Holiday Wrap-up and the Forum
Well, hello again to everyone out there! I hope Christmas went well for all of you. Did ole Santy Clause bring all of you what you’ve been jonesing for all year long? What did you get? Feel free to share in the comments. It’s always fun to hear what other people receive this time of year, and of course what they give! Well, the top things I received were the rest of the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King (books, V, VI, and VII) and a FitBit. This FitBit is amazing. Definitely a great tool to help you stay healthy, and stay relatively active. If you want a good bang for your buck (and you’re willing to spend the money), I recommend the FitBit Flex. Obviously since this is a blog about personal finance, I recommend that you get off your butt on your own, and get active (since a FitBit is really an unnecessary expense), but for those of you finding it difficult, this little piece of technology will give you a constant reminder by being on your wrist. It’s also great because it links to your smartphone to tell you lots of information (steps per day, sleep cycles, etc.). Oh, and I also received a beginner’s beer brewing kit! That is going to be a hobby I delve into at some point in the near future, and hopefully begin saving some money by making my own beer! I’ll be creating posts detailing my experience in the future, so keep an eye out for that.
In addition to all of the holiday merriment, I created a forum for the site so that all of us can get together and discuss everything and anything, including, but not limited to books on happiness to how to create more income for ourselves (in both passive and active ways). It’ll become a great resource over time. I have no doubts about that! Alright, enough about this guy. Let’s get on to why you’re really here.
Creating a Website Economically
So, I don’t know if you’ve ever considered creating a website or not. It all really depends on what your aims are. For me, I created this website on the basis of trying to make myself a better person in every way, and to work on my writing! Websites are a great creative outlet, the possibilities and combinations are limitless, which is one of the many things I love about them. Clearly another aim is that I want to create a great repository for personal finance, frugality, and income information. If this website generates any income or brings in more people to discuss these topics with, then that is just a bonus in my book because it brings me closer to financial freedom and I get to learn more from others (learning is #1!). For some people it is to do exactly what I’m doing. For different people, the aim is to actively make money, to create a side income, be part of a passive income portfolio (such as a niche site), etc., etc. For others, websites can be a huge part of their business, such as wedding photography or web designers who need to show off their portfolios to prove their mettle.
Whatever your reasons, creating a website can be an extremely rewarding experience with minimal startup costs, making it a great hobby or side income project. As I stated earlier, there are many, many different hosting services to choose from. However, after a large meta analysis of reviews of various hosting services (here, here, and here), I decided to use SiteGround for all of my web hosting needs. I’ve currently got two websites up and going (someday, you’ll find out what the second is). As you’ll come to know, I don’t give out praise easily – sometimes I can even be pretty ruthless. However, SiteGround has been pretty amazing. They contacted me online as soon as I became a member to help me setup my first site. They answered any and all questions I had, which made it an extremely personable experience. They provide tutorials for starting websites as well. Starting up my first website costed me about 140 USD. After all of the hosting, options, and domain name were taken care of. SiteGround has three different levels of hosting. If you want the most basic package, it will only cost you 3.95/month. You gain the ability to create and host one website in addition to several other benefits! I went straight for the GrowBig hosting option because I knew I was going to be hosting multiple websites, so it was the best value for me. Choose whatever option you think would suit you best, and you’ll be building a website before you know it.
Want Economical? Go WordPress
Why is WordPress so great you ask? Well, you can create a site from scratch in no time flat! All you have to do is install a WordPress theme, and modify it until your heart’s content. Sound too easy? Well, that’s because it honestly is that easy (although modifying it can range from being easy to difficult depending on your wants and needs). In addition to the tutorial from SiteGround, the website, wpbeginner.com, has a ton of articles on anything WordPress related. If you’re a novice and want to save money on your website, nothing is better than WordPress. WordPress also has thousands of different plugins for your website to help you with whatever tools you need! That is how I created my forum.
Real World Example
If you want a real world example of how economical WordPress truly is, look no further than this website. Everything I’ve done to create it, modify it, etc., has been completely, 100% free! Yup. WordPress has thousands of free themes available from hundreds of different designers and programmers. The theme I’m currently using is completely free and is super versatile. It is called ColorMag. It is a magazine style website and has the ability to accommodate tons of different widgets and applications. Since this is a personal finance website, I want show how possible it is to create a website for any reason for a relatively small fee – you really only have to pay for just the hosting and your domain name. However, there is a handicap for the free themes – they are typically not supported as well, and they do not get as many fancy doodads and whatchamacallits. So, you’ll have to decide what is truly necessary for your site. You may not be able to do everything you want with a free theme. Heck, someday, I might even upgrade to a free one if I find it necessary, although I’m not sure how likely that is to happen (there are a loooot of free, versatile themes). There are several websites and blogs which have lists of hundreds of free themes. If you want more, just google it. That simple. Then, all you need to do is install the theme from your WordPress dashboard.
Well, I think that just about does it for now. If you have any questions or anything to add, feel free to share in the comments (as always). I’m going to be experimenting more with websites as part of growing a passive income portfolio in the future to assist me in reaching my goal of early retirement, and when I do, I’ll be sure to create some blog posts to help you all follow along! Thanks for reading, and a belated Merry Christmas to all!
-That Learning Guy
I sincerely recommend everyone attempt to learn some HTML and CSS if you’re going to run your own website. It will allow you to make minor modifications you desire without having to fork over cash for something that could only take you a couple of minutes to do once you learn how, e.g. using different fonts, changing colors of links, text, etc. It will pay off in the long run. Trust me.