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This category is for entrepreneurs to research on getting started with WordPress. WordPress is free, all you need is a hosting plan (see our hosting recommendations here). If you are a beginner, we have a help article on how to buy a domain and hosting plan, set it up with an SSL certificate, create business email addresses, and install WordPress, all for about $36.
Once you’ve installed WordPress on your host, you can use a wide variety of free themes or paid themes. We’ve included a list of the major theme marketplaces below, along with some themes for specific use cases that we’ve found. If a type of business exists, there’s probably a theme for it.
Next, we have some useful frameworks, which are like a layer between your theme and WordPress. Most new or solo entrepreneurs just getting started can ignore frameworks for now, but if you’re embarking on a website upgrading project you should definitely check them out for their site maintenance, prototyping, and SEO capabilities.
Lastly, we cover WordPress specific hosting. WordPress specific hosting is mostly useful for established sites that get a lot of traffic and want to upgrade to something faster.
WordPress Themes and Theme Marketplaces
These are resources for free and paid themes. If you can’t find a theme somewhere among the thousands these vendors offer, you’re probably a perfectionist and should build your own. See our theme builder and frameworks section for that.
- WordPress.org: You don’t even need to click that link we’ve given you, it’s already built into WordPress. Just do a search inside the dashboard. It has the largest collection of free themes.
- StudioPress: developers of the Genesis Framework, it is owned by WP Engine. Our website runs on Genesis and a StudioPress theme.
- Themeforest: WordPress and E-Commerce themes, you can probably find something that does exactly what you want it to do and look like.
- Mojo Marketplace: another theme marketplace.
- Tesla Themes: a different pricing structure, you can get all themes for one price.
Frameworks & Theme Builders:
WordPress frameworks sit in between your theme and WordPress, and they can best be described as a better foundation for your theme. You use this foundation to build your theme or purchase a child theme that works with that framework.
- Genesis: One of the best-known frameworks, it is also what this website is built on and it runs behind a lot of large websites. Well-known for being secure and SEO friendly, they also sell child themes. You only pay once for the license (although you only get the support for one year) so its a steal. They also have a new product called Genesis Pro.
- Divi: A fast page WordPress page builder and prototype app, they have a different pricing structure that will appeal to a lot of people (pay a one-time fee for lifetime updates and support).
- Elementor: technically a theme builder and not a framework, this is probably the most well-known option and the best value for anyone who designs or maintains WordPress sites for a living, or for a company who owns lots of different sites. Its rapid prototyping features are top-notch and the ability to reuse elements makes maintenance a lot easier. They have some strong templates allowing you to get to the final design faster. Elementor pricing.
- Beaver Builder: they have white labeling options for agencies and design shops, meaning you can maintain sites in the background. How it works.
These themes are used to build other themes, sort of in-between a theme, and a framework. They provide a clean basis for a new theme and a lot of customization options. Some developers will choose this because they can become an expert at one system and build all their client sites using it.
- OceanWP: can be used in conjunction with the theme builders Elementor, Divi & Beaver Builder.
- Beans: a free alternative to all the others.
WordPress Specific Hosting:
You would use this if you already have a well-visited website and want to upgrade to something a little better. If you’re a newbie entrepreneur just setting up your blog, don’t use these, use a cheaper host listed in our hosting section, or follow our guide.
- EasyWP: owned by Namecheap, who is our host. They are probably the cheapest option to get started on this with a reliable host.
- WP Engine: Also owns StudioPress, so you get free access to some StudioPress Themes and the Genesis Framework (we use this Genesis on this website). This is a premium service, so not really a good fit for the single blogger just starting out with low traffic. Rather, you should consider this if you have a high traffic WordPress site and you want to pay for speed and performance.
- Coupon: 3 months free on WP Engine plans paid annually using our code.
- WPX Hosting: they focus on WordPress hosting and not much else. They can also migrate your site for free, which might appeal to some businesses, and they have US & UK locations.
- Kinsta: another competitor, they offer a site dashboard for people that need to manage multiple sites. Pricing.
- Flywheel: another competitor, their prices are a bit cheaper than the others. They also offer some nice multi-site functionality and users get free access to Genesis and StudioPress themes.
- WordPress.com They offer multiple hosting plans. They are a separate but related company from the people that offer the WordPress blogging platform, which is WordPress.org.
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