Once upon-a-time, not so long ago, a website had to be completely coded by hand. If you wanted to use any kind of content management system, you had to build it yourself. Small hosting packages that included a MySQL database were few and far between, and often prohibitively expensive.
These days, web hosting is incredibly cheap and providers compete against each other to provide a better small website service – basic hosting with a MySQL database now costs less than half the price of a console game for example. This shift is partly due to the increased demand for simple database hosting – thanks almost entirely to WordPress.
For those of you that haven’t heard of WordPress before, put simply, it is an incredibly easy to use and customize platform that you can use to build websites. In its earlier versions, it was better suited to building blogs, but now in its more refined modern form, it is great for building almost any kind of website.
Anyone intending to build a ‘proper’ website with their own domain name should opt for the downloadable version and install it on their own hosting.
Where WordPress really excels is in the fact that you can build a complex website without ever actually needing to do any coding…at all.
Because WordPress is open source and essentially built and maintained by a community, there are literally thousands of plugins (mostly free) available for it to modify or extend the functionality in almost any way that you can imagine. On top of this, there are also an unbelievable number of premade templates or themes available to completely change the way that your website looks at the click of a button. There are plenty of free themes out in the wild, but there are also a lot of more advanced paid for ones as well.
WordPress is famed for its 5 minute install – it really does take five minutes (or less) to install it and have blank website running. Some hosting packages will also offer a one click install from the control panel which makes it even quicker and easier.
While we have seen an increase of companies offering cheap websites with a monthly subscription – most individuals and small businesses would be far better off buying their own hosting package and assembling a website using WordPress. If at a later date you decided that you needed to make the website more complex, you would be able to approach any one of a huge number of web companies to work on your website for you as most of them will be able to work with what you already have, rather than throwing it all away and having to start again.
I know that a lot of people used to be cautious of using WordPress, but now it is the most common web platform out their – and with good reason. No longer do we need to build simple websites from scratch by hand coding – WordPress is there to make our lives easier and more efficient.