Escape the rat race and live online

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You’re kind of a slave.

Think about it. Look back two years ago: were you more free then or now? Are you stagnating in the same place or — worse — becoming even more entrenched in a life that bores you?

Wage slavery is certainly still a thing, but many people live like they don’t have options. They grind out the same miserable commutes, work in the same fluorescent lit cubicles, with the same constant barrage of calls, emails, and under-appreciation.

The answer is staring you right in the face. What do you do when not doing the work you hate?

You’re online.

You’re online looking at the work of millions of others who have escaped the grind and do what they love on the internet.

All the while, you’ve got that idea kicking around in the back of your head. You know what I’m talking about. The one that’s slowly dying. The one you keep postponing because you’re too tired after work. Because you don’t want to think on the weekends.

It’s your business idea. It’s the content you want to create. the stories you want to tell, the pictures you want to take, the app you want to build, the places you want to explore. The life you really want to live, but don’t.

Instead, you stay miserable and live vicariously through the people who do what they want online.

Stop it already.

The answer is staring you right in the face.

Maybe you’ve got an excuse — like “But I don’t even know where to start.”

If that’s your excuse and you don’t want to change things, you’d probably better stop reading here. I’m about to take that excuse away forever.

Once you know the first step, you’ll have to admit the only thing really holding you back is fear.

The first step is brutally simple: you need your own website.

Not just some half-assed blog, but a powerful, real, professional website.

Your website is your base of operations. Your HQ. Your brand.

If you’re building a business, it’s the storefront your customers will peruse.

If you’re starting a personal project, this is where your fans will congregate for updates.

If you’re trying to make your voice heard, your website is the very product you’re selling.

Even if you’re trying to build a career online working for others — as, say, a writer, photographer, designer, or programmer – your website is where prospective employers are going to go to see what you’ve got.

Your website is your base of operations.

No matter how you slice it, if you want to live online, you need a website. It’s the first step to escape, and it’s your first investment in your future life.

Free options do exist, but it’s becoming increasingly the case that such sites are poorly respected and regarded as unprofessional.

The good news is, professional website hosting isn’t expensive. In fact, you probably pay more for water every month than you would for hosting a quality website.

It’s certainly less than most pay for coffee.

Many quality options exist like SquareSpace and Wix, and members of our team have used both. However, our consensus is solidly WordPress Engine.

Why? SquareSpace certainly has the most name recognition among the uninitiated public right now. The company has run an aggressive ad campaign, despite being essentially just an expensive version of Wix. Neither really offer the main features a website needs to get off the ground.

What both of these services prey on is users’ sense of aesthetic. They’ve created very attractive back-ends, and this gives less-savvy users the impression of quality delivered.

When you boil them both down, they’re creative platforms for vanity sites.

Hopefully you’re looking for more than a vanity site.

WordPress Engine cuts out the bells and whistles in favor of features and support that actually help new sites gain traction and grow into monetization.

Like any other hosting suite worth its salt, WP Engine equips you with the tools you need to create attractive, wholly customizable sites. The administrative back end is presented in plain language with plenty of help tips and online support is available to all users.

On the security side, WP Engine actively monitors for hacking attempts (over 2 million are blocked every day), supplies your site with daily backups, and actively scans for viruses. Updates to WordPress can be a hassle with other hosting services, but WP Engine handles them all for you automatically.

If you’ve already got a dinky wordpress site going, you can transfer all your existing content over to their more robust platform with a simple migration plugin.

WP Engine offers 5 tiers of service, but we really only recommend the lower 2 for newcomers. Scale, Premium, and Enterprise are extremely high-end offerings which would probably only be best to consider when your website really takes off.

Don’t let your idea slowly die.

How high end? Well, they don’t even list the prices of Premium and Enterprise. Those options are used by the big dogs. WP Engine is the industry gold standard for hosting, so if you’re on a mainstream website, there’s a decent chance you’re engaging their services. Something like 5 percent of all online experience brushes against WP Engine on a daily basis. That’s huge.

But you don’t need the high-caliber, fully-automatic firepower of the tech titans in your pocket. You really only have to make a decision between Professional and Business.

Build a Personal Website

If you’re going the professional route, you’re probably looking to create a landing page for your professional profile, a showcase for your creative content, or a habitat for your ongoing projects.

For that we recommend the Startup Plan.

Startup comes with everything you’ll need to carve out your niche online without any of the extra expenses of doing formal business online.

  • 1 site
  • 3 environments
  • Up to 25,000 visitors per month
  • 10 GB of local storage
  • 50 GB of bandwidth per month
  • Free automated migration
  • Performance boosting insights
  • Automated SSL certificates
  • 24/7 chat support
  • GeoTargeting (Optional)
  • Additional Sites (Optional)
  • $35/month
  • 60-day money back guarantee

Build a Business Website

Business websites are for those looking to dive directly into online monetization. Whether you need an online face for a local operation or want to begin making money through the internet, this is the option for you.

For business websites, we recommend the Growth Plan.

Some may be tempted to go a grade higher with the Scale Plan. It may look more attractive on paper, but we’ve found that the Growth Plan really offers more bang for buck until your business reaches the capacity where upgrading is an absolute necessity.

The Growth Plan gives you a lot more flexibility than the Startup Plan and offers enough traffic, support, and security for most businesses making their initial foray into the online landscape.

  • 5 sites supported
  • 3 environments per site
  • Up to 100,000 visitors per month
  • 20 GB of local storage
  • 200 GB of bandwidth per month
  • Free automated migration
  • Performance boosting insights
  • Automated SSL certificates
  • 24/7 chat support
  • GeoTargeting (Optional)
  • Additional Sites (Optional)
  • Imported SSL certificates
  • 24/7 chat and phone support
  • $115/month
  • 60-day money back guarantee

That 60-day risk-free element is something we particularly like about WP Express. It’s not something you see offered all the time with hosting.

Even if you’re standing on the uncertain shores of the internet, you can test the waters without worrying about sinking all your cash into it. By two months, you’ll know whether you’re up to the task or not.

On both plan options, if you pay for a year in advance, you’ll get a two-month discount (60-day money back guarantee still applies). On top of that, checking out with the code WPE20OFF gets you 20 percent off your first month.

Ready to take your first step outside the rat race? Start building your Professional Site or Business Site using the buttons below!

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links.
 

via Android Authority

March 22, 2018 at 11:19AM