Starting an online business isn’t cheap. I hope I’m not bursting any bubbles.
Sure you don’t pay for office space, insurance or a water cooler, but there are other costs involved. One of them is your website.
Lucky you! There are so many free blogging sites out there! It is a no-brainer to choose one of the free options to start.
Here is the thing: I am frugal. I am incredibly frugal. I will move heaven and earth to find a low cost or free option for just about everything. If there is an inexpensive way to do something, I will let you know what it is. One of the few places I make an exception is with your website.
If you are serious about your new online business, there are plenty of places to make expensive mistakes. There are plenty of places to use up your valuable time. You are going to avoid all of those rookie mistakes.
Tracie’s Tip: Do not start with a free blogging site.
A few reasons:
With free sites, like Weebly or Blogger, or even WordPress.com, you do not technically own the site. Your content is at the mercy of the site you are using. If something happens to that site, your content is gone. If the site does not like something you are doing, they can shut you down and – again – your content is gone. Both of those may seem drastic now, but if they happen to you, it is going to hurt.
They are not nearly as customizable as their paid counterparts. If you want to add a podcast player, a photo gallery or make sure your site is optimised to get the most sales, you cannot do that with most free blogger sites.
It looks unprofessional. If you are going to be using your site to make money, you need a site that looks trustworthy. When you do not have a customised URL, you look less legitimate as a business and customers are less likely to trust you.
Tracie’s Tip: If you want the best website for your buck, use WordPress.org. Note. I said WordPress.org. NOT WordPress.com. There is a difference.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Contrary to popular belief, the main difference between the two types of WordPress sites is NOT that one is free. Both are free in and of them. The biggest difference? For someone who really hates technology, WordPress.com seems like the best option because so much of it is set up for you.
Here is the problem. WordPress.com has the same drawbacks as other free blogging sites, except with WordPress.com you have the option of paying to upgrade to add customisation, get rid of ads, have more memory, etc.
Those add-ons add up.
After paying for all of the ads on, you will pay more than if you start with a WordPress.org site.
So why would people choose WordPress.com? For most people, it is because they are intimidated by the idea of having to buy a domain and find a hosting service. When you set up a new WordPress.org site, you need to pay for a domain and host, which will cost about $50/year. You also need to know how to set up the domain and host.
But here is the thing: if you do not know how to set up your domain and host, you can easily find someone on Fiverr.com to do it for you.
As your business grows and you want to expand your site, many of the things you’ll want to add are actually WordPress plug-ins. Plug-ins are the bits of code designed to offer unique features like podcast players, shopping carts or social media widgets – the things that make your blog site unique, personal and fun (not to mention useful!). The vast majority of those are only available on WordPress.org. In fact, WordPress.org has more plugins available than any other website building platform in the world.
If you made a mistake and signed up for the wrong account, don’t despair. It is possible to move your site from.com to.org using the WordPress Importer plugin.
What Are YOU Using?