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Wix or Wordpress for someone with no time to get technical ?

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Hi there friends,

I soon want to open a little article hub in the field of law... Just starting out, cannot afford to hire a webmaster yet, however I am skilled enough for one of the one-stop-shop tools if you allow me.

Need ability to:

1. Purchase my domain
2. Install components/forum system from within without programming stuff from external sources.
3. Be secure and private


I am not looking for any 3rd party collaborations,no google stuff, no facebook logins, no nothing.
just a hub that I can send to my existing clients/interested clients for some browsing and question-asking.

It will have an About Me/Contact, weekly articles, a basic forum system with 3-4 categories , and downloadable material in PDF form. That's it.

You suggestions ?
Average costs per year of what I am asking ? say domain, 10-15 gigs, a forum system and whatever the tool costs ?
 
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If you want a quick and simple way to get things started, and host a forum as well, Wix is probably the much easier route to go. I believe Wix also has a simple forum builder as well.
 
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wix may be better but I use wordpress myself because of how customizable it is. My wife is a web developer so I get her to make some things for me. But wordpress is rather bloated and time consuming.
 
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I dunno if you really want a forum.

Spam and trolls are pretty annoying. Moderating the discussion becomes a job in of itself.

If you want to generate discussion, find a community that accepts blog post submissions (ex: Twitter) and leverage that instead.

The benefit of Twitter as your discussion medium is that trolls and spam is someone else's job. Not yours. A spammy troll responding to you can be easily ignored by the community.

Ditto with Facebook, Reddit or whatever you plan to farm comments out to. You really don't want to be dealing with that crap.
 
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Thanks fellas !
So I finally found time to mess with it today and noticed that :

1. Wix is annoying me with its post modern crap templates that are borderline narcissistic.
2. Wordpress.com can't install any plugins for free, have only a couple dozen free templates and it's meh.

So, that leads me to the paid solutions.
I found a site called SiteGround, can I build Wordpress my site from there if I pay ? And, will I get more options than Wordpress.com ?

Thanks !
 
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Yes. But you’d be better off paying a company like Kinsta or Flywheel (or me).

Siteground’s not the worst offender but they are “shared hosting,” meaning there are multiple sites sharing resources on one machine, so if one is hacked, all are hacked.

The cheapest option is something like cloudways. They’ll be better than siteground just without the silly control panel for the server.
 
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Siteground’s not the worst offender but they are “shared hosting,” meaning there are multiple sites sharing resources on one machine, so if one is hacked, all are hacked.

The issue is more about "noisy neighbors" than hacking. (No one wants to hack a blog. Forums on the other hand... you get some real passive-aggressive types out there who get mad at people online to the point of hacking).

Noisy neighbors means that if your shared-neighbor gets hit with 1000-hits/minute, your website slows down (because one machine is supporting multiple websites / customers). Noisy neighbors happen even with VPS hosting, or even dedicated hosting, but its much much harder. If you have a dedicated server, no noisy neighbors exist on your machine. However... noisy neighbors may still hurt the overall network and overload the datacenter's bandwidth / internet connection. That's much more rare however, and really only happens with DDOS attack scenarios.

Still, shared-hosting is the cheapest option on the market. Just a few bucks a month. Its a good place to start IMO.
 
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Thanks Claes and dragon ! I'll check all the options.
Basically what I envision is a minimal clean home page without those large scroll pictures and post modern junk...
top menu bar:

Home ----- Articels (with a dropdown category menu) ---- Blog/short posts ------- a two-subforum discussion board ----- Contact ---- About

This is to be an information hub that is fast and comfortable to use, that will get people interested in my line of work and perhaps call me to set up a physical meeting.

Do you think that all of this can be done from scratch from the sites you mentioned ? And, would I have to purchase plugins/themes or are there plenty of free ones for what i want ?
Thanks fellas, just a couple more clarifications and I'm ready to pay and start !

If any of you want to help me set it up, feel free to PM me a TPU friend symbolic cost and i'll think about it :)
Again, I'm no noob, and know my way around advanced software, but I just can't be bothered with the setup time anymore since my work load inflated.
 
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The cheapest option is something like cloudways. They’ll be better than siteground just without the silly control panel for the server.

Typical shared hosting is like $2/month, and the cheapest option I see at cloudways is $10/month (and all it does is wrap a $5/month Digital Ocean box for you with some software, then make you pay $5 extra...). I agree with you that DO has fewer "noisy neighbor" issues, but CPanel webhosts point-and-click is pretty simple and works in my experience.

I mean, I just do HTML5 static sites (Hugo static site generator) with the occasional custom-written PHP + PostgreSQL page. My needs are pretty simple.

Again, I'm no noob, and know my way around advanced software, but I just can't be bothered with the setup time anymore since my work load inflated.

There's always a degree of setup time, especially when you're just starting up these things. You're kind of focusing on the wrong situation anyway: your current goal is to grow an audience, which means you need writing first and foremost.

Once you have an audience, they'll follow you to a website. You want an audience that is willing to explore a bit (so starting on Facebook is a bad idea: a lot of Facebook users won't leave the site), but Twitter / Reddit / Link Aggregators is more of what you're trying to do. Finding the web community you're writing for, and publishing articles for them is highly dependent on the culture of your audience. You probably know them better than I do.

In any case, your #1 job is to get writing, and start building a brand. It could just be a bunch of Google-docs shared .PDF files if you wanted. (I mean, kinda bad for branding, but you get the gist...). From that perspective, a lot of these web details you're thinking of don't really matter... aside from buying a domain name and growing that name (which is a core part of your branding).
 
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You're absolutely right Mr. Dragon ! I will try "chilling" with the technicalities of design and keep in mind what matters is the guts.

I found "HostGator" and Bluehost, are they better than siteguards ?
Besides these we have the recommended Kinsta or Flywheel.

What's your pick Dragon ? I'm down for those shared 2 dollar ones for now , so long that I can export my WP site later and install in a dedicated host.
 
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As far as free forum software goes, Simple Machines is pretty good. Not too complicated to set up either.
 
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WordPress self hosted. Than use vanilla forums and plug into it.

Look for a host that has softaculous and it makes wp easy and even auto backups for you every week or whenever..
 
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I found "HostGator" and Bluehost, are they better than siteguards ?

HostGator / Bluehost are separate brands of EIG. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group

There's a common joke in webhosting: that everyone's always looking for a better webhost. Especially at the $2/month shared hosting range. A lot of these web-hosting companies are bought out by other groups, and thus management changes over time. Ideally, you don't really want to move (staying on one company is much more convenient), but naturally, you'll be forced to move your webpage eventually as your site grows up.

I take the "good enough" approach. If its good enough right now, then do it. Later, when your traffic increases to the point you're having issues... celebrate because your site is a success. Unfortunately, most websites never reach that far, so that's why its better to start off on $2 cheaper services rather than rack your brain optimizing something that only matters once you have a solid stream of readers.

If your site is successful, then it won't be as much of a hassle to spend many hours researching webhosts at that time. For now, you wanna just get started and start writing asap.

--------

You're simply not going to notice a difference between webhosts until you reach ~60+ clicks per minute. And with blogsites, people aren't really clicking on links that much, they're probably clicking once or twice, and then reading for ~10 minutes at a time.

Forums on the other hand... people type, click, and discuss all the time. Which increases traffic issues earlier on.
 
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Gotcha, I like your philosophy.
So both Gator and Bluehost have export options, yes ? (Just for peace of mind)
 
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Gotcha, I like your philosophy.
So both Gator and Bluehost have export options, yes ? (Just for peace of mind)

TL;DR: I expect them to.

Long and more detailed answer (more details than you probably need to know...). Shared hosts, like Gator / Bluehost / Namecheap / etc. etc. operate at the MySQL / PHP / Filesystem level. Technically speaking, they don't offer export functionality, because they don't care if you're running Wordpress, or VBulletin, or whatever software on their server. Export is provided by Wordpress, the set of PHP pages you install into Gator / Bluehost / whatever.

Your question is like asking: can your new Laptop open Word Docs? I mean... probably (if you have MS Word), but its not the "laptop" per se that gives the functionality. Its MS Word. Similarly: its not Bluehost / Gator / whatever that gives you export. "Export" is a little button inside of Wordpress itself. (Or if you operate at a lower level: the MySQL database that Wordpress is using)

------------

However, any export job takes work. If you export from the MySQL level, it will only work if the higher level software is at the same version. If you export from the Wordpress level, you'll need to ensure your plugins are all configured correctly. If you set things up well, it can make exports easier... but something almost always inevitably goes wrong.

Not necessarily because of software: but if you made a link like "checkout this other blogpost at http://mysite.com/bloglink", those sorts of links need to be "translated" into your new website. (Maybe you kept the same domain name, but now the link is supposed to be http://mysite.com/blog/bloglink : The new place puts a /blog/ after the domain name for some reason). A lot of assumptions about your site's layout, domain-name, etc. etc. Web Authors think about these issues very strongly: there's a concept and theory of permalinks and link rot that takes experience and effort to avoid.

Ultimately, you will screw something up. Because you're a beginner. I'm also a relative beginner at this stuff, my day job is programming in C. I don't really touch web stuff that often. If you can foresee all possible problems, then your export job becomes easier. But that sort of thing only comes with experience: experience that I don't have (and I'm guessing you don't have either, lol).

---------

So what's the "good enough" solution? No matter what, no matter what software you go to, you can copy/paste data into the new place, and it will be word-for-word the same as before. You may not want a word-for-word translation however. But... its a start. You can change blog software, you can change entire methodologies. As long as you're willing to put in a bit of effort, all export jobs are possible.

If you're only plan is to go from Wordpress -> Wordpress on another host, and you're not using too many plugins... you'll probably do fine with a simple export. I'm just hoping to give you an idea of what happens at those times...
 
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I understand now.
You got a good head Dragon ! I can see why you chose programming for your day job :)

Thanks ! I'll throw the occasional question as things progress during the upcoming months :) You guys are top notch
 
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Hey again! @dragontamer5788 offers great advice -- don't worry about making the best site, just get the content going and it'll clarify the rest for you!

Some thoughts, from someone who has been selling managed wordpress hosting for almost a decade.

Hosting:
Stay away from EIG (bluehost, hostgator, a hundred others)!
As far as shared hosting goes, siteground is the best option that I know of. For a beginner, I'd recommend cloudways, though. It does everything siteground does (minus email, which you'll want to pay for anyway) but on your own, private server.
If your site outgrows your hosting service I'd recommend Kinsta or Flywheel for non-developers or gridpane for developers.

Security:
Install a security plugin. For shared hosts and the like I recommend wordfence.
Enable two-factor authentication in Wordfence, limit login attempts, and enable recaptcha.
Setup cloudflare. It's worth it not only for security, but fast and easy domain management and their CDN.
tl;dr: UPDATE YOUR PLUGINS THEMES AND INSTALL ALL OF THE TIME. long version: @dragontamer5788 is right about static sites, but wrong about wordpress. Wordpress makes up almost half of the most visited sites on the internet. It is a favorite target of bot nets. They'll find an IP with a WP install, find the other sites on the host, and then check for vulnerabilities which, when there are 100 other sites on your server using hundreds of plugins and themes that may or may not be secure and up to date (nevermind the wordpress installs themselves). Speaking from experience, I had a dozen sites hacked on siteground shared and, upon investigation, found 100+ tenants on the server I was paying for. The hack was the fault of an outdated plugin on a site I didn't own, but SG still made me do the cleanup manually. That is something you don't want to deal with unless you know your way around a terminal.
Update, update, update
Plugins and themes: If it's not in the wordpress repository it's trash. Stay away from elgato or anyone who doesn't list their products in the wp repository. There are a few exceptions but you're not trying to pay for them anyway.

For your use case, I'd recommend:
Theme: I'd just use the 2020 or 2021 theme that comes OOB if you're avoiding "postmodern" designs. Blocksy is also an excellent option. You'll probably need additional "blocks" to get the layout you'd like -- I'd recommend either Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg, Coblocks, or Atomic Blocks.
If you find you need more customization/Wix like drag and drop/WYSIWYG features, the Elementor (plugin) + hello! (theme) are great options. It is worth paying for elementor premium rather than trying to find plugins to supplement it's features if you go this route.

bbpress for forums -- build by the wordpress core team, designed for wordpress, and will "just work" without any configuration. Most importantly, users won't need an additional account to comment on articles/blog posts. You can move to something like Vanilla or Discourse if you need to in the future.

Central Color Palette -- this is just a nice tool to make changing colors in the GUI easier. You can set which colors show up in the palette so you don't have to remember hex codes and the like.

Simple CSS -- eventually you're going to need to edit the CSS. This is the easiest way to do it without getting into theming/child themes.

Good luck and feel free to reach out with any questions!
 
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Excellent post claes ! I saved it as a cheat sheet :)

Mind if I ask what's the issue with EIG ? I have no problem with $$ for siteground, it's about 6 dollars ?

Also, how do I get off whois ? I used this database in a little pentesting stunt a few years ago and I'd like to stay off if I can.
I can use a terminal if I have the instructions, but it's 80% parrot and 20% logic (80% google and 20% common sense hhaha) - So time comes I can probably manage the important stuff.

Any other privacy related tips?(rather than security which you mentioned)
Re: Cloudflare, are you talking of their official wordpress plugin, or something else ?


Re themes and plugins, affirmative, will check it out !
To be honest, I stumbled upon some warez wordpress material in some deep holes on the interwebz, but I agree that without paying and updating, the entire site is compromised.

I'll hit up more questions here as I progress, no doubt ! I love this place.


I already have a bunch of PDF's I never released, so I am excited to finally give them a home.
 
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Also, how do I get off whois ? I used this database in a little pentesting stunt a few years ago and I'd like to stay off if I can.

That's a DNS issue. Your DNS host may offer WHOIS privacy, sometimes for an extra few bucks / year.

It really depends on your DNS host. I use Namecheap (for shared hosting + DNS needs: https://www.namecheap.com/security/whoisguard/). Its a CPanel shared host and has done the job well for my static needs (but as claes has pointed out: my needs are simpler than most. In fact, I'm trying to be as simple as possible...)
 
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That's a DNS issue. Your DNS host may offer WHOIS privacy, sometimes for an extra few bucks / year.

It really depends on your DNS host. I use Namecheap (for shared hosting + DNS needs: https://www.namecheap.com/security/whoisguard/). Its a CPanel shared host and has done the job well for my static needs (but as claes has pointed out: my needs are simpler than most. In fact, I'm trying to be as simple as possible...)

YES SIR ! Spot on ! I'm now sold on namecheap :)


Wizard, what kind of Forum is TPU? It's the nicest I have come across. Probably lots of dineros
Not that I need such an advanced board, but it's still interesting to learn about this stuff

As a whole, the TPU theme is pretty sweet for a technical site. I like the top bar very much and is what I have in mind when I think of a clean theme.
 
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what kind of Forum is TPU?
The forums are running on XenForo, quite affordable actually.

The main site is all self-coded by myself, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, everything
 
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The forums are running on XenForo, quite affordable actually.

The main site is all self-coded by myself, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, everything

Its also a bit more complicated than your typical Wordpress blog. I know for a fact you guys have a CDN (IIRC, its Cloudflare, I see the error message pop up every now and then), and probably are using a dedicated host to support this level of traffic?

I'm assuming of course, I don't really know. But that'd be my expectation at least. Something like this couldn't be hosted on "shared" tiers of performance.
 
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I use NDChost. They been great for me and my company site/blog is shared hosting. Very rare is it slow.

My forums is mybb. It's very functional and easy to use. But WordPress integration is non existent hence my forums is seperate from the blog/site.
 

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Its also a bit more complicated than your typical Wordpress blog.
Absolutely, just wanted to share some details

I know for a fact you guys have a CDN (IIRC, its Cloudflare, I see the error message pop up every now and then)
We've been using several CDNs over the years, including an attempt at building our own, but Cloudflare performs so well and is free, can't praise them enough. Would love to work with Akamai again, they are next level, but next level in pricing, too, and have zero interest in small accounts like us these days

and probably are using a dedicated host to support this level of traffic?
several servers actually, also for redundancy
 
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