Why WordPress Works For Us

Covid Changes the Face of Business

We are living in interesting times right now.  Brick-and-mortar businesses everywhere have been shut down due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.  In the future, we will look back at this time and know that it was a turning point for business and the internet.

It is unfortunate that many businesses are not going to reopen.  I live in a booming city in the Southeastern United States, and some of the businesses that I used to frequent have already closed their doors permanently.  Others are worried that they might not be able to reopen.

Not only are the business owners in crisis, the workers no longer have jobs.  So perhaps you are not a business owner, but a worker who lost their job and is looking to make money online.  Whoever you are, we are all in this together.  And here at What Do I Want to Do?, we have skills that may benefit you.

So, what do you wanna do?

You know you need a website, but how do you get there?

I have a feeling that if you are reading this, you are not a coder (although you might be!)  If you are a coder, then you are probably still working.  Yes, work-from-home tech jobs seem to still be stable.  I am very fortunate to still be employed during this global health and economic crisis.

I want to encourage you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  Yes, sh*t really hit the fan, but we have to make money, don’t we?  You can’t argue with it, money is what makes the world go round.

I bet you don’t have a bunch of money to throw around.  But I know one thing you have… TIME!  Everyone has a lot of time right now.  We have been on lockdown, sheltering-in-place, social distancing.  We have all been STAYING HOME!

Bird, a painting by Kate Bopp

I want to inspire you to learn to use WordPress

It used to be that in order to have a legit looking and functioning website, you had to hire a coder.  This could cost a lot of money.  Not to mention, once someone handed you the website, you were unable to customize it (unless they taught you how).  So, then you would have to hire another developer to do any changes.  Successful businesses would have a tech person on hand to deal with the issues that arose.  It costs serious dough to employ a full-time tech person in a corporate setting.  Thus, many “mom-and-pop” businesses existed without a website.

Nowadays, there as so many website-building kits: WordPress, Wix, your host’s website builder application (it varies, host by host), Yola, GoDaddy….  You don’t really need to be a coder anymore.  All you have to do is decide on a platform and learn it.

I like WordPress.  Ideologically, I am pre-disposed to it because WordPress started out to decentralize the world of publishing.  It used to be that if you wanted to be published, you had to get a publisher to pick you up.  Now, anyone can publish themselves on the internet, provided that they have money to cover the purchase of the domain name and hosting (which isn’t that much money, although the exact amount varies depending upon what you are trying to achieve).

What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

I want to make a distinction here to clear up any confusion.  There is WordPress.com and there is WordPress.ORG.  I am a fan of WordPress.org because it is open source and self hosted.  WordPress.com is owned by a private company. It is a stripped-down version of the WordPress.org yumminess… and you have play by their rules. They host it for you and their Terms of Service dictate what YOU are allowed to do with your site. The guy that owns WordPress.com was one of the original developers of the WordPress open source software.

So, back to WordPress.org…

Open Source Software and Self-Hosted Websites

“Open source” means you have access to the code. ANYONE can change the code on their own site at any time for any reason. This means that as you develop your skills and grow and change, you can tweak ANYTHING to suit your needs. You are free to add any functionality you can dream up, either by way of plugins or custom code. “Self-hosted” means that you go out and get your own hosting. This is cool because you can shop around for the hosting that suits you best.

By the way, there are SO MANY kinds of businesses that make their living through WordPress… not just the people who operate online stores, but developers who write plugins, themes, security software… folks actually make a living by selling “premium” WordPress stuff to WordPress users.  Some businesses make money selling software to OTHER WordPress businesses. Other people blog just like me!

Get your digital garden growing!

You Are the Only Person Who Can Solve Your Problem

I believe in choice.  Everything we do is a choice.  You have the choice to fritter away your time doing whatever you want to.  But if you are in need of a website, YOU NEED TO START LEARNING. 

I have heard that WordPress can seem difficult from the outside.  I think why people think it is hard to work with is because it is a blank slate.  You can do ANYTHING with WordPress because it is open source.   

I already said that “open source” means that you have access to the code.  Now, many people reading this are not coders.  But please know that stepping stones exist towards your goal.  You learn what you can, produce what you can based on your knowledge and then from that stepping stone, reach higher.  You can start small and dream big.

WordPress is extremely customizable.  There are countless free themes and plugins.  And when you find that you want to take it to the next level, there are a multitude of premium plugins and themes.

With WordPress, you can build what my business partner and I refer to as a “business card website,” which is to say that it is a brochure of yourself.  This style of website has your basic info, story and photos, usually on the same homepage.  Then there is a contact form and a privacy policy.  That’s it.

You can also build an online store that can handle anywhere from 1 product to 1000’s of products.  You can sell actual physical items (like shoes) or you can sell digital stuff (like songs you have recorded).  That’s right: YOU DON’T EVEN NEED A RECORD COMPANY TO SELL YOUR MUSIC FOR YOU.

You can build a news website, you can build a blog, you can build a website where you stream your content for free.  You can truly do anything.

Artist Thinking With Cat and Thought Bubble
Reach for your goals!

So What Do You Need to Get A Website?

To have a website, you must have do 3 things: you have to buy the domain name, you have to buy the hosting, and you have to build the site.  If you choose WordPress, then you get a whole world of themes and plugins at your fingertips to do anything that you can dream up.

The ball is in your hands.  If you don’t have the money, then surely you can find the time. 

If you get stuck, consider contacting us via our webform on our Contact page.  At What Do I Want to Do?, we offer WordPress consulting on a case-by-case basis.  The rates vary by what you want from us, so give it a shot and start the conversation.  We believe in autonomy and we want YOU to do what you WANT to do.  And maybe, we can help you get there.