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Alternative Wordpress Builder & Theme
#1
Hey all, I am just curious who here has a website going?  I am thinking of getting one setup and looking at alternative Builder & Theme.  The builder I am looking at is Elementor and the Theme that has my interest is GeneratePress, I might look into others on Organic Themes, or Themeforest...

For those who already have a site, what do you use and what would you recommend?  Who is your host provider?  Any recommendations on which to use?  If wordpress is not your platform of choice, which one do you use?  Looking to build something simple for now (educational website).  TIA!

Maybe I should start with a simple one pager that can have multiple headings at the top and when people click it, it'll go to respective areas on that one page... then expand that to a few pages... I dunno, looking at what may be cheap/easy/fast to get a site up and running...
Working on LIB-495: TESU BA Biology & Computer Science
Deferred: **Deciding on several Masters/PHD programs**

Done: TESU ASNSM Biology, ASBA/BSBA (ACBSP Accredited in 2017)
Universidad Isabel I: ENEB MBA, Big Data & BI, Digital Marketing & E-Commerce
Business & IT Certs: Cisco, CompTIA, 6Sigma/Lean/Scrum, ITIL, MTA, etc
Coursera Google IT Certs & Udacity Nanodegrees

2019 BALS and BSBA Spreadsheet using mainly SL/Study.com (post#28,31)
The Basic Approach | DegreeForum Community Supported Wiki
~Review: Beginners Guide sticky for info on TESU BALS/BSBA in 4 months (post #16)
~Note: Read Wiki guide links for TESU equivalency - CLEP/DSST/SL/Study.com, etc
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#2
I haven't personally used Elementor but I've heard good things about it. I know WP has gotten a bad rap lately for various reasons but it's honestly one of the best ways to get a site up and running quickly without having to worry about hand coding everything. HostGator is pretty good for hosting. Namecheap is another solid choice for hosting. They have WP-specific hosting but I would honestly just go with the Stellar Plus shared hosting plan.
In progress:
Pierpont - AAS BOG
TESU - BA Computer Science


Completed:
Sophia (30 courses), The Institutes (old), Study.com (2 courses)
ASU: Human Origins, Astronomy, Intro Health & Wellness, Western Civilization
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#3
Themes most people are using with Elementor are Kadence or Astra.  Both themes are free and have paid small upgrades.  Try each of them, see which one you like using and which one is easiest to customize. Generatepress is ok as well.

For an education site, you most likely need an LMS.

Teachable.com they host the software, you direct users to yousite.teachable.com.  Easiest to setup. Pay $100 monthly

Onlinedegree.org uses a Wordpress plugin called LearnDash around $160 total

Saylor.org, TESU, and some parts of Straighterline use an opensource free LMS called Moodle.

As far as hosting, there are some decent hosting providers but if you are a serious about building a business you need to be aware of limits on shared hosting plans such as simultaneous processes and limits on CPU usage. Once a site is getting a lot of traffic or sometimes a single WP plugin can cause CPU/process issues which at that point the website is shut down or users start seeing lots of error pages.
Course Experience:
Modernstates.org/CLEP, Straighterline.com, Onlinedegree.org, Saylor.org,  Sophia.org, Study.com, Instantcertcredit, Csmlearn.com and Theinstitutes.org

Degree Plan:
Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in CIS
Bachelors of Arts in Computer Science

114 credits earned with expected completion in 2021.
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#4
If you don't have server space, I strongly recommend Reclaim Hosting, which I've found much easier to use than larger alternatives, and with much better support. Getting WordPress going on a new instance there is one-click easy, and an account there is $30/year. Granted, I've done IT for a long time, but it seems like you've done enough tech that you'd be okay.

https://reclaimhosting.com
BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Ed Tech Leadership, George Washington University
PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
More at https://stevefoerster.com
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#5
I make websites for a living.

My favorite theme is Divi https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/ . It has a builder built-in, no need to get another builder. Then there are tons of plugins that can add even more functionality.

Educational website is not much of a description to work with but let's say you want to create an online school as opposed to just having a site with tutorials, you'd need something for the course/membership portion of the site.

Here are a few that I'm actually researching for a site that I have to build in the next month, they range from free to about $200:

https://www.learndash.com/best-wordpress-lms-plugin/
https://wordpress.org/plugins/learnpress/
https://wordpress.org/plugins/namaste-lms/
https://lifterlms.com/
https://flyplugins.com/wp-courseware
https://woocommerce.com/products/sensei

As far as webhosting, I've been recommending https://hostmantis.com to everyone for the last year. They are cheap, fast and great support.

If the site is just tutorials and not membership based you can do it with a more or less stock WordPress with a decent theme.

If you want to try Divi out let me know and I'll send you the theme or the builder (it actually comes in two forms, one is the theme with builder built-in and the other is the builder that you can use on any theme).
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#6
Hey utility et al, Thanks for all the info! Yes, I looked at the divi theme before and really liked it as well!
I've never heard of HostMantis, but seems pretty good after a little research into their offerings and reviews.
Working on LIB-495: TESU BA Biology & Computer Science
Deferred: **Deciding on several Masters/PHD programs**

Done: TESU ASNSM Biology, ASBA/BSBA (ACBSP Accredited in 2017)
Universidad Isabel I: ENEB MBA, Big Data & BI, Digital Marketing & E-Commerce
Business & IT Certs: Cisco, CompTIA, 6Sigma/Lean/Scrum, ITIL, MTA, etc
Coursera Google IT Certs & Udacity Nanodegrees

2019 BALS and BSBA Spreadsheet using mainly SL/Study.com (post#28,31)
The Basic Approach | DegreeForum Community Supported Wiki
~Review: Beginners Guide sticky for info on TESU BALS/BSBA in 4 months (post #16)
~Note: Read Wiki guide links for TESU equivalency - CLEP/DSST/SL/Study.com, etc
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#7
I use NameCheap for domain name purchase and hosting. I bought their Shared Hosting and have multiple sites. I think it’s the Stellar package for $4.44/mo for the first year and 8.88/mo after that. Not bad for unlimited sites. A friend is using unmanaged VPS on HostWinds. He’s pretty picky about his servers and has been really pleased with them - their unmanaged is really cheap, if you feel comfortable with full responsibility of the server.

My NameCheap hosting has tons of other things beyond WP. I installed Moodle (free LMS) a couple months ago and have been playing around with it. I installed a plug-in to use woocommerce checkout on my WP site for Moodle classes. Still playing with that piece but it’s showing promise. The plug-in took some assistance from NameCheap to install some things on the OS side that I don’t have access to. It makes me a little nervous maintaining the Moodle server, since I’m pretty green with it right now. If I use it, I’ll definitely have a dev and test environment for patching, etc. just to make sure I don’t crash the thing while people are using it. They have a robust user community and a lot of plug-in options, though a plug-in hung up during install can cause you to be essentially locked out of the system. (Hence the need for test servers, and some experience in resolving issues, and doing manual installs/restores is useful). Moodle has a professional looking app that’s nice too, and it’s free for students. Many universities use Moodle, and some have put out plugins.

There were a couple of other LMS options in Softaculous that I haven’t looked at yet.


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