I would say that at least twice a week a friend, acquaintance or randomly introduced person asks me for a big of guidance on their web site. The two most common things I’m asked are:
- I have a web site, but how do I get it to rank higher in Google?
- My small company wants to start a web site, but we want to spend any money, so what should we do?
I’ll skip the first question, but here’s my pretty standard answer these days for the second.
To start, I always recommend WordPress for any blog or small web site.*
- Cheapest and easiest thing is http://wordpress.com which is free, and you can get something like http://yoursite.wordpress.com up and running in less than 5 minutes. (If you want something like http://www.yoursite.com or http://blog.yoursite.com it costs $10/year.)
- If would like more control than WordPress.com will give you, then the next step up is http://page.ly. It’s about $15/month, but very easy to use.
- If you want even more control, then you’ll want to get your own web hosting account and install WordPress on it. That will give you more control and flexibility than Page.ly, but is more time consuming and requires some technical expertise. I wouldn’t recommend this until you’ve experimented with #1 and #2 first to see if they fit your needs.
I’m grateful that these people cross my path because all too often they hire a web developer to build them a custom site for thousands of dollars. Oh, brother, do I have stories I could tell…disaster stories.
The truth is that WordPress will solve the needs of most people. Or, at least, it’s a great place to start.
The one knock I’ll make about WordPress is that many of the themes are “blog-oriented”, while many small businesses just need a simple site…no blog required. I’ve hacked a number of themes for this purpose, and am thinking of releasing my own theme that is perfect for the sole proprietor or small business who just needs a few pages telling about their business. If you know of any of these themes, please let me know.
* – Disclosure: I have no financial interest in any of these companies, and none of these links are affiliate links. I have no financial interest in these recommendations—they are genuine.