If you have a limited budget or have better uses for your money than sinking thousands or tens of thousands of dollars into a website, then you may want to consider Windows shared hosting and WordPress. Why this particular combination? The short answer is that shared hosting with the right provider is low-cost and noncommittal. The technical work of running and maintaining the server that hosts your site is done for you. Your only concerns are with the appearance and content of your website.
This is where WordPress comes in. WordPress is a free open source content management system (CMS) that allows you to create any one of hundreds of types of sites. A simple one-click install, courtesy of your hosting provider, is all that’s required to gain access to one of the most versatile content management systems in the world. More about shared hosting and WordPress are discussed next.
Shared hosting has seen a lot of negative press which largely centers around the lack of bandwidth for adequately meeting the needs of the websites residing on the shared server. This problem often occurs when hosting companies pack too many websites on their servers. The websites on these overloaded servers often have very slow loading times. The problem can be so severe that web browsers time-out long before the loading process completes.
You can readily avoid this issue by choosing the right shared hosting provider. Do your research and pay close attention to their money back guarantee and uptime. Uptime is the percentage of time that your website is viewable to the public. Today, uptimes less than 99% are unacceptable. Uptimes less than 99.5% are on the low-end and should be avoided. There’s no reason you can’t get 99.9% by looking around a bit.
As mentioned previously, shared hosting is both low-cost and noncommittal. You can pay by the month and directly see for yourself how well a hosting provider performs. If it doesn’t meet your expectations, you can cancel at the end of the month. By purchasing a domain (less than $10 per year) and using the quick WordPress install, you can quickly set up your website with very little fuss and no further expense. However, if you are willing to spend a bit of money (between $40 to $100) you can set up almost any kind of website that you wish.
WordPress is the most widely used content management system today. It’s open source and therefore free. It’s maintained, improved, and updated by an enormous community of dedicated developers. The community also develops thousands of themes and plugins which are the key to WordPress’s versatility. You may have heard that it’s a blogging platform. Although it started out as a blogging only CMS in 2003, today WordPress is used for many types of websites.
WordPress out-of-the-box (what you get after its installation) is a blog. To transform it into something else such as an ecommerce site, it’s a matter of looking for and installing an ecommerce theme, which changes its structure, appearance, and functionality. You may also have to install specific plugins for additional functionality.
To give you a better idea of WordPress’s versatility, here’s a listing of some of the websites built with this CMS:
- Ecommerce sites
- Business sites – Themes exist for almost any type of business.
- Membership sites
- Job listing sites
- Project management sites
- Online books
- Customer support sites
- Gaming sites
- Rss/aggregator/news/feed sites
- Online course/training/schooling sites
- Group/project collaboration sites
- Photo gallery sites
- Video sites
- Toolbox sites
- Podcasting sites
- Chat rooms
- Social community sites
- Social media sites
- Social networking sites
- Social bookmark sites
- CV / Resume sites
If you want to start almost any type of website with minimal risk, find a good Windows shared hosting provider, buy a domain name, do the one-click WordPress install, buy and install the theme and plugins for the type of site you need, and you’re done. If it doesn’t work out, little was lost. If it’s a big success, then upgrade your shared hosting to a plan that accommodates your increased resource usage. If your resource usage is moderate, just stay with shared hosting like most websites do.
Applied Innovations has very affordable Windows shared hosting packages and provides a 100% uptime guarantee for your website. Contact us today to learn more.