If you’re new to the world of WordPress, you may need a little background information before you can get started with your own WordPress website.
WordPress is an Open Source Project and because of this, there is a large, thriving community of people working on its continued development. As with all open source projects, the full-featured, powerful software is completely free.
WordPress was created in 2003 as a blogging tool but has since grown to be a full-featured, powerful website creation tool. Along with the core tools, there are thousands of plugins, that greatly extend the functionality of WordPress meaning you can accomplish even more with your website.
The powerful templating system also means there are thousands of quality templates (Called “Themes”), both free and premium, that you can use to change the design of your website. You can also develop custom themes, plugins, content types, and much more. With the .org self-hosted option, you can create a wide range of extremely functional websites, for just about any industry or need.
It’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. In fact, according to WordPress.org, 32% of the web uses WordPress, from hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online.
Some users of WordPress include Google, Coca-Cola, Sony, The New York Times, Harvard, and many others.
Website optimizing is made easier
Because of WordPress’s solid foundation and adherence to Web Standards, it does a great job of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), right out of the box. WordPress offers businesses, individuals, & organizations a great way to create a professional website, easily control content, perform well in search engines, and engage their audiences.
Which basically means, it helps with your search rankings, which helps your audience find you. Along with the head start the system gives you, there are tons of high-quality free plugins, that can further help with your search rankings.
In short, WordPress is a powerful publishing tool, that makes it easy for anyone to publish their content online.
There are two WordPress versions to choose from:
WordPress.com & WordPress.org and while a lot of the key elements are the same, there are some important differences.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted solution using open source software that powers millions of websites around the web.
WordPress.org is the center of this community
You are responsible for getting a domain name, a web host (which is the company that actually hosts the files for your website), and installing the software. Most hosts though offer an easy to use, one-click install option for WordPress, as it is a very popular tool.
While you are responsible for hosting and maintaining the site when using the Self-Hosted option, you are 100% in control of your website and content. You can use custom themes, plugins, analytics, monetize your content, and generally customize your site as much as you’d like.
WordPress.com is a commercial service, targeted toward bloggers, where you can host a free website with some limitations or pay for upgrades.
It runs on the exact same software offered at WordPress.org. However, WordPress.com relieves you of having to set up and maintain WordPress on your own server.
When you set up a WordPress Site on your own server, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with it. You will have 100% control on: Design, Themes, Plugins, Content, Monetisation & Performance.
When you set up a site on WordPress.com no matter how much you pay, you’ll always be limited:
No custom plugins. No Custom Themes. No FTP access.
You will not be able to upload custom themes or plugins, you will not have direct access to your files on the WordPress.com server, and advertisements will be displayed on your blog.
You can, however, upgrade your account, and pay additional yearly fees for a custom domain name, additional hosting space, or removing the advertisements.
Maintenance essentially translates into a time investment unless you hire someone else to take care of it for you. If you are not comfortable with FTP and are not tech savvy then the maintenance factor will be a factor when you take your website running costs into account.
Maintenance is handled for you by the WordPress,com support and development team, and that’s whether you host a free blog or one with paid upgrades.
- Domain Name: £10+ per year (Provided by your own choice of supplier)
- Hosting: £10+ per month (Provided by your own choice of supplier)
- Storage Space: Unlimited
- No Ads: Free
- Domain Name: £10+ per year (Provided by WordPress)
- Hosting: Free & High Quality (Provided by WordPress)
- Storage Space: 3 GB Free – paid upgrades available
- No Ads: Annual fee
So Which is best for you?
Choosing which option is best for you just depends on what your goals for your website are. If you will be focusing mainly on blogging, and don’t want to handle or hire someone to handle, the setup and maintenance, then WordPress.com will probably be a good bet.
If you are a business, however, of any size, you would generally be best served with WordPress.org, the Self-Hosted option, as you will have a lot more control and flexibility for your website.
WordPress has been my preferred choice for years. It’s what I use for all my own websites and for the sites I build for other people.
I love it because it has so much extra functionality that you can do just about anything you can imagine with your site.
I know you will love it too.