I hate to suggest that WordPress isn’t a good choice for someone, because I love WordPress. I love the community, love what it stands for—love it all.
But, no: downloading WordPress, finding a host and installing your own site is not a good idea for everyone. Evermore takes so much of the complexity out of it, but what if you have no money? What if DIY is your only option?
Since the self-hosted, open-source WordPress is free to download, it’s easy to get anchored at that cost. Nothing beats free, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not always that cut-and-dry.
Not Always Plug-and-Play
I was talking to a good buddy of mine the other day and he said something that really hit me. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Let’s face it. WordPress isn’t plug-and-play for everyone. Maybe some people, but not for everyone. You pick a theme, and you think it’s good. You pay the money only to realize you can’t get it to look right. Then you realize you have to input a specific size image into the theme. Then you realize, ‘Crap, I have to learn how to resize images now, I don’t have time for this.’ But you do, only to realize you have to copy some code from the theme instructions, and you freak out because it’s code. Then you realize you have to pay for what you thought was free or you’ll hate your site.”
This is the unfortunate experience that’s all too common, causing good people to end up pulling their hair out and exhausting themselves. Does this sound fun to you?
If you don’t want (or have time) to learn about WordPress, and you aren’t a tinkerer, and you don’t want to pay much of anything, you may need to go with a “closed” platform that is drag-and-drop. It’s a hard truth, but it’s an easier pill to swallow than learning it the hard way.
Right for You?
Ask yourself these questions to help determine if self-hosted WordPress would actually end up difficult for you.
- Do you hate tinkering?
- When it comes to your iPhone, do you find yourself muttering, “Screw you Apple, it doesn’t just work.”
- If zero dollars was a budget, would that be your budget for a website?
- Are you interested in WordPress because it is free?
- Will your site essentially be an online business card or brochure?
- Do you prefer to use a manual calendar rather than one on your phone?
- Does everything to do with technology, no matter how simple, seem to somehow end in frustration for you?
- Does the idea of resizing a photograph give you anxiety?
- If the internet didn’t exist, do you think the world would be a better place?
- Is a website something you’re pursuing simply because “every business should have one?”
A Word of Warning
If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, going the “free” route with WordPress may cause you pain. Yes, pain—I don’t use that word lightly. On top of the story I told earlier, read what happened to another friend of mine when their family blog got hacked.
It’s alright if you have a tough time with technology, but it’s important to recognize that in yourself.
Maybe you find yourself frustrated with FaceTime on your iPhone, even though you know you only have to press one button.
Or perhaps you finally learned how to use Microsoft Word at work on whatever version existed seven years ago, and, due to the recent upgrade, your entire next month is ruined, because you have to relearn everything.
These issues are not age-specific either! Some people just aren’t great at “techy” stuff, no matter how basic.
My advice for you, if you’re one of those folks: embrace it. Yes, step into it, own it, and move on.
You’re likely great at sales, art, business strategy, writing, or whatever else! Don’t fight an uphill battle. Focus on what you are good at, because the world needs your best. It has enough “average”, doesn’t it?
Let me save you a lot of time and headache. If you aren’t willing to spend the money (Evermore doesn’t do “freemium”), and if the thought of spending the time learning all this puts you in a bad mood, do yourself a favor and go with an easy drag-and-drop site builder. It won’t be the most gorgeous site, but it will get the job done until you can afford to outsource everything.
Maybe try one of these companies:
For the most part, these are affordable and truly drag-and-drop. If you aren’t good at that sort of thing, this is a good route, because you can start with some good designs. If you get stuck, even your teenage nephew could be a legitimate resource to help you get moving. With WordPress, your nephew likely isn’t going to cut it.
If you do go with one of these companies and you need certain functionality, make sure you do your research. Many of them start free, and then charge extra for things later. That can still work for you, though, because you don’t have to pay a lot upfront, and you can ease into it.
To get a design perfectly matched to your brand without any work, your only other option is to pay someone upfront. There is no magic bullet. You can go looking for a talented, yet reliable, contractor, or you can sign up for our Branded plan, where your website comes to you in a matter of days, fully completed, matched to your brand with a beautiful design, ready to go live.
I wrote this to help you have a better resource than many of the articles out there when you’re trying to decide how to move forward. So many of them are focused on people who love to spend their weekends tinkering, learning about web development acronyms, and breaking things until they work. If you’re not like that, what’s left that’s helpful to you? Hopefully, this is, and can help you get going and avoid the time and energy drains I mentioned earlier.
Still confused? Send me an email. I’d be glad to help you along, so you can get back to doing what you already do best.