Everybody needs a website these days; it’s your modern day business card and it shows potential customers that you’re legit.
However, once you decide to get a website and do a quick Google search, you’re likely inundated with options. Not only are there a ton of different platforms, but it seems like these tech guys are speaking a different language. You can go down a serious rabbit hole when doing research on builders, hosting, domains… the list goes on.
Now, if you’re techy, the research might not be so bad. But if you’re just a local business or small online business that wants to get a simple site up and running- it can be super confusing. Most likely you don’t have the time to mess with it – you’re running a business after all.
**This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you choose to purchase the item once you click the link, I’ll receive a commission at not extra cost to you.
WordPress in a nutshell
If you’ve done any research whatsoever on building a site, you’ve probably come across WordPress. It’s the largest content management system on the internet, accounting for approximately 1/3 of all websites. WordPress is a free framework, which means you can easily get into the code files and make changes. (Note: This does not mean that there are no costs associated with building the site- more on this later).
Why WordPress is the Best
1. Endless design options that are customizable
WordPress installed straight out of the box does not look good… it’ pretty basic, with a Craigslist feel. Buuuuut, slap a theme on that baby, and you’re in business!
A theme is a beautifully packaged set of templates and styles that will give your site the design you are looking for. There are a variety of free themes, and many, many premium themes that you are able to customize to fit your branding and your style.
2. Incredible Functionality
WordPress functionality is unmatched. It is not simply a blogging platform- it can do almost anything your heart desires. There are some mighty fancy and diverse websites built upon this platform, such as BBC America, The New Yorker, Sony Music, and IZOD. Clearly, all of these businesses have different needs, but WordPress has functionality that suits each of them. WordPress makes it easy to customize your site by adding plugins (snippits of code) that will allow your site to do almost anything, including functioning as an online store, business site, or membership site.
There are a few things to consider when determining costs associated with creating a WordPress site:
- Domain name: this is the address you type into the search bar (i.e. www.meganlarsonmedia.com, theonion.com, etc.). If you think of a brick-and-mortar business, this would be the signage; the reason people know how to find you. This will generally run you $10-$20/year to secure this domain.
- Hosting: Every website needs a server to call home. When you click on a link, you are getting “served” up the web page that is attached to that link. All websites need somewhere to live so that they can be viewed by the person who clicks. If you think of a brick-and-mortar business, this would be the plot of land where the building resides. There are many companies, such as Siteground (which I highly recommend) that provide this service for around $12/mo (although introductory offers for the first year are quite a bit cheaper).
- Themes: You may hear the terms “parent theme”, and “child theme” thrown around. A theme is a framework/template for your site; the skeleton of your site that includes the functionality piece. Child themes are usually used in regard to styling, and they are the easiest way to create a beautiful site. There are many “free” WordPress themes floating around out there, but beware; many of these are pirated, so they have no support, may have malicious code, or even viruses in the worst-case scenarios. It’s safest to buy from a premium provider, such as Studiopress or Restored 316. It will save you a headache in the long run. A good theme will usually cost in the range of $60 -$120.
- WordPress development/design cost: Depending you your functionality and design needs, this can run anywhere from $600 and up. This will be a one-time cost, or alternatively you can DIY if you feel comfortable with tech. If your short on time or lacking in tech skills, check out our basic website setup package (and get a free lead magnet funnel or a free Google My Business optimization with purchase of a package.)
Bottom line: After your initial investment in a WordPress design, yearly costs are around $150 if you do the maintenance yourself. If you hire out maintenance, you should plan on at least $50/month.
4. High SEO Rankings
Google loves WordPress, and is optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The WordPress elves are working behind the scenes to make sure that it complies with search engine standards so that Google will rank WordPress sites higher than other platforms. It also generates title tags and metadescriptions so there is a good chance of increasing your ranking on Google.
5. Great Security Options
Developers put a high priority on security when they create WordPress products, and additionally there are loads of plugin options that will give you an extra layer of protection. Nothing is full-proof from hackers, but WordPress does a great job of releasing updates and fixes to make sure that they are doing their part to keep their products safe.
Hopefully you can see why WordPress the most popular content management system.
Whether you’re looking to start a simple blog, podcast site, ecommerce site, or whatever else; WordPress is a platform that can grow with you. What functionality does your new website need? Comment below, and I’ll let you know if there’s a WordPress solution!