A topic that has been circulating the internet for many years has been the creation of an own Homepage – and doing this without any expenses. Many companies and other ministries offer this (usually in the form of a modular construction system), but there are a multitude of difficulties which one must deal with when using these simplified systems. Often the user is forced to give up certain functions, which ultimately makes an amateur impression on the website’s visitors. Disadvantages are:
- URL is often only a subdomain (http://www.domain.com/)
- Webspace is very sparse
- Websites are plagued with commercials
- Functions are limited
- The modular construction system limits the development of the website
- Website analysis with certain tools is not possible
- No free FTP- or MySQL access
These disadvantages limit the individual website operator immensely and are different from offer to offer. What many don’t know is that one can easily represent one’s own company with a blog system on the internet. The most well-known blog systems are:
- Google Blogger
Usually one of these blog systems is enough to easily create online presence for your company. They just need to be adapted accordingly to the company. This, however, already is a problem. One quickly reaches the limit of one’s possibilities when trying to customize the website to one’s desired look. Only one of the mentioned systems grants the user the freedom to adjust every small detail – the Open Source Software “WordPress.org.”
To use WordPress.org one needs a lot of webspace and a personal domain (making a company look a lot more professional). Approximately 500MB webspace should be enough, which would cost you about 10€ – 60€ a year. The installation of WordPress can then be done over a FTP port. WordPress can be downloaded for free and then transferred onto a server through an FTP-Manager (e.g. FileZilla). The respective hosting service can then send you the login information for the webspace. Afterwards, the homepage made in WordPress must be connected to a MySQL server. In order to do so the database name, the database user, and the password must be transferred to the installation assistant. WordPress is installed after clearance and now awaits the creation of a new username and password.
Through the domain, which is on located on the respective webspace, the WordPress homepage can be reached. Now one can move around on the dashboard and optimize the site. By using the tab “Themes” one can choose from a group of premade templates, which one can use freely. Useful complimentary expansions (e.g. Plugins) augment the visuals of your website and make it possible that a site can have, for example, share-buttons for its customers to “Like” (Facebook), “+1” (Google+), or “Tweet” (Twitter) your content over social media platforms. If one wants to use a custom and non-premade theme, one should hire a WordPress freelancer to help with the creation. A freelancer can create a template with the exact color schemes and logos you need for your or any other purpose, be it for a business or private use. The standard installation of a WordPress homepage has the following advantages:
- Site manager
- WYSIWYG- Editor
- File upload manager (for Pictures, Videos, and Documents)
- Commenting on posts (with spam protection through plugins)
- Contact form
- Blogroll link manager
- Easy handling, thanks to clear back-end
- Preparation for SEO
Additionally, companies of small or medium size can edit their pages and text themselves and keep their WordPress homepage updated without having to call on experts for help.
A slightly downgraded version of the Open Source Version is offered by WordPress.com. Many functions are missing, for example the activation of plugins. Furthermore, the amount of themes available is very limited. Nevertheless, the system is at free disposal and a great choice if one doesn’t need a top-level domain. The structure is then built up on: domain.wordpress.com and is not ideal for a company (is changeable to domain mapping through additional cost). Yet for private use this version is sufficient.