WordPress websites can be built on two platforms: 1) Self-hosted and 2) WordPress.com
The self-hosted option is very different. A self-hosted WordPress website begins by installing WordPress on a host. There are providers that will install WordPress for you and make life super easy as you make your way through setting up your WordPress site by providing a select set of themes they support and by offering tech support to help you get up and running quickly. There are also hosting providers, and these seem to be the majority, that have a “one click install.” This means you click a button that starts the WordPress installation process, which involves you answering a few questions, and then it does the rest. After the install, you will install a theme of your choosing and follow that theme’s setup instructions. In this second scenario, the hosting provider will typically help you with the one-click install but they generally leave the setup of the theme to you and the documentation provided with the theme.
I love WordPress. It requires some technical savvy, and because of this it is not for everyone. Because it is not for everyone I started reviewing website builders to try to find better solutions for those who weren’t the best candidates for WordPress, which has resulted in all the work I’ve posted online since July. Soon I will be posting a rundown of the best builders from this review process. Then I will head into a more detailed review process of the very best website builders.
The criteria I have used throughout all the website builder reviews has been the same and it was created based off of what I know about WordPress’ capabilities and off of some of its drawbacks. So while I love using WordPress, you will see below that this isn’t the easiest solution or even the most robust solution.
WordPress is a framework that requires a thing called a theme. The theme is what makes the site look pretty and, depending on the theme you get, it might be built with industry-specific functionality. There are premium themes that cost money and free themes. All of them are vastly different. Because selecting a good quality theme can be tricky, I will be reviewing themes for WordPress at a later time.
WordPress is free. The hosting for your website might be, too. It simply depends on the host. WordPress can be installed on most hosting solutions out there. I will go into selecting a host for WordPress at a later date.
Would you like some free help preparing for your site? Cool. Here’s a free download I created just for you.
There are many ways to get your WordPress-based site mobile friendly. You might select a theme that is mobile responsive, which means it will change as the screen gets smaller and it will do this without you having to set up anything extra. Some themes aren’t mobile friendly. In the case of a non-mobile responsive theme, there are plugins available to you to help your theme go mobile. I will talk more about this at a later time.
In What Browser Does the Website Builder Work?
WordPress works in all modern browsers. The theme you install should as well, but be sure to check it in browsers once it is installed.
Search Engine Optimization?
Yes, WordPress is extremely search-engine friendly. The themes I use come with search engine optimization capabilities already built into it. Some themes don’t. In the case of themes that need SEO functionality added, you can install plugins. I will be providing more information on search engine optimization with WordPress and other website builders in the future.
WordPress’ roots are as a blogging solution. So it has most things you want in a blog already built in. There are advanced comment moderation tools and spam protection plugins. I will cover those in depth in the future.
Ease of Use
It all depends on your technical savvy and how much you wish to modify your theme. Some themes are super easy to use and some require a lot of patience. This platform has some features that are drag and drop and other portions that are not.
Use Your Own URL?
Yes. When you get a hosting account to start your WordPress site you will need to purchase a domain name. Your hosting provider can help you connect your domain name to your host. Then they can help you install WordPress. Then you are ready to get started adding content and it will all be at the domain name you selected.
My Initial Impression
WordPress is great, but I remember being very frustrated with WordPress when I first started working with it. Please note that I had tons of website building experience prior to working with WordPress, so to say that I was frustrated means that the average bear would run for the hills. These days, years after that first experience, WordPress is much more user friendly, but still has a learning curve. I love it because it is super flexible and has a strong architecture that search engines love. It isn’t the tool for someone who wants to take little time to learn new software. It isn’t the tool for someone who wants to have unique layouts from page to page or who wants to drag things around a page or design their site’s layout within the builder. But for those who are happy to work with the design of the theme they purchased or for those who have some technical background, WordPress self-hosted sites are awesome.
Click here to grab my free download to help you get all your ducks in a row before your build your site.
Even though I made it for people who are getting ready to hire a web pro, 80% of it will help you if you are building your site on your own.