7 reasons you should use WordPress on your own web hosting instead of choosing another platform.
Self-hosted vs. WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a hosted service that gives you a limited version of a WordPress website for free. You can have your own domain for a small annual fee.
Self-hosted WordPress is running your own copy of WordPress on a hosting account you pay for somewhere (such as BlueHost, HostGator, or HostDime). Learn more about podcast hosting in my previous episode.
1. Easy to use
WordPress users proclaim “ease of use” as the top reason they love WordPress. Many choose WordPress over another content-management system (CMS) because of its friendly interface and simple workflow.
Yet WordPress also has a lot of power that's easy to use.
If you can attach a file to an email message, then you can publish a podcast with WordPress.
2. Freedom and control
It's also very easy to transfer your website between website hosting companies. So if you don't like one host, you can easily switch to another and your workflow won't have to change.
Because self-hosted WordPress runs on your own hosting account, you have full freedom to make it do whatever you want. You can add or remove plugins, change the design, change the content, add widgets, embed videos, upload pictures, and much more.
3. Plugins for nearly everything
There are more than 25,000 free plugins in the WordPress plugin directory! The chances are that whatever you want your website to do, there's a plugin for that!
Social-sharing buttons, image galleries, post templates, online stores, donations, contact forms, and so much more can be easily added with plugins.
Yes, choosing a good plugin can be difficult. Here are some general guidelines.
- It should say that it's compatible with your WordPress version. Some plugins won't say this, but they're often still compatible.
- It should have an update within the last several months. Plugins should be in a constant state of growth. They won't always need updates, but updates show the plugin is maturing and the developer is responding to the needs of its users.
- It should have a lot of downloads. “Popular” isn't always right, but in WordPress plugins, a popular plugin probably does its job really well.
- It should have good ratings and reviews. Plugins can now be given a star-rating and a written review. Check these to see how others are liking the plugin, but remember that some users may give bad ratings because they had wrong expectations.
- It should not do much more than you need it to. Avoid the “massive” plugins that try to do everything. These can bog down your website with features you aren't using.
- Premium plugins are usually worth the price. The official directory for WordPress plugins contains only free plugins. Many paid plugins perform similar tasks, but a whole lot better or easier. For example, Contact Form 7 works all right for a contact form, but it's horrible for much more. But Gravity Forms is amazing for any kind of form (even on-demand forms).
4. Great theme designs
I'm a web designer and I may betray my own craft by telling you this secret. You don't have to be or hire a web designer to have a great-looking website! WordPress makes it easy to find and install great themes to make your site beautiful on any device.
I highly recommend the WordPress themes from StudioPress.
5. Search-engine optimization (SEO)
You need to make it easy for people to find you and your website online, so that where search-engine optimization (SEO) comes in. This isn't some magical trickery, but it's about how you write and present your content.
WordPress is already good for SEO by letting Google know when you publish new content (calling a “ping”). But you can also easily get much more control over your SEO with free plugins (like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO) or a great WordPress theme (like those from StudioPress).
Some plugins, like Scribe, will even tell you what you should be doing in order to improve your SEO.
6. Support and community
There is safety in numbers, and WordPress has a huge following. It is really easy to find answers to almost whatever issue you face. It is also easy to find someone who can quickly fix or enhance your WordPress website.
For example, I was able to easily find others who wanted to disable Disqus on certain WordPress post types. But in my case, no one else had the solution, so I discovered it for them!
7. Foundation for any kind of website
I won't assume that all you want to do is podcast. Maybe you want to blog, sell items through your website, start a forum, invite guest blogs, or run a business website that never produces content. For almost whatever website you want to create, WordPress gives you a strong foundation on which to build and upgrade.
What convinced you to use WordPress? If you aren't using WordPress, why did you decide against it?
Upcoming: podcast promos
Since before I launched The Audacity to Podcast, I wanted to teach you about podcast promos. But I never had the resources in place. That's why I am excited to have Mike Russell from Music Radio Creative join me in a future episode to discuss podcast promos! Send your questions for Mike.
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.