So you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur who manages to get all their clients through “word of mouth”; however, you’re pretty sure you need a website. It’s just that the idea of having one still seems overwhelming.
After consulting several sites like hostingadvice.com, and websitebuilderexpert.com, you decide that your site should be built on WordPress despite the fact that reviews on websitebuilderexpert.com show its price range falling between $200- $15000 depending on the themes, plug-ins, and the help you use.
Nonetheless, since you care about design flexibility and SEO, WordPress is still your best bet.
Now all you have to figure out is how to learn it and set it up at minimal cost.
Cutting Hosting Costs & Learning WordPress Cost Effectively
Cutting Hosting Costs
At the beginning you just might want to try your hand at the WordPress.org experience esp. since you haven’t tried WordPress.com before. The “.org “experience allows you to use plugins and have more control over your site
So just for starters you could try a free host like Byethost, Freehosting, 5gbfree, etc… ; however,the bandwidth and disk space offered are pretty limited. For 5gbfree the offering is 20GB bandwidth and 5GB disk space; for Freehostia the offering is 6 GB bandwidth and 250MB disk space. ( Go to techradar to check their list and review of free host providers).
If however, you’re not that stingy, nor that adamant on trying things out first, you can get a paid hosting.
The best deals are on Cybermondays or Black Fridays. I got my one year startup hosting package from Siteground on a Cybermonday for a fee of $ 47.4 only. Other good paid hosting providers include: Bluehost, Hostgator, Siteground, ,iPage and others. You can read reviews of hosting providers on techradar and hostingfacts.com, or simply go for the cheapest hosting provider Hostinger.
Learning WordPress Cost Effectively
Okay, now you’ve set up WordPress, but somehow its dashboard overwhelms you. The best thing to do next is to go to YouTube and search for some useful instructional videos. Hence when you first type in “learn WordPress” in the search bar, you’d get a bunch of videos from Tyler Moore, Darrel Wilson, Ferdy Korporshoek etc… You can subscribe to as many as you want, pick and choose which videos to save depending on the topic you want.
The Udemy Option for a One Stop Comprehensive A to Z Walk through
If it still seems too overwhelming, you could go over to Udemy and purchase a course.
That’s how I started since watching one hour straight on YouTube was quite daunting and boring at first.
The course I would recommend is “WordPress for Beginners- Build Your First Website in 2018” by Alexander Oni.
I’ve checked other instructors and enrolled in a few free Udemy WordPress courses as well as a paid one; however, Alexander Oni’s course trumps them all. I found it to be comprehensive and easy to follow. This got me started.
The Youtube Option for Specific Customization Needs
Once you understand the basics of WordPress, the YouTube videos became easier to follow, and a more research based approach to learning can take place. Thus, you can customize your site according to your needs.
For instance, I used free Elementor as the page builder for my site. I got all the information on it from Youtube, from channels like WPlearning Lab, Nayyar Shaikh, WPCrafter, and Ferdy Korpershoek. Ferdy is really good at going through tricky specifics. You can check his video on how to use Elementor’s text editor.
Finally, I can say I was happy with the result because I customized my site the way I wanted and ended up paying a total of $57.4 ( $47.4 for hosting on SiteGround + 10 dollars for a Udemy course so in total 57.4 dollars … I might surely pay more later on, but for now it seems like a reasonable choice.
What Worked for Me
For a look at useful plugins I use, refer to the list below:
- Social Media Widget by Accurax
- Contact Form 7 ( for the contact section)
- Content Views ( for grid or list display)
- Ocean Demo & Ocean Extra
- Smush ( for image compression)
- W3 Total Cache ( for a faster site)
- WP -Sweep ( for cleaning up the WP database)
- MaxButtons ( for Call to Action buttons)
- Yoast SEO for Google friendly writing
As for your mailing list you can always opt for MailChimp because there are plenty of free tutorials on it, but I opted for MailerLite. Originally, I had installed MailChimp ,but when I tried sending myself my first newsletter email the font got changed on its own.
Though both are similar in terms of ease of use, MailerLite offers all its features to its customers on their free plan. Additionally, its paid subscription is only $20 for 5000 subscribers, whereas MailChimp sets the price at $50 per month for 5000 subscribers.
In conclusion, it’s up to you to make the choice.
So, choose wisely. Read & pick what suits you best.
Also published on Medium.