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Common SEO Myths

We only use 10% of our brains.”

“Lightning never strikes the same place twice.”

Myths are usually harmless.

But unfortunately, the same can’t be said for most SEO myths.

When you take these as marketing advice, it leads to wasted time and money.

So let’s bust these myths and get you focused on the things that’ll move the needle.

The first and possibly most dangerous myth is that SEO is dead.

Journalists say that many things are dead, like “YouTube is dead,” “Facebook is dead,”

“Bitcoin is dead,” and “romance is dead.”

These kinds of headlines often lead to opinion editorials that end up being nothing more than clickbait.

SEO is alive and well.

In fact, over the past three months, we’ve had over two million visits to our blog from Google alone.

So why do people keep clanging the same gong?

Well, the main argument is that Google is answering more and more queries right in the search results.

For example, if you search for “km to miles,” Google provides a calculator in the results so you don’t have to even visit a page.

In fact, 90% of searches for this query don’t result in a click to paid or organic positions.

But this doesn’t mean that SEO is dead.

You can still get clicks from this keyword and Google doesn’t give definitive answers in the search results for every keyword anyway.

Not even close.

So as long as search engines exist and have users, SEO isn’t going anywhere.

The next myth is that Google only ranks “fresh” content.

Does Google rank fresh content?

Absolutely.

But does Google also ranks old content that hasn’t been updated in years!

Freshness is a query-dependant ranking factor.

Meaning, fresh content matters for some search queries, but not so much for others.

For example, this page on the human heart has had almost the exact same content since 2013.

And if you look at the page’s traffic trend, it’s continually gained search traffic to this date.

Well, that’s because a query like “picture of the human heart” isn’t dependent on freshness, since nothing has really changed.

Now, a topic like “top google searches” is something that changes over time.

And if you look at the organic traffic trend for our post on this topic, you’ll see dips and then spikes in search traffic.

Basically, the dips happened as the content got older without an update.

And when we updated the post with fresh data, we saw almost immediate gains in search traffic.

So how can you tell if a query relies on freshness?

The quickest and easiest way is to look at the top 10 ranking results.

If you see that all of the pages have the current year in the title, there’s a high chance that freshness plays a role in ranking.

This is a bit oversimplified, so you can watch our tutorial on republishing content if you want more of a step-by-step guide on this.

Bottom line: Google doesn’t only rank fresh content.

The next myth is that duplicate content will get you penalized.

Duplicate content is exact or near-duplicate content that appears on the web in more than one place.

But there is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty.

It’d be impossible to track properly since many pages are syndicated, scraped, and can even be created without you knowing it, like on category or archive pages.

In fact, Google and its representatives have said on numerous occasions that Google doesn’t have a duplicate content penalty.

But that doesn’t mean duplicate content is good for your site.

It can actually lead to undesirable results like backlink dilution, wasted crawl budget, or syndicated content ranking ahead of you.

For example, these two pages from Buffer are near duplicates.

And if we compare the URLs in Copyscape, you’ll see very high match rates.

Now, if we analyze these pages in Ahrefs‘ Batch Analysis tool, you’ll see that each page has generated a good number of referring domains but neither get very much search traffic.

So they could probably benefit from consolidating these URLs into one page and updating it to maximize link authority and search traffic.

To find duplicate content on your site, you can run a free crawl using Site Audit in Ahrefs Webmaster Tools.

After the crawl has completed, go to the Duplicate Content report and click on the orange area beside the Content category.

Then it’s just a matter of analyzing and fixing your pages.

The next myth is that SEO is a “set it and forget it” job.

Yes, SEO can lead to free, passive, and consistent traffic that doesn’t fade over time.

But that doesn’t mean you rank your pages and then call it a day.

SEO is kind of like going to the gym.

It’s ok to miss a workout here and there, but you have to go consistently in order to get results and maintain those results.

If you choose to ignore all SEO efforts after you’re ranking high, you’ll likely lose backlinks while your competitors are building them.

Your content will get stale for queries that rely on a freshness factor.

And before you know it, you’ll see a slow and steady decline in search traffic, which will likely affect your bottom line.

The next myth is that social shares help you rank higher in Google.

It’s reasonable to believe that the more your content gets shared on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, the higher those pages will rank.

After all, if tons of people are sharing something, it must be valuable, right?

Maybe, but Google’s John Mueller has said that social signals don’t directly impact rankings.

And while that word “directly” is up for interpretation, it makes sense that they wouldn’t use shares or likes as ranking signals.

I mean, anyone can buy thousands of social signals for just five bucks.

But if social signals aren’t a ranking factor, then why do studies like this one show a correlation between social shares and rankings?

Well, correlation doesn’t mean causation.

So the way I look at it is that social shares lead to more exposure.

And that often leads to more backlinks, which we know are a ranking factor.

And pages that rank well in Google get more search traffic, and assuming it’s a shareable piece, will continue to get shared on social.

The next SEO myth is that Pay Per Click Advertising won’t help you rank higher in search.

Paying for ads doesn’t directly influence rankings.

Meaning, Google won’t rank you higher in organic search just because you’re paying them.

But PPC can indirectly help your pages get more backlinks because of increased exposure, just like social shares.

In fact, we spent $1,245 on Google Ads to see if search ads could lead to backlinks.

Long story short, it works well if you bid on queries that have so-called “link intent.”

The next myth we need to bust is that SEO is always about ranking #1.

We all want top Google rankings.

But there’s a point where boosting your position for a single keyword may not be worth the required time and effort.

In fact, our study of 100,000 search queries showed that the top-ranking page only gets the most search traffic 49% of the time.

And the reason for this is because pages can get traffic from tons of relevant keywords, not just one.

For example, if we look at the top 10 pages for the query, “high protein diet,” you’ll see that the top page gets around 11,000 monthly search visits from the US.

But if you look at a couple of the other results, you’ll see they get significantly more search traffic.

Now, if you look at the number of keywords these pages rank for in comparison to the top page, it all makes sense.

They’re ranking for hundreds and even thousands of more keywords.

The lesson to take away from this is to focus on total traffic potential as opposed to a first-place ranking for a single keyword.

And this is something we talk a lot about in pretty much all of our keyword research tutorials.

Now, there are obviously a lot more SEO myths that I didn’t cover, like “backlinks are dead,” and “long-tail keywords are easier to rank for.”

So if you’ve heard conflicting advice related to SEO and want our opinion, let us know in the comments and we’d be happy to give you our take.

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website [GUIDE]

So my buddy Marius messages me and he’s like: “Hey, can I hire you to speed up my WordPress website?”

And I was like:

“Dude… Just do A, B, and C, and I’m pretty sure you’ll see a huge performance boost.”

A few days passed and he said:

“The speed tips you gave me worked perfectly.”

So today, I’m going to show you how to speed up your WordPress site with three simple steps, and take your site speed from something like this… to this.

Google has used site speed as a ranking signal for desktop searches since 2010.

And as of 2018, page speed became a ranking factor for mobile searches too.

And even though speed improvements will only affect a small percentage of slow websites, faster page load times lead to better user experience and ultimately, more revenue.

In fact, a study by Google shows that as page load time goes up, bounce rate rises with it.

Now, there are numerous reasons why your website might load slowly.

But the most common reasons that I’ve seen are due to slow connectivity, caching, page size, and sometimes more technical reasons like render-blocking JS.

But if you’re anything like Marius, who’s not exactly the most technical person, then the three steps that I’m about to show you should help you get better performance from your site.

Now, before we get started, it’s important to note that the things I did for this site won’t necessarily translate perfectly to your site.

There are tons of things to consider when it comes to WordPress site speed like your theme’s code, specific plugins you might be using, server configuration, image file sizes, and more.

So as we go through the tutorial, I’ll try and explain the more technical reasons behind poor performance, so you can hopefully diagnose further issues yourself.

Alright, so let me give you a background on the website we’ll be optimizing and we’ll start with some benchmark speeds.

This is a brand new affiliate site built on WordPress using the free WP Astra Theme.

He’s activated seven plugins, many of which will contribute to page load time in big and small ways.

Now, to keep things simple, I’ve run a single post, which has text, images, and a video through three page-speed tools.

PageSpeed Insights shows a mobile score of 45 and a desktop score of 79.

Pingdom shows a load time of 1.72 seconds, page size of 1.7mb, and 63 requests.

And GTMetrix, fully loaded in 4.3 seconds with a page size of 1.55 megabytes and 61 requests.

Now, since these tools only allow you to view one page at a time, I ran a full crawl using Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool.

And if we look in Page Explorer, you’ll see there were a total of 23 pages with a load time of 1 second or longer, which is basically all of the site’s pages.

So there’s definitely some room for improvements.

So the first thing we did was to switch DNS providers to Cloudflare’s free DNS service.

Now, in order to understand why we used Cloudflare, you need to understand how the web works, at least at an elementary level.

Websites are just files on a computer that are made accessible through the Internet.

Now, each device that’s connected to the Internet has an IP address, including the server that hosts your website.

So if your server is located in Los Angeles, California, and your visitor is in Las Vegas, these two IP addresses need to create a connection in order to download the file contents to the device.

Now, IP addresses are tough to memorize and I doubt many people would key in an address like this to visit your site.

That’s where DNS comes into play.

DNS stands for Domain Name System.

And it’s often referred to as the “phone book of the world wide web.”

In short, DNS maps domain names to IP addresses so people can type in a domain name to visit a website.

But the thing with this is that when someone types in the domain name in their browser, a DNS lookup occurs to find the IP address of the server.

So that takes time.

And usually, free DNS providers from your domain registrar are usually slow to respond, creating slower page load times.

Cloudflare’s DNS on the other hand is pretty darn fast, considering it’s free.

But again, your mileage may vary depending on the DNS provider, you’re currently using.

So to set this up, sign up for a Cloudflare account and then click Add a site.

Enter your domain name, select and confirm your plan, and after a few seconds, Cloudflare will give you a chance to review your DNS records.

Click Continue and you’ll be asked to change your nameservers, which is something you’d need to do with your domain registrar.

Boom! Step one is done.

The next thing we did was purchase and install the WP Rocket plugin.

WP Rocket is an all-in-one site speed optimization plugin for WordPress.

And they make it super-simple to make technical optimizations even if you have no clue what you’re doing.

The plugin handles common page-speed optimizations like caching, preloading, compression, and lazy loads images to name a few.

After activating the plugin, you can access the WP Rocket settings from the top navigation bar.

Alright, so let’s go through some of the important settings starting with caching.

If you’re unfamiliar with caching, it’s basically a way to temporarily store copies of files, so it can be delivered to visitors in a more efficient way.

And because this site is a basic blog that’s responsive, I enabled caching for mobile devices.

Next is file optimization, which is where you’ll spend the majority of our time.

For the Basic Settings, I chose to minify HTML and optimize Google Fonts.

Minification just removes whitespace and comments from code, which will reduce file size.

And smaller files load faster than larger ones.

I also chose to optimize Google Fonts since the theme uses them.

The next section is about optimizing CSS files.

Again, I minified CSS files and also chose to combine them.

You already understand the benefits of minification, so let’s touch on combining files.

WordPress sites often include multiple CSS files.

Some will be for themes, others for plugins, and you might have added some custom ones too.

Now, whether you choose to activate this option or not will mostly depend on how your server delivers the files.

Generally speaking, your files will be loaded either using HTTP 1.1 or HTTP 2.

With 1.1, your files will be loaded consecutively, meaning, one file needs to fully load before the next one starts loading.

So combining your CSS scripts can help reduce the load time because fewer CSS files will need to be loaded.

Now, with HTTP 2, the files can load concurrently.

Meaning, if you have multiple CSS files, they can begin loading at the same time, so combining them won’t necessarily be as impactful.

To see if your site uses HTTP 2, you can use Key CDN’s tester and key in your URL.

The final option we enabled is to optimize CSS delivery.

Basically, this option will generate CSS needed for content above the fold and asynchronously load other CSS files so they don’t block the rendering process.

Now, these concepts can be quite technical so I won’t expand on these but in general, these are page speed optimization best practices.

Alright, let’s scroll down to the JavaScript files section.

So first, I removed jQuery Migrate, which is a file that’s been added to WordPress since version 3.6.

Now, since there weren’t any issues with jQuery for this theme or any plugins, I chose to disable it as there’s no point in loading an additional script without purpose.

Again, we chose to minify JS files as we did with HTML and CSS and combined our JS files since there were no conflicts or issues.

And the last option we enabled is to defer loading of JavaScript.

This option will basically delay the loading of JavaScript files so the most important content like your HTML and CSS can be delivered to your visitors first.

And then the JS will load.

And this will in most cases, fix the “eliminate render-blocking JS” issue that you may have seen in PageSpeed Insights.

Now, it’s important to note that if you choose to minify, combine, and/or defer your JavaScript files, things may break on your site.

So it’s important to actually test your site’s functions before permanently leaving it on.

Alright, let’s move on to the Media category.

Here, I’ve chosen to lazyload all media files.

LazyLoad improves page speed because it defers the loading of images and videos until they’re visible on the screen.

In fact, WordPress 5.5 will lazy-load images by default, so you won’t necessarily need a plugin if you just want this feature.

Next up is Preloading.

Preloading allows you to define essential resources so that browsers know the priority of files that should be loaded first.

For example, let’s say that your

HTML code looks like this:

Based on this code, the JavaScript file would need to load first simply because of hierarchy.

Of course, you could edit the code, but that can get messy and confusing if you don’t have coding knowledge.

But if we add another link tag to preload the stylesheet, and this would tell browsers to load the CSS file with a higher priority than the JS file.

And that’s exactly what this option in WP Rocket does for you.

Now, the last thing I want to talk about here is using a CDN.

And it’s easiest to understand how these works if we look at our first example of how devices connect to web servers.

So again, if the server is in LA and a visitor is in Las Vegas, it probably won’t take very long for the two devices to connect, seeing as they’re relatively close in proximity.

But what happens when someone from Germany, India, Australia or Singapore tries to connect to the web server?

It’s going to take longer.

And that’s where CDNs can help.

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network.

And that’s exactly what it is.

A network of servers located all over the world that delivers content to visitors as fast as possible.

By using a CDN, you’re essentially caching files on multiple servers globally.

Then when a visitor tries to access your site, it’ll connect them to the one that’s closest, creating a faster connection between the user and the content.

So if your site attracts a global audience, then it might be worth signing up for a CDN service, enabling the option in WP Rocket, and adding the appropriate CNAME.

Now, there are other free caching plugins that have a lot of these features like Autoptimize and W3 Total Cache, but I personally prefer to pay a small fee for WP Rocket as I’ve had the best results with them.

And the final step in this site speed optimization tutorial is to optimize your images.

Now, since we’ve already added LazyLoad to images, this will solve a lot of problems.

But if you’re using featured images that are above the fold on load, then lazyload isn’t going to help.

Plus, smaller images will save you with storage space.

So the simple solution is to compress your images using lossy or lossless compression.

And there are some great plugins that’ll do this for you like ShortPixel and Imagify.

Now, to give you an idea of how much image compression can help, take a look at the WordPress media library here.

You’ll see that ShortPixel has reduced the image sizes by quite a lot, which will help improve pagespeed.

ShortPixel also has a feature that lets you serve images in the WebP format, which basically lets you compress images even further without compromising quality by much.

Just go to Settings and choose ShortPixel.

Then click on the Advanced tab.

From here, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve checked this box so ShortPixel creates a WebP version of your images.

So now that we’ve done the three main optimizations for WordPress sitespeed, let’s run the PageSpeed tools and compare them with our original benchmarks.

On PageSpeed insights, the page previously scored a 45 on mobile and now has a score of 95.

It had a desktop score of 79 and now has a near-perfect desktop score.

On Pingdom, the page previously loaded in 1.72 second with a 1.7mb page size and 63 requests.

With the new speed test, you’ll see there was a significant decrease on all three metrics.

Page size is just over 900 kilobytes, load time came in at 200 milliseconds, and the number of requests have shrunk by nearly 3X.

And you’ll see the same pattern for GTMetrix and improvement across the board.

Finally, I ran a new crawl of the site with Ahrefs’ Site Audit, and as you can see every single page loaded in under a second.

Now, these are the steps that worked for Marius’s site and I’ve used it for other sites with success.

But remember, each WordPress configuration will be different since you might be using a clunkier theme, more resource-consuming plugins, have inferior hosting, or you have tons of third-party tracking scripts.

So if you’re still unhappy with your site speed after making these optimizations, then you’ll likely need more custom work done for you.

So you may want to consider removing plugins and scripts, switching themes, or hiring a developer to make the appropriate fixes.

How to create Automated Blogs (in any niche)

What is this guide about?

In this tutorial, I’ll give a step-by-step explanation on how you can create your own automated blog by fetching content from other sites and also automatically rewriting them with the help of a plugin.

Requirements:

  • A WordPress website
  • The following plugins installed: WP auto spinner and WP automatic

Configuration (WP automatic)

After you installed the two plugins, let’s start configuring WP Automatic by creating a new campaign:

Set the campaigns as “Feeds” (type).

Add a website which is relevant to your niche, into “Feeds to post from” – and set posts.

Selecting “Visual Selector” -> “Single item title extraction method” -> Click on the little dot. Next a site will open, then you’ll have to select the title of the article’s body.

At the “Content extraction method” field, select “Visual selector” and click on the article’s content, then a red background should surround all the paragraphs – Note: be sure not to select the title of the article

It should looks like this:

Next, you should tick the boxes, which you might think are suitable for you.

You can exclude words or remove all links. Also, you may want to remove the source credit.

Configuring WP auto spinner

These plugins also work with different word spinners, like Spin Rewriter, Spin Bot, WordAi, and so on.

Bonus:

You can add a foreign website to the RSS list, next you can translate it from <foreign-language> to English or whichever language you want.

Download:

wp-automatic-v3.50.6.zip -> (https://www10.zippyshare.com/v/GiZ0No5g/file.html)

wp-auto-spinner.zip  -> (https://www10.zippyshare.com/v/e5inLip9/file.html)

Top 5 FREE WordPress Plugins

When building your WordPress website, it seems like it’s really never finished. Sure, you can finish the pages and menu items needed on the site, but you’re always looking to improve your site by making it faster, rank better on Google and be more secure. Today I thought it’d be fun to share my top five free WordPress plugins I highly recommend you try.

Let’s get right into it with Yoast SEO. Yoast is a free search engine optimization plugin that lets you change how page titles and descriptions appear on Google and other search engines. Without a plugin like Yoast, you can’t control this information on your Google result and Google just guesses out what it thinks you want there and adds a nice … to the end it’s not very pretty. Yoast allows you to change this and put exactly what you wanna be there, your website, title description, all the key words to increase your chance of ranking higher. Yoast also make sure Google has the correct metadata for your site so you can get that nice page structure under your listing to help people get directly to the page they need. Whether it’s about contact, FAQ, you get the idea they can just click straight through under your website listing and go right to the page.

If you’re a blogger, Yoast totally changes how you write content. It helps you include keywords to reinforce your target search phrase, make posts long enough for the Google Algorithm to take it seriously and make it easier for readers to digest, which increases time spent on your page when people can read easier which in turn helps SEO. It’s really brilliant how it all works together. Yoast does offer a premium version, but I’ve never paid for it. I find that the free version serves my needs just fine and I’d recommend trying it for your website. Next is a simple one, but one I can’t live without. Duplicate Posts does exactly what it says. It duplicates a post or page so you can make a copy to work off. I find it so crazy that WordPress still doesn’t offer this feature natively, but Duplicate Post is free and does the job perfectly.

There’s a few reasons you might wanna do this or I’ll sometimes use it to do a Save As for a page and be able to make changes to a copy of that page without permanently changing the only version that exists, or sometimes I’m working on a landing page and simply want to duplicate an existing one to use it as a template for my second one, that’s all there is to it. It’s a simple plugin that does exactly what it says it lets you duplicate a post for page easily and work off of that copy to do whatever you need to do. Next, let’s take a look at WP Mail. This one’s a bit obscure on the surface and it seems very technical, but let me explain what it does and why you need it. By default. When any email is sent from your WordPress website, it sent through the IP address of your web server.

If you’re on shared hosting, the shared servers IP address commonly gets blacklisted as spam due to other web hosting accounts, getting compromised and hackers, utilizing it to send spam mail. Fun factory you, I bet you didn’t know that the overwhelming majority of creepy spam mail you receive comes from GoDaddy Shared Hosting servers or Bluehost or DreamHost or any of the shared hosting companies. Most of the spam mail you get in your inbox comes from compromised web hosting accounts. So what does this mean in English? Well, using the default mail settings in WordPress, there’s a good chance of email being sent from your website, getting sent to your spam folder.

This is a problem if you have a contact form on your site or receive emails, when people leave a comment on your blog posts for approval, because if you don’t regularly check your spam folder, you could miss an important inquiry. If you’re a freelancer, you might miss someone who wants to hire you because you don’t have your WordPress configured correctly to send mail the right way. WP Mail allows you to change how WordPress sends mail and it allows you to link directly to a transactional mail service like SendGrid, Amazon SES, or Sendinblue.

Again what does that mean in English? Well, you know how you use a service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to send your marketing emails to your email list, you wouldn’t send a mass email from your Gmail account and CC everyone, probably because it would get sent directly the spam and it’s just ghetto. You don’t do it, You use a professional service like MailChimp. If you’re doing an email list and you want to do email marketing services like MailChimp and Constant Contact have special ways of sending mail to ensure a low chance of it getting sent to spam. And that’s exactly what services like SendGrid, Amazon SES, or Sendinblue do for transactional emails. Transactional emails are emails to reset your password or email such as getting a new contact form submission or new comment on your website.

I personally use Spark Post and I use the SMTP option within WP mail SMTP to connect it accordingly. Spark Post lets you send up to 500 emails per month for free and I’ve never exceeded the free limit. Using a setup like this make sure you don’t miss important emails, including security alerts from Wordfence, which is the next plugin I’m highlighting. Wordfence is a free security solution that features a Live Firewall Brute Force Protection against common attacks, email alerts for new admin logins and optional two factor authentication.

I speak from experience in saying that WordPress is not secure on its own without a proper security system. So I would advise installing Wordfence on your site immediately. Seriously, it’s totally free if you don’t have it installed, pause this video right now, hit that link in the description and go install it on your site. It’s that important. They do offer a premium version, but I’ve always used the free version and been happy with it. I won’t talk about it too much since I made a dedicated video on it here, but I will have the link in the description to all the plugins mentioned. Last let’s talk about Really Simple SSL.

I recently talked about how you can get an SSL certificate for free, but when you install it on your web server or set up Cloudflare, sometimes WordPress has trouble enforcing HTTPS on your website. Really Simple SSL is a basic free plugin that all your content on your website loaded over HTTPS and a redirect is forced. So visitors will always see that lovely lock icon. Every time they visit your site, and SSL will be configured correctly. It’s really simple to activate install it and click a few buttons and you’re set. So if SSL is working fine on your WordPress site, you don’t really need Really Simple as SSL, but if you’ve had trouble setting it up or you notice that sometimes it’s not HTTPS, I would go ahead and install it. I just install it on all of my WordPress site as a general rule i figure why not?

It can’t hurt anything. And because of that, I’ve never had trouble with my SSL configuration. So those are my top five essential WordPress plugins, but I do have two honorable mentions. Sumo and Smush. Sumo is a free exit intent popup I’ve talked about before and Smush is a free plugin that automatically compresses and downsizes images when you upload them to WordPress, it doesn’t affect the quality much, but it makes the file size smaller. This helps your site load faster, which not only boosts your SEO, but it also saves you storage space on your web hosting account.

As previously mentioned, I’ll have links to all of these plugins description below. Now I’ve gotten a few questions lately regarding drag and drop Page Builder Plugins like Elementor or WPbakery. And since this is a video talking about my essential WordPress plugins, someone’s going to ask it. They’re going to be like Christian, why did you not talk about a page builder? That’s pretty essential to WordPress. So I’ll make it simple. I wouldn’t recommend buying or using the free version of Elementary or WPbakery on their own because they’re included in good quality WordPress themes. And I think it’s best.

If you get a good word, press theme, that’s integrated and designed to work with the Page Builder Plugin directly, which would mean that the page builder plugin is included and you don’t need to find one or install one because it’s bundled with the plugin. Now here’s the thing. The WordPress theme you pick for your site can dramatically change your website, building experience. It can change based on the backend of the theme, the developer chooses to use which Page Builder Plugin they include. There’s a lot of variables that really affect how your website building experience goes just based on the theme you pick.

So if you’d like me to make a video about my top WordPress themes, drop a comment below, I think that would be an interesting video. And if it sounds good to you do be sure to let me know about that. Also if you missed it, last week I announced the launch of Craylor Academy. Craylor Academy is my new website for online courses and my new course building a WordPress website from start to finish is launching on Craylor Academy later this year.

I’ll be covering all of this juicy information in great detail including which WordPress theme you should use and a step by step guide from start to finish on building your first WordPress website, using the link in the description. You can sign up for my email list and get the course for $19 when it launches. And that’s $19 one time, by the way, no subscriptions, no upsells, no ads. If that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to hit up the link below and join the list. So what are your essential WordPress plugins? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

Should You Use WordPress?

If you’ve been looking to build your first WordPress website, chances are you opened Google, searched for WordPress, and saw this result right here, WordPress.com create a free website or blog. You probably thought, oh, that must be it, WordPress.com. This is that WordPress platform, everyone keeps talking about. And that is the source of so much confusion in the WordPress community. What is WordPress.com?

Do you have to build your WordPress website through WordPress.com? What about WordPress hosts? Can’t I build my WordPress website through other companies, too? Well, it’s important for us to take a step back and understand what WordPress is. WordPress is an open source website builder that can be installed on any server and any web host. Because it’s open source, that means it’s completely free to use, so you can download the code and install it on any web server. If you go to WordPress.org, this is the official site for the WordPress platform. WordPress can be installed anywhere. You could have a server room in your attic and run WordPress on it for free. So at this point you might be saying, well, wait a minute, what is WordPress.com? It looks so official and legit. So WordPress.com is owned by Automattic. Automattic is a company that was formed by the co-founding WordPress software developer.

So to make a long story short, the founder of Automattic first registered the trademark to WordPress, and even though he has since donated it to the WordPress foundation, his company still has special privileges to use the WordPress.com domain and branding for their web host. WordPress.com is essentially a blessed WordPress host from a branding perspective, as they get to use the WordPress brand and come across as the official hosting option. So if WordPress.com seems so official, does that make it the best option for your WordPress website? I tried it for myself and the experience was different than I expected.

You can actually create a website totally free on a branded subdomain, like yourwebsite.WordPress.com. If you’re looking to get your feet wet with blogging, I think WordPress.com is a great place to do this. Their free plan gives you all the tools you need to make posts, add pages, and get a basic website together, for friends and family to view. It’s a watered-down, modified version of WordPress that doesn’t let you install plugins or third-party themes, but it’s functional, nonetheless. And I can’t think of a better way to get serious, reliable hosting free for a basic blog. But if you’re serious about building a brand, you want your website to have a custom domain. You want your website to be on your website.com, instead of yourwebsite.WordPress.com.

And that’s you when you need to upgrade to a paid plan. Seems pretty fair, right? Well, this is where things get interesting because the $4 and $8 a month plans do allow you to connect your own domain name, but there’s still that watered-down version of WordPress that you get with the free plan. That’s right, even for $8 a month, you cannot install plugins and you can’t install third-party themes.

This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is. If you’ve never used WordPress before, take my word for it. You will want to install plugins and you will want third-party themes. These are core, essential parts of WordPress that you need to build a great website for your business, and it’s something that you really are going to want. Unfortunately, with WordPress.com, getting the full, true version of WordPress will cost you $25 a month. And to make matters worse, all of these plans are billed annually with no monthly option available. So you actually need to shell out $300 at one time for a year of hosting.

This brings us to today’s sponsor, Porkbun, your go-to platform for the lowest price domains and simple hosting services that help you cohesively build your brand. If you’re currently exploring hosting options, consider the world beyond WordPress.com. A simpler, faster, streamlined option awaits. Porkbun’s Easy WordPress offers the speed and reliability you’d expect at a price you can’t beat. Custom-built with security and performance as the number one priority. A third of the web uses WordPress, but the savviest customers use Porkbun’s Easy WordPress, it’s in the name. Your fancy new domain name deserves a trustworthy host, so once you’ve snagged your domain at the industry’s lowest price, you heard that right, lowest price, try Easy WordPress free for 15 days.

Then with monthly costs as low as $10, a price and a product perfectly fit for big businesses and growing personal brands. Head over to porkbun.com for a refreshing take on the domain industry, with the tools you need to showcase your skills. Along with finding superior products, you’re bound for a laugh or two. Enjoy, and huge thanks to Porkbun for supporting the channel. I just registered my new domain name for my upcoming online course at Porkbun, and I can’t wait to share that with you guys soon. So getting back to WordPress.com, I really would not recommend paying $300 a year for hosting when there are alternatives like Porkbun’s Easy WordPress hosting for a $120 a year.

Not to mention the fact that Porkbun offers a 15-day free trial with no strings attached, and they also have a monthly billing option for $12. You may be thinking that WordPress.com might be more reliable or just have better support because it just feels so official. But I can assure you the experience is just as good, if not better, at other web hosts. And I always recommend buying hosting month-to-month when you’re getting started so that way it’s easy to switch hosts if you aren’t having a good experience. Or you can cancel your hosting, if your business or blog doesn’t work out. Now, in fairness to WordPress.com, I need to give credit where credit is due. For $300 a year, they do give you 200 gigs of storage, which is pretty impressive when compared to other hosting plans that typically give you 10 to 20 gigabytes of storage.

However, WordPress itself, only takes a few hundred megabytes of space, so the only reason you would ever need more than 10 to 20 gigs of storage is if you have hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures and videos hosted directly on your WordPress website. And if you do require that type of storage, there are a number of workarounds.

Let’s take Amazon Web Services S3 storage solution. You could set this up to upload all your pictures and media from your WordPress site to be stored on AWS S3, instead of your main hosting account, and Amazon charges around $5 a month for 200 gigabytes of data storage. This is completely modular, as well, and you get billed down to the megabyte. So if you need 30 gigabytes of storage, 200 gigs or two terabytes of storage, a solution like this is infinitely scalable.

Hmm, let’s see, $10 a month for web hosting, $5 a month for 200 gigs of storage through Amazon, that puts us at $15 a month for the same amount of storage as the $25 a month plan at WordPress.com. WordPress.com also gives you 24/7 live-chat support, but I was unable to try it for myself as I don’t want to shell out $300 to try it. So in the end, should you use WordPress.com for your website? Well, I’d say if you’re wanting to use the free version, or if you’re looking for a basic blog, and that’s your only goal, to get a basic blog with your domain name, that’s simple and easy to use, I think the $4 a month plan can be a great option to connect your domain name and have that simplified, watered-down experience. One thing I wanna make clear is that this watered-down experience is proprietary to WordPress.com and you won’t find it elsewhere.

It’s a modified version of WordPress.org that isn’t part of WordPress itself, so that can be a blessing and a curse, depending on your needs. If you’re just looking for a carefree, easy interface to use for a basic blog, I actually think you’ll enjoy the experience at WordPress.com. It’s simpler than the normal WordPress interface, which can be a good thing if you don’t need plugins and third-party themes. However, if you’re building a website for your company, an eCommerce store, or anything beyond a bare bones, basic blog, I would highly recommend getting hosting elsewhere, such as from our sponsor, Porkbun.

Not only is there better value elsewhere, but you don’t have to be locked into a year and you can find a solution to fit your needs. Whether it’s simple hosting, complex hosting with staging environments and development environments, or renting a dedicated server, if that’s your thing. There’s a massive sea of options outside WordPress.com, and I encourage you to look around before making a decision on where to land. So what do you guys think of WordPress.com? Are you going to use it for your website? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

The Best Password Manager in 2021?

Password manager are a secure way to keep track of all of your online account logins. Usernames, passwords and other critical info can all be safely stored in a password manager. When you don’t have to stress over remembering passwords it allows you to use a randomly generated password for each site and this improves your online security a ton! If a hacker were to compromise one of your accounts now they only have access to that one account.

They can’t go using the same password to log into all of your other accounts and that’s exactly what they do if you aren’t using randomly generated passwords for each site and a password manager is a great way to keep track of this Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried seven of the most common password managers. I’ll be letting you know which ones are worth your time, which one is the best free one and which one I personally use.

I’ve got timestamps for each password manager as well as links in the description below so you can skip around to a particular password manager if you’d like. First we’re kicking things off with Keeper. My experience with Keeper was overall positive once I got past the initial setup process but the process to get started is underwhelming at best. First, when you visit the Keeper site, you’re greeted with a busy site that in my opinion has confusing messaging. While there is a clear sign up free button, the pricing pages extremely convoluted.

First, you have to select personal from the dropdown then what are all these plans? What is the free version offering comparison? Is there even a free version or is it just a trial? And what is KeeperChat? Yes, by the way, they do offer a free version but you only get access on one mobile device. You can’t sync between devices and you can’t use the desktop app or web app. When you first set up Keeper you’re forced to add a security question. This is another thing I’m not a fan of as I find security questions weak, outdated and hard to remember.

I would have liked to see Keeper generate an emergency access key like most password managers do but they clearly wanted to stand out from the rest and handle account lockouts differently. Once you do get past the initial clutter and confusion, Keeper is a decent password manager. The autofill prompt in Chrome is kind of in a strange spot but it does work smoothly. The browser extension doesn’t have a mini version of the vault displayed and it forces you to open a new tab for you to access the web Vault which I’m not a fan of, but the vault is one of the most powerful ones of any password manager I tested.

You can view password history, add custom fields, upload files and enable software or hardware two-factor authentication. I especially enjoyed the Security Audit and BreachWatch functions of Keeper. These functions present useful information in a way that’s easy to digest and they can really help you improve your online security. This lets you discover reused and weak passwords as well as login and fill that was found in breach lists across the internet so you can change that login and fill as soon as possible. Keeper lets you add two-factor authentication codes for websites so you could actually generate codes for sites like Google and Facebook directly in Keeper Instead of using an outside app like Google Authenticator.

I’ll go ahead and say that this particular feature doesn’t excite me as I use and recommend Authy for two-factor authentication codes but it’s there if you want it. Overall, Keeper is a solid password manager if you liked the interface. Personally, I find that it’s too cluttered and confusing for my preferences but the functionality is totally there. This is one of the better password managers I tested and at $30 a year, I think it’s a good value for the price. Next, let’s look at the new kiddo on the block with the NordPass.

We’re beginning to see a trend to VPN companies expand into the password manager market and Nord VPN recently stepped up with NordPass. To sum up NordPass quickly, I’ve got high hopes for its future and see great potential but it’s just not there yet for me to recommend it to anyone. Priced at $36 a year, NordPass offers a clean, simple, refreshing UI but lacks stability and basic features. The autofill buttons sometimes doesn’t work and there’s no other way to who initiate the autofill function from the extension or with a keyboard shortcut.

There’s also no web version available, no password history, no hardware two-factor authentication options and no kill switch style emergency access. No password history in particular is a huge oversight to me. I’ve had times where I accidentally overwrite the password field in my password manager and being able to look up the password history and just revert back to the correct password saves a lot of time. Without this feature, you have to reset your password on that particular site, since you no longer have access to it which kind of defeats the point of a password manager.

I mean, it’s supposed to manage your passwords so it should keep track of every single revision ever to your password on a website. Most of my problems with NordPass are bugs that can be fixed or simple design oversights. I have to say that I really see potential for NordPass. The UI is so refreshing in comparison to cluttered complex password managers that exist today.

I can’t recommend it yet in its current state but I’m excited to see Nord improve on the feature set and make it a comparable option. NordPass does offer a free version but you can only be signed in on one device at a time and due to the lack of password history, I would stick to the next password manager for the best free option. And the best free password manager is LastPass! LastPass holds a special place in my heart because it was the first password manager I ever used.

I used LastPass before got acquired by LogMeIn back when a premium account was $12 a year. Since then LogMeIn acquired them and raise the price of premium to the fairly standard $36 a year price point but I got to say, you really don’t need premium to have a good experience with LastPass. You can store as many passwords as you want, sync between devices and use two-factor authentication all for free. Premium gets you advanced sharing options, hardware two-factor authentication, the kill switch style emergency access feature, priority support, auto filling for desktop applications and one gigabyte of files storage. LastPass is a fantastic password manager whether you go with the free version or premium, you just can’t go wrong. You’ll enjoy a simple UI on any device and it’s got all the features you would need in a password manager.

I would absolutely recommend LastPass as the best free password manager, but I must say that the experience has gone downhill slightly since LogMeIn acquired them. In fairness to LogMeIn, they have kept LastPass in decent shape. They could have completely ruined it but for the most part, they’ve just cleaned up the interface a bit and kept it fairly nice. The main frustration I have with LastPass was the glitches with the auto filler and just the general bugs and quirks that seem to be getting worse. I’ve zero complaints about the functionality but that may be just because I used it for years and got to know it inside and out.

Again, I don’t think you can go wrong with LastPass and I think it’s a solid option. If you’re curious about what I switched to and what my recommended paid option is, stay tuned. Next is a fun one that I wanted to try for a while and that’s Dashlane. Now Dashlane is expensive coming in at $60 a year but it’s intriguing, it offers a simplistic and clean interface, similar to NordPass and they also include a VPN in the subscription price. The password manager portion is honestly a joy to use the auto filler works smoothly on all devices, the design is simple and allows you to easily locate and update sites and most features you’d expect in a password manager are present. You can do both software and hardware two-factor authentication, access password history, share sites and utilize the kill switch style emergency access system.

Dashlane is missing some of the advanced features like custom fields, file uploads and support for generating two factor authentication codes for other websites within the app but for the average user who isn’t looking to do literally all the things I think the simple UI will make it an easy decision to use. Similar to Keeper, Dashlane offers a password health and identity dashboard area to keep you updated on what passwords you may want to update and any known compromises to address. If we just stopped right here Dashlane would be an instant success to me.

Some users wouldn’t like it because it’s not as complex as Keeper, Bitwarden or 1Password but it’s simple and it has the features that really matter in a password manager but we have to address the elephant in the room, the price tag. If you’re gonna pay $60 a year, $24 more than the going annual rate for the competitors it really has to have standout features and for Dashlane, that standout feature is the included VPN or is it? I’ve tested a lot of VPNs on my channel and I was highly disappointed with the Dashlane VPN. It’s buried in the menus of the app and there’s effectively no controls or settings at all. You can switch geographic locations between countries but you can’t select individual servers. Streaming didn’t work in my testing and the speeds were atrocious! I was maximum out at about 50 megabits per second down on my wired connection that gets 900 megabits per second down without a VPN.

Since Dashlane is primarily a password manager it got me thinking, I bet they outsource their VPN to a common VPN provider. I looked on the Dashlane website and learned that they outsourced to AnchorFree, the company behind Hotspot Shield. I’ve talked about Hotspot Shield in the past but I’ll cut to the chase. I do not like Hotspot Shield or recommend them at all. Now just to be clear, this isn’t exactly Hotspot Shield it’s simply a private label VPN powered by the parent company of Hotspot Shield but with all of that being said, it’s basically a junk VPN in my mind and also if my testing. So if you take the VPN out of the picture you’re basically paying $60 a year just for a password manager.

And while it’s a clean and simple password manager that I really enjoy using, is it worth $24 a year extra just for that? Maybe for some, but not for me personally. I’ve gotta be honest, if they offered a $36 a year plan without the VPN, I really think I would switch. Speaking of VPNs, this is a good time to talk about today’s sponsor, ExpressVPN. If you’re looking for a blazing fast VPN that supports streaming and will keep your data protected, this is the VPN for you. My favorite thing about ExpressVPN is that for the most part, you just forget you’re connected to it.

It hides in the background and allows you to go about your life with fast speeds while connected. They’re trusted server technology means that their servers run exclusively on RAM and physically can’t store information on them and they have a strict no logging policy. You can use the link in the description below to get three months free with an annual subscription. ExpressVPN is my personal favorite VPN and I’m thrilled that they’re supporting the channel. So thank you to ExpressVPN for the support and now let’s get back to the comparison.

All right, next, let’s take a look at Bitwarden. Now this one really interested me because when I was doing research on password managers to include, everyone just kind of threw Bitwarden on their list at the end like, oh use LastPass for this and one 1Password for this and then there’s always Bitwarden, you can try that if you want. So I wanted to know, is it any good? Bitwarden is unique because it’s open source so if you’re a coding geek, you’ll love looking at the source code on GitHub and learning exactly how it works or who knows? Maybe it’ll even modify it and make it your own. Bitwarden is free to use, or you can get the premium version for just $10 a year. Unfortunately, the experience with Bitwarden is just bad. The setup process was difficult, there was no import feature on the Mac app and it seemed like a pattern where some features were only available on the web app. The Chrome extension doesn’t automatically autofill or give you an icon to click to initiate autofill. You can enable automatic autofill via an experimental feature but if you have multiple accounts on a website there’s no drop down to control which login it fills.

The UI is overall confusing and the core features are not designed well. Now they do support password history and some more advanced features but all of that is useless when autofill on Chrome isn’t even a smooth experience. The great thing about Bitwarden is that most of the features are totally free so there’s no harm in trying it if you’re interested but I wouldn’t waste your time. You’ll have a much better experience with LastPass if you need a free password manager. Next, we’re taking a look at another option from a VPN company. RememBear is the password manager by TunnelBear and just like TunnelBear, it’s decked out with fancy marketing and bear animations everywhere. RememBear has a great setup process and fun marketing but the design is goofy. After I imported my sites, it kept asking me if I wanted to update my login info each time I’d sign into a site.

I contacted RememBear Support about this and they basically said “yeah, that can happen sometimes with data migration.” “Just tell it not to ask you again each time you log into a site and eventually you won’t get bugged after you’ve signed into each site and told it not to ask you again.” Things really go downhill when you learn that there’s no password history, no kill switch style emergency access, no permanent sharing between users and no two-factor authentication.

Wait a minute, you can add two factor authentication codes to be generated for other websites but RememBear itself doesn’t offer two-factor authentication? Now look, I don’t claim to be a security expert but the lack of 2FA doesn’t seem quite right. This is a password manager. It cannot be compromised by anyone or you’re in big trouble, perhaps it’s because you scan a QR code to add a new device on top of entering your master password but other password managers use the same method and still offered two factor authentication for extra security. The only good thing about RememBear is the marketing it’s clever and fun, but it won’t be fun when you accidentally overwrite your password and can’t look at your password history or a trusted individual needs to gain emergency access to your account and can’t do so.

I wouldn’t recommend RememBear to anyone and if you’re going for a simple experience I’d lean towards Dashlane even though it’s more expensive, at least you can do two factor authentication there and it’s cut the basic features that you absolutely need in a password manager. Finally, we’re getting to my personal favorite paid password manager and what I switched to from LastPass and that’s 1Password.

Listen, 1Password does all the things. There’s no free version but the paid version is at the standard $36 per year price point. Basically everything is customizable on 1Password. You can add custom fields, upload files, add 2FA codes to be generated for any site and even add custom sections with headings where custom fields can be organized within a site. Naturally, when you have a password manager that can do all the things, it can be a bit of a confusing UI and 1Password is definitely cluttered. I’ve never understood that password versus a login.

This is my number one biggest annoyance with 1Password you generate a password for a new site and it creates it as a password record. You then have to go in and convert it to a login and add a username before it’s truly a website in the vault. This concept just doesn’t make sense to me and it’s definitely not the best design. You can’t see reused and compromised passwords like in Keeper and Dashlane, but there’s no added glance overview like the competitors. I do really like that 1Password shows you websites in your vault that support two-factor authentication.

This is so helpful if you wanna go through and enable to have 2FA on as many sites as possible and I haven’t seen this feature in other password managers. Autofill does have its glitches but I experienced autofill glitches and quirks on every single password manager I tested. I think it’s inevitable with browser extensions and just something you come to expect. I like the 1Password approach of using the shortcut key to initiate the autofill sequence in your browser, instead of forcibly filling the info or putting an invasive icon to click, you see nothing but when you do Command + Backslash on a Mac keyboard, it fills the fields or brings up an account selection window and fills the fields when you select the appropriate account.

1Password is hands down the most powerful and flexible password manager I’ve ever used and while I wish the UI was just a little bit cleaner, you can’t beat it when it comes to features. I think it’s absolutely worth $35 a year and if you’re looking for the password manager to beat with the most features and flexibility, look no further than 1Password. I’ve been using 1Password for around eight months now and love it. So to summarize, if you need it free password manager, I highly recommend LastPass. If you want the cleanest and simplest interface and prices in the factor, give Dashlane and try. And finally, if you want the best overall password manager definitely give 1Password a try.

Don’t Buy WRONG WordPress Theme!

When it comes to picking a WordPress theme, it may seem like you can just pick a theme that visually looks great, install it, and be on your very way with building the perfect WordPress website. That’s what I thought too when I started developing WordPress sites, but today, I’m gonna break down why the visual look is one of the last things you should consider when buying a WordPress theme. I know what you’re saying, “What do you mean? “I want site that looks clean and modern. “And that’s why you buy a WordPress theme. “You need one that looks great “and represents your brand well.” And that’s right.

But there’s a critical side to WordPress themes you may not think about, and that’s the backend. So if you just wanna know what WordPress themes I recommend, go ahead and check the description below. But let me take a second to explain why the WordPress theme you pick will have a huge effect on your entire website building experience and how it can be the difference between a great WordPress experience and a nightmare.

So at its core WordPress is a blogging platform. I know some will argue with me over this because WordPress has evolved greatly over the years. With the introduction of Gutenberg, it’s starting to feel more like a complete drag and drop website builder. But let’s be real, WordPress was structured with blogging in mind. And because of this, we have two main components of vanilla WordPress.

When I say vanilla WordPress, I’m talking about a fresh install of WordPress with no third party plugins and the default theme. When we install WordPress, we’ve got the Posts section and the Pages section. It’s really pretty simple. If you’re posting a blog, you go to the Post section. If you need to create a page on the website, you go to the Page section. So if you look at vanilla WordPress, you’re probably going, “Man, this is really simple.

“I can’t imagine how people make complex WordPress websites “with sliders, rich visuals, and complex layouts.” And that’s because any serious WordPress website uses a third party theme with its own backend and plugins that modify the WordPress editing experience. And that is why picking the right WordPress theme is critical. I’ve used some terrible backends before that make no sense, are very limiting and just make an overall terrible experience to use. Each theme usually comes with a different set of instructions to modify things like the global colors, logo on the menu, font size, et cetera.

So what’s my stance on picking themes? Focus on the backend editor and credibility of the theme developer first, then take a look at visuals. The WordPress theme should be seen as a framework for your website, a set of buttons, controls and layouts you can use to build your site, but more importantly, a backend for you to build your site. I’ll talk about this more later. But now I wanna highlight my three picks from my top WordPress themes. First, we’re looking at my new personal favorite, Salient. This theme is a best seller on Themeforest and for a good reason. First released in 2013, this theme has seen a lot of updates.

The developers are committed to making it the best WordPress theme on the planet. And it’s their one and only WordPress theme they currently offer on Themeforest. Just by looking at a demo of Salient, you’re sure to be impressed. Elements have a clean and modern feel, and there’s over 330 section templates to choose from. This right here is a big reason I fell in love with Salient. Most WordPress themes will let you import the demo sites, meaning they will import all of the demo pages, the full Home page, About page, Pricing page, et cetera. This gives you a good starting point and lets you modify the site as needed and make it your own.

However, Salient takes this a step further. They have modular section templates that you can mix and match to build your own page so you can pick and choose which sections to use. This lets you build a killer page without spending hours designing it from scratch. If you wanna design it from scratch, you can do that as well. Salient uses the WPBakery Page Builder plugin, which is my personal favorite plugin and where I’ve invested a lot of my time to learn how it works. Salient has a lot of flexible options for many layouts.

This was important to me when I was searching for a new theme, because I find that themes are often restrictive and don’t give you many options over how menus are structured. With Salient, you can do full screen menus, menu items centered, left-justified or right-justified and much more. The theme gives you a flexible Settings page to easily adjust fonts, colors, and blog post styling. Salient has a great set of documentation and tutorials and you can open support tickets to speak to their team for help if you can’t figure something out. At its $60 one-time price point, Salient is seriously a killer WordPress theme.

If you want a theme that is headache-free, reliable and has a lot of options, I highly recommend Salient. I’m using it to rebuild my app company website, and I’m really happy with the results so far.It includes the WPBakery Page Builder, has documentation and support, and has a lot of demos to import. As of the latest update, you also have access to Gem Blocks, which is the same concept from Salient where you can import sections of demo pages to assemble your own page with different pre-made modules. TheGem was originally released in 2016, and is one of seven themes offered by its developer. And if you like the design, I highly recommend checking it out. Last is gonna be an honorable mention and that’s Divi. Now first, I have to give a huge disclosure.

I haven’t used Divi for a website in years. It’s another mega theme that has been refined and redone for years and years. So it’s not even close to the theme it was when I used it back in the day. With that being said Divi is a flexible, powerful theme from Elegant Themes that uses their own proprietary page builder. Elegant Themes has been around for a long time, and they’re the first company I bought WordPress themes from when I first started playing around with it. I can’t say much about Divi, because it’s been years since I’ve used it. So I wanna be clear here. This isn’t a personal recommendation from me, I’m just mentioning it since it’s a popular, powerful theme that many people are happy with.

I would love to give it a shot and try it for a website. So if that’s something you wanna see, drop a comment below and I’ll consider making a review. So you might be surprised that I didn’t have more themes to recommend. But that’s because of what I mentioned earlier about why picking the right WordPress theme is so important. You see, I used to see WordPress themes by their demo pages. I would look for the perfect demo that exactly fit what I had in mind. I’d say oh, this is a great theme, it’s exactly what I’m looking for, the demo looks amazing. I buy it, then I would discover that the backend editor was absolutely atrocious.

Seriously, picking the wrong WordPress theme will cause you so much frustration. And if it’s your first time building a WordPress site it might make you never wanna use WordPress again. So I need to stress this. Do not judge a WordPress theme by its cover. Don’t look at the Demo page and say, “Oh, this is shiny and pretty, I need this theme.” Demos can look great, then when you see how horrifying or limiting the backend editor is, you’ll wanna quit. So what should you look for in a WordPress theme? Well, first you wanna find a theme that supports your preferred website builder plugin. I personally use and recommend WPBakery.

So I like to look for themes that include WPBakery and have tight integration with it. Salient and TheGem both check that box. I’m not telling you that WPBakery is the only option. Some of the big themes like Divi offer proprietary editors, and you may also see Elementor offered as well. This is all fine and dandy, but just make sure that if it’s a proprietary editor, it’s from a large theme developer that has sold many thousands of copies of the theme and people are happy. I’ve gone down the path so many times of buying a nice-looking theme with some cheap proprietary editor from a newer theme developer, and these always turn out to be the worst WordPress experiences. Once you have the page builder plugin narrowed down, look at how many people have bought the theme, what the reviews say, how detailed the documentation is, and what kinda support the theme developer offers. See if you’re actually able to find examples of real live websites that use the theme. How do they look?

Do they seem flexible? Would you want your site to look like that? When looking for a theme, my favorite place to search is themeforest.net. They have a huge selection, a lot of filters to narrow down supported website builder plugins, and some helpful stats like how many people have bought the theme, reviews, et cetera. And if you’re getting into freelance website building with WordPress, I’m gonna recommend that you just stick to one, maybe two, maybe three themes and that’s all you use. I used to make the mistake of having the client pick the theme, and guys don’t make that mistake, don’t tell your client, “Hey, just go to Themeforest, “send me a theme that looks nice, I’ll get it for you, “and I’ll put it on your site and I’ll build your site.”

Do not do that, that was the biggest mistake that I made and it cost me so many hours of headache, frustration and lost revenue. Really, you wanna stick to one to three WordPress themes that you know so well, you know like the back of your hand, and they’re super flexible, and you’ll get confident in how the theme works so you can actually build out a design and a layout for your client and say, “Hey, I got it.” They don’t even need to know what a theme is. Clients get confused by that. They don’t need to know what themes are or hosting is.

That’s why they hire you. So come up with one to three WordPress themes that you really know and love and you’re good at and then just put that on the client’s site, build the layout to their requirements, and they will be much happier just saying, “I give you money, you give me website.” Now you may be asking, “Why do I need to buy a WordPress theme at all? “Can’t I use one of the many free ones “in the Themes section of WordPress?” And you definitely can. It’s really a you get what you pay for situation. If you’re making a basic blog and you don’t need rich hero sections or homepage elements, I think you can reasonably get by with a free theme. If you’re wanting to build a quality website for your brand, a free theme will probably be too limiting for your needs.

They’re often just a lite version of a paid theme. And you can easily get suckered into upgrading to the paid version because you’ve already built half of the site using the free version, if you really want the full functionality. You then didn’t have an opportunity to research the theme reputation, features, documentation or anything else, but you just spent money on it to avoid having to start over and build the site again. This usually ends up being a frustrating WordPress experience, so I can’t stress this enough, pick the theme for your site carefully.

Don’t lose sleep over it and don’t make it rocket science, but make sure you know what you’re looking for. Do your research and you’ll have an awesome WordPress experience. Speaking of having an awesome WordPress experience, how would you like to have a step by step tutorial for building your WordPress website from start to finish? I’m talking where to buy your domain, which web host is right for you? How to set up WordPress on a variety of web hosts?

And every detail to build a great WordPress website from start to finish. I’m in the process of making my comprehensive WordPress online course, and you can sign up in the description below to be notified when it goes live later this year. You’ll get the opportunity to purchase the course outright at $19. That’s one time, no ads, no upsells, no just any kind of scaminess. $19 one time, that’s it. If that sounds interesting to you hit up the link in the description below and join the list. So what’s your favorite WordPress theme? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

DNS Explained. Top 3.

You know that feeling after you buy a domain name, you’re feeling great about the name you picked, you register that your favorite domain registrar, and now it’s time to connect it to something: a website, an email, a redirect; This is where the fun begins. For me, DNS management is a chore. It’s never something I enjoy doing, but it’s part of managing your website and domain names. For others, DNS sounds like a foreign term, and when it’s time to take on DNS management, you’re left wondering if you made a mistake even trying to build a website, “Maybe you should have hired it out.” How do I do this? Am I going to screw up?

It’s okay. So what is DNS? And what are some different ways you can tackle it with your website? DNS stands for Domain Name System. This is the entire back-end map of your domain name. You may never really think about it, but what actually happens when you type google.com in your browser? “It loads google.com… pff! Duh!” Okay, okay! But what actually happens in a technical sense, when you type google.com into your browser. Your web browser makes a call to a DNS server.

Think of a DNS server sort of like a phone book to find other servers. There are millions of servers on the internet. So how do we know which one has the website files to load google.com; it’s a needle in a haystack. We go to the first DNS server, and it will look up the name servers for your domain. In other words, it says, “The instructions that show you where to load google.com are located at this other server,” The browser goes to the second DNS server and says, “Hey, I need the directions to google.com, please.”

The DNS records on this server give instructions, such as an IP address on where to find google.com, and the browser goes to the exact server to grab the files. It’s like you’re narrowing down where the website lives. First, you got to find the city, and then you got to find the general building in the city that tells you the address, and then you have to go right to the address to grab the website files. So to recap, DNS consists of two basic parts; the first DNS server which does a lookup to find the authoritative name server. This is where the instructions for your website are actually held.

This is a super simplified explanation of DNS. So if you want to know more of the fine details, I highly recommend watching DNS Made Easy’s video on the topic. When it comes to DNS management with your domain name, there are three main routes you can take: internally managed, externally managed or manual. So first, we’ve got internal managed DNS, and if you’ve ever used a website builder, like Squarespace or Wix, you’ve experienced internal DNS management without even realizing it, and that’s because the point is, you’re not supposed to realize it, you probably don’t know what DNS is if you’ve used this solution before.

This is where you buy your domain name, web hosting or website builder, and email hosting if you have email hosting, all from the same place. Since everything is held at the same company, you don’t ever have to think about DNS. It just works. I get a lot of emails from viewers asking, “Hey, Christian, can’t I just buy everything at the same place like: domain, web hosting, email hosting, from Namecheap, or domain at Squarespace? Should I buy my domain at Squarespace, even though it costs a little more, because if I buy my domain at Squarespace, and I use Squarespace for my website builder, I don’t have to do anything to connect the two; they just work automatically. I just hand Squarespace the money.

This is what I want. And it works.” You can typically achieve this setup with most any big Website Builder. You can also achieve it with WordPress, if you buy your domain and hosting from the same place. Namecheap is really great about this. If you buy a domain and web hosting from Namecheap, it’s automatically linked together and you don’t have to do anything else. So if DNS management scares you, this is obviously a very appealing route. It’s basically saying, “I pay for my products and services, you take care of the rest.” So what’s the downside?

Well, if you’re just starting out and you have a small or medium traffic website, there’s not much of a downside. If you find a domain and host provider that fits your needs, and you’re okay with keeping everything in one place, that takes away an extra step that’s sometimes a stumbling block for new web designers. But what if you want to mix and match services? What if you want to buy your domain name at Porkbun, and web hosting at Dreamhost. This is where external managed DNS comes in. You start by connecting your domain name to your primary web host using name servers. And don’t worry, this is very easy to do.

Your domain name then points traffic to Dreamhost, and they already have the instruction set for your website created for you. So in other words, you don’t have to do anything else. You just do a very easy process to connect Porkbun to Dreamhost, they send the traffic over to Dreamhost. So that’s that first step. When it goes to the first DNS server to Porkbun, they say, “Go to Dreamhost. They know what to do.” It goes to Dreamhost and Dreamhost handles it from there. Both the first and second solution are easy to set up, and if you have everything in one place, or you have your domain in one place and your website builder in another place, or your web posting in another place, the setup process is easy.

However, what happens if you have a more complex setup? Picture this, your domain name is held at Porkbun, you have web hosting at Namecheap, and you’ve decided that G Suite is the best fit for your email hosting. Wait a second! Now what? If we point the domain from Porkbun to Namecheap, that’s great for the website; your website is going to work fine, when someone types yourdomain.com, it’s going to come up. But if someone sent an email to [email protected], it points from Porkbun to Namecheap. Namecheap is gonna go, “There’s no email hosting here for this person, I don’t know what to do with this email.” And it’s going to bounce. This is because, remember, you bought your email hosting from G-Suite, which is Google not Namecheap.

So now you have this really complex issue that may seem impossible to solve, and that’s where solution three comes in: manual DNS management. This is where we use the DNS configuration tools at the domain registrar, or an external DNS management solution like CloudFlare, and create the DNS records by hand. If this sounds really scary, it’s actually not too hard to do: you just have to pay attention, read some articles, digest some stuff. But if you can copy and paste some things, I think you can set it up pretty easily. This gives you the power to say, “Alright, abc.com points to this server, help.abc.com points to my support system, an email sent to abc.com points to this other email host.” You have complete control over every aspect of your domain. If you want to try this for yourself, and you want added speed and security as well, I highly recommend CloudFlare for manual DNS management. CloudFlare is 100% free.

But I don’t want to focus too much on CloudFlare itself. You can do a manual DNS configuration at just about any domain registrar, and you don’t have to point your domain to any external name server to use it. So you can go to Namecheap or Porkbun and just input the DNS records right there, and not have to point it to CloudFlare to then create the DNS records at CloudFlare.

If you’re going to be picky about where you get your hosting, and services for each product: domain here, web hosting there, email hosting somewhere else, I think manual DNS management is the way to go. Really, it’s kind of the way you have to go, if you’re going to do that. If this all sounds confusing, you might want to stick with the first solution. Just buy all your website products at the same place where they can handle it for you. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any DNS management solution. If you’ve got your domain configured, and it’s working; that’s what counts.

Whether you stick to one place and forget about it, or you get your hands dirty and do manual DNS configuration with CloudFlare, for the ultimate custom solution… there’s an option for every skill level. So I hope this gives you a better option, of understanding how to proceed with setting up DNS after buying your domain name. What DNS method do you use for your website? I’d love to know in the comments.

Where should you buy a domain name? 2021

If you’re new to buying domains, there’s going to be a term I use throughout this video. And that is, Whois protection. Now if you don’t know what Whois Protection is, this is basically a service that protects your personal information from being public to everybody out there.

So their is something called a Whois database. When you purchase a domain name, your name, address, and phone number, and email all go in this database. So anyone can go online to a Whois database lookup, type in your domain name, and get your personal information. That’s not good. Nobody wants that. So Whois Protection is a service either free or provided at a cost by the domain company, that protects your information.

So instead of seeing your address and your name, they see Whoisguard protected and some address of the Whois guard agency in place of your address. So just wanted to get that out there, cause you are going to hear me talk about this a lot. So I want to start with GoDaddy. Because GoDaddy is the Walmart for domain names. Everyone knows about it. And chances are if you don’t know where to start, you’re probably looking at GoDaddy.

Now GoDaddy, really gets on my nerves for a number of reasons. All right so let’s start off with pricing. GoDaddy is expensive. They charge $17.99 per year, for a .com domain. Which if you’re new and you’ve never bought a domain before, or you don’t have much experience, you may think that’s not a bad price. And I guess it isn’t for what you’re getting. 18 dollars per year for a .com domain is not horrible. But in relation to the competitors, that is double the price of other options on this list.

So GoDaddy is expensive. But okay price doesn’t matter so much, if they offer good quality service. And they, do I guess. The panel is pretty easy to use. And the customer service is good. I’ve called them a couple times, and ask some questions, and worked through some issues. And the customer support people are friendly. GoDaddy I’ll give you that. However that is basically where the positives to GoDaddy end. They push, so hard, to up-sell you. And sell you crap you don’t need.

When you add a domain to your cart, they put Whois Protection on for 10 dollars a year. That’s very expensive and pretty much every other company on this list gives you that for free. So now you’re up to 28 dollars a year for a domain name that doesn’t spew your personal information out to the public. Oh and don’t forget to uncheck that box for starting a free trial for their website builder. Cause unless you want that, if you forget to uncheck it, you’re likely going to be charged for that.

When their website builder trial expires. So they’re already trying to sell you things you don’t need and trick you into purchasing things that you don’t even know you’re purchasing. And I have a really hard time respecting the business who does this. Now GoDaddy does have an app. I think is cool when domain companies offer an app. However I was not able to log in (laugh) and try it. Because I did the create account using Facebook option, when I purchased my domain name. And when I downloaded the app, there’s no option to sign in with Facebook.

Now I’m sure if contacted their support, they would probably help me out, and get some way for me to log in. But I just did not want to waste anymore time with GoDaddy. (groaning) It’s frustrating. Please save yourself from going with them. Their prices are expensive. They are deceptive with their up-sell tactics. And there are just so many better options on this list to pick from. Let’s talk about a great company, and that is Dynadot.

Now I’m a huge fan of Dynadot. I’ve seen them improve quite a bit over the past few years. And they’re finally at a point, where they are seriously competitive and tempting in the domain industry. Now Dynadot charges $8.99 per year for a .com domain, with free Whois Protection. Yes that’s right, not 28 dollars a year. Nine dollars a year for everything. All of it. Done. That’s all you have to pay. Dynadot has a nice clean website and a really attractive app where you can purchase domains, and even manage your domain names. Auto-renew is off by default.

Thank the lord. That is awesome. So you don’t have to worry about getting charged or forgetting to turn it off. You can turn it on if you want, but by default you get to decide when the domain name is renewed. There is no pushy up-selling either. Now of course they have other items to offer, like Email Hosting, and Web Hosting. And they’re going to let you know they offer that, but there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no up-sell screen you have to get through with a bunch of deception, just to purchase a domain name. And I really love that. Now they do not offer 24/7 support; however, their support team is pretty good.

I’ve had nothing but great experiences with their live chat. So they’re going to get you taken care of, if you need help with anything. So overall if you are looking for a great company, with low prices, and a clean panel and app to buy a domain name at, I would definitely consider Dynadot. So now let’s talk about the cheapest option on this list. And that is, Porkbun. So Porkbun is an up and coming domain registrar that really intrigues me. Their prices are wicked low. They charge $8.56 a year for a .com domain.

With free Whois Protection. The best way to describe Porkbun is, their focus is all on price. And there’s nothing wrong with that. They look like a solid registrar. But it’s relatively a no frills experience. There’s no app. The panel is a little bit cluttered and kind of confusing. And they don’t have 24/7 customer service. And their hours are kind of annoying. They close at 5:00 pm pacific, which is a little bit of an annoyance. Especially if you do a lot of your work at night. However I am sure that they would take care of you, when they are open. And help you out if you need something. If you’re looking for the cheapest place to buy a domain name. This is the site for you. I’m sure you’re going to have a decent experience. Now let’s talk about Hover. I have heard a lot about Hover recently.

And they are really making some noise in the domain industry. But, I wasn’t really able to figure out why. Their prices are kind of expensive. Not terrible. They charge I think 13 dollars a year for a domain name. They do have free Whois Protection. And there’s no pushy up-selling. It’s a relatively smooth experience to purchase a domain name from Hover. There’s no app and auto-renew is forced and on by default, Which you guys know how I feel about that. I am not a fan of that. And overall, I don’t think you’re going to have a terrible experience with Hover. It’s not like GoDaddy, where I would tell you stay away from it all costs. But there’s nothing really great about Hover. They don’t really have an advantage if you know what I mean. Porkbun has the advantage of price. And Dynadot has the advantage, of an overall very smooth experience with very low prices.

Hover is just kind of expensive, with no reason to really go with them. All right, now let’s talk about Namecheap. Now Namecheap is where I personally buy all of my domain names. And I’ve been with them for several years. I love Namecheap because they have 24/7 customer service, via the live chat. Which is good. They’ve always taken care of me. However sometimes they can be really really slow. I will put that out there. But to me Namecheap is kind of a one stop shop for all of my needs. I have Email Hosting with Namecheap. They have a great Email Hosting service for 10 dollars a year. Super reasonable. Really the lowest price I can find. And rock-solid reliable. It does everything I need it to do.

So I buy my domain names there because I’ve always had a great experience. The panel is pretty clean and simple. They have an amazing app that allows you to manage their domains, at a glance. And even use Apple Pay to purchase new domains, which I think is super cool. They don’t have pushy up-selling and they have free Whois Protection. Which is awesome. Now for full disclosure, Namecheap is not the cheapest option on this list. They are kind of expensive. A .com domain is around 13 dollars a year. And .co is about 26 dollars a year. So Dynadot, Porkbun these are all cheaper options for domain names.

And they’re all pretty good options too. I just stick with Namecheap because I love their Web Hosting, their Email Hosting. And I’ve never had a problem with their domains. And I just like the experience of the app and the panel. So to me it’s worth the extra couple of bucks per year, to get a very smooth experience. And get the cool app and everything that Namecheap offers. They also do this thing every year where they have a super cool Black Friday sale. You can get .com domains for 98 cents for the first year. So yeah. It’s pretty cool. But moving on. Let’s talk about Google Domains. I got so many requests to take a look at Google Domains, in my first domain registrar comparison video. So. Here you go.

Google Domains. Should you buy a domain name there. Well, if you want. See my analysis of Google Domains is kind of that, Google is just capitalizing on their name to sell domains. It’s not a bad experience. There’s basically zero up-selling whatsoever. But similar to Hover it’s kind of a bland experience. A .com domain is 12 dollars per year. Whois Protection is free. And the panel is okay. Its got Google’s graphic style, but I still feel like it could be a little bit simpler. It’s a little bit cluttered for my desire. And their is no app available. Google does have 24/7 support. And they give you the option of either phone or chat, which I really liked. A lot of these companies are phone only, or chat only.

And not everyone loves phone support. Not everyone loves chat support. So giving you the option, in addition to making it 24/7 it is pretty cool. So overall if you trust Google. And you’d like to have them hold your domain name for you, I think this is a solid option. However their was nothing that stood out to me that makes it extremely appealing. But it seems Google has a sound mind with their business practices. And, not trying to sell you stuff you don’t need. So I’ve got to say that, I had a pretty good experience with Google Domains. And lastly, let’s talk about Domain.com. This is another new one to this list, because it seems Domain.com is very popular.

They’re one of those companies that if you search where to buy a domain, or best place to buy a domain, they’re going to come up in Google and in most of the lists on where you should buy a domain name. So I figured I should give them a shot. And I have to say, this is another one on this list that I would say, stay away from at all cost. Their prices are okay. But they charge $8.99 per year for Whois Protection, which you know I hate. And their is major up-selling just like GoDaddy.

They’re very deceptive about things. When you try to decline the Whois Protection, which is on by default. They use something called a dark pattern. Which is a method in interfaces, where you try and trick the user into clicking a certain thing. As you can tell by this screenshot your instinct as a user, is to click the, oh no keep Whois Protection on thing. When you’re really trying to get rid of it. Sites that use dark patterns just really, really get on my nerves. And every site will do it to an extent. But these guys are clearly abusing the concept of a dark pattern in their favor. To try and push you, to spend more money when you don’t want to.

And that’s not cool. And that’s not something I can ever respect or get behind as a consumer. And I would recommend that you guys stay away from Domain.com, at all cost. So in conclusion, if you’re looking for my personal pick, on the best place to buy a domain name. I would definitely recommend that you try out Namecheap. Their balance of customer service, decent prices, and an overall smooth experience, make it my preferred place to buy a domain name. And I would definitely recommend checking it out. Now if you’re looking for the cheapest place to buy a domain name. I would definitely check out Porkbun.

It’s pretty no frills but it’s going to be cheap. And I think you’re going to gave a good experience. If you’re looking for the best up and coming registrar, and one that is making a lot of noise, and has even tempted me to switch to, if I’m honest, check out Dynadot. They really have a lot to offer, with their app, super low prices, and high quality customer service. But really all these companies will give you a pretty decent experience. As long as you stay away from GoDaddy and Domain.com So what do you guys think? Which domain registrar did you pick? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

What Is Web Hosting? Explained

What is web hosting? Do you need it for a Squarespace or Wix site? If you buy a domain, does that mean you already have web hosting? Today, I’m taking a step back to answer these questions and more. Alright, so in a nutshell, web hosting is a box where your website files are stored. Think about a Word document on your computer. When you need to access it, you go to the folder, double-click the file and your word processor reads the file from your harddrive and displays it.

A website is simply: a bundle of files that a web browser reads and displays to the user, the person visiting the website. So, what is web hosting? Web hosting is simply a folder on a server or a “souped up” computer that stores your website files. When a user types your domain.com, the browser is pointed to the web server, downloads the files to the local device, and displays the website as normal.

And that’s all the internet is; a giant network of servers that send and receive files back and forth all day, every day to create this connected experience, where users can all see the same websites, share the same files and access data from any device. So, now that we have a basic understanding of web hosting, when do you actually need it? Is it required to have a website? Well, the correct answer is yes, web hosting of some kind is required for a website to work.

But the answer of if you need it, may be no, depending on the website platform you choose. If you’re going with a conventional website builder, think Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, any website builder that advertises paying $10 a month to connect a custom domain name, these website platforms are hosting this site for you. So, while your site has web hosting, the website platform, which would be Squarespace or Wix or whatever you’re using, handles this for you, rolling it into the plan and cost. This means that all you need is a domain name, and a Squarespace or Wix plan, and you’re good to go. You don’t need to buy your own web hosting.

But, remember that your website is still being hosted on a server by Squarespace or Wix, they’re just handling that for you in the background. Well, what if you want to use a different platform like wordpress.org? Well, WordPress is a free and open-source platform. And because of this, it’s up to you to purchase your own web hosting account and install WordPress on the server. Now, this might sound like a big scary task but, any decent host makes it easy. Hosts like hostinger, dreamhost and kinsta make it so you just click a few buttons to create a brand new WordPress website.

And, as long as you make sure your hosting account is renewed, you’ll be able to use WordPress as normal. And if you haven’t already figured it out; no! Just because you have a domain name does not mean you have web hosting. A domain name is strictly a license to use the URL of your choice such as ChristianTaylor.co or yourdomain.com. This does not give you web hosting and, you need to purchase that separately or use a hosted Website Builder.

I think the reason there’s so much confusion around this topic is because most anydomain registrar; these are sites like GoDaddy, Namecheap or Dynadot also offer web hosting, or hosted website builders. And they make it easy to add as an upsell while purchasing your domain. Think like the GoDaddy Website Builder or Namecheap web hosting, you just click a button when you check out and boom, you’ve added it. And I think there are a lot of people who buy web hosting when they buy their domain without even realizing it.

And they don’t realize it’s two separate things. They just think, “Oh, I paid for my domain name and my website keeps running.” So you might be asking yourself, Are there pros to choosing a hosted Website Builder over getting your own web hosting? And the answer is: absolutely! But, there are also cons. The upside of choosing a platform like Squarespace or Shopify is that: you don’t have to purchase web hosting separately, you don’t have to worry about installing anything to the server and, you get access to that proprietary platform. A lot of people love Squarespace for its simplicity, and many businesses, including big ones, like ring.com, swear by Shopify for E-commerce. But, there are some cons to choosing a hosted website platform. The biggest con is you don’t have control over the quality of your web hosting. These companies sell it as being a benefit, saying they’ll handle your site if you get a huge surge in traffic and you don’t have to worry about it.

But what happens if you get a really big surge in traffic? Think about the situation when Jeffree Star launched his cosmetics line recently, and the website crashed because it got such a surge in traffic. That was actually a Shopify website. And in this case, he would just call up Shopify and say, ” Hey, there was a giant surge to my website, can you please fix the problem?” and Shopify will and did take care of the issue. However, if you had self-hosted that website, you would be in control.

You could go to your web host like Amazon Web Services, or whoever you pick, and just scale up the server with one click, and you have the remote control to the power of your web hosting. But with that being said, I wouldn’t base the decision of which website platform you use, solely on whether it’s a hosted platform or requires you to buy your own hosting. I would focus more on the whole package and finding a platform that’s right for you and fits your needs, functionality wise.

If you want a drag and drop website builder and you just need a simple website, you’ll likely love Squarespace or Wix. If you’re more about customizability and you like to tinker around and make your website do exactly what you want it to do, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy a WordPress or other self-hosted platforms most. So, hopefully this video helps you get a clear understanding of what web hosting is, how it’s used, and whether you need to purchase it. So, which websites solution did you use? Did you go with the hosted Website Builder? Or did you choose to get your own web hosting? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

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