I can write volumes about WordPress because it is just that good. In May 2003, WordPress started as a blogging platform and has become one of the most popular content management systems available. WordPress is well supported, modernized at a steady rate, easy to work with, and the WordPress ecosystem is robust. Themes, plugins, and developers are available in a wide variety to transform a basic WordPress site with near limitless possibilities.
WordPress is set up in one of two ways, on WordPress.com or self-hosted. There are advantages to both methods. Being part of WordPress.com ensures complete integration with the software; however, customizing is not as direct, and sometimes not possible. I like the self-hosted version at WordPress.org for economy, portability, and component accessibility. If you poke around on Google and use the information you glean, then a self-hosted site may be for you, and WordPress will be the blessing you need. Whatever type of WordPress installation you choose, it will be a brilliant choice if you do the due diligence prior to spending a penny.
WordPress requires a domain name, hosting for the WordPress files, a database, and a theme to run self-hosted. Purchase a domain name and hosting to get started. Hosting accounts come in a wide variety of configurations, and hosting companies are notorious for selling people more than they need. Take away here, is what you need, you can always upgrade later. There are a myriad of options for choosing domains, usually the business name itself, but sometimes it may be different. SEO is important, so do some research prior to purchase. Do a Google search for best WordPress hosts for ideas. WordPress.org usually lists some it recommends, I use Go Daddy, just pick a reputable one with excellent reviews.
Hosting companies offer automatic setup for WordPress with the purchase of a hosting account. This is a good way to go for those who have little to no experience with WordPress or websites. The hosting company will load WordPress on the hosting account, create and connect a database, and keep the system updated. This is self-hosted, but you do not choose certain aspects of the setup or maintenance.
My choice is to always set up WordPress for an extra amount of control and customizing. C-Panel is a must for hosting and should be part of the account. C-Panel allows for customization necessary to create, upgrade, secure, and optimize a self-hosted WordPress site. However, C-Panel is not to be taken lightly, and settings should only be adjusted with competence.
Themes give the site most of its look and feel and are one of the most crucial parts of the WordPress site. Once again, Google is a great resource for making this important decision. Read reviews and don’t get caught up with a lot of whizbang that eat up resources when the site is trying to load on a visitor’s machine. My experience has taught me to beware of themes that promise too much functionality as they will polarize your website for using any other theme but theirs, in addition they fill the database with needless information should you want to change the theme later.
WordPress is a great platform to build everything from a blog to an enterprise level website. It is like everything; how much money, time, and effort put in will dictate the final product. WordPress knowledge is shared freely on the Internet with rare exception, and the sky is the limit on what can be accomplished by even a novice with the will to learn and apply.
If all of this seems a bit out of reach, there is always the option of hiring a web designer/web developer to handle most if not all the work. Due diligence is the key in finding a good one.