You have certainly viewed websites on the WordPress platform – you may even be using it yourself. It’s the content management system of choice for everything from your mom’s neighbor’s knitting blog to the websites of The Walt Disney Company, Xerox, and other Fortune 500 companies.
Wait, what’s a content management system?
The content management system (CMS) is what holds a website together and puts it out on the internet. It creates and manages the digital content – the pages, images, and information – you find online. And as of February 2017, 27.5% of ALL websites are powered by the WordPress CMS, with over 75 million users.
Why is WordPress so popular?
It’s open source software, meaning hundreds of developers have been able to expand its appearance and functionality since it was introduced in 2003. It’s free to use without a license fee and is extremely user-friendly.
It’s free, really? No cost whatsoever?
Well, not exactly. The WordPress software itself is free to use, but there are other costs involved in setting up a website. You also have to purchase:
- a domain, the name and address of your site used to find you online;
- a hosting service, to contain and publish your CMS;
- a theme, the framework the CMS uses to display your content;
- and plugins, mini-applications that add functionality to your theme.
I thought you said it was “user-friendly” — that sounds complicated!
Setting up your own WordPress website isn’t a big to-do if you have the time and desire to focus on it. And you have several options:
- DIY setup can be done over the course of several hours if you’ve done your research and prepared in advance. Domain, hosting, theme & plugins will run anywhere from $200 to $1,000 or more, depending on the services and products used.
- Turnkey setup, having the site put together for you, possibly with training on how to maintain and update it on your own. Experienced technicians charge an hourly rate or offer setup packages for a flat fee. Expect to pay $50 or more hourly or $500-$1k+ for setup packages, depending on the level of service needed.
- Custom development involves creating made-to-order themes and plugins, usually for corporate and large-scale enterprises. Web designers charge $3,000-$6,000 for custom themes, $6,000-$15,000 for custom websites, and on up from there.
But that’s just the setup. Your site still needs regular maintenance and updates to keep it fresh and attracting visitors.
Think about your website strategy: DIY, turnkey, or custom? Do you maintain the site yourself, post your blogs and updates, monitor your comments…?
Would you rather concentrate on business building and management? You have the choice to be hands-on with this important marketing tool or have it handled for you.
An attractive, mobile-friendly website goes a long way toward showcasing your services and products. Make sure you’re giving the best impression your time and budget will allow.
If you need support to set up your website or keep it maintained and up to date, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
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