Initially, I wanted to tell you how to set up a blog using WordPress, and I am going to show you how I did set up my, but yesterday I had really interesting conversation with my friend, who also is looking into passive income with blogging. He doesn’t have IT background as I do. When I showed him this blog he asked where do I host it? When I said WordPress, he had mixed reaction. And that surprised me. I love WordPress as a Content management System. And here is where the reaction came from. He was thinking about wordpress.com which is a blog hosting service, not the system itself. In his opinion it is more expensive than other providers in regards to premium features.
So what are the other alternatives?
With many big names among customers they are one of the most popular website hosting service out there. You build your website based on a template they provide. Customization is limited but not that bad at all. Within one evening you can have really good looking website with all the features you need.Content editing is really easy and quite intuitive, at least to someone who did you any blogging tool before. All financial features are ready to go out of the box with very little set up from user side, but only in USA, Canada, UK and Irland, which might be a blocking point. In terms of usability, squarespace is possibly one of the best out there. The only big issue I have is pricing. It is $10 a month or $8 with annually billing for a starter pack, $20/$16 and $30/$24 respectively for professional and business packs. While registering, you can choose to register a new domain .com for free.
If pricing is an issue you can try Webbly, its basic plan is free of charge. Like squarespace, it also gives you ability to create website with blog by choosing a template and customize it. It gave me impression of slightly better choice of templates, but the soonest I started to play around with them a pop up showed on my screen. Content editing is also pretty easy but not as intuitive. Some of the features are available only in paid version. Here you can choose between 3 plans, Starter – $5, Pro – $10 and Business – $30. Feature that I wanted was a search field, which was not available in starter plan. As long as you stay away from paid features you can run your blog completely for free.
There are many other solutions and all have something nice to offer. Squarespace seams to be a bit easier to set up ans use. Webbly wasn’t far behind and gave me easy access to mobile version editor. If you just starting and want to see if you can do it, if you can produce content on constant and timely manner Webbly might be a good starting point. It will let you grow if needed. Squarespace could be a nice alternative if you have one or two products you want to sell online. Its out of the box online store and order handling system will be a huge help at the beginning.
Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. What I can advice on is to do a proper research before committing to any of them. Allocate enough time to re-do your website few times in different systems to test which will work best for you.
Let me know which do you use and why.