Websites WordPress and Themes

Hopefully this helps you get that website project of yours going.

All my websites run on WordPress, so should yours – it’s awesome and it’s free.

Did I mention it was free?

If you use WordPress – especially if you run a business website – you need to invest in a solid web host and a premium theme. Stop thinking about it and go do it.

Trust me, I’ve been doing this for over seven years now. Premium themes are worth way more than they cost, and a good web host is worth its weight in gold.

What Web Hosting?

Right now all my sites run on MediaTemple but I plan to switch to Storm on Demand by LiquidWeb.

I’m switching because the platforms are equal in reliability but LiquidWeb has better support.

I personally use dedicated virtual server plans, but will need to move to dedicated servers if my sites continue growing at current rates; a good problem to have.

Unless you’re planning for zero growth, don’t get a “Shared Server” plan.

What Theme?

Genesis FrameworkUntil now I used the Thesis Theme on all my sites but I’m in the process of switching them to the Genesis Framework by StudioPress.

There are many reasons for the switch, here are just a few:

  1. Genesis is awesome, has great documentation, great design, and great support.
  2. Thesis used to be awesome, their latest theme update was released without documentation, their design is lacking, and their support isn’t as good.
  3. The Genesis development team is tight with the WordPress dev team.
  4. The Thesis dev team is at odds with the WordPress dev team.

Notes on Thesis 2.x versus Genesis:

I’m sure the Thesis 2.x upgrade was groundbreaking in a lot of ways, but here’s what bothered me most.

  1. limited documentation
  2. slow support response
  3. high learning curve
  4. no automatic upgrade for all their 1.8.x users.

Number three and four sealed the deal for me. If I have to learn a new platform – and – rebuild my site from scratch, I might as well make the switch to Genesis. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time anyway because Genesis sites have better looking designs.

I appreciate Thesis for how well it performed the four years I used it, but it’s time to move on.

In Summary

If you are thinking of starting a website or making your existing website better, these are my recommendations:

  1. Get a solid hosting package with LiquidWeb.
  2. Download and install WordPress.
  3. Get the awesome Genesis Framework (download their free Beginner Guide to Genesis too).
  4. Get a sweet StudioPress child theme.
  5. Get started and create awesome content!

Remember: no one will see your awesome website – and you can’t change the world – until you get it started.

Go do it.

*******

About Matt Jabs

Adventure. Stewardship. Purpose. You can also follow my financial insights on DebtFreeAdventure.com and my sustainable living adventures on diyNatural.com.

Comments

  1. That’s pretty much the same setup I have/had. I started with Thesis on most of my sites, and I was running them on Media Temple. I changed one of my themes to Genesis over a year ago, and I love it. In my opinion, it’s much more flexible and powerful than Thesis 1.8.x. I was excited to try out Thesis 2.0.x, but I’m not very efficient with code, and everything I read and saw about Thesis 2.0.x told me to just move everything to Genesis and simplify things. Learning how to code on a new theme is a tremendous learning curve for me and not a good use of my time or resources.

    I moved to Liquid Web about a year ago also. Their customer support is AMAZING. I have had a few tech issues, but they have always responded quickly (usually no waiting) and they have helped me with trouble shooting and fixing any issues. Media Temple has a good service, but they offer more of a DIY option. I am not technically savvy, so Liquid Web is more my speed.

    Best of luck with the transitions!

    • Yep. I’m sure Thesis 2.x will grow into something cooler down the road, but the transition put me off and made my decision that much easier.

  2. I installed Genesis a couple of months ago and couldn’t be more pleased. Installation was easy for a newbie like me and I really like the child theme I chose from among a very wide selection.

  3. I also started with the Media Temple/Thesis combination. I’m still using Thesis, but haven’t upgraded to the new 2.0 theme, like you say it has a learning curve. I’ll probably switch to Genesis at some point though cause I’m not real fond of Thesis 2.0.

    I was with Media Temple for over 3 years I believe, and for the most part during that time it was great. Then I started having some unknown issues causing my sites to crash, and since they didn’t offer any support to the self managed customers, I wasn’t able to fix the problems on my own. Even after i called and chatted with support multiple times, they wouldn’t help me, not even to save a customer.

    I switched to Storm on Demand (from Liquid Web as well). They actually managed the switch to their servers, moving all 11 of my sites for me. I just gave them the necessary logins, and let them get to work. It took part of one day, and then I was up and running with no real work on my end. Love it!

    Since then I’ve had a couple of small issues, both of which were fixed by support before i even knew there was an issue. Highly recommended to host with Storm on Demand.

  4. I have been using Linode with a smattering of different themes – Thesis, Elegant themes, etc. Recently we switched SpicyTasty.com to KnownHost and have been pretty happy with them. I have look into Liquid Web’s Storm packages. I got a tour of their new facility when they opened it and it was impressive to say the least.

    • Thanks for chiming in K, I hadn’t heard of KnownHost. I had a tour of the LW facilities about five years back and they were impressive back then.