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Environmental Studies

WordPress Options

If you would like to build skills in digital scholarship, we recommend WordPress, as noted here. But there are several WordPress options! The below, current as of fall 2018, should 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…unless you want to pay them for an advanced plan.
    • 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 maintain the site.
    • Our advice: if this sounds overwhelming, do for starters, then you can always export your work to a hosted site in future.  But if this sounds exciting, get a hosted site; there are lots of upper-division ENVS majors who can help you set it up.
    • Other advice is easy to find online. Here is one good comparison of the two, eventually recommending (and including a discounted host option).  
  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. There are more expensive ones, but the Personal plan is a great start.
    • 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, unless you can’t afford the $4/month. 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 and 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. If you want a progressive local Portland host, consider 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.
    • If you choose, here is a step by step guide for getting started, with a discounted host option.
  4. Finally: if you chose and want to import your previous work from, how do you do it?
    • As you know, we provided support for this transition spring 2018, but you can still do it; just email if you need help.
    • Here is the document our student workers prepared last spring to help you transition your work from to a hosted WordPress site. It also includes helpful hints if you want to make your site look like it did on, etc.
    • Our advice: do import your previous work. Potential employers, graduate schools, and others will be impressed to see a variety of content you created over multiple years.

We appreciate your comments toward improving this guidance; just email And if you’d like to join other WordPress users, sign up for ENVS Announcements, where we will occasionally post related events.