WordPress With Website Builder: What You Need to Know
When you are deciding to build a website from scratch you will most likely turn to a content management system like WordPress. Launching a product or blog on WordPress is fairly easy and all of the code and content is already laid out for you. Plus, there are so many great tools that can be used to enhance your website including e-commerce features, SEO tools, and lots more.
However, if you already have a working website (i.e. you already have a domain and were able to set up an account on WordPress.com) then launching another WordPress site almost seems like a duplicate effort. Believe it or not, WordPress was not initially designed to be a standalone website with WordPress.com accounts. For that, you need to turn to the wonderful world of WordPress with Website Builder.
What is WordPress with Website Builder?
WordPress with Website Builder is a hosting plan designed for WordPress users who already have a working website or blog and want to build on top of that content. With WordPress with Website Builder, you get access to a fully equipped WordPress environment including themes, plugins, and much more. All of the code and content is already there for you to start building your site.
The main benefit of going this route is that all of the plugins and themes are already installed on your hosting plan. This means you will not have to worry about installing plugins or themes separately as they are all available to you. Another nice perk of using WordPress with Website Builder is that you get a free domain (i.e. you can use yourname.wordpress.com or yourblog.wordpress.com).
Why did I decide to build a website and why did I choose WordPress?
To be perfectly honest, I did not have a lot of experience with web design and development before I built my blog. I had no idea what I was doing (much to my own embarrassment). I had tried my hand at blogging before but it was not a pleasant experience. There were so many things that I did not know how to do or where to start. I could not find any decent tutorials or online guides that would help me get the hang of things. So, when I decided to build my own blog it was a nice excuse to learn more about web design and development.
At first, I did not know what kind of hosting plan to go for. I had originally planned on using WordPress.com but then I remembered that I had a WordPress site running on a cheap and cheerful hosting service (i.e. Bluehost). So, I decided to go with that as it was the simplest and most affordable option available to me. Bluehost actually offers several different hosting plans with different features so you can find the one that suits you best. If you are looking for a free domain then you can get that too with your hosting plan (i.e. you get a free domain with the standard plan).
Building a Blog With WordPress
If you want to build a simple and affordable blog then WordPress is the perfect solution. It is a tried and tested system and there are lots of people who can help you get up and running. If you want to know more then check out this detailed guide on how to build a WordPress blog from scratch.
To quickly summarise the build process:
- Choose a WordPress theme.
- Install WordPress.
- Add content.
As I mentioned earlier, I did not really know too much about web design and development before I started my blog. So, when I was looking for a theme to suit my needs (i.e. something simple and affordable) I drew inspiration from my existing knowledge of design and development and I came up with a design that I thought would be easy to manage. After all, I am not a professional web designer and I hardly see myself as an expert. Plus I do not have a lot of experience in this area either. So, I wanted a simple and clean layout that I could understand and manage myself.
The result is Best WordPress Theme, created by Becca. Based on my personal preferences I went for the Classic option as it is clean and simple yet still has the required features for an average blog. As you can see in the image above, Best WordPress Theme comes with a header image slider, featured image support, and a contact form. In the next section, I will go over these features in more detail.
As I mentioned earlier, WordPress was not originally designed to be a standalone blog website with WordPress.com accounts. For that, you need to turn to the wonderful world of WordPress with Website Builder.
WordPress with Website Builder offers additional features that you would not get on a plain vanilla WordPress site including a free domain, free backups, a free SSL certificate, and much more. All of these features are absolutely free and you will not need to spend a penny. As I mentioned earlier, all you need is a working WordPress site to get started with WordPress with Website Builder. To take advantage of all of these features you will need to activate the ‘Plus’ plan on WordPress.com (and you can do this from your dashboard). Alternatively, you can use the 1&1 WordPress hosting plan which is also fairly affordable and offers all of the same features as the free version of WordPress.com (i.e. with the 1&1 plan you get a free domain, free backups, free shipping, and a free SSL certificate – no additional fees or charges).
If you want to find out more about WordPress with Website Builder then you can head over to their website or read their documentation. Alternatively, you can contact 1&1 (they are a very friendly customer support team and are always willing to help).
Where Can I Go From Here?
So, you built your WordPress site and now you want to make it look professional and shiny? Well, you can head over to WordPress.com and use their awesome theme editor to change the look and feel of your site. Alternatively, you can use a tool like StudioPress to create a fully customised WordPress theme that suits your needs and brand.
Either way, you can take your WordPress site in any direction you want to go. You can add more products, change the layout, and much more. Basically, with WordPress you have virtually limitless possibilities.