You have probably heard WordPress before or read it somewhere in passing but, you didn’t know what it meant. Even if you have never heard it before, there is nothing to worry about. We have broken down everything you need to know for a start. WordPress is an open-source website creation platform. It is written in PHP, and it uses the MySQL database. In simpler terms, WordPress is the most popular and powerful blogging and website content management system.
Whether you are looking to create a blog, an eCommerce website, an eLearning website, a portfolio website, or whatever else you may be looking to develop in the form of a website, whether large or small, WordPress is your go-to solution.
You probably have heard of other platforms, and you could be wondering why WordPress is so popular among bloggers, creators, and other businesses that need blogs. A few reasons for its popularity include:
- Simplicity, as a beginner, you do not have to fret about your minimal knowledge of WordPress. It is straightforward and allows you to build your content and publish it with ease.
- Flexibility, the range of websites that you can create using WordPress is endless. WordPress offers you the flexibility to customize their platform into what perfectly suits your needs from personal blogs to websites.
- You do not have to be a geek. You are probably wondering what happens to someone who has no idea about coding if they want to create a blog or website on WordPress. Well, the good news is, all they have to do is go ahead and follow step by step prompts on signing up. There is no coding knowledge required to get started with WordPress.
- WordPress operates in the spirit of open source. Though it is owned by a single company and licensed under the general public license, it allows hundreds of developers and users to work together and contribute to making the software better. So you, as an end-user, get the privilege of using a platform that is continuously improving, and your experience is enhanced.
- While using WordPress, you have a range of options that change the entire outlook of your website using the WordPress themes.
- WordPress platform prioritizes the security of its users, and they continue to improve it over time.
Despite WordPress being so popular and having all the benefits mentioned above, something is still confusion about it, especially to new users. When you google WordPress, for example, they both appear following each other on the first and the second position and therefore throwing in more confusion to new users on which one they should pick.
Main Differences between wordpress.com and WordPress.org
The significant difference between these two options is who hosts your site. With wordpress.org, you host your site, which translates into more freedom while with wordpress.com, WordPress takes over all the hosting tasks, making it easier for you to start and, thus, less freedom.
With the wordpress.com, you will have “wordpress.com” automatically included in your website’s URL. However, with the paid .com upgrades plan, you are given the option to have a custom domain name, it offers you more storage space, and you also get google analytics. The paid upgrades also allow you to add your custom plugins and themes.
If you only use the free wordpress.com option, then you can only use the already available themes and plugins on the platform.
WordPress. Org is the version of WordPress that allows you to download the WordPress software into your server or your web hosting account. To use it, you are required to have both a domain name and web hosting services, purchased from another company. Usually, WordPress has a list of trusted companies that offer great hosting packages.
Most hosting companies offer a “quick install” for WordPress, or they will do it for you if you do not know how to or are not in a position to install WordPress.
Why Choose wordpress.Org?
At WPGeared, we have weighed the benefits, considering the features of both WordPress.com and WordPress.org and, we would highly recommend using wordpress.org.
Features of WordPress.org that makes it a great choice for you.
WordPress.org allows you to upload custom plugins. While WordPress has all the necessary features to run a basic website, most users want to have more specialized functionalities specific to the site’s needs. The use of plugins enhances these functionalities. Plugins are small pieces of code, designed to perform particular tasks. With plugins, you can add features such as shopping carts, contact forms, galleries, etc., to your site. With WordPress.Org, you have the liberty to install tonnes of plugins that are available on WordPress; also, you can purchase plugins from other third-party developers depending on your need. You can activate or deactivate these plugins at will, depending on the evolving needs of your site.
WordPress.org allows you to use any theme. A theme is a choice that the owner of the website uses to enhance the overall appearance of the site. WordPress directory avails a tonne of different themes that a site owner can use. When using wordpress.com, you are limited to the themes that are provided by WordPress.
On the other hand, using wordpress.org gives you the liberty to purchase customised themes from third-parties designers in the marketplace. With a range of theme options available to a site owner, one can preview the themes online and install them to change the general outlook of their website.
The range of customisation available for wordpress.org is insane! You have the liberty to make your site to be exactly what you envisioned it, whenever you want to. This is partly powered by the available free and premium themes and also, your creativity.
With a wrdpress.org website, you are the boss. You do not have terms and conditions that you should adhere to, and no one will ever turn off your site, simply because you failed to adhere to terms and conditions, as long as what you are doing is illegal. This extent of control is worth every dime you pay for web hosting services.
For most people, if not all who start either blogs or personal websites, their eyes are fixed on monetising the site at a certain point. If you are looking to monetise your blog, then, wordpress.org is an excellent option. With a free plan of wordpress.com, they place adverts on your blog, but you never earn anything off those ads. In as much as wordpress.com do not allow you to monetise your blog, they have stringent conditions and terms to meet. For example, you must have a high traffic site to qualify for wordAds. WordAds is the wordpress.com advertisement program. Also, if you have a premium or a business account, which you pay for, you automatically qualify for wordAds; in other words, you have to pay to get the ad business going. That is not the whole pain pill of the wordAds program by wordpress.com. There is another bit of revenue sharing, where you share with WordPress every revenue you make off wordAds advertising.
When using wordpress.org, you do not have to rely on the WordPress statistics. It gives you the liberty to use other powerful tools such as google analytics to do your traffic tracking and analysis.
With a wordpress.org site, you can easily create an online store that allows you to carry out all the buying and selling activities of either digital or physical products. Such functions include; accepting credit card payment, delivering and shipping of the goods to the clients. On the other hand, you cannot have an online store while using a hosted WordPress, unless you pay for an e-commerce plan, to have some shop functionalities on your site.
A self-hosted WordPress allows you to create an online community around your website. This is because it allows you to create a membership site, which sells membership for premium content and courses. Such communities allow great exchanges with your website’s visitors, thus making it a relational rather than a transactional interchange.
Depending on the type of website that you are planning on creating, you can create one with a budget of as low as $46 per year for the hosting services.
Though the hosting services of a self-hosted site increase as traffic increase, you can be sure that you will have made enough money through your website to cover the extra costs.
Finally, though some people are scared of the regular backups that are required for the self-hosted site, there are tonnes of backup plugins available that automatically back up your site at a click of a button. A self-hosted WordPress site is an ideal website for someone that is looking to make money off the internet. However, for a personal blogger, who is probably looking to have some fun, or have writing as a hobby, thus cares less about making money, then wordpress.com, makes for a great choice.