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Environmental Studies

WordPress Options

The ENVS Program requires WordPress for students without current sites, as summarized here. But there are several WordPress options! The information below will help you make an informed choice.

  1. or There is a difference!
    • is the easiest to get started, as they administer the site for you on You just use it! But this limits your options.
    • is the most flexible and powerful, as you administer your own site on a host. You can set it up however you want, and build marketable skills—but you must maintain the site.
    • Our advice: do the easy for starters, then export your work to a hosted site in future. (If you’re ready, go right to a hosted site—you’ll build skills immediately.) Here is one good comparison of the two, eventually recommending  
  2. If you chose Free or paid plan? Here, too, you have choices:
    • Here are their paid plans; the cheapest (Personal) is currently $4/month billed annually if you have a account ($5/month without). There are more expensive ones, but the Personal plan is a great start, and we strongly recommend it.
    • If you scroll down below their paid plans, you’ll see a free plan. The difference?: required ads, less storage space, and fewer choices for the URL name of your website.
    • Our advice: do the Personal plan. Just go to and click Get Started, then you’ll be guided through the rest.
  3. If you chose Where to host? You have lots of choices:
    • has recommended hosts, and all are fine for starters. Most hosting plans are cheaper if you prepay for a certain length of time.
    • If you Google WordPress hosting, you’ll see a wide array of options. One progressive local Portland host is Canvas Host.
    • Our advice: you can’t go wrong with most hosts. Most will walk you through the process, automatically install WordPress on your domain, etc.
    • Here is a step by step guide for getting started with a hosted site, including a discounted host option!

We appreciate your comments toward improving this guidance; just email