I just spent a while working on my website for young Readers, and during that time, I was live chatting with a WordPress.com Happiness Engineer.
I would never be able to say that WordPress is the only good web-hosting company out there, but it is the only one that I’ve used that I also love.
The fun starts for free.
All you need is a username and a password, and you’re ready to start building a free website. Yes. Really. The only interference with your joy will be ads placed on your site to allow you to have it for nothing. Also, the only tech support (although it’s good) will be online documentation.
You can immediately start publishing your content. If you have free fiction, like I do, you can just put it on the site. You can also put up links to online retailers that sell your book(s). If you want to sell directly to customers on the free plan, you can have them fill out a contact form and then discuss payment with them via e-mail. If you want fancier payment options, you can upgrade, but because I don’t directly collect money, I’m not sure which plans can do what.
There are three ways to edit content.
On all the plans, including the free one, you have access to three ways to edit your stuff. You’ve got the Classic Editor, which is what I use for long text posts, the Block Editor, which I prefer for posts that have lots of different types of content, and the HTML Editor, which I switch to if I’m feeling geeky.
Try them all. Take your pick. Change it up.
You can work on your phone, your computer, or your tablet.
If you want to start a blog, you can do that. In fact, I recently had to educate somebody that WordPress can do more than blogging.
It does a great job of letting you be a Blogger.
Your posts will shine, and your other content can shine too, or take a back seat, whichever you prefer. Your blog can also take a back seat and your other stuff can shine. You can even change that up.
Static homepage? Sure. Blog as homepage? Yep. Both on the homepage? It can be done, and you can either put your posts first, your other stuff first, or mix them a little with the posts block and the latest posts block.
The sky’s the limit.
And speaking of the sky, how will people find your site? You can buy a domain from WordPress or any other company and point it to your site. The freee plan won’t show your clever dot com in the address bar, but instead, everybody will see something like your clever site name dot WordPress dot com. If you upgrade to any paid plan, you get to show your clever dot com name in the address bar.
For example, when I started this site, it was at hyacinthgreyauthorblog.wordpress.com, but now it’s at hyacinthgrey.com.
The free plan’s great, but if you want more features, you will want to upgrade.
You can try it for a month.
WordPress has recently added monthly plans.
Keep in mind there is never any live chat support on a monthly plan, but there is e-mail support on every single paid plan WordPress offers.
There are four paid plans. All of them have monthly, yearly, or two-year options.
If you get the Personal plan, the only ad that survives the upgrade is the WordPress.com footer credit.
If you ever see ads on a paid plan, it’s because the site owner (I have this on), purposefully turned on the option to earn money!
With Personal, you get more space for your content, and it’s fairly inexpensive.
“Fill ‘er with premium,” is something you’re likely to hear at a gas station, but it applies to WordPress’s Premium plan.
If you need to be able to get into your site’s CSS, you need Premium or more. CSS stands for cascading stylesheet, and controls, very finely, your site’s layout and formatting.
With a tank loaded with Premium, you get live chat support on weekdays if you are on an annual plan. You also get a bunch more storage space, as well as access to premium WordPress themes.
The Business plan is great if you need or want to use plugins. In order to show you the newsletter subscription form at the bottom of this post, I’ve installed the ConvertKit plugin. To be able to do that, I put this site on the Business plan. With that upgrade, I got a HUGE increase in storage space.
For those on annual plans, you will get 24/7 live chat support. Let me tell you that WordPress live chat support is world-class. It’s by far the best tech support I’ve ever experienced. If you’re new to website creation, I recommend at least the Premium plan on an annual subscription so you can have five days of it per week. You can never go wrong with access to real people who know how websites work and how to solve small, but frustrating problems. They can’t fix plugins not made by WordPress, but they can fix darn near anything else on your site.
The biggest “baddest” plan is eCommerce. I’ve never tried it, so I can’t go into any detail about its ecommerce features, but I am sure you could run the biggest, “baddest,” busiest online bookstore with it. You get special ecommerce themes, and the same access to chat support as Business.
On both the Business and eCommerce plans, you can remove the WordPress footer credit, but I’ve never felt right doing that, because I love WordPress so much.