Have your own website
Irrespective of whether you are starting as a blogger or owing a local grocery store, having your own website is the way forward in today’s digital environment. Despite the advent of social media, here are statistics to have your own website:
Website hosting options
The easiest and the fastest way to launch your own website/online store is using website builders like the ones by GoDaddy:
WordPress: Recommended platform for your website
Having said about website builders, still, I believe WordPress CMS (Content Management System) is the best platform for any freelancer or small business in the long run which too is easy to operate with a host of plugins to choose from and almost no coding knowledge needed. All our websites including this one are on WordPress.
Having said that WordPress is the recommended CMS, this is not to discourage a website operated on say Joomla or Drupal. For the highest level security, one may choose to go for Drupal though there is nothing to deny that the same security cannot be made available for a WordPress website with additional coding/plugins.
The biggest advantage of WordPress today is the availability of a large number of plugins and themes, both free and paid, as there is a momentum here leading to a large number of developers involved in this platform. What started as a blogging platform is today a complete CMS with advanced e-commerce features, thanks to plugins like WooCommerce. Our own experience is that Drupal is hard to implement, Joomla though relatively easier lacks eye-catching templates or themes.
Domain Name + Web Hosting = Website
For any website, be it a blog or an online store, there are two ingredients that need to be combined: Domain and Web Hosting. Technically one can access a website without a domain name with server IP address assigned, but this do not appeal in a commercial setting.
For instance, the domain name of this website is www.howtosplendid.com.
From the user perspective, a domain name is just copyright that he or she has purchased for a certain time period during which no one else can use the same name for their website.
It is the hosting that determines where the content of your proposed website, be it text, images, or videos, stored and presented. It has the memory where the data of the website is stored as well as the software related to how the data appears and manipulated on the World Wide Web.
WordPress hosting options
Managed WordPress Hosting
Now, if you choose Managed WordPress, you cannot have your website hosted on other platforms like Joomla or Drupal. However, if you go for Hosting, you can have your website launched on other applications including WordPress.
Standard Web Hosting
So, you may wonder why one should go for WordPress instead of Hosting if with WordPress I am limited with one option while hosting allows me other options including WordPress should I intend to switch from WordPress to other platform going forward.
The above WordPress product also called Managed WordPress, comes with additional security features integrated with your hosting so that you need not worry or manage them. It is the duty of the hosting service provider to take care.
Hosting of this website www.howtosplendid.com is after installing WordPress on GoDaddy Business Hosting. Now, the domain name bought from GoDaddy and GoDaddy hosting are from two different GoDaddy accounts. The domain name needs to be connected with the hosting. Here is the process.
For this article, we are showing how to launch www.howtosplendid.com that has a domain name bought from GoDaddy and connect this domain name to another GoDaddy account with GoDaddy Business Web Hosting.
Connecting domain name (howtosplendid.com) with web hosting of GoDaddy
The domain name howtosplendid.com was bought using this link that allows .com domain names at a discounted price for the first year:
After making a purchase, under GoDaddy admin panel, click Products
Now, logout of this GoDaddy account and let’s login to another GoDaddy account where the website hosted.
GoDaddy account with GoDaddy Business Hosting that allows adding multiple domains or websites under one hosting account.
Such hostings are managed on cPanel:
Now, in order to Install WordPress, you choose WordPress under Featured Applications.
In order to access backend or admin panel, you need to use this url: http://howtosplendid.com/admin.
Themes and Plugins: Building block of a WordPress website
WordPress CMS has 3 broad components:
(i) Core WordPress files that comes when the CMS is installed.
(ii) Themes: They decide the appearance like if a website will have right sidebar or instead left sidebar, size of sidebar, etc.
(iii) Plugins: Software applications for adding extra functionality.
Our experience at Splendid Digital Solutions with web hosting service providers
I remember starting with a free blog on www.wordpress.com during 2010. Despite restrictions, for a newbie, I recommend the free plan which provides a first-hand experience using WordPress for free.
With WordPress.org, you need to start with buying a domain name and a hosting plan from a third party. We are having web hosting accounts with WP Engine (this site is powered by WP Engine), GoDaddy (www.woosplendid.com, www.finsplendid.com, www.digitalsplendid.agency, www.micsplendid.com), 10Web (www.digitalsplendid.news). Few of our clients’ websites are with NameCheap (www.dibyenduadhikary.website, www.mondalpackers.space). What we observed is that all of them provide dedicated 24×7 customer support with agents that often are willing to go the extra mile.
It is to be noted that the pricing of WP Engine is on the higher side, mainly because they are more a technology company with WordPress web hosting as a means to an end.
When it comes to GoDaddy India, their customer support is only over the phone (tollfree, we use 1800121011) and no chat or email support. For WP Engine, 10Web, and NameCheap, we are using chat facility with satisfaction. We like the StudioPress themes based on Genesis framework that come with the WP Engine plans.
With 10Web, we find the premium plugins that are provided for free with hosting plans of immense use. With 10Web.io personal plan, what you are getting in addition to hosting of one WordPress website is a facility to manage 30 sites. So, while one of our websites (www.digitalsplendid.news) is hosted on 10Web.io, we are using its premium plugins on our other network websites as well as of clients (up to 29) by installing 10Web Manager plugin.
For a professional website, be it a blogging or an ecommerce store, at Splendid Digital Solutions, we recommend among other plugins, OptinMonster (lead generation software), WPForms (drag & drop form builder), MonsterInsights (intuitive analytic dashboard for Google Analytics data), and RafflePress (giveaway plugin), all from the team behind WPBeginner, free WordPress resource site for beginners.
Managing forms with WPForms
Any website is incomplete without a form be it a contact form or survey form that provides a way to interact with the audience while collecting leads or customer information. The reason we are recommending WPForms is that it is a drag and drop form builder that is easy to use, loads very fast and comes with relevant addons that are constantly updated.
Armed with a host of add-ons that are regularly updated, you are in safe hands. To save time so that you never start from scratch again, use WPForm’s elaborate pre-built form templates that are regularly updated based on the experience handling WPForms users of almost every niche and industry. Using a Likert Scale on your site’s survey forms gives you an opportunity to know your customers’ feedback/opinion. While designing a customer feedback survey about a certain product, service, or experience, you get immediate access to sample Likert Scale Questions to choose from. Click here to know all about WPForms Features & Addons.
Chat Software with JivoChat
When it comes to interaction with prospects, clients, employees, or any website audience one-on-one, nothing compares to chat button coupled with a facility to upload files. The initial data collected (name, phone, and email) can boost your email marketing endeavors although it is important to comply with the guidelines wherein only users who permit are sent the email. If you or your agents are not logged in, you still receive the message on the email.
Just like WPForms, JivoChat is easy to install, loads fast, and takes a few minutes to install this on a website.