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WordPress powers a lot of the Internet’s content, more than 24% currently, and with good reason.

Free open-source software is changing the way content is delivered on the Internet. WordPress is more than just a website or a blog, it is a foundation for your digital presence that is easy to customize and extend and integrate with outside services.

WordPress is free and so are a lot of our favorite development tools and we wanted to share them here:

  1. WordPress.org
    This is where everyone should start learning WordPress. The core files are available for free here, themes, plugins, support threads, and everything else also. The “five-minute install” is really that easy. But you need to have a host ready.
  2. ServerPress
    If you don’t want to pay for a host right away you can run WordPress on your own computer using xampp as localhost and ServerPress can be used to export your site to your host when you are finished developing your WordPress.
  3. Hosting
    Not all hosts are equal, in fact some are just downright awful. We recommend Flywheel and WPEngine for our clients.Don’t cohost your email on a shared server. Email can fill up your server and really slow down your page load times. Use G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps) for your email.This is not the area to be cheap. We all want to save money, just don’t save money at the expense of your user experience. Page load times make you look bad, make your visitors less likely to convert or return, and it is just frustrating. Email on G Suite is $60/year/user, so yes, you are stepping over dollars to save pennies, it’s cheap and your customers should be worth that small amount.
  4. Themes
    Just like hosting themes are not all created equal, some are great and follow modern coding practices and standards, others are very amateurish. I like to test different themes through Google Pagespeed and W3C Validator before installing plugins. It gives you an apples to apples comparison of how themes handle your content.
  5. Plugins
    This is almost worthy of it’s own page because there are so many plugins to extend WordPress features. If you can imagine it, it probably already exists as a plugin. Check out my  for some plugins we use on every development project.

That is all you really need to get started. It’s not exactly free, you need to pay for hosting, email, and domain registration. If you want to setup a free server on Amazon Web Services you can do that and use an IP address instead of a domain name and that would be free if you can setup AWS instances.

Or we can setup an install for you on WPEngine for free. Fill out the form below and you can have a 30 day free trial on a premier WordPress host with our essential plugins configured.

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Or maybe WordPress.com is more what you are looking for.

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