So I’m looking for the best way to create a website for myself. I want a really simple website where I can post my stuff to share with the world.
I want an easy way to create a website, something that will handle all the details. I see WordPress appears to be the top dog in this area. I also see Wix has a user base. So what are the pros and cons of each?
From what I see, most hosting services support WordPress. Can Wix created websites be used on any server, or only specific servers?
Wix is AMAZING, the closest to perfection I’ve seen in a website. But you get the hosting as well, all in one package, ie. clicking “Publish” there uploads the site to Wix’s servers, you can’t pull out the code to host it on your own. And Wix has trix regarding pricing, ie. your first year will be at a very low rate, second year onward, (presumably once your site has some visitors and you realise you can’t pull out the code, and you HAVE to keep using Wix because you’ve got visitors), the pricing shoots up tremendously. However the thing itself, “Dreamweaver in a browser” is still amazing, and I’d still recommend it. I’ve never used Wordpress though.
There are plenty more of them, for example Webflow.
WordPress is by far the better option of the two- however, I wouldn’t recommend either, I would recommend getting a Ghost.org instance. WordPress is more expensive (you can run Ghost for just 5 dollars a month through DigitalOcean, and the cheapest WordPress you can get is about 8 dollars a month), and a bit more complicated than a “really simple website” like you’re looking for. Ghost has a simple WYSIYG editor with Markdown support and it takes care of all the SEO stuff for you- WordPress does not, you have to add SEO plugins. Ghost is also a lot easier to style and make look professional; WordPress themes are expensive, a good-looking one will run you at least 50 bucks. Ghost themes are free.
Wix is garbage. It has the worst builder of any I’ve encountered. Don’t use Wix, you’ll rip your hair out by the time you’re done with it. It’s also expensive.
Source: I’m a professional web developer that uses WordPress mainly for work, but I’ve also used Django, Wix, Weebly, WebFlow, Squarespace, Ruby on Rails, Ember.js, etc
A static page is free to host in places like netlify last time I checked at least, you can make one of those with static site generators like hugo if you’re willing to setup a few more things and are ok with predefined themes which you can at least change the colors with some css
I’m also in the process of researching and looking, but for me, it will be mostly for writings and sharing knowledge and some artworks here and there. I have tried to host my own wordpress before and it’s a lot of work… Ghost, Substack… hmmm… what else. I’m surprised that Ghost is mentioned in here.
I can honestly say that you can’t get a domain + hosting + WYSIYG editor + SEO + mailing for that price from anyone else (that I know of). Ghost isn’t perfect for all use cases, but for simple stuff, it can’t be beat
Of course, you can always run your own server, which will save a few extra bucks, but 9 dollars really isn’t that much
At this point I should add that I’m more than happy to set up/host/maintain (including hosting) a website for anyone on any platform for very cheap, but I can’t really beat Ghost prices for simple stuff
I did some reading and people were pointing to Instagram as a good starting place if you want to get your name and artworks out there. Doesn’t cost anything, and Instagram’s layout/design by default is great for portfolio and showcasing your artworks. Once you’re known and have a lot of followers, you can move on elsewhere. Just a thought.
I run a bilingual Wordpress website with around 50 pages. I pay web hosting and installed Wordpress for free. I purchased a theme (40$) that would give me plenty of fancy lay-out options.
Getting started with Wordpress is easy, but deeper options will take some time to research. For instance: you’ll need to install a (free) caching plug-in, to serve faster static pages of your content. You’ll want a (free) SEO plug-in to control how your content is crawled and shown in results. I have a (free) plug-in for forms and another for the entries. It even took me 5 days to learn how to work with my theme’s builder and reuse blocks like a call-to-action.
For a more complex website, you can end up with quite a few plugins, options, dialogs to connect, maintain, backup and keep secure from hackers. Platforms like WIX or Squarespace ensure that most of those options are there from the get go, stay updated, backed up and secure. It locks you to a vendor, but will avoid having to learn a new technology, which can take a few days. I log on 2-3 times per year to install updates, test all the features again and make sure I’m yo to date with changing browsers, privacy laws,…
And to me it seems like a lot of work/hassles. I use AT&T DSL, so I’d have to set up something to handle the fact that I have a dynamic IP address. I use the slowest speed connection they provide because it’s fast enough for everything I do, but my upload speed is likely slower than my download speed. Probably would have to upgrade my connection speed which will increase my monthly cost there and eat up any savings…
I’d love to run my own server but I just think it would be an expensive headache.
I am on Instagram for my real job - chef in a private country club - and I have to say I find Instagram to be very creepy-scary. I set up my account, post a few pictures of plates of food I created and added a link to my Indeed resume. 6 months later, Instagram suggests I start following co-workers from a previous job. How did Instagram know I knew these people? Later on, a new employee starts at my workplace, 8 months later, Instagram suggests I start following them. I asked her if she was on Instagram and she said she was before and posted a few pics, but hasn’t been active in a few years. So how did Instagram know I knew her?
I realize that an Instagram account would help to promote myself, but I’m not sure if I would do that given my past experiences. I feel I should also mention, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I know birds are real living creatures, and the world is round, not flat.
More time researching = less blender time.
I think I have a fair amount of blender work that I’ve never shared and want to share it while marketing myself as a competent artist available for freelance work.
Thanks for the input and I’m still open to more input!
I have decided to give Substack a try since it’s free. Ghost seems to be nicer if you want to spend some $$$, but if you’re just like me not doing art as a profession and just want a space to share your thought and experimentation, then Substack seems to be a great option. I’m still setting mine up but if anyone is curious you can click on my profile and have a look.
I’m sometimes in the business of creating websites for organizations who don’t choose to use subscription services such as Substack or WordPress. These businesses engage me to create “independent” websites, and it is actually inexpensive these days to do so – at least in terms of ongoing payments once I’ve been paid.
Consultants like me use tools like Wagtail to implement websites on “generic” hosting services such as PythonAnywhere which themselves only provide support for these [programming] tools. Usually, it requires very little effort to set them up: “certainly, no programming.”
Once the clients are using this environment, they can entirely control the content of their website, further engaging me only if they require specific customizations – which are available. In a great many cases, none are required.
Every now and then, they want something “beyond Wagtail,” such as a forum, an on-line store, or what have you. All of these components can be grabbed “off the shelf” from public sources and integrated into the finished project with “mostly-minimal” effort.
Ongoing payments (to the hosting service … not to me …) might be as little as $15 per month.
But the key difference is that: “all of the code that is running to ‘run your website’ is yours to control.” You didn’t approach a service which “has a CMS already set up.” Instead, you “set up a CMS (and then some?) of your own, and now you run it.”
P.S: I say all of these things entirely for technical context … not as a “crass advertisement.”
"Even if you ‘don’t want to spend any money,’ don’t fall prey to 'free.'"
If you want to “establish an on-line presence,” look for the best service that promises to meet your present needs. Even if they ask you to pay … … … less than you probably already pay to Starbucks® every month.
“Choose wisely, and do not let yourself be distracted by the word, ‘free.’”
(But also: for a “routine” website, do not expect to pay a lot of money – if any at all. Your situation is probably “routine.”)