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02 Oct 2020
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THE PROS & CONS OF USING WORDPRESS TO CREATE YOUR WEBSITE

Many freelancers and small business entrepreneurs often ask me what the best CMS is (content management system) for their website. For small business websites, one of the most important considerations is budget.

The 3 most popular content management systems are Squarespace, Wix and WordPress. The main advantage of WordPress is that it’s almost free; you only pay for hosting. There are a lot of different options for hosting and it’s often more cost-effective to pay for 3 years.

The advantage of using Squarespace and Wix is that you can build your website without paying an expert. However, some people don’t find either user-friendly. I have been contracted several times to redesign a website created with Wix. The cheapest option for Squarespace is £10 per month (see pricing here). Wix has a very affordable option for £3 per month but will display their brand ads (and that definitely won’t make you look very professional!). In both cases, if you want to add ecommerce or payments to your website, you will need to upgrade your plan.

When I talk about WP I’m referring to WordPress.org, to avoid confusion with WordPress.com, which has different plans and prices, and is similar to Wix and Squarespace.

Some hosting companies also have the option to auto install WP, which makes things much easier if you aren’t sure about FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and WP configurations (in my online course  I talk extensively about what an FTP is and why it is needed). In addition to being free, another advantage of using WP is that it’s the most popular CMS and there are many developers constantly creating very useful plugins (which are often provided for free). Examples of such free tools are payments, online store, and newsletter integration. Sometimes you need to subscribe to the premium version – but you will only need to pay once for the license.

WordPress is constantly being updated, which is good, but sometimes this requires updating all the plugins. I would also recommend that once or twice a year you ask an expert (like me!) to double check everything is running smoothly. Alternatively, you can learn how to maintain and update your website for yourself in my online course ‘How to Build Your Own WordPress Website ’.

As I mentioned before, WP is the most popular CMS, and unfortunately this makes WP websites very vulnerable to hacking. Luckily there are plugins that help to make your website more secure. I also always recommend you make sure you have a back-up of your website.

Finally, WP has a very friendly control panel and it’s very easy for you to create pages, make posts, and in general be self-sufficient with managing your website. If you are paying someone to build your website, ask them to show you how to manage the content.

I want to make it clear that I think WP is really good for small projects and businesses if you want to manage your own website. For larger businesses that need a larger website I would recommend other types of CMS, which can be more powerful but also more complex. If you want to save budget and learn how to create an easy-to-manage and smart looking website yourself, then this is your chance! In my online course, I give you a step-by-step guide to creating your own website from scratch using WordPress. The course is on sale for £149 £129 until 14th November 2020 only, so don’t miss out!

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Julia Ferrari

Web designer, focusing on helping freelancers and small businesses build their websites.

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