Most likely you’ve heard of a WordPress website before. That’s because it is a widely known and used content management system (CMS).
But have you ever wondered if it’s the right platform for your next website?
That’s why I have written this article. I personally use WordPress for this website. So I am familiar with how it runs.
But I’m always asked by business owners, whether WordPress is the right platform for them. This article will give you some insight into what you can expect when owning a WordPress website. By weighing the pros and cons with your personal circumstances, you will ultimately know if WordPress is right for you.
I will discuss:
- What is WordPress?
- What do you need to get a WordPress website started?
- How much does it cost?
- The Pros and Cons of WordPress
What is WordPress?
Without getting too technical… simply put, WordPress is a website building tool that allows you to create a website or blog of any size.
Think of your website as a pizza. A WordPress site with only hosting is like the sauce and crust… those two things make the only the foundation. To make a flavorful pizza, you must add toppings like cheese, mushrooms, sausage, and pepperoni. In the same sense, to make a WordPress website do what you want, you must add plugins, install a theme, add security and backup features to make it what you want.
Basically, a WordPress site is made up of many elements.
What Do You Need To Get A WordPress Website Started?
All basic websites involve pulling together a few key elements to be well established. Because WordPress is a standalone CMS, you will need to separately gather/purchase those items.
If you want to establish your WordPress website the right way, you need these things:
Just so you understand how important hosting is… hosting is the life of the website, the electricity to your light bulb, or the crust to your pizza. When your hosting goes out, your website is dead. So it’s important to pick a reliable hosting company for your site.
- A Domain Name
Your domain name is like the street address of your website, so pick one that is memorable.
- A Template
A professional website will be built using a template. There are free as well as premium templates to choose from. I always recommend premium templates because you get what you pay for.
- Recommended Plugins
I’ll discuss this a little more about why you need certain plugins in the cons section below. But it is recommended that if you get a WordPress site you get plugins that protects you from hacking and loss of data.
Building a website this way comes with a few advantages and disadvantages.
How much does a WordPress site cost?
There’s no flat rate or price I can give you because the price of a WordPress site depends on the price of several things combined which includes your host, the template, etc…
The CMS alone is free to use. What I can do is give you a range on what your essential needs will cost. There’s no doubt in my mind, you will find services cheaper than the ranges I have listed. But I’m basing these ranges on purchasing a good quality service… because it’s very true that you get what you pay for.
- Host — $10-$25 per month
I have experienced what it’s like to use a good and not so good hosting service. The first host I used was very cheap and over time I realized that I was getting what I was paying for. My site was loading slow, I saw mistakes with my billing, and the customer service was below average. The host I use now is pretty affordable, reliable, and once I made the switch to them my site was loading faster. That was very important to me.)
- Domain name — $10-$15 per year
Sometimes it’s possible to get a domain name for free with the purchase of a full year of hosing. Otherwise if you don’t get a free domain with hosting it will cost you no more than $20.
- Theme (also known as template) — $35-$75 one time fee
There are some free templates out there that are decent. But this price range will get you a good premium theme. I always shop around when looking for a theme and make sure that it’s well documented and regularly updated. One of the first places I shop at is Themeforest. Note: Not all themes labeled “premium” are created equally. Do your homework.
The Pros and Cons of a WordPress Website
There’s always advantages and drawbacks to using one platform over another. As a personal user and designer who creates sites on this platform, I’ll give you a few pros and cons to weigh when using WordPress as a CMS.
The Pros of a WordPress Website
- WordPress is versatile. You can create a very simple website or a very powerful one.
- There’s a plugin for almost any feature you want. WordPress plugins allow you to build a website with just about any type of feature – a blog, e-store, photo gallery, membership site, etc.
- Its basic editor is very easy to use. Some themes also come with drag-and-drop editors that require little to no code knowledge to make updates and changes yourself.
- WordPress is very popular and widely used. Because it’s popular, if you run into an issue, you are highly likely to find the help you need by doing a web search on the problem.
The Cons of a WordPress Website
- Security is a concern. You have to take measures to protect your website from being hacked among other things. It’s not invincible out of the box. You must install the right security plugins and set it up properly to secure your site better. If you don’t know how to do it, you must hire someone to do it for you.
- Updates occur regularly for WordPress, the plugins, and themes. Yes, updates are a good thing because you want your site to be using the latest and greatest tech, But, sometimes one update published by plugin A may not be compatible with plugin B. Sometimes updates can wreck havoc on your site and that’s why the pros always say to backup your site before updating because problems after updating are a common issue.
- WordPress can get complicated. Because you can customize many small features within WordPress, it can get too complex for those who want a very simple website to manage on their own but also want a website that has a lot of features. To get past this roadblock, some WordPress bloggers and website owners will do the day to day article writing themselves, but use a web professional to actually do the technical stuff on a weekly or monthly basis.
As you can see, WordPress has it’s challenges. Yet, if you can get past those challenges… it comes with great benefits too!
A lot of business owners can get past those challenges by either:
- hiring a professional web designer or webmaster, like me, who can perform the updates and maintenance, while they themselves handle the day-to-day tasks like blogging, or
- learning to do WordPress on their own through paid and free online resources.
Other business owners realize they would rather use a simpler platform to avoid those hurdles all together and make compromises elsewhere – whether it’s features or the ability to customize parts of their website a certain way.
So, it’s all about you figuring out what scenario works best for you, if you decide to use WordPress for your business website.
Need a web designer to help you manage your WordPress website?
Hire me! I work with small business owners, professional coaches, and consultants who need help managing their WordPress website so that they can focus more on their business.