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WordPress or Learn to Code?

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oa92

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WordPress or Learn to Code?


Hi I’m Oli, I’ve been on the forum a few weeks now and this is my first proper post.


I have an idea for a website / online service that will basically be there to provide people information in a particular niche. I think I have identified a need that has not yet been filled and therefore leading me to believe there is a gap in the market for this service. From my research I have not found any other website that offers this service but I think a comparison website type format would suit it.


So after doing my initial research I have concluded that this idea has potential and is worth moving forward with.


Having never had any experience in building websites I have done what research I can on deciding how I go about building one. From what I can gather, if I were to use websites like WordPress, Wix and GoDaddy etc. if your website became fairly successful you run the risk of outgrowing their services and the plugins they offer which would restrict your business.


So with that in mind I then looked into learning to code and build the website that way. For the past couple of weeks I have been reading books and getting to grips with basic HTML and CSS. This has been going well but I am worried that it will take me a very long time to get my coding skills to a level where I can build and maintain a successful website.


So what I am really trying to understand is what is the best way for me to go about building a website considering my very little experience in website building?


Is it worth me continuing learning how to code or do I go down the route of using websites such as WordPress?


I seem to have gotten to a point where I’m questioning what is the best route to take, will coding take too long to learn and maintain or could something like WordPress eventually be restricting. I’m trying to way up pros and cons but cannot come to a decision on what’s best.


If the website became a success the end goal would be to sell the website, so does how you build a website affect how much you could sell it for in the future?


I should note that my background is in graphic design so I am confident I have the skills to design a nice simple website aesthetically.
.


Also sorry if this has been asked before, I have searched the forum but couldn’t find anything like what I’m asking, so if anyone knows of anything just point me in the right direction.


Thanks

Oli
 

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Remiremi

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Try to do it without learning to code. Start with WordPress or Wix or whatever can get you started today and go help people right now.

Outgrowing your platform will be a nice problem, it means your onto something.

Ps: learning to code a good website from scratch will take you far more than a few weeks, knowing it something you can easily outsource for a couple hundred dollars it's definitely not your priority.
 

Madame Peccato

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Start on WordPress.

If your website ends up outgrowing the platform it's on, you'll have already made some money from it supposedly, you can then invest said money to hire a web developer to make sure your site can scale further.
 

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The answer to this question will always be; it depends what problem you are solving. If you're building a solution based on information delivery and fee-gated content, sure use wordpress. Anything that offers a custom user interface with transitions, interactivity, data manipulation, etc, gotta code it. Wordpress has some plugins for some of those requirements, but plugin hell is just as bad as learning to code, if not worse.
 
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oa92

oa92

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Okay thanks for your advice! The website would need a tickbox type form that would then get submitted to me, it would be a free service but I do have an idea that I would add later that would involve a paid service providing the initial website is a success.
 

jesseissorude

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Having never had any experience in building websites
It is DEFINITELY not worth your time to learn to code right now. Focus on validating your business idea.

What you do need to know is how to manage that site. So maybe you get a site made, and then learn how to manage the back end yourself.

Futz around with Wordpress, and if it takes you more than a couple days to get the site live, consider paying someone for help. You really should be trying to sell your product or service, not wasting your valuable time banging your head against your keyboard.

What's your business idea, btw? Graphic design services? What if you could get ONE client the "old fashioned way" and use that money to pay for the creation of a website?

From my research I have not found any other website that offers this service
Iiiiiinteresting. I wonder if there's a reason why it doesn't exist yet.
Maybe bounce your idea off people in your niche and validate the business idea before you spend money/time on it. Could you make a pen-to-paper wireframe of the site idea and what it would do? Then take a couple people out to coffee and see if they can poke holes in the idea
 
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Vadim26

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Can't contribute with anything, but wow, I wish every question here on the forum was like yours.

Instead of people creating a thread and asking: "How do I create a website?" in a 1-line sentence style
 

Zcott

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Use WordPress.

There are great ways to customise it to how you want it. Look on www.themeforest.net for templates.

And as said, go and validate your idea first (action taking) instead of spending ages learning to code (action faking). Setting up a good wordpress site might take a week, learning to code and building a website that works could take ages.
 
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oa92

oa92

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It is DEFINITELY not worth your time to learn to code right now. Focus on validating your business idea.

What you do need to know is how to manage that site. So maybe you get a site made, and then learn how to manage the back end yourself.

Futz around with Wordpress, and if it takes you more than a couple days to get the site live, consider paying someone for help. You really should be trying to sell your product or service, not wasting your valuable time banging your head against your keyboard.

What's your business idea, btw? Graphic design services? What if you could get ONE client the "old fashioned way" and use that money to pay for the creation of a website?



Iiiiiinteresting. I wonder if there's a reason why it doesn't exist yet.
Maybe bounce your idea off people in your niche and validate the business idea before you spend money/time on it. Could you make a pen-to-paper wireframe of the site idea and what it would do? Then take a couple people out to coffee and see if they can poke holes in the idea
Okay thanks looks like getting on with something like WordPress is the way to go then. The idea is not Graphic Design services but in retail.

The service I will be providing will have to be free or I do not not think people would use it, so I will be relying on traffic coming through the website initialy but I do have plans to introduce a premium paid service if the first service is successful.

Ive discussed the idea with family and everyones fairly surprised that something like this doesn't already exist so hopefully thats a good thing rather than bad. Im pretty good on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop so I think I'll knock up what the website will look like, get some feedback from people and take it from there.

Thanks
 

JG17

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plugin hell is just as bad as learning to code
This is such true and good advice. Try to simplify your 'behind the scenes' as much as possible, not only will it make your site faster it will make your life a lot easier.
 

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Process

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By the time you "learn to code" your idea will have expired. Learn how to install Wordpress to immediately take action.

Code in your free time. Use it to refine your thought processes and be good enough to know what you're asking a freelancer to do. Hope this answer is clear.
 

Christian Wagner

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Wordpress is definitely the most efficient solution for you right now.

The easiest way to get quickly professional looking websites is to work with a professional theme with a drag & drop pagebuilder (Elementor, WPBakery Page Builder).

Best source for good themes is themeforest.com Best practice is to buy one of the top-20 themes and not a theme with 10 downloads. Like this you are safe with updates in future.
 

404profound

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It's worth mentioning that Wordpress violates both control and entry (the most risky one being control)...

Could be good to test a market, but wouldn't rely on it in the long term. Just my two cents.
 
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oa92

oa92

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Okay thanks, so considering everyones advice it looks the the best route for me would be to:

1) Come up with a design/concept to show people how to site will work so I can validate it is an idea worth pursing.

2) Assuming good feedback, build a WordPress site, put the idea into practice and test the market.

3) If the WordPress site proves a sucsess move forward with building a better site using code which will eventually supersede my original WordPress site.

As mentioned in some of the above post I think it will be a good idea for me continue learning code in my spare time, but not so I can build the new site myself, more so that I can give clear instructions on how my site needs to be build and also so I have an understanding of how to maintain it.
 

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Do not learn to code your way into a 20-hour/day developer job.....
Nowadays HTML and CSS knowledge is not even enough to start.
 

D_Benga

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WordPress or Learn to Code?


Hi I’m Oli, I’ve been on the forum a few weeks now and this is my first proper post.


I have an idea for a website / online service that will basically be there to provide people information in a particular niche. I think I have identified a need that has not yet been filled and therefore leading me to believe there is a gap in the market for this service. From my research I have not found any other website that offers this service but I think a comparison website type format would suit it.


So after doing my initial research I have concluded that this idea has potential and is worth moving forward with.


Having never had any experience in building websites I have done what research I can on deciding how I go about building one. From what I can gather, if I were to use websites like WordPress, Wix and GoDaddy etc. if your website became fairly successful you run the risk of outgrowing their services and the plugins they offer which would restrict your business.


So with that in mind I then looked into learning to code and build the website that way. For the past couple of weeks I have been reading books and getting to grips with basic HTML and CSS. This has been going well but I am worried that it will take me a very long time to get my coding skills to a level where I can build and maintain a successful website.


So what I am really trying to understand is what is the best way for me to go about building a website considering my very little experience in website building?


Is it worth me continuing learning how to code or do I go down the route of using websites such as WordPress?


I seem to have gotten to a point where I’m questioning what is the best route to take, will coding take too long to learn and maintain or could something like WordPress eventually be restricting. I’m trying to way up pros and cons but cannot come to a decision on what’s best.


If the website became a success the end goal would be to sell the website, so does how you build a website affect how much you could sell it for in the future?


I should note that my background is in graphic design so I am confident I have the skills to design a nice simple website aesthetically.
.


Also sorry if this has been asked before, I have searched the forum but couldn’t find anything like what I’m asking, so if anyone knows of anything just point me in the right direction.


Thanks

Oli
I would suggest going the Wordpress route as there is less chance of you getting frustrated with code and quitting. With Wordpress you will be able to cut your dev time exponentially. You can spend the time saved on other things like marketing and networking.
 

Roli

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Having never had any experience in building websites I have done what research I can on deciding how I go about building one. From what I can gather, if I were to use websites like WordPress, Wix and GoDaddy etc. if your website became fairly successful you run the risk of outgrowing their services and the plugins they offer which would restrict your business.
The website isn't the important thing, it's the idea. Pay a developer to make the site, this is the fastest and most efficient way to get your idea out there.

You can learn the basics of web design fairly quickly, getting a site to work nicely and look professional is another thing all together.
 

rpeck90

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As someone who's done both let me tell you now that if you're doing this for business, you don't need to worry about the site at all. Here's a site I made a bunch of money from - done in vanilla HTML:



Your real issue is moving on your idea. From what you've written, it sounds like you're putting the cart before the horse. Making a niche site is great... but where is your traffic coming from? Do you have connections with publications / ad platforms? How are you going to get traffic?

If you explain the niche/idea, maybe I could give some ideas. Ultimately, I've been in your shoes before, both having owned one of the largest sites in a niche, and having the aspiration of creating one & it failing miserably:


Second-largest "Webkinz" site in the world

"Learning to code" is profitable, but only if you're good at it.

I've been coding for like 5/6 yrs professionally, and it's tough. It's tough because "coding" isn't about making a Wordpress site look pretty; it's about creating underlying functional solutions for different business requirements. You're expected to know - and traverse - the entire technology stack in the pursuit of implementing said solution.

Take a look at some of my Github repos if you want to get an idea of it:



Furthermore, you're competing against some of the brightest minds in the world. I cannot stress enough how important this is -- if your goal is to "learn to code" just so you can make a pretty site, ditch it and focus on converting traffic instead. If you have an affinity for it, then by all means pursue it - but most people don't. The rabbit hole is too deep.

I've been coding since I was 13 and only took it professionally when I ran out of money for a project (money that went on professional software devs because I didn't want to do the code myself).

--

If you're starting out, here are some pointers I've picked up over the years (my opinion and not to be construed as advice):
  • If you're starting out, throw shit at the wall.

    Webkinz site was made because I noticed on eBay pulse that "Webkinz" was the 2nd most searched-for term on the platform. I decided to make a site and sell it on Flippa ("I'd be happy to get $500"). I made the site on WP and started to publish it to directories and such. I made a bunch of posts but the one that exploded was called "Webkinz Cheat Codes" (or something like that) and got to the top spot on Google. Traffic started coming, I opened a forum and ended up with 3,000+ visitors a day.

    The point is that if you're starting out, don't worry about the idea. The idea is only important if you're Apple, and have a reputation/expectations to manage. If you're green, no one gives a shit.

  • Don't bet on an outcome.

    Most people put the cart before the horse (me included). They'll fantasize about making some product, some idea, how they're going to promote it and everything. It's natural to do this... but rarely works. Not to say you can't do it... but it's only really for companies with $100k+ budget for projects.

    If you really want to get into this stuff, focus on getting traffic to a page and making it pay. That page can be anything -- ecom, fb ads, niche site -- but it has to be something that converts. If it fails, put it on Flippa or sell it on DigitalPoint for $350-$500.

  • Treat it as a blood sport.

    I've done a TON of stuff, and 90% failed. Having an idea for a niche site is one thing... following-through is another entirely. I put many of the failures down to not being in the US. Regardless of this, the fact is that regardless of how good you think the idea is, the market doesn't give a shit.

    It only cares about what you can do for it.

Sums it up well:



--

I was going to plug my own Fiverr service for this stuff (I can get WP installed for $50) but I think the forum rules are against it. Either way, I will say this --> if you really want to get WP running, go to Namecheap and buy their middle "shared" hosting plan:



This will give you access to CPanel, which has a plugin called Softaculous. Softaculous will install Wordpress for you without you having to do anything:



That gives you a Wordpress site (you'll need a domain with it) for about $35. This is your starting point. Plugins etc come after that. If you want further info or help, you're welcome to email me at rpeck@frontlineutilities.co.uk. I will likely recommend my Fiverr service if you need help with themes/plugins, but there's no reason you can't do it yourself.
 

TreyAllDay

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Use wordpress or whatever you need to get it off the ground - when you outgrow it, you won't be worried about learning to code and it won't be a good use of your time, you can hire people to do it or find a relatively inexpensive contractor online.
 
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Guest61362

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The point of it all- actual customer will not check the source code to see on what technology that website is built with. They like the product or service - it goes into basket (or your email/phone rings). If something goes wrong- error this on iPhone, error 'not secure' and so on- they leave in two seconds. Except if you have something real good they need- then they go back to lets say desktop or even try Chrome before Firefox to make it work.
 

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50x

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Valid things said above! Remeber also that if you "outgrow" you can "swap out". If you buy a domain you can keep it separate from your content machinery, in technical terms DNS (domain name services) are separate from hosting. Even in the same hosting you can (and will) make over and switch the platform that provides your content. Your content is the valuable thing here.

If you can buy things for little money, learning and making it all by yourself will cost your time, which is the most precious of all currencies. Ready tools well used, such as Wordpress and ready templates are leverage, not waste of money.
 

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