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WORDPRESS - How Much Can I Do For Free?

Posted on 2015-02-23
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Last Modified: 2016-07-10
Hi,

I'm looking to create my own website. it needs to be more than just a blog. (e.g. I'd like to include links to social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook, upload documents, etc. One of my associates directed me to WordPress.

When i looked at the site, i could not tell how much functionality that I would have if I don't want to pay any sort of fee.

Does anyone have experience with WordPress to this end?

Thanks,
Steve
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Question by:Stephen Kairys
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Tom Beck earned 250 total points
ID: 40626338
You can have all that functionality and more without paying a fee. The trouble comes later when this free Wordpress plugin conflicts with that free Wordpress plugin because... well, because they were written by individuals that were just showing off their skills rather than by professional Wordpress development teams that create plugins for money. Teams that know how to cover all the bases to protect their clients from a variety of issues. If you intend to allow users to upload documents for example, you had better have a robust, security minded, paid for plugin with tech support to handle that.
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by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40626367
Tom,
Thanks for your reply.

So...

1. Does "upload" document include simply VIEWING a document?
2. If I decided that I could live w/o storing documents, would the above plugin concern still apply?
3. Is there another comparable website you could recommend that would not have the above issues and still allow me to do stuff for free?

Thanks again,
Steve
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by:Tom Beck
ID: 40626416
Obviously, allowing visitors to view or download documents would not have the same security concerns as allowing them to upload. There are many safe, free document management plugins out there for Wordpress. Of course "safe" and "free" does not mean free from bugs and incompatibilities with other plugins. I've successfully used a plugin called WP-Filebase in the past for document management on a WP site.

There are other content management systems out there similar to Wordpress.

http://www.graphicrating.com/2011/04/27/15-worth-checking-alternatives-to-wordpress-joomla-and-drupal/

I only have experience with WP however.
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by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40626526
OK Thanks. I'll check these out.

One more question: How difficult would it be for me to post a WORD document on WordPress as HTML?  Do I simply use WORD to save as a Webpage, and stick it on my site with its own URL?
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by:Tom Beck
ID: 40626576
Yeah, don't do that.

Word adds a ton of proprietary tag attributes that only Word can interpret properly. Unpredictable results when viewed in a web browser.

That all becomes unnecessary anyway with a content management system like Wordpress. You pick a theme and that divides your page up into content sections like header, side widgets, main content, etc. Creating formatted content is done through the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface. Any formatted content that you can conceive of in Word can be created in Wordpress. It helps to have knowledge of HTML so you can bypass the WYSIWYG and just type in HTML directly if need be.

Of course you always have the option of hosting Word documents to view or download if that's what you need.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40626583
Steve,

Are you talking about using wordpress.com (managed hosted WordPress) or running your own, self-hosted, instance of WordPress?  Because Tom's answers are specific to self-hosted WordPress.  wordpress.com sites do not allow you to install third-party plugins at all but instead feature a range of curated plugins that are extremely safe and reliable.

How difficult would it be for me to post a WORD document on WordPress as HTML?

Moderately hard.  If you copy and paste Word text into any web site, it comes with a ton of non-standard HTML stuff because Microsoft hates you.  So you either have to use the "Paste As Text" option and strip out the formatting or be prepared to spend some time editing it.
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by:Tom Beck
ID: 40626593
because Microsoft hates you

I like that!!
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by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40626621
Jason,

Are you talking about using wordpress.com (managed hosted WordPress) or running your own, self-hosted, instance of WordPress?  Because Tom's answers are specific to self-hosted WordPress.  wordpress.com sites do not allow you to install third-party plugins at all but instead feature a range of curated plugins that are extremely safe and reliable.]

I guess that I must swallow my pride here :), and admit that I don't know enough about WordPress to answer that question. So, perhaps I should ask the following. I want to create a simple website for myself that I can leverage in my job search: e.g.

1. My resume needs to have links to articles I have written. I want to have full control over the URL, so to speak. If I provide a link to another website that I don't control, the link can always change w/o my knowledge.

2. I'd like to include a copy of my resume.

3. I'd like to include links to my LinkedIn (and possibly FaceBook) profiles.

So with that in mind, which if the two WordPress options would you suggest?

Thanks,
Steve
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by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 250 total points
ID: 40626666
So with that in mind, which if the two WordPress options would you suggest?

Well, we need to redefine the word "free" then.

If you go with wordpress.com, you can have a "free" site that accomplishes the above with the following caveats:

1) The site will have the domain name of yourchoice.wordpress.com unless you upgrade with wordpress.com to a paid level of service.

2) WordPress will run ads on your site for their benefit unless you upgrade to a paid tier.

3) Limited choices in themes, plugins, and functionality with no ability to customize CSS unless you upgrade to a paid tier.

The last point above is not really a big deal...you aren't doing anything complex.  If you choose to self host, you can download WordPress for free from wordpress.org and have access to tens of thousands of free themes and plugins created by the community BUT:

1) You will need to register a domain name.  This can run from a few dollars per year to $20+ depending on the domain you want.

2) You will need to obtain hosting that allows for PHP and MySQL (required by WordPress).  This can be had from a few $ per month up to [sky's the limit] for a dedicated server.  Figure you will pay between $8-$12/month for hosting and bandwidth.

3) You will need to install, configure, extend, and customize WordPress on your own, unless you have a friend/relative who can help.  If not, expect to spend a fair amount of time learning the ropes and making some mistakes.  While this has no direct cost, time is money.

So free really isn't free unless you want and are happy with the limitations imposed by the lowest tier of service on wordpress.com. If this site is meant to be temporary and supplement your job search and you are not a web designer/developer, then I would go with wordpress.com for ease of use and a completely free solution.  You will able to upload your CV as a Word or PDF and drop it into your site's navigation, sidebar, or page content with relative ease.  Copy/pasting from Word is more difficult but can be achieved with effort.
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by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40626854
Jason,


 this site is meant to be temporary and supplement your job search and you are not a web designer/developer, then I would go with wordpress.com for ease of use and a completely free solution.  You will able to upload your CV as a Word or PDF and drop it into your site's navigation, sidebar, or page content with relative ease.

OK, so if I have, say a resume, and three writing samples on my WordPress site, can I post a direct link to the document? If so, will (annoying) ads still display?

Thanks
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40626871
OK, so if I have, say a resume, and three writing samples on my WordPress site, can I post a direct link to the document?

Yes.

If so, will (annoying) ads still display?

Depends.  Ads are not a constant, they show up on pages when Automattic (the company behind WordPress) thinks there is a likelihood of a click. If you send people directly to a PDF or doc/x file, it should just attempt to download or open depending on browser configuration without any ads but sending people directly to the file means they also will miss your entire web presence.  At that point, you would be better off just having your CV and writing samples as Google Docs and generating a public link for viewing them and giving people that.
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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40626895
Jason,
OK, I'll check out Google Docs now and see if it will work for me.
Thanks,
Steve
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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 41702041
Thank you both for your assistance. Apologies for forgetting about this question.
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