A Freelancers Intro Guide to WordPress
As a recent coding boot camp graduate, I decided to dive into the freelancing world to practice my new set of skills and earn extra income while searching for a full-time job. I quickly realized there was way more to WordPress than I thought.
Let me share some of the key differences between both interfaces.
WordPress.com — Takes care of all the hosting for you. You don’t have to download software or manage a web server. It’s free to set up and you have a lot of customization options. Maintenance on this platform is definitely easier for clients who aren’t comfortable with technology. The largest drawback is you can’t remove wordpress.com from your domain name unless you enroll in the premium monthly option.
WordPress.org — This is a SELF– hosted platform. You will have to download the software and install it on your web server. You will have more flexibility and control over your site however that comes with more responsibility. You can edit the code and also have access to the database for your site. The start up and overall customization costs are higher as well.
I decided to flex my design muscles by working on a side project to get familiar with WordPress. Creating a mock up for a passion project of mine seemed like an ideal way to start using the tool. As a vegan, lover of technology, writer, and minimalist, I wanted the site to capture my simplistic style of copywriting and design.
I made the decision to use the wordpress.com version for a few strategic reasons.
1. Having just graduated from a coding boot camp, I did not have a lot of $$ (i.e-domains/hosting/etc) to invest into the site while on the job hunt.
2. I used the WordPress.com version first to ease into the WordPress world. I also appreciated the simplicity, ease of use and low cost which would be ideal for a majority of my future clients.
I wanted to give this business a very simple feel from a design perspective. I decided to use bold images that would tell the story of the business as the user scrolled the page. I purposefully steered away from cluttered images because it’s more likely to take away from the quality of the content ( ie.product/service).
From a user perspective, I chose this theme for the ease of the scroll down effect. This theme only allowed for 4 pages, however, I added a 5th menu item for the resources feature.
What would I suggest to take this site to the next level–
( Glad you asked!)
1. Purchase a custom domain
2. Set up hosting
3. Add an e-commerce feature which would allow for the buying and selling of products on the site
4. Include more active social media links
5. Add customized branding material ( logo, brand colors, etc)
My goal for this site was to provide future clients with a glimpse of what my design philosophy and copywriting style are. I want to work with small businesses and tangibly show them something I created to suit a businesses needs outside of my school projects. Making this site has been super helpful in marketing my freelance skills to others and has even led to gaining a client.
Sometimes in life, you have to get off the bench and shoot your shot. Designing this site is the equivalent of me just getting into the game.
If you have any comments, or suggestions please drop a line below. Also feel free to check out my mock up of this passion project I created here. I hope you enjoy!
Stay Woke Friends!