When I started making webpages, we wrote the code in Notepad. Later there were programs like Homesite, Frontpage, Dreamweaver for designing and managing websites.
With the number of different platforms (desktop, tablet, phone, etc) and the different browsers, it became more practical to use a system like WordPress to look after the code and concentrate on creating the actual content of the websites.
There are two options for a WordPress website – hosted at WordPress.com and self-hosted.
WordPress.com offer hosted solutions for your blog. There is a free version where you’ll have an address like gayledallaston.wordpress.com although when you use it, there are many options that require you to sign up for a paid plan. It’s a good way to start playing around without commitment.
You can also have a self-hosted website where you have your own domain and web-hosting space and have the open-source WordPress software loaded. Almost all hosting services offer automated installation of WordPress and other software. I think this is the best option for anyone who is reasonably computer-literate as it gives you much more control, and access to other services. You may need to ask someone to help you set it up.
Perhaps because I have several websites, I prefer self-hosted sites and use Panthur.com.au as my web-host. You can order your domain name and hosting through them, and set up WordPress by following the steps on their cpanel. You’ll also get email addresses @yourdomainname. Choose the cheapest plan and you can always upgrade later if your website is hugely successful and gets lots of traffic. It will give you the option of getting a domain name as part of the sign-up.
If you need help getting to grips with the WordPress system, there are lots of general courses online – one that offers online video courses to help you build or maintain your website is WP101
The courses I offer on creating websites are not technical, they are about how to use the technology to achieve your desired outcome within your organisation. Perhaps a comparison is that a course like WP101 teaches how to use a word processor, and my courses help you work out what to put on your website and how to manage it.