You’ve decided to take the plunge and officially start your freelance web writing business.
One of the most important decisions to make, after deciding who you’ll serve and what you’ll offer, concerns your professional website platform and hosting.
So many choices…
Let’s narrow them down a little.
First, if you have mad IT skills and can’t wait to code yourself a website, you can skip the first part of this article. If you’d rather spend your time writing than messing around with a website, though, keep reading.
Just as you’d spend a reasonable amount of time looking for locations for a brick-and-mortar business, plan to spend at least a few hours choosing a web host.
You’ll Need These Basics
While it’s fine to sign up for a free account at WordPress.com or Blogger to share your hobby with the world, neither of those is a good choice for a professional web writer’s site. They place too many limits on what you can do with the site, and you’ll be stuck showing advertising you have no control over.
To start a freelance business website, at a bare minimum you’ll need:
- A domain name
- Professional email (email@example.com)
Most dot-com domain names (yourbusiness.com) run about $10/year.
Hosting costs vary widely depending on the type of hosting you choose, from a low of $60/year to $400 or more. Many hosting plans include one domain name, as well as email. If email is extra, expect to pay about $5/month per email address.
When you’re starting out, cost is an important factor in all your decisions, but note that even a “free” site solution probably won’t be totally without cost. They’ll likely charge extra for a domain name, or email, at the very least.
Note that in general, it’s wiser to keep your domain name registration separate from your hosting, both for security and in case you decide down the road to use a different hosting company.
Whatever solution you choose, make sure that your site won’t display ads over which you have no control!
Which Site Software?
In addition to WordPress, there are several all-in-one website solutions which can work well for a freelance site.
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