Recently, I was asked some advice about building and managing a website. I have two different paths I believe small business owners should take: hosting your own site and using WordPress.com.
If you aren’t trying to directly do eCommerce through your website, WordPress.com is a great option for building a simple business site. It is an easy to use content management system, and at $130 Canadian for the year, it isn’t very expensive either. It comes with a free domain name registration or if you already have a domain, you can map it to WordPress.com
If you want to host it yourself, the following are my recommendations.
I recommend A Small Orange for hosting. Their $50 USD a year basic plan is pretty nice, and their $20 USD per month business plan includes a free SSL. I have always had a good experience with them, and their support is top notch.
Google Apps for Work is great for email hosting and management. It is $60/user/year and provides lots of email storage, and ease of use. For this price, you also get 10 aliases. Aliases are email addresses that go to the same user. So you can have email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com all going to the same inbox.
As for domain registration/renewal and management, I recommend Hover for $13/year.
I just recently talked a family friend through all of this, and then we decided to go with WordPress.com because it was fast, easy and simple. I am sure he will be very happy with the results.
Note: This website is powered by WordPress.com.
Updated the price of Google Apps. Thanks Tom!