There are lots of website builders to choose from, including Wix, GoDaddy, Gator, Weebly, Shopify, Webs, Sitebuilder and Squarespace. They all have their merits (here’s an article that compares a few of them in more detail). Some are free to use and others you pay for.
So, why do I recommend WordPress? It’s not just because I’ve been using it for every website I’ve worked on since 2006.
More than 60 million reasons why WordPress is the website builder for you
Over 60 million people choose WordPress to power their websites. So it must be good. A third of all websites in the world use it, including almost 15% of the Top 100 websites on the planet. (Love stats? Here are some more.) You can use WordPress to build any type of website – a blog, portfolio, e-commerce store, business, hobby – anything! You can choose from around 4,000 Themes that have been designed by people who love design. Which means you can build a beautiful-looking site without going to art college.
If you employ a website designer, they will probably use WordPress. That’s how they can charge a small amount and deliver something that still looks great.Alex—your website guide
Another big reason – it’s FREE
There are two ways to use WordPress. You can install it – free – on any domain name you own (that’s your website name, or url). The domain name can cost less than £5 a year (usually nearer £10). When you have a domain name, you also need someone to host your website, which can cost less than £1 a month. That’s exactly what’s going on with the website you’re looking at now.
If you prefer, you can create a completely free WordPress website at WordPress.com. (An old version of this website has been published here so you can see what that looks like.) Advertisements will appear on your website, if you choose this option. There are fewer free Themes to choose from and your url will be longer – but it won’t cost you anything!
Sample WordPress websites
Here are examples of over 130 websites that use WordPress, to show you how flexible it can be. And here’s the showcase on the main site with even more. Don’t expect your website to look like one of these straight away – but they are useful for inspiration.
All change at WordPress
A few years ago, WordPress dramatically updated the way we build websites, with the launch of WordPress 5.0. They did this to compete with other popular website builders, that use drag-and-drop blocks to create Posts and Pages. Here’s the short video WordPress released at the launch of what it called Bebo (the name of the 5.0 update), which uses Gutenberg (the name of the new drag and drop editor). (Updates happen regularly (we’re now at version 5.9.3, which is why you should manage your website instead of relying on someone else.)
Do you need to know this?
If you’re new to WordPress, no. You can just get start learning how to use the new editor. In fact, you’re starting with WordPress at the perfect time. Woohoo!
But if you’re used to what’s now called the “classic editor”, it’s an emphatic YES! The new editor is completely different. To help smooth the transition from classic to block, here is a helpful 30-minute video that shows the potential of Gutenberg. Enjoy.
Want to use a different website builder?
Before you start building your website, you need to know everything you will find in the yourwebsitecourse syllabus. Who it’s for. How it works. What it says and why. What the images are and how they’re tagged. And a whole lot more.
Then you can put it all together with any website builder you like. That’s the easy bit.