When building a website there are many different platforms to choose from, different types of software and an array of different expenses. When considering a new website you are not in uncharted territory. Still there are many things to consider when you take the leaps to create your own website. Think about how big a chance to you can take and whether you need to buy that expensive content management system your competitor has. So where do you start and where does it all end?
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Taking the plunge
Once you taken the plunge to start a website you will come across new terms live website hosting, WordPress hosting and server upgrades. What do they mean? What do you need to do?
WordPress content management system
A content management system (CMS) is a software which manages content on your website, how it is displayed, etc. There are many different content management systems around but one of the most popular is WordPress. This is what is known as “open source” which effectively means any developer can create plug-ins, improvements and new designs based upon the WordPress platform. The “open source” concept is one which allows input from third parties for the benefit of all users.
On 27 May 2003 the first version of WordPress was launched into the public domain. While the “open source” concept is not new, the idea of creating such a concept for websites was unique. Since May 2003 we have seen a large number of upgrades, improvements and add-ons made available to the public. Many of these additions are available free of charge. Developers hope to build relationships with WordPress users and ultimately sell them premium products. However, this has ensured a continuous flow of WordPress designs, plug-ins and improvements often at no cost to the end-user.
Starting small and building up
WordPress is one of the most talked about content management system on the Internet. Often compared to buying a new home, where, first-time buyers climb on the property ladder. Their main intention is to slowly work their way up until they find their financial feet. This is a similar situation for entrepreneurs looking to launch a new website, a leap into the unknown and a reluctance to commit large amounts of capital in the early days.
When your website begins to take shape, you will begin to see an increase in traffic and revenues. According to studies, an estimated 50% all website worldwide, both commercial and personal, use WordPress. When you consider the number of websites, they can’t all be wrong!
When it comes to WordPress hosting there are two basic types of hosting service which are shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting. We have focused on manager WordPress hosting accounts for some time because we believe our expertise ensure your time is better spent utilising your skills. However, what are the pros and cons of shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting?
A shared hosting account is exactly what it says, a number of accounts which share one hosting server. The server is structured in such a way as to protect the integrity of each individual account although there are limits on bandwidth. If the server was to go down then all websites on that server would be temporary unavailable. Looking at shared hosting on an individual basis, website owners will have more in depth access and will need to upload and download their own files and install software packages. For those with experience this is relatively simple but for those without experience it can be akin to speaking a foreign language.
Managed WordPress hosting
When choosing a web hosting provider ensure that there is an easy one click install service. This helps you to get your WordPress up and running in an instant. What make hosting providers a good match is that users get the security and stability for their WordPress site on high-end servers fully optimised for WordPress. So, the need for appropriate disc space, continuity of service and utilising significant RAM capacity to avoid the dreaded “500 internal server error” is taken care of. You simply select the resources that you need based on a tailored plan and presto!
We suggest that you find a reputable host who fully appreciate new technologies, new hosting techniques and are constantly carrying out server upgrades. Security from hacks, the use of SSL certificates, etc. might look easy from the outside looking in. However… users often take website hosting, and in this instance WordPress hosting for granted. That is, until problems start to occur. Using managed WordPress hosting package means that you will purchase a plan fully-configured for WordPress and all its plugins. This reduces the risk of security issues.
The “open source” nature of WordPress means that there are literally thousands upon thousands of free and premium website designs available. The platform allows you to tweak original designs to personalise them and introduce an array of plug-ins offering different services. If you search for WordPress on the Internet you will see literally millions upon millions of websites. They will take in simple personal blogs to some of the most complicated and eye-catching e-commerce websites.
The cumulative impact of thousands of designers and developers working on the WordPress platform means the software is constantly developing and improving. Uploading and converting to a new WordPress design is simple, inserting the latest plug-ins is a drag-and-drop process and you can backup your website, databases and client information at the touch of a button. The chances are you’ve already come across a number of WordPress websites while surfing the net. The fact that you probably go back to many of these websites time and time again says everything.
Horses for courses
When looking at WordPress hosting and the development of a WordPress site the phrase “horses for courses” springs to mind. Our skills lay in hosting websites, ensuring security, maximising up time and monitoring traffic at all times. This gives you the chance to fully utilise your skills without the nagging concern about hosting, backups and what to do in the event of downtime.
To many people, the idea of hosting your own website with no experience is akin to servicing your vehicle with no mechanical skills. You buy the vehicle to get you from point A to B. Then you maintain and service it on a regular basis by professionals. The same is true with an e-commerce or personal website. Few people enter the world of e-commerce to spend time learning about how to host their websites. The vast majority, attracted by the glamour, the idea of building a business, the challenge of increasing sales and ultimately profitability.
So, we’re finding that more and more people prefer a managed WordPress hosting account. It’s no surprise as this allows them to focus on growing their business. A win-win for all parties!