Building A Professional Website With Free Software

The secret weapon of many successful online entrepreneurs is ‘WordPress’ – the software content management system which enables non-coders to seriously disrupt the web development space, it is no longer the sole province of tech experts. The sheer versatility of WordPress is a game changer.

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A Fully Functioning Professional Business Website

Long gone are the days when having your business website coded by a designer/developer was the only option.

I am not talking about clunky free software that results in something that looks like it is from 1998, these days WordPress is a slick professional platform that can produce a very wide range of websites-very good websites indeed.

People always get confused about WordPress because of the dot com version that is widely known as a blogging platform. The WordPress I am talking about is the software version from wordpress.org – this has an SQL data base driving it and is hosted on private hosting accounts – this means your own rented piece of cyber real estate which nobody else can interfere with – it is the only way to operate in today’s digital business world.

Anyway, 25% of all websites on the internet today are based on the software version of WordPress, it is a content management system-which simply means it has an administration back end with which you manage your pages & articles, your content and styling is produced using a word processor style ‘wysiwyg’ editor, themes (a bit like templates) you can also apply CSS if you want to get adventurous (it is not hard) and a whole raft of software plugins which enable you to add all kinds of additional functionality. It is a sweet machine!

And no, you do not need to know coding to produce excellent quality sites, although if you do pick up a little CSS & know some basic HTML tagging it will help you, but absolutely not required. The page builders now available have made it even easier – but you still need to have some idea of what you are doing, where to position sections, and how to produce different results. ‘Divi’ type page builders are now everywhere. Beaver, Thrive, Pootlepress, SiteOrigin – you need to choose one you resonate with.

 

Here is a great tutorial which takes you through building a superb, very high quality website you can use for your own purposes, or build for a local business. The step-by-step approach is easy to follow and everything is covered, very thorough. You will have the confidence and skills to make your own beautiful WordPress site, you can include a blog section also. The tutorial is from my associate Josh from wpsculptor.com – Josh is very thorough and provides step-by-step instructions a toddler can follow.

There are many WordPress tutorials available on YouTube, finding out how to use this software is not the hard part, the hard part is actually taking action and having the patience and resolution to apply what you learn!

And This Is To Build A Professional Site Using The ‘Divi’ Theme, A Modern Theme That has a page building tool- I recommend getting the  Bluehost  hosting as opposed to Hostgator, they are more reliable and it is a faster system – I used Hostgator myself for a few years but it changed and the level of support is not good.

If you want the very best WordPress hosting available WP Engine is the way to go, this is for the truly serious developer and site owner seeking the fastest site speeds – I include it because some people want the very best, and this is about the best available, Bluehost is good, but WPEngine is better.

You can get the fabulous Divi theme right here – Elegant Themes have many other themes which are great for different projects, all for the one low price – I can recommend them, they also provide a lot of good user support and a very active forum where people report the problems they encounter – it’s pretty good!

A lot of people go to the Themeforest site and pick up all kinds of specialized themes – these are expensive and in my experience more trouble than they are worth, they are too complex and the coding is not always clean. You can gain professional results with Elegant Themes, but it is all about having options this is what identifies the professional operator, access to options that suit specific circumstances, online is never “generic”. Other good WordPress themes which I have used are:

  • StudioPress – GENESIS Framework, This is an actual framework that is designed to boost your site with very powerful silo-type structuring and some of the cleanest coding in the business. Google loves Genesis sites! You will need to learn how to build with Genesis but it is not difficult, it is a development on the WordPress system, this is seriously good.
  • Woo Themes – The Woo company is based in Cape Town, South Africa and they are the people who produce the very famous “Woo Commerce” eCommerce system used by millions of web shop owners. As opposed to using something like Shopify, or Volusion where you are committed to being a customer of their platform, you can be independent with “Woo” and own your assets, it is a personal choice. Anyway, they also produce a lot of WordPress themes which are excellent, some free ones, top quality and superb coding!
  • OptimizePress – this is the Go-To theme for a lot of internet marketing type people. This is also a framework style development, you can produce a dazzling range of results, from simple sales pages to very large membership sites. Chances are the gurus you are signed up with and the last shiny object you purchased was from an OptimizePress site, expensive but excellent versatility and quality.
  • Thrive Themes – Another European company, these guys are good. Their page building technology has changed the game for many web development businesses, mine included! They offer themes and plugins to enable you to produce a spectacular result, if you have some money and you want top results, Thrive Themes are brilliant.

I have included this section as way to help those people who may not be familiar with WordPress, it is the result of my own experience and using the products, I have included links to the companies mentioned, some of them are affiliate – but most are just plain links. You may not be aware, but an affiliate link does not add any charge to you at all – I never provide links to anything I have not used myself and found to be genuinely helpful & of high quality, there’s no point otherwise!

If you discover that you need help, or advice or guidance by all means give me a shout, I have been known to help people – it is no shame to seek out assistance it is how we learn and grow. I have been working with WordPress for 7 years now, I think it is still the very best way to learn about internet business – sort of like the ‘gateway drug’ of internet marketing, basically you can build whatever you need with it.

Author: MikeG

The internet has been with the public for about 20 years now, many take it for granted, but as eWriters we understand we should never take the internet for granted!