Today I finished the site for a magical luxury vacation rental in Santa Fe. It’s called the Santa Fe Hobbit House, aptly named for its whimsical architecture and artistic mosaic details. Most of my client sites built in the last couple years have been full-blown WordPress sites, with lots of plugins and many design options, which has been wonderful. But sometimes it makes sense to save time and money by working with WordPress.com. The difference is that the full-blown sites, in addition to their freedom in design options, require maintenance to keep them safe and secure. This means logging into the back end and checking for updates regularly. It’s not hard to update a WordPress site but many people don’t have the time or interest in doing so.
Enter Terry and Sheila Northway, owners of the Santa Fe Hobbit House. They have multiple businesses and don’t need the extra work of keeping their website secure, especially in these digitally scary times. So we came up with a WordPress.com site to replace their old HTML version and we launched it today. We took the content off the old site and re-framed it with a more sophisticated, mobile-friendly theme that is available for free. Terry and Sheila opted for the $99/year premium plan which gave them the ability to use their domain name and gave me more styling freedom than the free plan. All the WordPress.com plans are hosted by WordPress and include security updates. As a 20-year web designer, I was thrilled to be freed from all the steps I usually take that include security considerations. Given that, and the limited design options, we got the site done in little more than half the time I usually spend.
In the interest of blowing my own horn… this WordPress.com site is for my own musical endeavors as an improvisational flutist. It cost me nothing but time. I’m using this web experience to promote my music, and also to explore WordPress.com’s free version, for clients who want to pay absolutely nothing for hosting or domain registration. Pretty amazing!