WordPress Website Builder: What’s the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
If you’re looking to build a website but don’t want to go the DIY route, you have two options: Use a hosted website or build your own. Of the two, I’d argue that building your own is the better option, and here’s why.
Anyone can use a hosted website to build a website. However, not everyone can install and use the software required to build a custom site. With a hosted website, you’re relying on the company that hosts the website to provide you with all the software you need to build a functional site. Even then, you have to look to upgrade that software periodically to keep up with the trends.
As a result, you’re not guaranteed that the site will still be functional and reliable six months or a year from now. You’ll have to take care of all the updates yourself, which can be a hassle. Furthermore, you have to make sure that everything is configured properly before you begin using the site (e.g., the DNS is set up correctly, etc.).
One of the things that make WordPress so popular among bloggers is its reliability. The software is stable and easy to use, which makes it ideal for people just getting started. As a result, many newly minted bloggers choose to use WordPress because it’s easy to use and they want to be able to get their content out there as soon as possible. However, this also means that many newly built sites using WordPress soon start to show their age, as it was built for people just getting started. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to keep in mind.
The cost of a hosted website can be quite high, with some plans costing as little as $2.95/mo or as much as $13.95/mo (plus extra fees for domain registration, backups, etc.). For that $2.95/mo, you get a barebones WordPress installation with no features and very limited functionality. Plus, you have to pay for private domain registration (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org).
On the other hand, the cost of building a WordPress website from the ground up is quite low, as you’re not renting any hosting services (e.g., you’re using your own server). The cost to build a functional, professional-looking site is fairly low, as you’re not going to buy any premium themes or plugins. To put things into perspective, you can build a basic, functional WordPress website for under $100.
Unless you have extensive experience using WordPress, you should consider building your site manually. This means downloading the WordPress software, installing it on your computer, and then manually configuring it to your specifications. Although this is a time-consuming process, it gives you the ability to upload your own themes and plugins, as well as fully customize the look and functionality of your site. If you want to, you can also add additional functionality by installing various modules, such as e-commerce or booking systems from WPLoader.com.
After you finish manually configuring your WordPress site, you’ll need to test it out and make sure that all the pieces are working properly. For that reason, I’d recommend building a small site and then gradually expanding it to your actual needs.
When comparing a hosted website to a manual download and installation of WordPress, there are a few other things to keep in mind. First, your experience with the platform will determine which one you want to go with. If you have previous experience with WordPress, you can easily find the right hosting plan that will make it easy for you to get up and running quickly. On the other hand, if you’re completely new to the platform, you may want to consider opting for a hosted website so that you don’t have to worry about getting everything set up manually.
In addition, you should also consider how often you want to update your site. If you have a blog that you update frequently (e.g., daily), you may want to consider a hosted website so that you don’t have to worry about updates. On the other hand, if you have a more static site (e.g., a news website that updates rarely), you may want to opt for the manual download and installation of WordPress.
In summary, if you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use blogging platform, you can opt for WordPress.com, which is the WordPress platform’s hosted version. If you have previous experience with WordPress or are installing it for a client, you can opt for the more stable and reliable version, WordPress.org. However, if you’re completely new to the platform, you may want to opt for a hosted website so that you don’t have to deal with all the updates and troubleshooting that comes with manually installing and configuring WordPress.