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Today, I want to talk about why WordPress is the platform that you should use for your coaching website.
For many, the first thing they will want to do is find the cheapest and easiest way to get their content on the web. A quick search on Google about the best way to do that gives you a plethora of options. I know that I cannot go on YouTube or Facebook or even listen to a podcast without hearing about Shopify, Wix or Squarespace. These platforms promise easy set-up, and all in one package functionality that make them seem like the obvious solution.
But are they really the solution
Yes, these platforms do give you the option to create a quick website on your own with little, to no help. They usually have a pretty low monthly cost and some are even free.
Some of the positive aspects of these platforms include:
- They host your website on their servers, so you do not need to purchase hosting on your own
- Some maintain the security and updates your website as needed
- You do not need to know any code to build or customize your website
- Some have eCommerce options built into their platform
- Some templates are mobile-responsive
- Some allow membership sites
- They often have an email marketing campaign within the platform or integrate with some of the email marketing programs.
I bet you are confused now
They seem too good to be true and that’s the thing, I think they are
Here are some of the negatives that I can see:
- There is limited customizability giving your website little to change and make your own.
- You cannot add themes or plugins that they don’t offer.
- E-commerce options are often limited or have additional monthly costs.
- You cannot backup your website off of their servers (again, they technically own your website).
- Migrating to another platform is incredibly difficult or downright impossible. Any content you have on these platforms, stays on that platform. And if you want to move your website to another platform, you have to start from scratch.
These may seem to be non-issues. You are just trying to get your online presence started, right? But when you grow, how will your website evolve to accommodate higher traffic, or more functionality?
The true kicker for me in all of these, is that the website doesn’t technically belong to you. There are horror stories of people who have had their websites completely deleted and all their content gone because they mistakenly broke one of the terms of service of the platforms.
OK, now back to WordPress, because that is why we are all here.
What is WordPress?
First I need to start by saying that there is a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org. WordPress.com is one of the original free website platforms and they offer much the same things as Squarespace, Wix and all the others like that.
I recommend using WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is an open source Content Management Software (CMS). What this means is that anyone can use or modify WordPress software for free. A CMS is a tool that makes it easy to manage parts of your website, such as content, images, and pages without needing to know anything about programming. You do not need to be a developer to create an awesome website with WordPress.org.
I love lists, so let me give you the pros and cons of WordPress.org
- WordPress.org is free to download and install on any hosting option that you choose.
- It is super easy to use with tutorials and walk-throughs while you are setting up your website.
- Your website and all it’s data are YOURS. No one can turn off or delete your website (as long as you are not doing something illegal) because there are no terms of service to comply with. You have full and utter control.
- You can install and utilize any plugins to make the functionality, look, and security of your site complete. There are millions of plugins and each one is rated in wordpress.org and has reviews and support.
- You can customize your website design any way you want. Add any free or premium theme that you would like to. You can also create your own themes (this is not really easy for beginners, but as you learn and grow, it is a possibility).
- You can run ads on your site as much as you want and you get to keep all the money that those generate.
- You can use Google Analytics, or any other tracking software to see how your website is doing.
- You can have an Ecommerce site and sell digital or physical products, accept credit card payments, and deliver / ship the goods directly from your website with ease.
- You can build membership sites
- You can backup and store every aspect of your website in remote storage as often as you would like and access those files any time you need them.
- The WordPress community is massive and there are millions of tutorials, support teams, and Facebook groups where you can find any help that you need.
- Most themes are mobile-responsive ready
- It allows you to track leads when running Facebook ads.
- It allows you to install market-rich features at a low cost.
- You will need to get web hosting (I recommend Siteground.com, their service has been impeccable for me and my clients). Hosting is where your website files are stored on the internet. The cost can be as low as $4 a month for a basic shared hosting plan, and you can increase your plan as your business grows and you are making enough to cover the additional costs.
- The learning curve for building your website with WordPress.org can be a bit steeper than with the other builders depending on the theme that you choose.
- You are responsible for the maintenance of your site. The plugins, themes, and WordPress files need to be updated regularly for security and functionality.
- You are responsible for issues with your website, for instance, if a plugin update causes an error, you or your developer would need to know what to do to fix your website.
- You are responsible for the backups. No one else has them, so it is important that you always use a backup plugin (I recommend Updraft Plus) and store your files not only on your website, but also off site in places like Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Sometime the themes and plugins can be buggy and you need to research how to fix them.
The Million Dollar Question
Does it cost a million dollars to create and set up a WordPress.org website?
I promise you, it does not.
The cost of a website built with WordPress.org is entirely up to you and can fit any budget.
Depending on what kind of site you are building, it can be as little as just the hosting costs, a theme like Divi, or plugin like Elementor Pro (I have used both of these and I love them!). It is very possible to set up your website by yourself and keep a lower budget and still have a fantastic looking website that will grow and evolve with you and your coaching business.
If this sounds like just too much and you want someone else to build your WordPress website for you there are WordPress website designers and developers out there (like me!) who are ready to help you in any way they can.
You will never be alone in building your website with WordPress. There are a massive amount of Facebook groups, tutorials and WordPress designers that are with you every step of the way.
Remember that you and your business aren’t a pre-formatted template, and your website shouldn’t be either. A website built with wordpress.org can truly showcase you and your brand, it and the content it shares belongs to you completely. Even though there is a little learning curve it is completely worth it in the end to create your website with WordPress.org.
In my next article, I am going to share my favorite website hosting company. Make sure that you subscribe to The Coach Guardian weekly newsletter to get notification when it’s published!
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below and I will do my best to help.