Last week, I featured an insightful post from Ron Bueker that likened the pros and cons of WordPress and Squarespace. I have always been specialized in WordPress, going to 2006 back. My decade of experience has made me very comfortable building sites onto it, plus it gives me an advantage in conditions of cost.

I’ve discovered enough through the years to maintain my own sites, and also to recognize when I will spend cash for designs, plugins, or support. But I am not just a coder. I’ve never used a coding class, and my coding knowledge involves basic HTML and CSS primarily, all self-taught. But I am comfortable enough to copy and paste code in to the right places when given good directions. I know that few writers are as comfortable as I am when it comes to WordPress. Still, I think it’s rather a very cost-effective option that becomes more powerful for your web existence, as time passes, if you’re ready to commit to learning it.

If you’re considering WordPress as your platform of choice, here’s what you need to know as you prepare to develop on it. First and foremost, WordPress is a content management system that is free to use. It can be used as the foundation of any website, and by anyone. Because it underpins about 20% of the world’s websites, it’s a very well-known technology.

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This is good for you as as the site owner. As an analogy, take into account the iPhone and how many applications are developed for that platform. Just about everybody is wanting to have something that’s iPhone compatible. They have lots of lessons and support that are geared for newbies to website building.

However, because you’re building in their walled garden, there are certain limitations. You can’t choose any theme you want. You can’t totally customize the website without buying upgrades. They want you to keep utilizing their technology, even if it’s not in their special walled garden. You get the ease of use, but the capability to expand and add complexity if so when your growth needs it. Plus, you have a stable environment, with confidence that it will be a viable platform for a long time to come.

As a WordPress user with a self-hosted site, I’ve never really had to get worried about what happens if my website platform is out of business or changes hands. 2. Commit a whole great deal of upfront time exploring what theme or theme technology you want to use. Think of a theme as a skin for your website. It dictates the aesthetics-the colors, the design, the fonts, the styles, and more.

Some styles also come with some rather amazing customizations and extra functionality, while very simple themes may have or no additional efficiency at all little. That is why your decision is so important-it impacts your current site design but also a few of your features to customize your website or push it further without knowing code. Not absolutely all themes are created equal-they can be created by anyone, anywhere and offered with very little screening. Always check the ratings and reviews for each theme at WordPress, as well as though it has been recently updated or developed.

You can also see how many folks have downloaded the theme-and reputation works on your side. The more folks who are using a theme, the more likely the bugs are receiving exercised and few issues exist with other third-party stuff you might use for your site. It’s also helpful if a support is acquired by the theme community where you can go to ask questions.

Very new themes should generally be avoided by beginners unless it’s from a developer who has many other respected designs. You’ll be presented with well-tested and robust styles that are free or high quality (premium themes cost money). If you’re running a self-hosted site, you’ll be able to choose any theme you’re able to find in the WordPress universe, which may be paralyzing sometimes. I would recommend researching as many author websites as possible, and when you find one you like, look for information in what theme they’re using.

You can tell by looking at the source code. Search for the URL that signifies the theme name. This tells us that the WordPress theme is Divi. Many people like the essential notion of drag-and-drop website contractors, such as Squarespace. It is possible to have the same experience in WordPress if you select a theme or plugin that offers that functionality.