When starting out with your online business you probably want to set it up as cheaply as possible, and this includes the setting up of your website too. WordPress is often the platform of choice for those just starting out online, without the budget to hire someone to create a website for them, it offers the cheapest and most versatile option.
Setting up your first website in WordPress is a great idea for so many reasons. If you are unsure about which business you want to go into, setting up a WordPress site, whether it’s hosted or self-hosted, is a cheap way of making a mistake if you decide to change your mind and do something else, so there is little or no risk. You can get some WordPress experience through trial and error for very little cost that you can take with you to your next website or just perfect the website you already have.
For those with a very limited budget is can seem that hosting your website at WordPress.com is the best option, as there is no cash outlay, no real technical skills are required and being hosted on the WordPress site you would presume it would be very secure so no likelihood of anyone hacking into your website. However, there are some limitations with this method and to understand what they are you need to look further down the life of both your business and your website.
Although there are hundreds of free and paid WordPress templates available, you may want more flexibility on how that template looks. You may want to change the color scheme or change an image and customize the WordPress template more to your liking and for this you need access to the templates CSS (cascading style sheets) files. This is a paid upgrade option for those websites hosted at WordPress.com.
Many WordPress templates will come with a variety of options so that you can edit the template very easily from your WordPress dashboard. Just look out for these within the “add new template” option on your dashboard. To edit an image or a header and that option doesn’t appear in within the template dashboard, you need access to the images located in the hosting file, which you do not have access to. So just be aware of this.
Another thing you need to take into consideration is both your technical knowledge as well as the software you have available to actually edit your images. If you don’t have technical knowledge nor editing software then you should look for templates that you won’t want to edit in any way. This goes for self hosted WordPress websites too.
Also, if you want to offer free reports or audios to the visitors of your website, you will be unable to upload them to your WordPress site as you don’t have hosting access. Depending on how you see your website developing this may or may not affect your decision on choosing a WordPress hosted website or not.
If you want to just get used to WordPress and try different things out then by all means register your chosen website at WordPress.com. Please note that your URL, or web address, will be a subdomain of WordPress, for example mychosensite.wordpress.com and it doesn’t really give a professional image to your business, however it will make you more confident using your WordPress website. You can always buy a domain and forward it to your WordPress.com website if you decide to keep this as your main website.