Tag - Website

How to Remove Website URL Field from WordPress Comment Form


Spam comments are a huge problem for many blogs. The biggest reason for spam comments is the desire to get backlinks by using the website url field in the WordPress comment form.

Since majority of the spam is generated by automated bots, you can easily combat comment spam by using free tools and plugins.

The trickier part is to discourage spam comments submitted manually by humans. These unwanted comments are submitted by actual users and are often off-topic, irrelevant, and add no value to the discussion.

In this article, we’ll show you how to remove the website URL field from the WordPress comment form. We’ll also explain why removing the URL field from the comment form will help you discourage spam.

Removing website URL field from WordPress comment form

Why Do People Submit SPAM Comments?

The short answer to that question is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Let’s take a look at that in details.

Have you ever received comments from users like “Best WordPress Themes”, “Make Money Online”, or “MyBlogName” on your website? Why do they use such keywords instead of their real name?

By default, the WordPress comment form has four fields: name, email, website URL, and the comment box.

When displaying the comments, WordPress automatically hyperlinks the name of the commenter with the website URL they provided.

This backlink provides an incentive for blackhat SEO marketers and newbie bloggers.

They believe this tactic can help them get better rankings for specific keywords in search engines.

This technique does not work for SEO in most cases, but that hasn’t stopped spam comments.

This is why we have removed the URL field altogether from our WordPress comment form. By doing this, we have greatly reduced the number of spam comments on our site.

Real users will leave a comment on your articles whether they get a backlink or not. If someone doesn’t want to comment on your website because they are not getting a backlink, then you really have to question their intention in the first place.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily remove the website field from WordPress comment form. We will cover two different methods, and you can choose the one that works best for you.

Remove Website Field from WordPress Comment Form (Plugin)

This method is easier and recommended for all users.

First, you need to install and activate the Comment Link Remove and Comment Tools plugin. For detailed instructions, please follow our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you will see a new menu item called “QC CLR Settings” in the left sidebar of your WordPress admin panel. Clicking on it will take you to plugin’s settings page.

Comment Link Remove and Comment Tools plugin

From here, you need to check the box next to “Remove WEBSITE Field from Comment Form” option.

Once done, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.

Since you are already logged in, you will not see the full comment form when visiting an article on your website.

You need to either log out from the WordPress admin area or open a new incognito browser window. After that, you can visit any post on your WordPress site to see the comment form without the website URL field.

Comment form without website URL field

Removing the website field will discourage users who only want to comment on your website to get a backlink.

However, the comments that are already approved will still have their author names linked to their website URL.

To remove them, you need to go back to the settings page of this plugin and check the box next to the “Remove hyperlink from comment AUTHOR Bio” option.

Once you save the changes, the links from the existing comments will be removed as well.

Manually Removing the Website URL Field From WordPress Comment Form

Some users always want to learn how to do things manually instead of using a plugin. The good news is that you can certainly remove the website field from the comment form with the help of a code snippet.

To get started, you need to take a full backup of your WordPress site. This will help you to restore your website files in case you break anything while editing the theme files.

Next, you need to copy and paste the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin:

add_filter('comment_form_default_fields', 'unset_url_field');
function unset_url_field($fields)
    if(isset($fields['url']))
       unset($fields['url']);
       return $fields;

This code simply removes the website field from your WordPress comment form. You can visit a blog post on your website in a new incognito tab to see it in action.

We hope this article helped you to learn how to remove the website URL field from the WordPress comment form.

You may also want to check out our guide on how to add reCAPTCHA to WordPress comments to prevent spam comments. For more tips, also see our 12 vital tips to combat comment spam in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Remove Website URL Field from WordPress Comment Form appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Host a Website (Simple Guide for Beginners) in 2019


Do you want to learn how to host a website? Self-hosted website builders like WordPress offer you full freedom to build any kind of website.

The challenge is that most beginners don’t know the best way to host a website. Many even believe that it requires special technical skills to host their own websites.

That’s simply not true.

If you choose the right approach, then you can easily host your own website within just a few minutes. In most cases, it is just as easy as creating a facebook account.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you the exact steps on how to host a website without learning any technical skills.

We will also explain how it all works behind the scenes. This would help you gain a basic understanding of different ways to host a website.

Ready? Let’s get started.

How to host a website

Here is what you’ll learn in this guide.

What Does it Mean to Host a Website?

Hosting a website means that you put your website files on a special computer called server. This computer makes your website files publicly accessible on the internet, so anyone can visit it.

In order for other people around the world to see the website, these special computers have a particular set of software installed. This software is called a web server.

A web server’s basic job is to receive incoming requests and respond by sending the requested page to the user’s browser.

Hosting a website

Now all of this may sound like bunch of technical jargon, and it is.

However, you don’t need to learn how to do all these things in order to host your website. Luckily, there are thousands of companies that offer this as a service (at very low cost).

All websites on the internet use a web hosting company to host their websites. Even tech giants like Netflix (hosted on Amazon) and PayPal (hosted by Google Cloud hosting) use third-party service providers for their hosting.

There are only a handful of companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon that completely host all their services on their own platforms.

They can do this because they have the technical and financial resources to take on such a huge task. All other businesses (including us) use a web hosting company to host their website.

What Do You Need to Host a Website

You will need the following two things to host a website.

  • Web hosting service provider
  • Domain name

Web hosting service providers offer you ready-to-use web servers to host your website. They take care of all the technical stuff and provide website owners with easy to use tools to manage their hosting.

Now, how do users reach your self-hosted website? This is where domain names come in.

A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website. For example, wpbeginner.com will bring you to this website.

Basically, a domain name is a human-friendly way to connect user’s browsers to the website server associated with that domain name. To learn more, see our guide on what is a domain name and how do domains work.

how domain names work

You can purchase a domain name from one of these top domain registrars. These are companies licensed to sell domain name registrations.

To understand the relationship between hosting and domains, see our guide on the difference between web hosting and domain name.

Note: later in this article, we will show you how to get a domain name for free.

But first, let’s take a look at different types of web hosting plans and evaluate which one would be the right fit to host your website.

Types of Website Hosting Services

Not all websites are the same. Some are smaller and have low traffic while others are larger with more content and visitors.

A smaller website requires fewer resources. On the other hand, a larger and more popular website will need more resources to run efficiently.

Website hosting companies provide different types of hosting offers designed to address specific website needs. Here are some of the most common hosting services.

1. Shared Hosting

A shared hosting service is suitable for small websites, blogs, and small businesses who are just starting out.

They are able to keep their costs down by allowing multiple websites to share the same server resources. This makes hosting your website affordable.

Pricing: Starting from 2.75 per month to $7.99 per month

Suitable for: Starting a new blog, small business website

Our recommended shared hosting provider: Bluehost

To learn more see our guide on the truth about best shared web hosting.

2. VPS Hosting

VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server hosting) is still a shared hosting environment. However, it offers a flexible set of resources to handle large traffic spikes.

You get a partitioned of private server for your website that you can manage from your hosting control panel. This gives you the best of both worlds, the low cost of shared hosting with the flexibility of dedicated resources.

Pricing: Starting from $29.99 / month

Suitable for: Medium-sized businesses, popular blogs, and eCommerce stores.

Our recommended VPS hosting company: HostGator

To learn more, see our article about when you need VPS hosting for your site.

3. Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting service made specifically for WordPress. It is like a concierge service for your WordPress website.

On a managed hosting platform, the hosting company takes care of updates, backups, and caching of your website. This allows you to focus on creating content and growing your business.

Pricing: Starting from $35.00 per month

Suitable for: Popular blogs, business websites, membership websites

Our recommended managed WordPress hosting company: WP Engine

For more details, see our article explaining when do you really need a managed WordPress hosting.

4. Dedicated Hosting

A dedicated server hosting gives you the entire server dedicated to your own website. You get all the resources of the server, advanced tools for server management, ability to install your own software and even your own operating system.

You’ll be managing your own server which may require some technical skills. It is an advanced option for larger websites that need high-performance to tackle higher traffic volume.

Pricing: Starting from $79.99 month

Suitable for: Enterprise level businesses, hugely popular websites, eCommerce stores

Our recommended Dedicated hosting company: SiteGround or HostGator

Note: We use HostGator custom dedicated servers to host the WPBeginner website.

Choosing The Right Plan to Host a Website

As you can see, all different hosting plans come with different server configuration and pricing. You’ll need to choose a plan that suits your needs and budget.

At WPBeginner, we recommend users to start with a low cost shared hosting plan and then upgrade as their business grows. This allows you to save money and only pay for the services that you actually need.

Shared hosting plans start from $7.99 per month (paid annually) and $14.99 for a domain name.

Now if you are just starting out, then this is still a significant investment.

Luckily, Bluehost has agreed to offer our users a discount on hosting and free domain name. Basically, you’ll be able to get started for $2.75 per month.

They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

For other shared hosting plans, see our comparison of the best hosting companies.

Once you have signed up for a hosting account, the next step is to create your website. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a website.

How Much It Cost to Host a Website

So far we have covered the costs of web hosting companies. However, your costs of hosting a website may vary depending on several factors.

The first thing is the hosting plan you choose. We recommend starting with smaller shared hosting plans and then upgrade as your business and website grows.

Once you start building a website, you may need to spend money on other things as well such as website templates, software extensions, and other services.

Your goal would be to only buy what you actually need and use free tools whenever you can.

We have an excellent guide on the cost of building a WordPress website and how to avoid overspending.

How to Host a Website on Your Computer

We are often asked by our users if they can host a website on their own computer.

Yes, you can.

However, the only reason you should host a website on your computer is when you want to test a site locally before putting it on the internet.

A lot of beginners find it useful to learn web development, WordPress, and coding by installing a local server on their computer.

See our tutorials on how to set up local server on Windows and Mac.

This will allow you to install a local server without making it publicly available.

We don’t recommend using a local server to host a website and make it publicly available. However, we will show you how to do that for users who are feeling adventurous.

Putting Your Local Host Server Online

Once you host a website on your local server, it will only be available to you. You’ll need to change its settings to put your website on the internet.

First, locate your web server software’s configuration file called httpd.conf.

If you are using WAMP on Windows, then you’ll find it under C:wampbinapacheapache[version#]conf] folder.

MAMP users on Mac will find it inside /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/ folder.

You can open this file using a plain text editor like Notepad or TextEdit. After that, you need to find the line that begins with

Listen 80

You need to replace it with your IP address and port number. You can find your IP address by simply Googling ‘what is my ip address’ it will show you a numeric string separated by dots. Here’s an example of what that code should look like with your IP:

Listen 64.233.160.1:80

Next, you need to find the following line:

ServerName localhost:80

Go ahead and change it by replacing localhost:80 with your IP address.

ServerName 64.233.160.1

Next, you need to find the following line for WAMP:

<Directory "c:/wamp/www/">

If you are using MAMP, then look for the following line:

<Directory "/Applications/MAMP/htdocs">

Below this line you’ll see the access permissions, which you need to replace with the following:

Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all

You can now save your configuration file and restart your local server with the new permissions.

Now anyone can use your IP address to access your website instead of localhost. This is not an ideal situation as it would be hard for your users to remember the IP address.

That’s where domain names come in handy.

Pointing Your Domain Name to a Locally Hosted Website

Pointing your domain name to a website that you are hosting on your own computer will allow users to access it as they would do with any other site.

First, you need to edit your domain name’s DNS settings. We’re using Domain.com in our screenshots below:

Editing DNS settings for your domain name

After that, you need to edit the A name record with @ sign as the Name. If you don’t have one, then click on Add new record button to proceed.

Adding A record for your domain

In the value field, you need to enter your computer’s IP address and click on the Update DNS button to save your changes.

If the computer with your local server is connected to the internet directly, then you are all done.

However, if your computer is connected to the internet via router then you need to forward ports. To do that, you need to login to your router’s admin interface by entering the router’s IP address in your browser address bar.

Depending on the manufacturer, your router interface may look slightly different. You will need to find the option labeled port forwarding, virtual server, or NAT.

Port forwarding

Next, you need to forward web or HTTP traffic to port 80. In the IP address field, you need to enter the IP address of your computer on the local network. This IP address is the internal address that identifies your computer on the local network.

After that, you need to apply the changes and restart your router.

Disadvantages of Hosting a Website by Yourself

Hosting your website on a local computer is a bad idea. This is why even the tech giants with enough resources, skills, and know-how prefer to go with a hosting service provider.

Following are just a few disadvantages of hosting a website on local computer.

  • In order to run a web server, you need to put it on a computer connected to a high-speed internet connection 24 hours a day.
  • You also need to install updates for the web server software, keep backups, plan on a backup server, and more.
  • The computer hosting your website will also be open to hacking attempts, malware injection, and DDOS attacks. This could also affect the security of all other computers on your network.
  • You will need to purchase a static IP address from your internet service provider, which will cost you extra.

Doing all this will require a lot of time, effort, and technical skills. This is why it is a bad idea to host your website on a local computer by yourself.

FAQs about Website Hosting

Having helped thousands of beginners start their own websites, we have heard every possible question. Following are some of the most commonly asked questions from people who want to host a website.

1. Why do I need a hosting provider to host a website?

Hosting service providers specialize in maintaining a platform to serve websites. They have engineers and system administrators in their staff that monitor their servers 24/7.

This allows you to focus on building your website and growing your business instead of managing server software.

2. Can I buy a domain name and hosting from two companies?

Yes, you can. However, buying them from the same company allows you to manage both of them under the same dashboard. Also some providers like Bluehost even offer a free domain as an incentive to use their service.

3. Can I buy a domain name and host my website later?

Yes, you can buy a domain name alone. However, it will not be pointing to your website until you choose a hosting provider.

We recommend Domain.com for registering a domain name. They offer beginner friendly domain management tools, which will make it easy to connect your domain to any hosting provider later.

4. Can I host my website on my local computer and later move it to a hosting provider?

Yes, you can do that. However, if you are serious about making a website, then it is better to start with a hosting provider.

5. Can I host a website with one provider and then change it to another provider?

Yes, you can move your website to any other hosting company at any time. See our article on how to move your website to a new host for detailed instructions.

6. Where do I host my website?

There are so many hosting companies out there, that it becomes difficult for beginners to make the right choice.

Over the years, we have worked with all the top hosting companies on the market. This has given us insights into what makes a good hosting platform.

For starter websites, we recommend Bluehost. They automatically install WordPress, and they offer a beginner friendly dashboard, built-in caching, security, and more. On top of it, they are offering WPBeginner readers discount on hosting + free domain name.

For more recommendations, see our complete list of the best hosting companies with their pros and cons.

There are few companies offering free web hosting, but we recommend that you be very careful about those.

We hope this article helped you learn how to host your website. You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free business email address for your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2019 (Compared)


Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. However, finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners.

There are so many website builders on the market, how do you know which one is the right solution for you?

In this article, we’ll help you choose the best website builder by going over the pros and cons of the most popular options.

How to choose the best website builder

We will be comparing the following website builders in this article. If you are interested in a particular website builder, then just click on the name to skip ahead.

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Wix
  3. Gator by HostGator
  4. 1&1 IONOS Website Builder
  5. BigCommerce
  6. Shopify
  7. Weebly
  8. Squarespace
  9. GoDaddy Website Builder
  10. WordPress.com
  11. BoldGrid
  12. Ucraft

Choosing the Best Website Builder — What to Look for?

Before comparing the top website builders, we recommend that you write down what you want to do with your website? What are your goals and what features would you like to see on your website.

For example, you can write down things like: have a blog section, photo gallery, online store, reservation system, contact form, slider, etc.

If you are unsure about what you want, then check out your competitors or other websites for inspiration.

Most website builders offer a drag and drop user interface to build your website. You can take advantage of the trial accounts to test drive before you make your final decision.

Next, you need to consider your growth options. Will you be adding regular updates to your website? Do you need a blog section? Would you be selling more products on your website in the future?

You need to make sure that the website builder you choose is capable of handling your needs as your business grows.

That being said, let’s take a look at the top website builder platforms to make your website without hiring a developer.

1. WordPress

WordPress

WordPress.org (also known as self hosted WordPress) is the world’s most popular website building platform. Over 28% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress.

Note: There are two versions of WordPress available. There is self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com. We will talk about WordPress.com later in this article. You can also read our WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison for more details.

The self-hosted WordPress tops our list of best website builder due to its popularity, powerful features, scalability, and ease of use.

WordPress is a free and open source website builder. This means that you have maximum control over your website compared to any other builder in this list.

Unlike other website builders, you will need a WordPress hosting account and host your own website (this is a lot easier than it sounds).

Pros:

WordPress gives you complete control on every aspect of your website. It can be used to build any kind of website. For example, an eCommerce store, community forums, a social network, a membership website, and more.

There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can use for your website’s design. It also has amazing drag and drop page builders like Beaver Builder and Divi which allow you to easily create your own page layouts.

Creating a page with Beaver Builder best page builder plugin

You’ll also get access to more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins. These are like apps for WordPress that adds additional features and functionality to your website.

WordPress is fully translated into dozens of languages and can be easily used to create multilingual websites.

Cons:

You will have to manage your own website, which means you will need to familiarize yourself with a new system. This slight learning curve is easily overcome by most users, but it does feel a bit difficult in the beginning.

You will also have to keep up with WordPress updates, plugin updates, and create backups.

Pricing:

WordPress software is available for free, but you will need a domain name and web hosting which typically costs $14.99/year and $7.99 per month respectively.

Fortunately, we have worked out a special deal for WPBeginner users. You can start a website for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on web hosting that comes with free SSL and a free domain name.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

For more details, see our guide on how to make a website with step by step instructions.

2. Wix

Wixlogo

Wix is another popular cloud based website builder. It offers ease of use combined with a powerful set of features to easily build your website.

Pros

Wix is a fully hosted platform, so you will not have to pay for hosting. You get access to hundreds of templates to choose for your website’s design. Each template is fully editable with their intuitive drag and drop site builder.

Wix Builder

It also comes with dozens of free and paid apps that you can install on your website. These apps allow you to add new features and functionality to your website. Some of them are created by Wix, and others are created by third-party developers.

Wix offers a free plan with limited bandwidth and storage. However, you can use this plan to test drive their drag and drop website builder. It does not include a domain name, so if you decide to keep your website, then you may want to upgrade to a premium plan.

You also get a free SSL with all Wix plans, but you will need to turn it on for your website.

Cons

Free and Connect Domain plans will show Wix branded ads on your website. You’ll need to upgrade to their Combo or Unlimited plan to remove those ads.

If you ever decide to move your website away from Wix, then you will find it quite complicated to do so.

Their Connect Domain plan which costs $9.16 per month only lets you connect a custom domain name, so you’ll still have to buy a domain name separately.

Pricing

Wix offers a limited free plan with a Wix branded sub domain. You can connect a domain for $9.16 per month. Their combo plan starts at $14.95/month and will get you a free domain name. The ecommerce plan costs $26.25 per month.

If you are interested in how it stacks up against WordPress, then see our comparison of Wix vs WordPress.

3. Gator by HostGator

Gator Website Builder by HostGator

Gator is brand new website builder by HostGator, one of the most popular web hosting provider in the world. The Gator builder is an all-in-one website building & hosting solution.

Pros

Gator is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t have to worry about the software, updates, or backups.

It has an intuitive website builder that lets you choose from 200+ professional website design templates. Each design comes with simple customization options that you can configure from the builder itself.

You can edit any item on a page with a simple point and click interface. You can also drag and drop commonly used items like images, videos, photo gallery, text, columns, maps, and contact forms.

You also have access to a built-in stock photo library, so you can find and add beautiful photos on your website.

All paid plans also include a free custom domain name for your website. The eCommerce plan also comes with the ability to setup an online store and sell your products online.

Since Gator is a paid product, they don’t sell your data or show any ads on your website.

Cons

Unlike some of the other options in the list, Gator doesn’t have a free plan. They also do not offer a free trial.

Like other proprietary builders in the list, you cannot hire a developer to help you significantly modify your website design or add new features to your website.

Pricing

Gator paid plans start from $3.84 per month, $5.99 per month for premium, and $9.22 for eCommerce plan.

Gator can be used to build a small business website, a store with limited items, or a photo gallery. However, it is no match for the power of the most popular website builder, WordPress.

4. 1&1 IONOS Website Builder

1&1 IONOS Website Builder

1&1 Website Builder is a premium website builder designed specifically for small businesses, individuals, and starter websites.

Pros

The 1&1 IONOS Website builder is a fully-hosted solution to easily create a website in minutes. It comes with hundreds of professionally designed templates to create fully functional business websites.

All templates are mobile friendly out of the box and your website will look great on all devices.

Select your industry to get a template that already contains the content matching your needs. You can tweak it as little or as much you like with user friendly interface.

Each plan comes with a free domain name and your own branded email addresses. Support is available 24 / 7 via phone, live chat, or email.

Cons

There are no integrations or third-party extensions that you can install to your website for new features.

The website builder and online store builder are two separate products. If you want to start an online store, then you need to sign up for their online store builder.

Pricing:

They are running a $1 for six months offer on all their plans. Regular prices start from $7 per month (Essential), $10 per month (Business), and $20 per month (Pro).

5. BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the most powerful website builder platforms to build an online store. If you’re looking to create an eCommerce website that scales, then BigCommerce is the platform for you. It comes with all the essential features built-in, so you can keep your overhead low and margins high.

Pros

BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce solution, so you don’t have to worry about website speed, security, or updates. They handle the server and technical side for you, so you can focus on growing your business.

Unlike other hosted eCommerce solutions, BigCommerce has a native integration with WordPress which allows you to leverage the flexibility of WordPress while taking advantage of the headless eCommerce power of BigCommerce. In simple terms, your website will be fast and secure no matter how much traffic you get.

BigCommerce integrates with all popular payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout, Chase Pay, Ayden, and more. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t charge a transaction fee for you to use these payment gateaways.

You can start with one of their many pre-made website templates and customize it to match your needs using their easy drag & drop website builder.

BigCommerce Design Builder

BigCommerce comes with many features built-in to handle conversion rate optimization such as cart abandonment, improved product search, product reviews, coupons, and more.

The best part is their dashboard that lets you see the metrics to help you grow your business with confidence.

Cons

If you are just starting out, then you will find BigCommerce pricing a bit higher than other website builders in the list.

Since it’s a proprietary platform, migrating away from BigCommerce will be difficult.

Pricing

BigCommerce comes with a 15-day free trial for all plans. Their basic plans at $29.95 per month which comes with all the essential features that you will need. You can upgrade to the plus plan which costs $79.95 per month for additional conversion optimization features. Their pro plan costs $249.95 per month which has all the advanced features you may need.

The best part about BigCommerce when compared to Shopify and other third-party eCommerce platforms is that they have a seamless integration with WordPress which can be a huge plus if you want to combine the flexibility of WordPress with the power of BigCommerce.

6. Shopify

Shopify

Shopify is a website builder designed specifically for online stores and ecommerce websites. It powers more than half a million businesses with 1 million active users. Over 40 Billion dollars worth of products have been sold on Shopify’s platform.

Pros

Shopify is an all-in-one fully hosted solution, this means you don’t have to worry about managing software, installing updates, or keeping backups. Shopify does all that for you.

It offers integrated payment solution called Shopify Payments. You can also add third-party payment gateways to accept payments.

As an ecommerce website builder, Shopify comes with full inventory management, unlimited products, powerful stats, easy marketing solutions, all neatly wrapped under one roof. They have hunereds of designs to choose from, and you will never need to add code.

Shopify

With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Shopify makes it super-easy to create a full-fledged ecommerce store. They also offer in-store POS, which allows you to sell products at your location, while accepting all credit cards and taking advantage of Shopify’s inventory, shipping, marketing, and stats management tools.

You can even integrate Shopify into WordPress, allowing you to use both great solutions at the same time.

Cons

If you are just starting out, then you may find Shopify’s pricing a bit higher than some other website builders in this list.

If you ever want to move your website away from Shopify, you will find it quite difficult to do so.

Pricing

Shopify’s basic plan will cost you $29 per month. You can upgrade it to Shopify for $79 per month or Advanced Shopify for $299 per month. Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month, which basically allows you to add a buy button on any website.

If you want a hassle free ecommerce website builder, then Shopify may be the perfect option for you.

7. Weebly

Weebly logo

Weebly is an easy to use website builder with tons of great designs. It includes a beautifully crafted page builder which allows you to edit your website without learning any coding skills.

Pros

Weebly is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t need to install and manage any software. They take care of hosting your website and managing all the software that runs in the backend.

It comes with dozens of website designs to use as an starting point for your website. These gorgeous designs are fully editable using Weebly’s live page editor.

Weebly

Weebly also comes with built-in support for ecommerce. This allows you to easily create an online store and start selling.

Each Weebly site comes with built in features for contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, and more. This allows you to easily add features to your website without any complicated setup process.

Cons

Weebly is a fully hosted platform so you are locked to the features they offer. You cannot hire a developer or designer to add new functionality of feature to your website.

Weebly charges 3% transaction fees on every purchase made through your ecommerce store. You’ll need to upgrade to their business plan to avoid these additional fees.

Pricing

Weebly comes with a very basic free plan. Their paid plans start from $8 per month billed annually. The pro plan costs $12 per month, and their business plan costs $25 per month.

If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then check out our comparison of Weebly vs WordPress.

8. Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular fully hosted website builder known for its great designs and ease of use.

Pros

Squarespace comes with enterprise-grade infrastructure for hosting your website. This secure and robust platform allows you to focus on growing your business without worrying about hosting.

Squarespace includes tons of website designs to get started. All of these designs are fully ready for all types of content. They are fully editable, and Squarespace even allows you to use multiple templates for the same website at once.

Squarespace

Adding content to your website is very easy on Squarespace. Just point anywhere on your website and start typing. You can easily drag and drop items on pages to create your own layouts in minutes.

Squarespace also has an ecommerce plan which allow you to add an online store to your website. It offers a nice interface to manage your products, inventory, orders, coupon discounts, and more.

Cons

Squarespace offers limited integrations with third-party service which can be a hurdle in growing your business.

Their ecommerce plans only allow Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal for payment processing. You cannot add additional payment gateways.

Pricing

Squarespace websites start from $12 per month and $18 per month. Their online stores start from $26 and $40 per month.

Squarespace is a beautifully designed platform that offers very easy to use features. It can be perfect if you just want to quickly build a website.

If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then take a look at our comparison of Squarespace vs WordPress.

9. GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy is one of the largest domain name and hosting service providers in the world. They offer a simple and elegant website builder complete with hosting included.

Pros

GoDaddy Website Builder is a simple and easy tool to create professional looking websites. It comes pre-loaded with several ready to use blocks that you can drag and drop to build different layouts.

GoDaddy Website Builder

It also has integrated photo library with professional images from Getty Photography that you can use on your website. You can also upload your own photos and create image galleries.

GoDaddy website builder works on smaller screens too. This allows you to work on your website on the go using your mobile phone or tablet.

Cons

It is not as feature rich and flexible as most other website builders on this list. It offers limited set of features with fewer design options.

It is quite difficult to move your website from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress.

Pricing

Personal plan costs $5.99/month, business plan for $9.99/month, and business plus plan for $14.99/month. All plans are billed annually.

GoDaddy Website Builder can be used for a basic website with a few pages. However, it is not a good choice to build content rich websites.

10. WordPress.com

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a blog and website hosting service run by Automattic. It is created by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress open source software, hence the name WordPress.com. To learn more, see our article on how are WordPress.com and WordPress.org related.

However, WordPress.com is not the same as self-hosted WordPress.org. Please see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

Pros

WordPress.com is a website hosting service. Built on top of the same WordPress software but with a totally custom user experience. You don’t have to worry about the software and backups as WordPress.com takes care of it.

Their free and paid plans have different set of features. All plans allow users to choose from hundreds of free and paid WordPress themes. You can then use the built-in customizer to add your site title, use widgets, add navigation menus, and so on.

WordPress.com

It doesn’t offer the same drag and drop functionality of other website builders. However, you can easily customize designs to a certain extent.

Cons

You cannot install custom plugins or themes unless you upgrade to their business plan.

Premium and lower plans do not have ecommerce features or third-party ad network support. With the business plan, you can use WooCommerce and third-party ad networks. However, you will still have to follow WordPress.com’s terms and conditions.

Pricing

The basic plan is free, but is extremely limited. Their personal plan starts with $4 per month billed annually and includes a custom domain. Premium plan costs $8.25 per month billed annually and it gives you the ability to monetize your site and advanced design customization. Business plan costs $24.92 per month billed annually, and it gives you the ability to have Ecommerce and custom plugins.

11. BoldGrid

BoldGrid

BoldGrid is a new kind of website builder that is built on top of WordPress. It is available as a standalone WordPress plugin as well as a fully hosted website builder suite.

Pros

BoldGrid is built on top of WordPress, so you get full advantage of WordPress with a customized user experience. BoldGrid’s website builder allows you to choose a professional design from their gallery of themes.

After that, you can customize those designs with a drag and drop customizer. You can point and click on any item in the preview section to edit its properties. You can change colors, fonts, layouts, navigation menus, and widgets with ease.

BoldGrid

Need a staging website? BoldGrid creates one for you with a single click. This allows you to test out your new designs, layouts, plugins, and themes before making it live for everyone to see.

It also comes with a full WYSIWYG page editor. No more guess work when editing your pages in WordPress. You’ll get exactly what you see on your page editor window. You can also use GridBlocks to simply drag and drop elements to your page and build your own layouts from scratch.

All BoldGrid themes are ready for WooCommerce. This allows you to easily create a storefront using BoldGrid’s drag and drop builder (see our list of best WooCommerce hosting companies).

Cons

BoldGrid runs on top of WordPress, so you will still need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to use it.

But the good part is backups are included through BoldGrid backups, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Pricing

BoldGrid basic plugin is available as a free download. You’ll need a WordPress hosting account and a domain name to install and use it. We recommend using InMotion Hosting because they are an official BoldGrid hosting provider.

This means you can easily setup BoldGrid with a few clicks on InMotion Hosting’s platform.

InMotion Hosting has agreed to offer WPBeginner users 50% discount on hosting. Click here to get started with InMotion Hosting.

If you want to use WordPress but with the ease of hosted drag and drop website builders, then BoldGrid would be perfect for you.

12. Ucraft

Ucraft

Ucraft offers an easy to use website builder for blogs and businesses wanting to add a shopping cart and start selling products.

Pros

Ucraft comes with a drag and drop website builder with dozens of templates to choose from. All website designs are fully mobile friendly. Getting started with a basic website takes only a few minutes and requires no technical skills.

They offer a limited free plan and let you add your own custom domain name. All paid plans include one free domain registration.

All paid plans also include eCommerce features with more than 70 payment methods to accept online payments. Other notable features include on-site search, Google Fonts, multi-currency stores, multilingual website, discount coupons, and more.

Ucraft also has integrations available for several third-party tools and services like Google Analytics, Live Chat, Zendesk, Intercom, and more.

Cons

There are enough integrations available but you are only limited to those currently available.

The pro website plan lets you add only 50 products at a time. You will need Pro Shop plan to add more products.

Pricing

Ucraft offers a limited free plan with the ability to connect your own domain name. Their paid plans start from $10 per month for Pro Website, $21 per month for Pro Shop, $39 per month for BigCommerce.

Our Pick for The Best Website Builder

After carefully evaluating different website builders, we believe that WordPress beats them all in overall performance, ease of use, and flexibility.

It is not just great for beginners. World’s top brands are using WordPress on their websites. See many more reasons to choose WordPress as your website builder.

You can get started with WordPress by using Bluehost or read our step by step guide on how to make a website.

If you’re looking to build an online store (eCommerce website), then we recommend BigCommerce as the best solution because it offers all the features that you will need at the best price.

We hope this article helped you choose the best website builder for your project. You may also want to see out list of tools to help you grow your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2019 (Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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What is a Blog and How is it Different from a Website? (Explained)


Often readers ask us about what is a blog, and how is it different from a website? If you are thinking about starting a blog or a website, then understanding these terms will help you meet your goals.

In this beginner’s guide, we will explain what is a blog and how is it different from a traditional website. We will also talk about usage scenarios, with real-world examples, and their benefits.

What is a blog and how is it different from a website?

What is a Blog?

A blog is a type of website where the content is presented in reverse chronological order (newer content appear first). Blog content is often referred to as entries or “blog posts”.

Blogs are typically run by an individual or a small group of people to present information in a conversational style. However, now there are tons of corporate blogs that produce a lot of informational and thought-leadership style content.

A blog page showing posts

Typical blog posts also have a comments section where users can respond to the article.

History of Blogs

Blogs evolved from online diaries and journals in the mid-90s. At that time, internet users were already running personal web pages where they published regular updates about their personal lives, thoughts, and social commentary.

The term web log was first used during the late 90s, which later became ‘weblog’, then ‘we blog’, and finally just ‘blog’.

Due to the growing number of such web pages, several tools started to appear, which made it easier for users to create online journals and blogs. These tools helped popularize blogging and made the technology accessible to non-technical users.

In 1999, the popular blogging website Blogger.com was launched, which was later acquired by Google in February 2003.

The same year, WordPress released its first version as a blogging platform in May 2003.

Today, WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform powering over 30% of all websites on the internet.

What is The Difference Between Blog and Website?

Blogs are a type of website. The only real difference between a blog and other types of website is that blogs are regularly updated with new content, which is displayed in reverse chronological order (newer posts first).

Typical websites are static in nature where content is organized in pages, and they are not updated frequently. Whereas a blog is dynamic, and it is usually updated more frequently. Some bloggers publish multiple new articles a day.

Blogs can be part of a larger website. Often businesses have a blog section where they regularly create content to inform and educate their customers.

You can use WordPress to create both, a website and blog, that’s why a lot of business owners use WordPress to build their small business website.

In simple terms, all blogs can be a website or part of a website. However, not all websites can be called blogs.

For example, WPBeginner is a blog and a website. Our website has other content which is published in a non-blog format like glossary, about us, and contact pages.

Non-blog content on a blog website

Now, let’s take a look at another example. This time a website called Awesome Motive. It is a business website and belongs to WPBeginner’s management company.

Awesome Motive

It does not have a blog or any content published in sequential order. It uses pages to organize and present information about a business and collects user feedback by adding a contact form.

You can also say that blogs have articles that are organized using categories and tags. On the other hand, websites use pages to organize and display content.

Blog or Website – Which One is Better?

As a beginner, you may be wondering whether you should start a blog or a website, which one is better? To be honest, the answer to this question really depends on what your goals are.

Many small businesses around the world have traditional websites made up of just pages and no blog. Such small websites are often made to create an informational web presence for a business, organization, or individual.

On the other hand, more and more businesses are realizing the potential of a blog in their marketing strategy. They are adding a separate blog section to their traditional websites and using it to get more traffic from search engines.

Take OptinMonster, it is a lead generation software and their website has traditional sales pages showcasing their product and its features.

OptinMonster website and blog

They also have an informational blog where they teach users how to improve conversions and get more leads. This helps them cover their industry keywords to get free traffic from search engines and make more sales.

Even if you are a business, a non-profit organization, or a professional, adding a blog to your website can help you achieve your goals.

What is The Difference Between Blog Posts and Pages?

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and a powerful content management system. By default, it comes with two content types: posts and pages. Often beginners get confused between the two.

Blog posts are displayed in a reverse chronological order (newest to oldest) on your blog page because they are timely content which means your users will have to dig deeper to view older posts.

Pages are static “one-off” type content such as your about page, contact page, products or services pages, home page, and more.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on the difference between posts and pages.

Pages are usually used to create a website structure and layout. Even blogs can have pages alongside them (See our list of important pages that every blog should have).

Why Do People Blog? What are The Benefits of Blogging?

Each individual blogger has their own motivation for blogging. Many of them use it as an alternative to keeping a diary or journal. Blogging provides them with a venue to share their creativity and ideas to a wider audience.

Top brands and businesses create blogs to educate their customers, share news, and reach a wider audience. Blogging is an essential part of online marketing strategy for many businesses.

Following are just a few benefits of blogging.

  • Provides an avenue to organize your thoughts and ideas
  • Allows you to showcase your skills, creativity, and talents
  • Help individuals become an authority in their industry
  • Helps you socialize with interesting like-minded people online
  • Many bloggers make money from their blogs using various monetization methods
  • Businesses use blogging to bring more potential customers to their websites
  • Non-profits can use blogs to raise awareness, run social media campaigns, and influence public opinion

What are Some Examples of Good Blogs?

Blogging is huge!

Millions of individuals and businesses from all over the world have blogs. This means that there are blogs on just about any topic you can think of.

Here are some good blogs that you can check out as an example. We have hand-picked the best blogs in different industries to give you an idea of how diverse blogs are.

1. Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum is one of the most popular food and recipe blogs online. Started by Lindsay, a high school teacher, the blog allowed her to quit her day job and become a full-time blogger.

2. WeTheParents

WeTheParents

WeTheParents is a popular parenting blog run by Neve and Keane (the parents). They share parenting tips for moms and dads and while doing so they make money by earning commission on products they recommend.

3. We Wore What

We Wore What

Started by Danielle Bernstein, We Wore What is a popular fashion blog. With more than 1.5 Million followers, it covers everything from fashion to interior design to menswear.

4. Nerd Fitness

Nerd Fitness

A fitness blog started by Steve Kamb, Nerd Fitness is dedicated to helping people stay fit. It provides fitness advice, motivation, support, diet and exercise tips.

5. Lost With Purpose

Lost With Purpose

A popular travel blog run by Alex, who shares her journeys while offering travel tips, advice, and guides for other backpackers.

6. Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha is a personal development blog created by Lori Deschene. The blog publishes content on happiness, love, relationships, mindfulness, spirituality, simplicity, minimalism, letting go, and more.

There are many more great blogs out there on many different topics. See our list of the most popular types of blogs for some more ideas.

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

Usually, people think of bloggers as hobbyists. Some of them are, but a large number of bloggers make money from their blogs. This enables them to focus more on their blog, quit their day jobs, and build successful online businesses.

The more successful bloggers can make six-figure, seven-figure, and even eight-figure incomes from their blogs.

Below are a few ways that most bloggers use to make money from their blogs:

The most common and probably the easiest way to make money online is by displaying ads. However, as a new blogger, you will not be able to contact advertisers directly or manage them on your own.

This is where Google AdSense comes in. It takes care of finding ads, displaying them, collecting payments from advertisers, and sending you those payments for a small cut.

Many bloggers also make money through affiliate marketing. Basically, they recommend products on their websites and earn a commission when users buy those products.

Other common monetization methods include memberships, selling online courses, or adding an online store to the blog.

See our list of proven ways to make money online from your blog for some more examples.

We also have a list of “easy-to-start” online business ideas that you can check out.

Can Anyone Start a Blog?

Yes, anyone who wants to start a blog, can easily do so.

In the early days of blogging, users needed coding skills to even update their blogs. Now, there are plenty of tools that allow you to easily create a blog without ever writing code. If you can point-and-click, then you can build a blog within minutes.

Choosing the wrong blogging platform to start a blog is the most common mistake that beginners make. However, since you are here, you will not be making this mistake.

We recommend using WordPress. It is the world’s most popular blogging platform and website builder. Over 30% of all websites on the internet are built using WordPress, just so you can get an idea of how popular it is.

There are two types of WordPress: WordPress.com, which is a hosted solution, and WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. See our guide on the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you instant access to all WordPress features. It also allows you to easily make money from your blog without any restriction.

Want to learn more about WordPress? See our complete WordPress review for detailed breakdown of its features.

You will need the following things to start your own WordPress.org blog.

  • A domain name (This will be your blog’s address and what users will type in their browser to visit it. For example, wpbeginner.com)
  • Website hosting account (This will be home of your blog’s files)
  • 20 minutes of your time

Normally, a domain name will cost you around $14.99 per year and website hosting $7.99 per month. Now if you are just starting out, this seems like a lot of money.

Thankfully, Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain and discount on hosting. They are one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and are officially recommended by WordPress.

Basically, you will be able to get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

After purchasing hosting, you can head over to our guide on how to start a blog for complete step by step instructions.

We hope this article helped answer your questions about what is a blog and what’s the difference between a blog and a website. You may also want to see our list of the most useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress blog.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How Much Does It Cost to Build a WordPress Website? (2019)


One of the questions we often get asked is: how much does it cost to build a WordPress website? While the core WordPress software is free, the cost of a website depends entirely on your budget and goals.

In this article, we will break it all down to answer the ultimate question: How much does it really cost to build a WordPress website? We’ll also show you how to avoid overspending and minimize cost when building a website.

How much does it cost to build a WordPress site?

This is a lengthy read and that’s why we have added a table of contents. Here is what we will cover in this article.

What Do You Need to Build a WordPress Website?

WordPress is free for anyone to download and use. It is an open source software which gives you the freedom to install it on any kind of website.

So if WordPress is free, then where is the cost coming from?

The cost of a WordPress site can be broken down into following categories:

  • WordPress hosting
  • Domain Name
  • Design
  • Plugins and Extensions (Apps)

To create a self hosted WordPress site, you need web hosting to store your files. Every website on the internet needs hosting. This is your website’s home on the internet.

There are different hosting plans available for all kind of websites. You need to pick one that suits your requirements and fits your budget.

Next, you will need a domain name. This will be your website’s address on the internet, and this is what your users will type in the browser to reach your website (example, wpbeginner.com or google.com).

With WordPress, there are tons of free website templates available that you can use. However, if you want something more advanced / custom, then you can purchase a premium template or have one custom made which will raise the cost.

There are 54,000+ free plugins for WordPress. These are apps and extensions for your websites. Think features like contact form, gallery, etc.

So while you can build a website with just the hosting and domain cost, based on your situation, you may end up paying for additional tools and services. That’s why it’s often confusing for people to find out the real cost of a WordPress website.

Let us walk you through the real cost of building a WordPress site.

Estimating The Real Cost of Building a WordPress Site

Calculating cost of building a WordPress site

Depending on your needs, your cost to start a WordPress website can range from $100 to $500 to $3000, to even as high as $30,000 or more.

It’s important to know what type of website you are building, and what you’ll need for it because that will directly affect your cost.

But don’t worry, we’ll show you how to avoid a financial disaster and make the best decisions.

For the sake of this article, let’s break down websites into different budget categories:

  • Building a WordPress website (low budget)
  • Building a WordPress website (with more features)
  • Building a WordPress website for small business
  • Building a WordPress eCommerce website
  • Building a custom WordPress website

Now let’s see how much each of these projects cost and how you can avoid spending any more than necessary.

What’s the Cost of a WordPress Website (Low Budget)?

Building a low budget WordPress site

You can build a fully functional WordPress website for yourself and keep your costs under $100. Here is the cost break down of a WordPress website on a low budget.

First, you will need a domain name and web hosting.

A domain name typically costs $14.99 / year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99 / month.

Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

For more hosting recommendations check out our guide on how to choose the best WordPress hosting.

Next, you will need to install WordPress on your hosting account. See our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog for complete instructions.

Once you have installed WordPress, you can choose a design for your website using a free template.

These design templates are called WordPress themes, and they control the appearance of your website.

There are thousands of professionally designed free themes available for WordPress that you can install. See our expert-pick of 43 beautiful free WordPress blog themes for some examples.

Once you have chosen a WordPress template, follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Next, you may want to add certain features to your website like adding a contact form, a photo gallery, a slider, etc. Don’t worry there are more than 40,000 WordPress plugins available that will help you do that.

Plugins are like apps or extensions for your WordPress site. See our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Below is our selection of the essentials WordPress plugins that you should install on your website. All of them are available for free.

Features

Website Optimization

Website Security

There are many more free WordPress plugins to add different features and extend your WordPress site. See our best WordPress plugins category where we have reviewed hundreds of WordPress plugins.

Total Cost of website: $46 – $100 per year

What’s the Cost of a WordPress Site (with More Features)?

Cost of WordPress site with more features

We always recommend our users to start small and then add more features as their website grow. This way you will not be paying for anything that you don’t really need.

As you add more features to your website, your website cost will start to increase.

You can continue to use Bluehost for WordPress hosting to keep the cost low and get a free domain name.

However since you will be adding more features to your website, it may make sense to get a more powerful hosting configuration like SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. This will cost you a little more, but it comes with premium features like staging, faster performance, and can handle up to 100,000 visitors per month.

You can use our SiteGround coupon to get 60% off for the first year of your hosting.

You can also go for a premium WordPress template for your site. Unlike free WordPress templates, these templates come with extra features and priority support. See our expert selection of 40 best responsive WordPress themes for some great premium templates that you can use.

For more website features you need to use a combination of free + paid plugin addons.

Here are some essential premium WordPress plugins and extensions that you’ll need as your site grows:

Features

Marketing

Security

There are many more WordPress plugins and services that you can add. Each paid service or addon that you add will increase the cost of your WordPress site.

Total cost of website: Depending on the premium WordPress plugins and services that you add, it can be anywhere between $500 and $1000 per year.

What’s the Cost of a Small Business Website with WordPress

A lot of people often ask us about how much does it cost to build a small business website with WordPress? The answer depends on your business needs and the tools you’ll be using to grow your business online.

Basically, you can estimate the cost to be somewhere between a low budget WordPress site and a WordPress site with more features.

Keeping in mind that you don’t add a full-fledged eCommerce store to your business website. In that case, see the next section in this article for a more accurate estimate.

If you are just starting out and need a simple website showcasing your products and services, then we recommend starting with the Bluehost. Their starter plan will reduce the cost significantly and will leave you with money that you can spend on other premium tools if needed.

If you have a more flexible budget, then you can sign up for SiteGround’s GrowBig plan. They are known for their excellent support, which is a good thing to have for a small business owner with no technical background.

Next, you will need to pick up a design for your website. You can look for a WordPress theme for business websites or pick a responsive WordPress theme that matches your requirements.

You can choose a free WordPress theme. However, since it is a business website, we will recommend you to purchase a premium theme that gives you access to support and updates.

Now let’s talk about plugins.

You will need to use a combination of free and premium plugins to control the cost. Following are some of the premium plugins that are absolutely essential for a small business website.

Features

Marketing

  • Constant Contact – One of the best email marketing service, specially for small businesses.
  • OptinMonster -Helps you convert website visitors into leads and customers. You’ll need it for Lead generation and conversion optimization.
  • MonsterInsights Pro – The best Google Analytics plugin helps you see where your users are coming from and what they do on your website. This allows you to make data-driven decisions to grow your business.

Security

  • UpdraftPlus (Pro) – The premium version of the plugin comes with incremental backups, automatic backups before updates, and several remote storage locations to keep your backups.
  • Sucuri Firewall – Website firewall and malware protection

Now there are many more plugins and tools that you would want to use. We recommend you to first try the free version and see if that does the job for you. Many premium tools are available with the free trials, take advantage of those to see if you really need that tool.

As a business website, you would want to spend money to grow your business. We are not advising you against spending money when it makes sense and you can afford it.

For more details see our step by step guide on how to make a small business website

Total cost of website: Once again it depends on premium tools and plugins you purchase. It can be anywhere between $300 and $700 per year but could go as high as $1000 per year.

What’s the Cost of a WordPress Ecommerce Website?

Cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website

WordPress powers millions of eCommerce websites around the world.

The cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website can be significantly higher, but we will show you how to build a WordPress eCommerce website while avoiding potential losses and overspending.

In addition to hosting and domain, your eCommerce site will also need an SSL certificate which costs around $69.99/year. SSL is required to securely transfer customer data such as credit card information, usernames, passwords, etc.

We recommend using Bluehost Ecommerce plan. It gives you a free domain and SSL certificate, plus discount on hosting.

After that, you need to select a WordPress eCommerce plugin.

There are several eCommerce plugins for WordPress, but none comes even close to WooCommerce. It is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin that allows you to build robust online stores to sell your products/services.

Next, you will need to install WordPress and WooCommerce on your website. We have a step by step guide on how to start an online store.

While WooCommerce is free, you will need to use paid addons for additional features. The cost of your website will go up depending on how many addons you need to add on your website.

Once you are up and running, you will need to choose a WooCommerce ready WordPress template for your site. There are several paid and free WordPress templates with full WooCommerce support. Choosing a premium or paid template gives you access to support and extra features.

We have a list of the best free WooCommerce addons, but depending on your needs, you may have to use some paid extensions as well.

Here are some other paid services that you’ll need on your eCommerce website.

Features

  • WPForms – To add customer inquiries and feedback forms
  • Beaver Builder – To create stunning landing pages using a drag and drop page builder
  • Soliloquy – Create beautiful product sliders with their WooCommerce addon

Marketing

  • OptinMonster – Convert visitors into customers with this powerful lead generation tool
  • Constant Contact – powerful email marketing service
  • MonsterInsights – Ecommerce tracking with real time stats using Google Analytics

Security

  • BackupBuddy – Automatic WordPress backups
  • Sucuri – Website firewall and malware scanner

Remember the best way to keep your costs down is by starting small and adding extensions and services as your business grows.

Total cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website: $1000 – $3000. It could be higher depending on how many paid addons and services you add to your site.

What’s the Cost of a Custom WordPress Site?

Cost of a custom WordPress website

A custom WordPress site is when you hire a WordPress developer to create a unique design and build specific features for it.

Usually well established, large to medium-sized businesses choose this route.

To support a custom WordPress site, you may also want to go for a managed WordPress hosting provider. This is a WordPress centric hosting environment, with managed updates, premium support, strict security, and developer friendly tools.

In addition to your hosting and domain name, you will also be paying the web developer that’s building your website. Depending on your need, you may want to get quotes from several theme developers, web designers, and agencies.

The cost of a custom website depends on your requirements, budget, and the rates of the developer or agency you hire.

A standard custom WordPress theme alone can cost you up to $5000. More robust WordPress sites with specific custom features can cost up to $15000 or even higher.

Update: Since several of you asked for a more details on this section, we have created a comprehensive guide on how much does a custom WordPress theme cost, and tips on how you can save money.

How to Avoid Overpaying and Cut Down Spending?

We always recommend our users to start small and then scale their WordPress site as it grows. In many cases, you don’t need all the premium features that you see on many well-established websites in your industry.

Keep in mind that those websites had a head start, and it likely took them some time to figure out how to manage costs and grow their business.

You can start with a budget website using free plugins and template. Once you start getting visitors, you can consider adding premium features like a premium template, email marketing, paid backup plugin, website firewall and so on.

Same goes for your eCommerce website. Start with the bare minimum and then as you start selling, you will find out exactly the tools that will help you and your customers.

Look for best WordPress deals and coupons to get additional discounts whenever you can.

Even for robust WordPress sites, you don’t always need to hire a developer. We have step by step tutorials on how to create different types of WordPress websites such as:

We hope this article answered your questions about how much does a website cost to build. You may also want to see our list of 25 legit ways to make money online blogging with WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Create a Micro-Job Website Like Fiverr with WordPress


Recently one of our readers asked if it was possible to create a Fiverr like website using WordPress?

Making a niche micro-job website has become a popular online business idea because it is easy to start, quick to monetize, and has low overhead.

A recent study showed that in 2018, more than 36% of US workers made money by freelancing their services online. That’s 1 in every 3 working adults in the United States.

Online job marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr help connect those freelancers to employers for a small fee. However, they are not alone, there are many other micro-job websites built to cater to specific niches and industries.

In this article, we will show you how to easily create a micro-job website like Fiverr with WordPress without any coding knowledge.

Creatng a fiverr like micro-job site with WordPress

Things You’ll Need to Make a Fiverr Like Website

There are a few things you’ll need to start your own Fiverr clone and a micro-job website with WordPress.

First, you need to make sure that you are using the right platform. To build a micro-job website, you will need a self-hosted WordPress.org website (see: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details).

To start a WordPress site, you will need the following things:

  • A domain name (This will be your website’s address. For example, wpbeginner.com)
  • A WordPress hosting account (This is where your website’s files are stored)
  • SSL Certificate (You need this to accept online payments)
  • A Micro-Job addon and theme

The set up will take less than 40 minutes, and we will walk you through every step.

Here are the steps you’ll take to make a job marketplace like Fiverr with WordPress.

  1. Setting up WordPress
  2. Setting up a micro-job website with WordPress
  3. Selecting payment methods and packages
  4. Changing branding and website content
  5. Testing your micro-job website
  6. Managing your micro-job website
  7. Resources to grow your micro-job website

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Step 1. Setting up WordPress

To install WordPress, you need a WordPress hosting account domain name, and a SSL certificate.

Normally a domain name costs $14.99 / year, SSL certificate $69.99 / year, and WordPress hosting would cost you $7.99 / month.

This sounds like a lot of money if you are just starting out.

Luckily, our friends at Bluehost are offering WPBeginner users a free domain, free SSL, and 60% off on WordPress hosting.

Basically, you can get started for as low as $2.75/month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Bluehost is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

If for some reason you don’t want to use Bluehost, then you can take a look at our list of the top WordPress hosting companies.

Once you have purchased hosting, head over to our guide on how to make a website for step by step setup instructions.

Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you when you signup. You can log in to your WordPress admin dashboard directly from your hosting account.

WordPress admin dashboard

Step 2. Setting up a Micro-Job Website with WordPress

Now that you have installed WordPress, it is time to add micro-job engine functionality to your WordPress site using a micro jobs theme.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Microjob Engine theme. For detailed instructions, see our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Microjob Engine is an app-theme, which means that it is designed to be an app with complete backend and front-end functionality.

Once you have activated the theme, you will be redirected to the theme’s welcome page. On this screen, you will need to enter your license key which you can find under your EngineThemes’ account.

Enter license key

Next, you need to click on the ‘Install Demo’ button to import and set up a demo website. This will allow you to quickly set up the website to look exactly like the demo. You can then replace the content with your own.

MicrojobEngine comes with two skins to choose from. Once you have imported the demo data, you can select one of the skins to use on your website.

Select skin for your micro-job site

Your website is now setup just like the theme demo. You can visit your website to see it in action.

Job marketplace like Fiverr Demo

Step 3. Selecting Payment Methods and Packages

Microjob Engine works with PayPal and 2Checkout out of the box. You can purchase addons to add other credit card payment gateways like Authorize.net, PayU, PayStack, and Stripe.

You can setup your preferred payment gateway by visiting the Engine Settings » Payment Gateways page in your WordPress admin area.

Set up payment metods

Packages Explained

Microjob engine allows you to earn money in two ways:

  1. You can get a commission when a job is finished
  2. You can sell packages allowing users to submit gigs for a certain amount.

Setting a payment barrier right from the beginning may prevent some users from signing up, but it will also help keep the spam away.

On the other hand, enabling free job posting will help you attract more freelancers to your website.

You can always change the settings once your website starts getting enough attention from both freelancers and employers.

To set up these options, you need to visit the Engine Settings » Theme Options page and click on the Payment Type tab.

Choose payment model

From here, you can enable or disable free posting. If you disable free posting, then you can add packages that freelancers can purchase to submit their offers.

Step 4. Changing Branding and Website Content

Next, you would want to change the branding and content to make it your own. You can do this by going to Appearance » Customize page where you can change the theme settings with a live preview.

Customizing your theme

Take your time and go through the different options and adjust them to your liking. Don’t forget to click on the Publish button at the top to save your changes before exiting the customizer.

Step 5. Testing Your Micro-Job Website

Microjob Engine Preview

Once you have set up your theme, it is time to thoroughly test every corner of your website.

Open your website in a new tab and try to use it as regular users. Start by posting an ad as a freelancer.

After that, browse your website as an employer by testing job listings and hiring a service.

Each user on your website whether freelancer or employer will get their own profile page. Freelancer profiles will show their details, bio, recent gigs, and ratings.

User profiles

Each user will also be able to manage their account from a custom dashboard. This is where all their chats, messages, and jobs are displayed.

User account dashboard

You may also want to make sure that you and your users can receive email notifications from your website. Sometimes WordPress sites run into an email deliverability issues. You can check out our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Step 6. Managing Your Micro-Job Site

Even though your users (both freelancers and employers) wouldn’t need to visit the WordPress admin area, you will still manage all aspects of your website from the WordPress dashboard.

You can see all orders placed on your micro-job site by visiting Engine Settings » Orders.

view all orders

It also comes with a review system for completed jobs.

You can also see finished jobs that need to be verified by visiting Jobs Verification page. From here you can approve, keep pending, decline, or verify a job status.

Once approved, the freelancer will be able to withdraw their money.

Managing job verification

To view all withdrawal activity, you need to visit Engine Settings » Money Withdrawl tab. On this page, you will see a list of freelancers who have withdrawn their earnings.

Money Widthdrawal

You can manage all site functions from the admin area of your WordPress site, and you can even peek into conversations between your users.

This helps make sure that freelancers are not insisting on clients to use other unverifiable payment methods. It also helps during the dispute resolution between freelancers and employers.

Step 7. Resources to Grow your Micro Job Website

Once your website is up and running, you would need to learn how to grow it and make more money. Let’s look at some of the resources that you can use to achieve these goals.

1. Extend your website

Using WordPress gives you access to thousands of free and paid plugins. These plugins are like apps for your WordPress website.

You can use plugins to add new features to your job marketplace and grow your business.

However with over 55,000+ plugins available, how do you know which plugins you should install?

Don’t worry we got you covered. See our expert-pick of the essential WordPress plugins that every WordPress site should use.

2. Marketing your job marketplace

Next, you will need to learn a little bit of SEO. Follow the instructions in our step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners to get traffic from search engines.

Once you start getting some traffic, you need to know where your users are coming from and what they do on your site. This information helps you make informed decisions about growing your business.

This is where you’ll need MonsterInsights. It helps you install Google Analytics on your website. Most importantly it shows easy to understand traffic reports right inside your WordPress dashboard.

3. Performance

Microjob Engine is a powerful app theme with tons of cool features. However, as your website grows, it can be quite heavy on your servers.

To make sure your site performs well, you need to optimize WordPress performance and speed.

As your site grows you will run out of shared hosting resources. In that case, you will need to upgrade to a managed WordPress hosting or VPS hosting.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily create a micro-job site in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to increase your website traffic.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Create a Micro-Job Website Like Fiverr with WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Get a Free SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website (Beginner’s Guide)


Did you know that Google shows all non-SSL websites as “Not Secure”. This means that if you are not using a SSL certificate on your website, then you’ll lose customers trust.

Because SSL certificate helps protect your website data, it’s actually a requirement for accepting payments online.

Normally, paid SSL certificates are quite expensive. If you are just starting a blog or making a DIY business website, then you likely want to keep costs low.

Luckily, there are multiple ways to get a free SSL certificate to reduce your website cost. In this article, we will show you how to easily get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website and set it up all by yourself.

Getting a free SSL certificate for your WordPress site

We will also cover the following topics:

  • What is an SSL Certificate?
  • Why You need an SSL certificate for Your WordPress Site
  • How does SSL certificate work to keep information secure
  • How much SSL certificates cost
  • How you can get a free SSL certificate
  • How to Install a free SSL certificate in WordPress

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an internet protocol for securing data transfer between a user’s browser and the website they are visiting.

Every internet user transfers information when they visit websites. This information can often be sensitive like payment details, credit card information, or login credentials.

Using the normal HTTP protocol means this information can be hijacked by hackers. This is where SSL or HTTPS comes in.

Websites need an SSL certificate issued by one of the recognized certificate issuing authority. This certificate is verified and highlighted in the user’s browser address bar with a padlock sign and HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Address bar showing SSL secure padlock icon with HTTPs

Do I Need an SSL Certificate for My WordPress Website?

SSL / HTTPS is recommended for all websites on the internet. However, it is absolutely required for all websites that collect user information like login details, payment information, credit cards, and more.

If you are running an e-commerce store, a membership website, or require users to login, then you need to get an SSL certificate right away.

Most online payment services require your website to use SSL/HTTPs before you can receive payments.

Apart from security, SSL certificate also creates a positive impression of your brand among your users. Google also recommends using SSL, and research shows that SSL-enabled websites rank slightly higher in search results.

Last but not least, if your website is not using an SSL certificate, then Google Chrome will show your users that your website is not secure.

Not secure label shown in Google Chrome web browser

This icon affects your brand image and user’s trust on your website.

How Does SSL Certificate Work?

Now that we have explained what is SSL and why is it important, you might be wondering how does an SSL certificate actually works?

SSL protects information by encrypting the data transfer between a user’s browser and the website.

When a user visits an SSL/HTTPs website, their browser first verifies if the website’s SSL certificate is valid.

If everything checks out, then the browser uses the website’s public key to encrypt the data. This data is then sent back to the intended server (website) where it is decrypted using the public key and a secret private key.

How SSL works to protect data transfer

How Much Do SSL Certificates Cost?

Cost of SSL Certificates differs from one certificate authority to another. Their pricing could be anywhere between $50-200 / year. Some providers offer add-on services with their certificates which may also affect the cost of your SSL certificate.

If you are going to purchase an SSL certificate, then we recommend GoDaddy. They are the largest domain name registration service in the world, managing more than 77 million domains.

They offer simple SSL certificate plans starting from $74.99 / year. After you have purchased an SSL certificate, you can ask your hosting provider to install it for you.

But before you do that, you should check to see if you can get the SSL certificate for free.

How Can I Get an SSL Certificate for Free?

A lot of website owners are reluctant to use SSL due to the additional cost. This left many small websites vulnerable to data and information theft.

A non-profit project called Let’s Encrypt decided to fix this by establishing a free certificate authority.

The purpose of this certificate authority is to make it easier for website owners to get a free SSL certificate. Internet becomes a safer place if more and more websites start using SSL.

Due to the significance of the project, it quickly earned the support of major companies like Google, Facebook, Shopify, WordPress.com and many others.

The challenge is that installing the free SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt for a beginner user is quite difficult because it requires coding knowledge and server systems knowledge.

Thankfully, all of the best WordPress hosting companies are now offering free SSL certificate with all their hosting plans (some are using Let’s Encrypt).

Choosing one of these providers will save you from the hassle of installing the free SSL certificate on your own.

Here are the top WordPress hosting companies that offer free SSL certificate with their hosting plans.

If you are already using one of these companies, then you can turn on your free SSL certificate from your hosting dashboard. Simply login to your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard and scroll down to the ‘Security’ section.

Enable free SSL certificate from cPanel

Bluehost users will find the free SSL option by visiting My Sites » Manage Site page. From here, you can switch to the security tab and turn on free SSL certificate for your website.

Bluehost free SSL

Depending on your hosting company, your web hosting control panel may look different than the screenshot above. If you are having trouble locating the free SSL option, then you can ask your hosting provider to enable it for you.

If your web hosting company does not offer free SSL, then you can easily follow our guide to switch your hosting and move your sites to one of the companies above.

Installing Free SSL Certificate and Setting up WordPress

Once you have enabled your free SSL Certificate, you will need to set up WordPress to start using HTTPS instead of HTTP in all your URLs.

The easiest way to do this is by installing and activating the Really Simple SSL plugin on your website. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will check to see if your SSL certificate is enabled. After that, it will turn on HTTP to HTTPS redirect and change your website settings to start using SSL/HTTPs.

SSL enabled in WordPress

To make your website completely secure, you need to make sure that URLs of your website are loading using the HTTPS protocol. Really Simple SSL plugin does that automatically by fixing the URLs when the page loads.

Even if a single URL still loads using the insecure HTTP protocol, then browsers will treat your entire website as not fully secure.

Connection not fully secure

To fix these URLs, you will need to use your browser’s inspect tool to find them and then replace them with the correct HTTPs URLs. For more on this, see our tutorial on how to fix mixed content error in WordPress.

Really Simple SSL Plugin makes it super easy to set up free SSL certificate in WordPress. That’s why we recommend it for all beginners.

However, it catches insecure URLs when the page loads, which increases your page load time a little bit. This is why advanced users who are concerned about WordPress speed uses the manual method to setup their free SSL certificate.

We have created detailed step by step instructions to help you properly switch WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS (which shows both the manual method and the plugin method).

We hope this article helped you learn how to get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress site. You may also want to see our step by step guide on how to create free business email address for your WordPress site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Get a Free SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website (Beginner’s Guide) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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