on their platform and subject to their rules as to what you can sell and sometimes what content you can put up.
If your site does become popular and begin to generate a lot of traffic it becomes very hard and sometimes costly to scale as necessary to accommodate the higher amount of traffic.
The way to avoid this is to build and maintain your own site.
When you’re the site owner you actually own the files that create your site, you choose to host them places like Blue Host. Those places wouldn’t own your site, they simply give you a place to put your files to share with the internet world. It’s like renting a storefront, all the furniture and product inside the building belongs to you but you rent the space to allow people to have access to come and buy from you.
With those easy to use platforms like Wix or Squarespace, you don’t own the files, just the content you place on the site which makes things very difficult when it comes time to hopefully scale up.
How do you go about building a website though? WordPress. I am a WordPress fanatic, it’s an open source software that automatically builds the framework files you need to house your content. Rest easy, WordPress is an open source software which means it’s completely free and always will be.
Typically when building out a site you need to know code, but not with WordPress. The CMS (Content Management System) comes with a premade layout so you can get started right away. Within WordPress you can use what is called Plugins. They are extensions that make your WordPress site conform to your needs, again no need to know coding and there are thousands of plugins out there that are produced, some paid, some free. Like Woo Commerce a free plugin that can turn your WordPress site into an e-commerce store with the click of the mouse.
When I first started using WordPress I had no idea what coding was and had no idea how to do it and I operated a website for quite sometime without knowing how to. With page builder plugins and easy to use themes that did all the hard work for me it was no different than building out something in Powerpoint or Word.
Now I know with some of those pre-built platforms they boost it’s easy to build a web page with drag and drop features. There are several plugins that can help you do all of that within WordPress too. For beginners just starting out and not wanting to buy several different plugins just to get started, I recommend using X theme. I’ll get into themes in a minute, but X theme provides several easy to use plugins right out of the box and their very own Cornerstone which is a drag and drop editor that can help you create pages very quickly. As well as several others that can help you integrate anything from email marketing forms to sliders, all included.
Now you’re probably asking, what’s this theme stuff? Well, themes are something that can change the look and feel of your site. X theme has 4 different themes built in you can choose from. Once you choose one of those you can customize any of it to your hearts content. There are literally thousands of themes out there and I could write a book on them all but if you’re just getting started, X theme is the way to go with the bundle of features that come included it’s well worth the price of admission.
Again if you’re just starting out and you’re looking to get started, take the extra time and have your own platform. It’s a little more effort, but well worth it in the long run. I recommend Bluehost for hosting in the beginning, they make it easy to get set up with domain hosting then they install WordPress for you with a one click install. Then once you get into WordPress purchase a copy of X theme and start setting up your site. You’ll be up and running in no time.