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Wordpress.com

Wordpress is one of the easiest and most widly used content management systems (CMS) out there. WordPress was originally software that was used to run Blogs, but has been used in recent years to run entire websites. WordPress comes in two "flavors": commercial and do-it-yourself. The commercial version is what we'll talk about here. You can go do WordPress.com and sign up for a free account in a matter of about two minutes. You can then start blogging away for free. "Free?" I hear you say. "There's no such thing as a free lunch." You're right. WordPress has to pay the bills somehow. How they pay the bills on your free account is that they run ads on your site and pocket the change that Google gives them. It's not such a bad deal, though. You get a free website out of the deal. There may be some downside, however. You have no control over the ads that get run on your site. There's very little chance that the ads may be for inappropriate content, but the ads may be for your competetors.

Adversiting aside, WordPress.com has much to commend it. The software and servers are professionally maintained and supported. There are a variety of themes or styles that you can apply to your site. There are also some plug-ins that will extend the functionality of your site. There are premium plans available that as of this writing go for $99 or $299 per year. What do you get for the money? First and foremost, no ads running on your site since they're now making their money off of you. You also get additional space for files, the ability to upload videos, better support and a host of other perks. It is worth it? Could be. $99 per year is only $8.25 per month, which is about the going price to host a website. WordPress offers very functional software that's very search-engine friendly. WordPress is very popular software and there's a lot of help available. There's online documentation, video tutorials, live training, and many local user groups. Is it for you? The best way to find out is to sign up for a free account and give it a spin.

Homework

Do you have a blog or other website? If not,

Sign up for a free wordpress account.

Write something about your business and upload a photo of you and your storefront.

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