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28 Jul 2019

Using WordPress for Small business and Freelance websites

I found that many freelancers and small business entrepreneurs ask which the best CMS is (content management system) for their website. For this type of websites, one of the most important considerations is budget, and I have found that my niche is building a nice website at an affordable cost.

The three most popular content management systems are Squarespace, Wix and WordPress. The main advantage of Wordpress is that is almost free; the only costs are for hosting, but there are a lot of options for hosting and one can get a very economical price if paying for 3 years hosting.

The advantage of Squarespace and Wix is that the client can build his/her website without paying an expert. However, some people don’t find them easy to use, and at times I have been contracted to redesign a website in Wix. The cheapest option for Square space is £10 per month (see pricing here). Wix has a very economical option for £3 per month but will display their brand ads, and that definitely won’t make their company or services look very professional (Wix pricing here). In both cases, if the client wants to add ecommerce or payments to their website, they need to upgrade their plan.

When I talk about WP I’m referring to https://wordpress.org/, to avoid confusion with https://wordpress.com/, which has different plans and price, and is similar to Wix and Squarespace.

Some hosting companies also have the option to auto install WP, which makes things much easier for someone who doesn’t have any idea about FTP and WP configurations. 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 also provided for free. Examples of such free tools are payments, online store, and newsletter integration. Sometimes you need to incur to the premium version, but you need to pay only once for the license.

WordPress is constantly being updated, which is good, but sometimes this requires updating all the plugins, and once per year the website owner will need the help of an expert to keep it running smoothly.

As I mentioned before, WP is the most popular CMS, and this made WP websites very vulnerable to hacking. Luckily there are some plugins that help to make them more secure. So, if for all owners of WP websites, I always recommend making sure to have a back-up of the site.

Finally, WP has a very friendly control panel and it’s very easy for owners to create pages, make posts, and in general update by themselves the content of the website. If you are paying someone to build your website, ask her/him to show you how to manage the content.

I want to make clear that I think WP is really good for small projects and clients who want to administer their own websites.  For larger websites I would recommend other types of CMS, which can be more powerful but also more complex. 

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Julia Ferrari

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

One comment

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    This is really useful reading for people like me who are using CMS for the first time – thank you!

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