Whether you’re still dreaming of starting up your own business or you’ve already begun building it, you’ll probably need a website to showcase your products or services. Depending on the nature of your venture, you might be using the site for e-commerce, too. Maybe you’ve talked to a few website developers, or maybe you’re still trying to figure out the alternatives.
Why Use WordPress?
You might already know that WordPress, which started as a blogging platform in 2003, now provides the underlying structure for almost 25 percent of the web’s most active 60 million sites, many of them commercial. Why has it become so dominant? Its platform is open source, easy to develop and SEO friendly, and even a savvy beginner can learn to set up. There’s a wealth of WordPress templates and plug-ins available, many of which are free, and there are plenty of resources on the web that you can use to get your WordPress questions answered and problems solved.
You may be familiar with WordPress.com, the domain where anyone can set up a free blog using a simplified version of WordPress. If you’re planning to set up a commercial site, however, it’s best to lease some space through a web host, buy a domain name, install the WordPress software onto your server and go from there. That way, your site will be independent and in your control, and it will be under your unique domain name.
Try Building it Yourself First
If you can afford to hire an expert to build and maintain your site, then it might be something you’re best off delegating. However, there are also good reasons to do it yourself, even if you don’t have to. If you build your own site, you’ll understand exactly how it works and be able to make changes to it whenever you want. You won’t have the expense or delay that comes with having a separate developer, nor the worry of having less than complete authority over your site’s code, settings and content.
If you’re on a strict budget, then building your own site makes a lot of sense. If you’re on a strict schedule, it could be good or bad, depending on your skills and how demanding your site is. If you’re someone who likes to be in control, then being your own developer keeps you there. However, tackling a project like this isn’t for everyone. If you’re good with computers, problem solving and independent learning, it’s probably something you can handle. If you’re not sure you’re up to the task, try anyway, if you have time. You have little to lose; you can always hire a developer to re-do or finish the project, and you’ll have an easier time communicating with your site developer if you have already thought out the details and know a little about their job.
Hire a Developer if You Need To
Before beginning your project, set a deadline. If you haven’t finished by your deadline, then it’s time to get a developer on board. You’ll come out of the do-it-yourself attempt with a better understanding of your needs and what it will take to meet them, so you’re much more likely to get good results from the professional website developer you hire. Use the site structure and content you’ve completed as a starting point, listen to your developer’s advice, and make sure your requirements and preferences are clearly expressed.
Whether you end the process with a working website you built yourself or with one built with the help of a developer, you’ll be knowledgeable about how it works and how to manage it in the future. If you can afford the time and it’s something you’re interested in trying, there is no harm in making the attempt.