Out of the dozens of ways to get a website off the ground and running, some methods are certainly more superior than others, especially for the long term blogger or business owner. As someone who has used Blogger, Wix, WordPress.com and others, absolutely nothing beats a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
But why? You ask.
The benefits of using WordPress are many, but to highlight some of the most important:
- Control: If you are someone who wants to determine the entire look and functionality of your site, there is simply no better way. Whether you purchase a pre-made theme (of which there are thousands) or hire a designer for something custom, the appearance of your site is absolutely limitless ♡ Also, using WordPress opens the door to using plugins, helpful and mostly free add-ons to perform additional functions on your site.
- Selling Products: One free and highly popular plugin for setting up a shop on WordPress is Woocommerce (used also on this site!). It gives you control over coupons, sales, payments, reviews, shipping, and more. But this tool isn’t available on other kinds of sites.
- Consistently Updated: Because so many people use WordPress.org, it’s not going away, and is frequently updated by the makers to ensure it’s fast and secure.
- Membership Sites: WordPress makes it very easy to setup a membership site as opposed to other platforms. Plugins like MemberPress, s2Member and LearnDash help you set up levels of membership, payment processing, notifications, drip content and other features.
Basically, having a self-hosted WordPress.org website gives you the ability to go as far as your online vision will take you. Don’t put yourself in the position of starting elsewhere and then having to deal with the hassle of moving a lot of content over later (if possible).
But wait! Once you make the decision of starting a website with WordPress, you then need to choose a paid host. Some of the most common are: Bluehost, SiteGround, GoDaddy and Hostgator. Because I love and use Bluehost for all my websites, it’s my wholehearted recommendation. Some of the reasons I love them are:
- Free WordPress.org Install: Some hosts, like GoDaddy, will charge you to install WordPress on your site after paying for a yearly hosting plan. With Bluehost, you’ll get every WordPress.org install you need FREE!
- Free SSL certificate: Glance up at the top of your browser where the web address of this page is. Do you see that little green lock? It’s there because I have a Secure Sockets Layer or SSL certificate on my site, which encrypts your payment and visiting information and keeps it safe from web hackers. It’s also been said to be a new SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) requirement with Google, so you’ll definitely want one. And the good news is, I get this security free, and if you sign up with Bluehost, you will too! Other hosts charge.
- Great Support: Rarely have I called Bluehost and been on an annoyingly long hold before a rep can get to me, and this is because they have a large team of specialists that can handle their large customer base.
- Easy User Interface: Bluehost has just updated their account dashboards to make them more friendly toward non-techy people. You’ll find easy options for managing your domain(s), securing your site with SSL, and other paid and free services.
- Affordable Price: Pay only $3.95/month for hosting when you commit to the 36 month plan (shown below). Plus, if you cancel within 30 days, you can still get a full refund.
I’ve been with Bluehost since 2016, and my confidence in them hasn’t changed. I discovered them when a top blogger I admired promoted them, and I’m so glad she did! If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here: Get Started with Bluehost.
Once your account is set up and you’re rocking WordPress, the next step is choosing the right look for your site. With thousands of WordPress themes available, this won’t be a problem, but there is one thing you should consider, and that is, using the Genesis Framework.
Genesis ensures that the theme you choose for your site will always be compatible with future WordPress updates. It also has built in SEO features to help search engines index and properly display your posts and pages in search results. Plus, if you plan on owning multiple sites, you can use Genesis on every one!
But using Genesis means you’ll have to choose a Genesis child theme, because not just any WordPress theme will work with it. I and hundreds of other designers make themes specifically for Genesis users, so you won’t be cutting yourself short in terms of design choices. Simply check out my themes ( 🙂 ) or find another designer who fits what you’re looking for. The themes on StudioPress.com are another good place to start.
If you’d like to purchase Genesis and find out more about it, click here!
You’ve now learned how to setup a professional and long-lasting website! Anything you can imagine doing with your online presence is now possible. If you have any questions about this process, please shoot me an email.
Please be aware that this page contains affiliate links. I only promote products I use and believe in ♡