Wordpress/Site Hosting
May 26, 2016 6:17 PM   Subscribe

My question is two part: 1) the problem I am currently having with Wordpress site and 2) a larger question around what exactly is the most cost effective way to use Wordpress to create a professional website.

I have a wordpress free account with a free theme. Looks fine to me. However the base footer has this line "Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Great Theme." This is a problem. Below are two solutions I have, however I am not sure they will work-
1) I can register a domain with wordpress at $18/year.
2) I can map a domain to wordpress but they will charge me $13/year to map the domain to my site.
However, will either one of the above remove the footer? (I have asked at their forums but no success)

So this begs a larger question-What is the most cost effective way to use Wordpress to get a professional website without all the unnecessary footers? If i use a hosting service (like Bluehost or whatever), is that the best way to go?
posted by metajim to Technology (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You cannot remove the Wordpress footer if your site is hosted at Wordpress.com. Having your own domain doesn't change that.

What you need to do is set up hosting somewhere else for your site. There are plenty of options that are pretty cheap.
posted by ssg at 6:53 PM on May 26, 2016

However even if you self-host, using a free theme may come with an expectation to leave the author's link in the footer in exchange for using the theme.
posted by COD at 7:22 PM on May 26, 2016

Go to http://SiteGround.com and setup a $15 per month WordPress hosting account. They'll give you the first year of domain registration for free, tho I usually recommend registering the domain through a service like Joker.com. Export your site from WordPress.com and import it into your new self-hosted WordPress at SiteGround via the export/import tools. The admin panel will look different in your new account, don't panic. Enjoy having the freedom to install whatever themes and plugins you need without restriction and remove the footer listing.

Flywheel, WPEngine - those are good WordPress hosts too. SiteGround is cheap and robust and I haven't been hired to fix a site that was hacked on SiteGround yet. Avoid BlueHost and GoDaddy.
posted by annathea at 7:25 PM on May 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

And on that note- avoid EIG owned hosting companies. Basically most of the ones that come up with a basic search.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:37 PM on May 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, if you switch to a Wordpress.org style install with your own hosting, you can install and edit themes. To edit this out it's usually simple. You can use the "find" option for the copyright text in your editor and just delete that text or replace it with your name. I agree it's generally expected that if it's a free theme, you keep their copyright info (which is generally something like "Themes by BlahBlah" or whatever.)

However, not to trample all over your premise, but if your site looks okay, I personally find nothing unprofessional about having that in the footer. Wordpress and other free/cheap platforms are so ubiquitous that I wouldn't even think twice about it unless it was either a super huge company or touting yourself as a custom web designer. It literally wouldn't matter to me and wouldn't mean you were less professional just because you were using a Wordpress site.

ETA: I'm in digital marketing so I do have an understanding on how to present yourself or your "Brand" and I don't see this as a problem.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:12 PM on May 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's worth it to find a reputable host, as others have mentioned. WPEngine is very good at what they do, and while you might pay a bit more per month, what they offer in service can't be beat (automatic backups, updates, great support, etc). Flywheel is also great. SiteGround is another good name. Avoid EIG companies.

Attend a WordCamp in your local area to get a power-crash-course on answers to these questions and more, such as setting up caching plugins to improve your site's speed, creating automatically emailed backups of both database and files, and editing your theme / creating a child theme to customize your footer the exact way you want it to be.

Source: This has been my career since before WordPress existed. @meaganhanes on WordPress.org.
posted by Meagan at 11:32 PM on May 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

> Go to http://SiteGround.com and setup a $15 per month

That seems pretty steep. I have quite a high-end VM account with Bytemark in the UK that costs less than that. I'm not really familiar with US hosting, but I'd shop around and see if you can find something that costs a bit less - I know there are a few hosting companies here in Europe that charge about $15 for a year and seem sufficient for a small WP site. Seconding all the people who say avoid hosting by EIG - I'd add 1&1 to that list too as they are pretty sharky when it comes to hidden extras and auto-renewing.
posted by winterhill at 12:09 AM on May 27, 2016

Yeah, I would not recommend WPEngine as the next step up from a free WP account. If you look around, you can find a quality host for $7-10/mo, and if you're currently on a free plan, it will be more than enough for you.

If you do self-host, remember that you are trading off "more control" to get the exact functionality and design you want with "more responsibility" to keep your site up to date and secure. (If you want to pay $$$ to a boutique host like WPEngine, that's what you get-- they'll handle this for you.)

I am solidly a WP person myself, and I've never built a SquareSpace site for a client, but I actually wonder if it might be a good option for you, resting between the hosted WP site and managing your hosting/updating yourself. On the other hand, if you're comfortable with minimal maintenance on your WP site-- following a few best practices to get a secure site, clicking the "update all" button regularly on your plugins/themes/core code, and setting up offsite backups, then you should be fine with a few dollars/mo WP hosting service.
posted by instamatic at 2:46 AM on May 27, 2016

I would keep an eye out on the Lifehacker blog--every so often, they have a deal where you can get a year's worth of Dreamhost hosting/domain services for a pretty cheap intro cost. After that, it's $119/yr but you get a free domain. They pair really well with Wordpress and have a one-click Wordpress.org install. I've used Dreamhost for maybe two years now, and I've had no trouble with it.
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:13 AM on May 27, 2016

Namecheap.com has hosting for $9.88/year and domains such as something.xyz for $0.99
posted by Sophont at 9:10 AM on May 27, 2016

Thank you! so basically i will get hosting with the ones mentioned and go from there.
posted by metajim at 1:10 PM on May 31, 2016

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