When you want a new website, it can be overwhelming to look at the sheer number of different options you have. There’s WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, etc… and then you have to think about all the possible ways to get the website to do what you want it to do. It’s dizzying.
It doesn’t have to be. Let’s simplify things.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve already decided to go with WordPress. And it’s a great option: It’s not only the top website builder in the world, powering 35% of the internet—but it’s also the fastest-growing, which just shows the strength of the WordPress community.
Great, so you’re using WordPress. Now what?
1. Hosting: Your best option
Hosting is your first big question. It might seem like there are unlimited options here, but there are really only two: Do you want cheap hosting that can be slow and that lacks support when you need it, but that saves you money? Or do you want WordPress-optimized hosting that gives you a blazing-fast, modern site, exceptional support when you need it, and ultimately saves you hours of headache?
Well, you can tell we might be biased. But in our book, the best way to start out is to go with a hosting provider that is WordPress-specialized and focused on adding value, to make your life easier—especially if you don’t want to be hiring expensive developers down the road. So here’s our recommendation:
Get 4 months free on any hosting plan with WP Engine. But hurry—this deal is only available in the month of August!
2. Theme: Optimize for the latest tech
Once you’ve got your hosting plan set up, the next step is choosing a theme. Many themes are very popular and look great, but only a few have caught up to the latest developments in the WordPress world.
The biggest recent change to WordPress is called Gutenberg–a complete redesign of how you create and publish pages and blog posts on your website. When choosing a theme for your site, be sure to get one that is designed to work well with Gutenberg, or else you’ll have to install another plugin or two just to make your theme work. Here’s our recommendation:
Genesis Pro is Gutenberg-optimized, which means you will shave hours off the time it takes to build your sites. Plus, it’s built and supported by the WP Engine team—so you know 1) it’s going to work extremely well together with your hosting setup and 2) it’s going to be around a while!
There you go, that’s all you need to start building your perfect website. And then you can start using the Shoutworks WordPress plugin to engage people through voice, too!