You First Key Decision: Should I Follow Path A or Path B?
When it comes to creating your website, there are two main paths you can follow:
- Path A: Use a website builder, like Wix, SquareSpace or Shopify (for eCommerce-based websites) or
- Path B: Host the website yourself through a self-hosted service, like A2Hosting, DreamHost or iPage using WordPress.org as you free content management system (not to be confused with WordPress.com, which is a website builder like Wix—a totally different beast)
The best path to choose from depends on your long-term goals. Website builders require a lot less technical skills to get up and running, but offer less flexibility when it comes to diversifying your online income.
Can you give me an example?
Can you give me an example?
Path A: For example, if you want to build a website to support a professional service (say, you're a physiotherapist) and you're not technically inclined, then a website builder will likely offer all you need to promote your business, book your appointments and accept payments online.
Since you can't scale beyond the maximum number of clients that you can personally handle on a daily basis, you don't need more flexibility than what popular website builders currently offer.
Path B: However, if you want to launch an affiliate site that'll scale its traffic into the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, you'll be better off with a self-hosted solution.
While more technically demanding, it'll offer you an endless supply of third-party extensions to scale without limits, integrate with a vast number of tools that can help you diversify your income, and secure your site against malicious actors trying to install malware on your server and even siphon off affiliate commissions to their accounts.
Path A: Website Builder Approach
If you choose to follow Path A, you'll need to sign up with a website builder.
These platforms offer a turn-key solution that includes domain hosting, web design, content management, eCommerce and even domain name purchase.
While website builders offer less flexibility than self-hosted platforms (which might not be a big issue for you, depending on your needs), they offer ease of use in exchange.
With a website builder you can set up a functional, attractive website in under an hour without any technical knowledge, simply by dragging and dropping graphical elements on the screen.
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Path B: Self-Hosted WordPress Site
If you choose to follow Path B, you'll need to create accounts with three distinct services.
First, you'll need a web hosting service to host your domain. You want to choose a service that can serve your website fast and that has a near-perfect uptime record.
Second, you'll need a WordPress theme that'll create the look and feel of your website. Here, you're looking for a theme that's flexible, easy to use, fast and a theme that includes a large number of integrations with third-party tools required to maximize your online income.
Third, you'll need a number of WordPress plugins to provide you with tools like a shopping cart with a checkout page if you're selling digital or physical products, a membership management system if you're offering a monthly subscription with recurring revenue, landing pages, opt-in pages, anti-spam protection and many other tools.
Use the links below to check our recommendations:
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