For busy folk who are not tech experts, want a professional-looking website, but not wanting to pay huge monthly hosting fees forever.
Are you mulling over whether to try and build it yourself, to save money, via a free open source platform such as WordPress, and get cheaper hosting?
That will be fine if you have a little bit of tech skill and plenty of time to spare. What say you have neither, or make a start and need help?
Then maybe you are thinking about a managed platform that holds your hands every step of the way, such as Squarespace or Wix who have no major upfront costs, but charges somewhere around three times as much as regular hosting?
So both options have pro’s and con’s:
- Build a WordPress yourself, on a regular hosting account, and only pay cheap yearly hosting. (Cheap, but you may get stuck)
- Or go with the easy learner’s platform, but pay huge ongoing hosting costs forever.
Both options assume you have lots of time to devote to building the site yourself.
Both types end up with a site you can edit and manage yourself.
There is a middle way: Go with WordPress, but get my help to launch it, only paying me a one-off fee to get it started. Also, I bridge the knowledge gap, by providing one-on-one training, tailored to your needs, so that you can start managing the content of your own site, straight away.
Compared to Wix costs, within a year, WordPress hosting is cheaper, i.e. Siteground is approx $25 per month hosting. Wix or Squarespace cost two to three times as much monthly, forever.
Do the math, which is better, paying a one-off $500-700 upfront, for a site build and $294 yearly hosting, or paying $720 every year forever, for Wix hosting?
Advantages of WordPress are:
WordPress is open-source (free) and it has more choices with variation in design and functionality than private competitor platforms. Once it is built, it is just as easy to edit later, as the hand-holding platforms.
Savings: You only pay a developer for a one-off build cost or install fee. Then the only repeating yearly fixed costs are hosting and domain name renewals.
Platform: Platform is from WordPress.org. (not WordPress.com).
Domain Name: You purchase a Domain Name and renew it yearly. Approx $34 pa (if you don’t already have one.)
Hosting account: The crucial thing is, to purchase a “WordPress Managed Hosting” account. (Not el cheapo “Unmanaged”) and renew it yearly.
In my opinion, FastComet.com is reasonably priced, dependable, has the latest site tools, provides automated backups, and a good 24/7 helpdesk. You don’t need to know anything technical, they will help fix anything that crops up. You can purchase a domain name from them too, and helpdesk will set it up for your account. They will even migrate an existing website over to their hosting, for free.
Design Theme: Best Free Theme is Neve or Astra Theme – I found them to be the most adaptable and generous with functions in their free version, and have lots of free template starter packs within the theme. They have more customisations available in their Pro Version.
This will help if you have complex needs to fulfill. Or you could purchase a Premium theme like Avada, from themeforest.net.
Content Builder Tools: When you choose a free theme, you must add a Content Builder (Page Editor) Plugin to work with the theme. Neve has a built in Customiser. Astra uses Elementor.
Both Neve, Astra and Elementor tools are regularly updated and maintained by their authors, therefore reliable. They also both have Pro Versions, which would give you the benefit of a lot more customisation features and functionality.
If you would like help with your web project or would like to engage me as a web manager to maintain your site, then do not hesitate to get in touch with me to assist you.