Can I Use WordPress Without Hosting?

Many businesses are discovering the positive aspects of a content managed web property and are actively seeking to replicate this model on their own websites.

However, not all businesses are created equal, and some will undoubtedly want to host the content on their own servers.

Fortunately for these businesses, there are ways to use the world’s #1 content management system—Wordpress—without needing to host it themselves. Let’s take a closer look at how a business can use WordPress without hosting.

Free Blogging Platform

WordPress is the world’s #1 content management system, and for good reason: it’s incredibly flexible, user-friendly, and boasts an incredibly vibrant and supportive community. But for those seeking to use the platform for their business, there’s a catch: you must host the content yourself. That means hiring someone to take care of your website for you, or setting up a hosting account with a service like Bluehost.

While this may not seem like a problem at first, think about all the things that could go wrong. What if you decide that WordPress is no longer suitable for your needs? Or what if you want to switch to a different content management system altogether? You’ll have to start from scratch, which can be a time-consuming and frustrating process.

So while it’s great that WordPress is free, it can also be a major roadblock to those seeking to utilize it for business purposes. Thankfully, there are alternatives available. For example, the previously mentioned WordPress.com offers a free hosting solution for those seeking to use the platform for business or blog-related purposes. Like most blogging platforms, WordPress.com offers limited features and a restrictive license, preventing organizations from employing it for more advanced tasks. But for those seeking to experiment or play around with the technology, it’s a viable solution.

Private Blogging Platform

Another popular option for those seeking to use WordPress for business purposes is to do so on a private blogging platform. While not as flexible or feature-packed as the official WordPress software, these private blogging platforms offer the same benefits of a content managed website, without all the hosting hassles.

The two most popular and well-known private blogging platforms are WordPress.com and Blogger. These platforms are completely free to use for individuals seeking to blog, but those seeking to build a business may need to pay a small fee in order to use the premium features.

Varying Licenses

If you decide to host your content on your own servers, or if you decide to use a self-hosted WordPress installation, you have the option of employing any license you please for the software. While many prefer to use the GPL or Artistic licenses when publishing any kind of content online, these licenses don’t permit you to sell the software itself. You can, however, choose to use one of the commercial licenses if you wish.

The important thing to keep in mind with regards to licensing is that you must license the software under the terms that you choose. If you publish content that is licensed under the GPL, you cannot use a commercial license to host it. Conversely, if you choose to use a commercial license to host your content, you must ensure that your posts, images, and other content that you publish online are licensed under the same terms.

Secure And Private Web Hosting

If you’re seeking to host your content online for public consumption, or if you want to do so securely, you may be interested in secure web hosting. With these kinds of hosting plans, all the traffic is theoretically encrypted as it streams through the network, thus protecting your content from being intercepted by third parties.

The biggest drawback to this approach, however, is that it requires you to use a service like Akamai’s Content Delivery Network (CDN). Akamai’s solution is popular because it’s extremely easy to deploy and use. All you need to do is upload your content to the CDN and you’re good to go. From there, all the CDN does is stream your content to the internet users who are accessing it.

The advantage of this approach is that you don’t need to worry about securing your content or hosting yourself. The CDN takes care of all of that for you. That said, this is an expensive option and is not suited for all businesses or websites.

Managed Hosting

If you have the money to spare, you can always hire someone to help you with the technical aspect of website hosting. The most popular solution for those seeking managed hosting is, you guessed it, WordPress.com. Similar to the previously mentioned private blogging platforms, WordPress.com provides the benefit of a content managed website without all the technical hassles of maintaining a conventional website. All you need to do is set up your blog, and within minutes, you’ll have a functional site populated with all your content.

The downfall to this approach, of course, is that you’re trusting someone else to host your content for you. If you decide that this is not a good idea, you’re stuck with the option of self-hosting or using a private blogging platform.

So whenever possible, it’s advantageous to host your content yourself. The fewer intermediaries involved in the process, the better. This will boost your authority in the eyes of your audience and make it more difficult for your content to be copied or plagiarized.

At the end of the day, the decision to use WordPress or some other content management system as part of your overall marketing strategy should not be a hard one. Especially since you can always add or remove content from your site at any time. You should also be mindful of the type of license you choose, as this will determine whether you’re allowing your content to be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Whatever your decision, as long as you’re not violating any copyright laws, you’re free to make the choice that’s right for your business.