Which WordPress Version Should I Choose?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) and a web publishing platform that’s been around since 2004. It was originally created to be used in conjunction with the Let’s Encrypt-certified WordPress-SSL plugin to provide a fully encrypted connection between visitors and your site’s content. It also offers features such as SEO-friendly urls (which again, can be enforced with the Let’s Encrypt plugin). Finally, WordPress offers a free tier that you can use to try it out before committing to the $5-a-month pricing plan.
Why Do I Need To Choose Between Managed And Pro?
If you’ve been paying attention to the WordPress community, you might have noticed that there seems to be two distinct categories of WordPress users: those who want to have complete control over the look and feel of their site and those who want to use the platform to publish content and build a community.
The first category, comprised of individuals who use personal blogs or small businesses’ public-facing websites, might want to consider the free version of WordPress available through WordPress.com. While it offers a lot of value, it’s not equipped to handle complex security configurations or large amounts of content. For these users, managed WordPress is perfect since it comes with all the required features and security patches and is updated regularly (as needed) to keep pace with the latest web standards and trends.
However, if you’re looking to build a commercial website or you plan on using WordPress to power a business or brand, you might want to consider paying for a license of the software.
This category of user, comprised of individuals who work in IT and digital marketing, might want to consider the professional version of WordPress available through WordPress.org. This version, designed for ease of use and speed, lacks many of the features found in the free version (such as automatic HTTPS encryption and security updates), but it’s perfect for those who want to maximize the performance of their site.
Ultimately, it’s all about what you need for the purpose of your site. If you’re looking for a platform to host your personal blog or a small business’ website, the free version of WordPress is just what you need. If you’re looking for a tool to build a commercial website or brand, the better-optimized and fully featured version of WordPress is what you need.
More On The Differences
Looking at the differences between the two versions of WordPress is helpful in determining which one is right for you. Below, we’ll discuss some of the key features that separate these two categories of software.
The free version of WordPress, WordPress.com, is a totally free and open-source CMS that’s maintained and updated by the WordPress team. As the name implies, this version of the software is offered through WordPress.com and comes with several advantages. For starters, it’s completely free and open source, which makes it completely transparent how it works and encourages community involvement (which we’ll discuss more in the next section).
Another advantage of the free version is its simplicity. While the full version of WordPress offers a lot of features, it’s not necessarily for the beginner. Because it’s made for quick and easy use, the free version is perfect for those who want a simple, hassle-free blogging or online journaling platform.
One of the biggest draws of the free version of WordPress is that it is updated frequently. The WordPress team actively maintains and updates the software to keep pace with the latest web standards and technologies. This makes it a great choice for webmasters who want to keep their sites up-to-date and fresh.
The professional version of WordPress, WordPress.org, is completely free and open-source software that is maintained and updated by the WordPress team. However, this version of the platform is designed for ease of use and speed, offering many features that are missing from the free version. Like the name implies, this version of WordPress offers many advantages to digital marketers, content creators, and business owners who want to build a commercial website or brand.
One of the biggest advantages of the (professional) version of WordPress is that it is highly optimized for performance and speed. While the free version of WordPress is great for those who want a simple, lightweight blogging platform, the (professional) version of the software aims to enhance the user experience by reducing resource consumption and boot time. This makes it a perfect choice for site builders who want to create a premium experience on their sites.
Another advantage of the (professional) version of WordPress is that it is updated regularly. Just like the free version of the software, the WordPress team actively maintains and updates the software to keep pace with the latest web standards and technologies. This makes the (professional) version of WordPress a great choice for webmasters who want to keep their sites up-to-date and fresh.
One of the major downsides of the professional version of WordPress is that, since it’s designed for performance and speed, it lacks many of the features that the general public finds useful. For example, it doesn’t offer any sort of security or encryption for your content, so if you’re taking security seriously, you might want to consider the free version of WordPress.
Whether you’re a power user or a novice, you’ll appreciate the fact that the two versions of WordPress are completely user-friendly. Thanks to the continued maintenance and improvements made by the WordPress team, both versions of the software are extremely easy to use. As a result, even those with no previous experience can get up and running with a blog or a business website in no time.
WordPress has also taken steps to make its interface as intuitive as possible which again, makes it easy for anyone to use. If you’ve ever used WordPress before, you’ll know that it makes creating and editing content a breeze. As a content creator or blog owner, this is exactly what you want from your CMS. One of the reasons why WordPress is such a popular tool is that it simply gets the job done. When it comes to user-friendliness, no other CMS comes close.
WordPress is a completely open platform and as such, anyone can access and edit its code. This makes it susceptible to hacking and data breaches which is why securing your WordPress-based website is so important. Fortunately, the two versions of WordPress are completely secured by default, so you don’t have to do a thing other than activate the Let’s Encrypt-certified WordPress-SSL plugin to get the most benefits.
The benefits of using the Let’s Encrypt plugin for WordPress are many. First of all, it encrypts your connection to WordPress (using HTTPS), which prevents the man-in-the-middle attack that we discussed earlier. Additionally, it also generates a free SSL certificate that you can use to secure your site (for free) and offers flexible security policies that you can use to further protect your site.
As you can see above, the above-the-fold section of our website is currently secured using the Let’s Encrypt WordPress-SSL plugin. This ensures that your connection to our site is encrypted (using Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL) and that all of our visitors can benefit from a safe and secure browsing experience.
Search Engine Optimized
For as long as SEO has existed, webmasters have been trying to optimize their content for maximum search engine exposure. Free versions of WordPress do offer some easy-to-use SEO features that can be used to make your content more discoverable and, ultimately, more successful on the search engine front.
First, let’s discuss the canonical URL feature, which we’ll call out specifically since it’s the default setting in all versions of WordPress. When a webmaster creates a new post on their site, the URL for that post will look like this:
As you can see above, the URL for this particular post is accessible via HTTP and it also contains the words “my-awesome-post”, which are what the search engine uses to identify and rank content.
This is the kind of URL you want to target with your SEO efforts because it indicates both the topic of the content and that it’s somehow “related” to or a part of the original topic (in this case, “my-awesome-post”). Having a canonical URL for each blog post helps with SEO.
WordPress is a completely open platform that encourages community involvement and growth. While the software is constantly evolving and changing to be more user-friendly, it also encourages programmers to come up with new features and functions that can be added to the platform.