Updated May 22 2018, updates in blue:
With all the technology and web services available, there are endless choices on how to create a landing page for testing your startup idea. One such service is unbounce.com. The service looks intriguing, but as I looked into it, I decided it wasn’t for me, as I don’t really like monthly recurring costs. At $79/month, after a few months it quickly adds up into a real expense. The service makes sense if you are in a rapid mode to test many landing pages, but for many early stage ventures, their just isn’t enough time to maximize the service.
In my case, I have access to a wordpress server — In fact this blog is running from a wordpress server. I would consider it a sunk cost. So I headed over to the local WordPress meetup for some advice — I came away with several new ideas.
DesktopServer — Is a free tool that allows you to create a WordPress site on your machine and then push to an online location. Excellent for setting up a WordPress site in a safe and private environment. The tool also has a premium service that automates some of the manual deployment processes. Here you just have to put a price on your time and opportunity cost. Note: DesktopServer’s site recommends their Duplicator product for copying sites from a local to remote system or visa versa — don’t use the duplicator – the product is poorly maintained; and not formally tested with the latest version.
All-in-one WP Migration — my recommendation for copying/moving wordpress sites from one place to another. It worked for me flawlessly with no futzing at all.
Elegant Themes – Divi
WP Engine — the general consensus was this is the best WordPress site since it includes many services that any sane WordPress developer would use….i.e. each site comes with three environments (development, test, production) and SSL (a $150 value), WordPress specific firewalls and comment spam filters (at least $300/year from Sucuri). They charge ($420/year).
For now I’m going to see if I can utilize my existing wordpress server and forgo a new service. If nothing else, for the learning more about hos the stuff works.
So for now, I’m using my own pre-exisitng webserver, the free DesktopServer, and the $89 Divvy Theme from Elegant themes (which I’ll also be using for another business.) I was able to install a second copy of wordpress on my GoDaddy host, using a domain I already owned. Simply use cPanel to “add-on domain” the domain. Then install wordpress, following the standard wordpress installation instructions. Just choose the file path location for the “add-on domain” home directory.