Starting a new website comes along with several decisions. You’ll have to consider the look and feel of the website, your goals, the features and capabilities you require, the domain name, and where you will host the site. In recent years, businesses have been able to take advantage of solutions like Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, and Squarespace to simplify the process of bringing their business online. Others opt for a self-hosted WordPress website since it best suits their needs. What is the best solution for you?
What is Self-Hosted?
Unlike the above named hosted solutions which boast an all-in-one platform for getting your business online, a self-hosted website built on a platform like WordPress means that you have purchased a hosting service, or storage space, where you can build a custom website of your own. With the flexibility and scalability of this option, many businesses choose this option. What are the advantages?
Reduce costs with a self-hosted website
With a self-hosted website, you can often start a website with minimal costs. You will need to secure a domain name, or address where your website will live, at a nominal cost of around $10/year. Then, with a wide range of available options, you can secure web hosting for a few dollars a month. Depending on your domain registrar and hosting provider, you can get your website online for under $100/year.
Customizing a self-hosted website
Most hosted web builders make getting a beautiful site up and running easily with a drag-and-drop design editor and some options for customization with code. Added features like email marketing or ecommerce would typically require a more expensive plan. Membership and online course features may be unavailable or require an additional fee.
With a self-hosted website, you are able to expand the functionality of your website with plugins, or custom coding, that allow you to add a wide-range of features to your website. Depending on your needs, there are free, highly-rated plugins that can expand the look, use, and profitability of your site. Another plus is that all of these features will allow you to have multiple lines of business living on one website, which is especially useful for businesses that offer a variety of products and services.
The visual aesthetic of a self-hosted website can be fully customized so you are not bound only to using built-in themes. If necessary, you can purchase premium themes from a range of theme libraries. You are able to engage a web development agency for a custom built website, which not only helps with visual branding, but can also help you build custom experiences that will not be available on a hosted web solution.
Your website grows with you on a self-hosted website
Starting out, a website may only serve the need of establishing a businesses web presence. As the business grows, the website may need to serve as a lead capture, appointment setting tool, store, and customer service portal. Since a self-hosted website has endless possibilities, the website can grow with the business and help not only serve as a marketing site, but also as a key resource for managing business operations and capturing revenue.
Each business has unique needs so choosing whether to use a hosted web service or build a self-hosted website should start with a clear plan on how you want your website to work. If you need help getting started with a custom self-hosted website, contact Spark Creative today.