WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for hosting websites. It’s accessible to people with little or no coding knowledge, and can be free depending on your choices.
Here’s an overview of how to create a WordPress website, and some thoughts on what you can (and can’t) get for free.
How to create a website using WordPress
Creating a website here is remarkably simple. Once you’ve created an account with WordPress, you’ll be prompted to choose a URL for your blog. Once you’ve taken care of that, you’ll be presented with theme options for your site. Some of these can be changed later on once the website is created.
With just those items selected, you can begin creating new pages and adding content. There are some other customizations you can make down the road, but it really is that easy! Affordability and ease of use are a couple of the reasons WordPress has become so popular.
Benefits of WordPress
The first and most obvious advantage is that using a WordPress site is free. There are some upgrades that you can purchase to improve the site. But if you’re okay with using standard themes that don’t involve customization, you won’t have to pay a dime.
Speaking of customization, using WordPress doesn’t require you to know any code. In fact, the amount of custom design you can do with WordPress is limited. That means you can put together a decent-looking and functioning website with virtually no knowledge of HTML, CSS or PHP.
Put those two benefits together, and you’re saving time and money. You don’t have to pay for the primary domain, hosting, or a designer. And you don’t have to spend time fiddling with code or waiting for a developer to put your website together.
Drawbacks to using WordPress
While making a website with WordPress might be free and easy, there are some limitations you will encounter.
The primary drawback is that, by default, when you sign up for a WordPress site, your URL will be on a WordPress subdomain. For instance, if you make your site name “Mypress,” your URL will always be Mypress.WordPress. It is more difficult to get a subdomain ranked in search than a primary domain, which in our example would be mypress.com. For a little extra cash, you can purchase a primary domain through WordPress to make up for this. If you hope to improve your SEO ranking in Google and other search engines, that’s an expense I’d recommend.
Other drawbacks are design-related. There are premium themes that will cost you, and some features that will also require a financial investment. If you really want to have a say in what the site looks like, WordPress will at some point disappoint you.
To pay or not to pay?
If cost plays a major role in your decision, you can get a decent website for free with WordPress. That will also save you the cost of a designer and developer since the WordPress platform takes care of those items for you with a limited choice of templates.
Want something more customized? You can accomplish that through WordPress, too, but it won’t be free. And it might make sense to hire a developer who can code a more customized appearance.