Amelia has over 25 yrs of experience in the IT, Training and Education, and eLearning industry. She is also an author of over 14 books.
This article explains the difference between Instant Wordpress vs. WordPress.
If you’re considering creating a new website or redesigning an old website, read this article first to decide if Instant WordPress or WordPress is right for you.
Why Should You Use WordPress?
- It’s free!
- WordPress has lots of pre-programmed themes to choose from.
- WordPress has lots of nifty plug-ins and widgets available which help you add further functionality to your website.
- It’s one of the most recommended and supported website development tools around.
- It’s easy to find help on how to use WordPress since there is so much information available on the web, including lots of how-to videos on youtube.
- Google loves WordPress websites because the content tends to be well-structured and you have the potential of ranking higher with a WordPress website vs. a static website.
Why Did I Choose WordPress to Build a Website?
In today’s fast paced world, I needed to convert my website to something that was a bit easier to maintain. My old site used customized HTML pages which I maintained using Dreamweaver. Although this gave me full-control over my pages, it was very time consuming. I needed something quick, easy and very versatile. WordPress offered a lot of themes to choose from. I had used WordPress for a project a few years back, so I was familiar with the interface, which was fairly easy to use.
This is the video that convinced me to go with WordPress for building my website. This is a lengthy video, over 1 hour long. I watched parts of it initially, and then I watched it again while I was trying out the steps. Overall, this video provides a good overview of the features of WordPress and shows how easy it is to create a website using WordPress. Note: Some features may be slightly different depending on the version of WordPress used since this is from 2012.
How To Make a WordPress Website
Is WordPress the Best Tool Around?
Not necessarily, but it’s pretty close. It’s a matter of opinion, and it all depends on what your goals are, how much custom programming you need (or don’t need) to do. If you are considering creating a website on your own, it’s worth exploring and doesn’t cost anything to try it since it’s a free open source application.
Also, WordPress is a thriving community with lots and lots of developers and designers willing to help and provide support, so there are definitely benefits when using WordPress vs. other website development tools.
What is Instant WordPress?
Instant WordPress is a complete stand-alone version of WordPress. It is a portable WordPress environment which you can use to build you website locally.
Instant WordPress allows you to use your local computer as a development server. Once you install Instant WordPress, you don’t need the internet to use it because it runs locally.
To install Instant WordPress on your local computer, just go to www.instantwp.com and then follow the easy instructions. You can learn more by watching the first 1 ½ minutes of the video here to the right.
I opted to use Instant WordPress to build my site because I wanted my Easy Learning on the Web site to stay live while I took my time to rebuild a new website locally.
Instant WordPress is handy if you want to test out WordPress locally, or if you are redesigning a new website and you don’t want any downtime for your live site.
Would I Recommend Instant WordPress?
If you ask me whether you should download and use Instant WordPress (vs. WordPress online), I would say it depends on your situation. If you definitely want to build locally, then I would say, yes, use Instant WordPress. Again, it’s handy if you already have a website live and you want to build a new website simulataneously; then when you are ready you can put the new site live using the same domain.
If you are creating a new website, I would highly recommend just using WordPress online. In this situation, it makes sense and will be easier to put your website live.
After using Instant WordPress, I had some issues when I tried to put it live and ended up switching hosting companies because my old company didn’t support WordPress (or Instant WordPress) and it was up to me to figure out how to convert my local site to an online site. It was tricky with Instant WordPress because there was a bit more involved than if I had used WordPress online. I ended up switching to bluehost.com for hosting because they support WordPress and helped me get my new site live. Bluehost installed WordPress for me on their server and setup my files which did require some SQL configuration.
If I had to do it all over again, I would just register with WordPress online and build my website online. Otherwise, there are a few tricky steps to figure out when trying to move your website from local to remote server (if using Instant WordPress).
If you are considering using Instant WordPress locally, you might want to check out the section below which explains how to transfer your local WordPress site to a remote host. Note: I did find some of steps challenging, so when I transferred my site, I opted to get assistance from bluehost.com during the process, which worked out quite well. Bluehost.com fully supports WordPress websites, so whether you decide to use Install WordPress, or WordPress online, I think WordPress in general and Blue Host complement each other and make for a good marriage.
Converting a Local Instant WordPress Site to an Online Website
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to backup your local website, and backup your current online website, especially if you are converting from one website to another. When things went wrong, sometimes you may need to restore from backup. So make sure you have a clean, current copy of all your files before you move from local to remote when putting your website live.
There are lots of plug-ins available for backing up WordPress websites, making it very easy for you to backup your files. I use a plug-in called Duplicator. It creates a zip file containing your site’s files, which you can download and copy to a secondary drive for safe keeping.
#1 Important Thing to Do: Backup, Backup, Backup!
My old hosting company unfortunately did not support WordPress, so it was time to make a change in hosting companies. I did some research and found that bluehost.com supported WordPress. I inquired before I signed up with them, to make sure they would be able to assist me in getting my new website live.
The video below explains how to transfer a local WordPress website to a remote server. The video shows the process using bluehost.com for hosting, but you can still get a general idea of what it takes to transfer from local to remote.
How to Transfer WordPress To Web Server From Local Host
What is the Difference Between Instant WordPress and Regular WordPress?
Now you are probably wondering what the difference is between Instant WordPress software and the online version of WordPress software. It’s essentially the same, but one is for local development and one is for online development. It primarily has the same menu options, interface, as well as bells and whistles. With Instant WordPress, you install it and used it locally; whereas with "regular" WordPress, you register and login to start using it online.
Initially, I was thrilled when I found out that I could use Instant WordPress to build my website locally while leaving my original website intact in the meantime. I read a lot about Instant WordPress, downloaded the software to use locally, and began designing my website locally.
However, when I finished designing my site, I discovered that I couldn’t just upload my files like HTML pages to a server. It was a bit more involved than that.
I had maintaining my website locally and then uploading revised HTML files via FTP software. Filezilla, which is free open source application, can be used for transferring files from local to remote server. I also used a program called WS_FTP Professional from Ipswitch. It was just a cooler program with a bit more features and it had some nifty sounds like bells and train noises that sounded when file transfers were completed. I primarily use Filezilla now, but there are lots of other options for FTP programs out there.
The section and video above explained how to transfer a local WordPress site to a remote server (if you decide to use Instant WordPress), but what if you want to use WordPress online to build your website? How do you put that website live? Number one, I would recommend a hosting service which supports WordPress, such as Blue Host (otherwise, headaches will be a given).
What If I Just Want Plain Old WordPress and Not Instant WordPress?
WordPress online (let’s call this “regular” WordPress) might be just the thing for you!
If you want to use WordPress online, and don’t want to bother with Instant WordPress, go to https://signup.wordpress.com/signup/ to signup for WordPress. Once you obtain your login, you will be ready to use WordPress and start building your website.
Once you have your WordPress site built and your hosting service selected, you are ready to put your site live. You’ll need WordPress on the server in order to do this.
Hosting companies which support WordPress should have an icon on their control panel for you to do this. They should also provide assistance for this process.
The video explains how to Install WordPress on Blue Host, which you need in order to put your WordPress website live (the author also explains how to register a domain if you don’t have one yet). The good news is that once you register with bluehost.com, there is an icon readily available called “Install WordPress” and if you need help, bluehost provides assistance on how to complete the process, including how to go live with your new website.
How to Install WordPress on Bluehost
What’s the Difference Between Dreamweaver and HTML Pages vs. WordPress Files?
There’s a big difference with the types of files that you manage with WordPress as compared to a tool like Dreamweaver. WordPress is a database-driven Content Management System, or CMS which stores all your content in a database.
If you don’t know HTML or don’t prefer coding, then using a Content Management System like WordPress is a lot easier to use for the average computer user. This is because it contains user-friendly menus and interfaces where you can manage the content. Plus, there’s a ton of articles, videos and online help to get you started.
What WordPressTheme Did I Select?
At first, I felt a little frustrated because the theme previews as compared to what I ended up with when I selected the theme didn’t quite match up. Some of the previews looked beautiful, but after testing some out, I ended up with a bare bones site that required me to make a lot of selections. I opted to use the It is the Duena theme from WordPress. It was one of the only themes that seem to require a lot less customization from scratch.
How Long Did It Take to Build Your Website?
Because I had existing content, it was easier than creating a website from scratch. However, it was very different as compared to how I had my HTML pages setup, so it did take a little while to figure out how to copy and paste my content and still preserve some of the same formatting. Some re-formatting was required but I was able to use some of my old style sheets. I worked on my website for 1 to 2 months until it all ready.
So far, I like bluehost which I had switched to because they support WordPress websites. My old hosting company was not able to assist me in getting my new site live after development. If you have a WordPress site, I would consider bluehost.com.
You can visit my website, easylearningweb dot com and go the bottom of the homepage to learn more.
Are You a WordPress User?
My Old Website (static, created using Dreamweaver/HTML):
My New WordPress Website:
What Has Been Your Experience With WordPress?
Please share your good or bad experiences with WordPress vs. other Content Management Systems, or web development tools.
ameetnigamseo on September 03, 2019:
Hello,I found your article very useful.As I have myself used wordpress for my website. eindiawebguru.com
Thanks for writing article on wordpress.Hope to read more useful articles on wordpress.
adbarman on July 14, 2018:
Wonderful post. may work well for newcomers who are new in Wordpress and trying to make the website through Wordpress. Hoping for another article about Wordpress security and malware cleanup.
Amelia Griggs (author) from U.S. on December 05, 2014:
Thanks for stopping by Barbara Kay, glad you found this helpful!
Barbara Badder from USA on December 04, 2014:
I wondered if you could do this. I want to play around with it before I start a new site. Thanks for the info.
Amelia Griggs (author) from U.S. on November 06, 2014:
Glad you found the hub helpful, DDE! Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the comment. :-)
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 06, 2014:
Informative and very helpful
Amelia Griggs (author) from U.S. on October 16, 2014:
Thanks for the feedback, billbuc, much appreciated! I'm glad to hear that. I used to prefer HTML coding but it got too complicated to add bells and whistles with custom programming. WordPress seems to be a good choice for a lot of us, and offers a lot of benefits, plus has the Google ranking advantage. :-)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 16, 2014:
I've used WordPress for my blogs and website, and I love it. I am not tech savvy, and I found WordPress to be very easy to navigate and use. Good information here my friend.