Everyone needs to establish a web presence, and, depending on your specific needs, doing so can be free or very inexpensive. For people looking to get started with establishing a web presence for themselves or for a specific project, MfL recommends beginning by registering for a free WordPress account. Once you have set up a WordPress account and chosen a name for your WordPress website, you will have access to a website that you can update and edit regularly. The address for this website will be yourwebsitename.wordpress.com. If you’d like your website address not to include wordpress in the name, there are several options. The least expensive and easiest, is to register your website name with WordPress. You can do this by going to the site dashboard, clicking on Store, and registering a domain. WordPress currently charges $5 per year to register the name and $13 per year to “map” or apply yourwebsitename.com to youryourwebsitename.wordpress.com website. For the majority of individuals, this is really all you need to get started on the web. It will take some time to become familiar with the WordPress dashboard, but it is worth the investment since, at the moment, WordPress is an Open Source application, meaning it can be used for free, and it has a large user base. As a result, many websites are built around it and learning a bit more about how to use this tool is a good investment since you may be able to apply this knowledge in managing not only your own website but for contributing to other websites as well.
If you are developing a website that includes advertising or ecommerce, meaning the ability to sell products, you will need to take a few additional steps. A series of forthcoming posts will cover these issues.
For now, set up your FREE WordPress account and, if you are ready, register your domain name (there will be an annual charge for this). For those interested in going one step beyond the free WordPress option, you can visit this link for a list of recommended web hosting and domain name service providers.