Do you get confused when someone starts talking about WordPress? Or, how about when they start talking about wordpress-dot-com and wordpress-dot-org? Talking about WordPress and how it works can be very confusing. Especially if technology or websites are not your forte.
There are three different types of WordPress. And, to further confuse the issue, two of the types have the same name! No wonder you are confused, right?
So, let me outline the different types of WordPress for you.
The first type of WordPress is the completely FREE version. It is called wordpress-dot-com and if you are just starting out with your business or blogging and don’t have a lot of capital to play with, this is a great option as it allows you to have a website or blog at absolutely no cost to you.
– It is completely FREE.
– If you have a domain name, you can redirect it to your site so people don’t know you are using a FREE site.
– There are themes to choose from.
– You have some capability and functionality.
– You will find lots of helpful articles to learn from.
– Even though you have lots of functionality with this type of WordPress, your choices are limited compared to the other types. Which means that as your business grows and you learn more and/or have more capital, you will want or need to upgrade to one of the other WordPress choices to have the functionality you are wanting.
– If you don’t have a domain to redirect your site name will include the word “wordpress” such as www.thenameyouchoose.wordpress.com. The one I use for training is www.vpyle.wordpress.com if you want to take a look. (Look in your browser address bar).
– You will be limited in what you can customize on your FREE site.
– You could see WordPress ads on your site.
– When you are ready to upgrade your site, you will not be able to take your theme with you BUT there is a way to export your content and import it into your new site.
2) Hosted WordPress.com
The second choice is using WordPress.com for hosting. It is usually called wordpress-dot-com as well, which is very confusing! Officially it is a hosted wordpress-dot-com site. WordPress.com will host your site and give you more functionality. But, beware this is NOT FREE and wordpress-dot-com is more expensive than the third choice (down below). You will pay anywhere from $4.00 per month up to nearly $25.00 per month.
– You can usually keep your WordPress.com theme.
– You will have more functionality then the first option (completely free type).
– No more WordPress ads.
– It is pricier than the third option below.
This is not a choice I recommend because for about the same cost or slightly more than their lowest option, you can your own hosting and domain and have complete control of your site (see #3 below). Here is a link are the different pricing plans for WordPrsss.com hosting plans if you want to check it out for yourself.
The third option is what most professionals use and is called wordpress-dot-org. The reasoning behind its name is because ‘back in the day’ you had to go out to the wordpress.org website and download the files and then upload them to your hosting center. If you didn’t know what you were doing you would have to pay someone to do that for you. Now, most of the hosting companies (GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc) include WordPress as an option and it can usually be easily installed by simply clicking on a button.
This is by far the best option if you want a website that will grow with your business as it grows. But it will cost you a little bit of money and using it can be extremely confusing if you are non-techy (and sometimes even if you are!). (Watch for a WordPress course from yours truly soon!)
WordPress itself is free but you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting to use it. You might also want to purchase a highly rated theme and possibly pay for some plugins. But, even so, it will end up being cheaper than using wordpress-dot-com for your hosting. And, to start all you need is a domain and hosting. You can find free themes and plugins and upgrade later as you grow.
– You have complete control of your site.
– There are thousands of choices for themes, many of them free.
– There are thousands of ‘plugins’ to choose from to increase functionality to your site such as having a store front and taking payments. Most plugins have FREE options to use them or are reasonably priced.
– If you are not tech savvy and haven’t used WordPress.com there is a very high learning curve. You more than likely will need to pay someone to set your site up for you and then show you how add content. which is very easy after you’ve been shown.
– WordPress is free but you need to pay for your domain, hosting, a theme if you choose to purchase one and maybe some plugins. And, it will end up being cheaper than using a hosted wordpress-dot-com site.
So, there you have it. I hope this helps clear some of the confusion about the differences in WordPress.
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And, until next time, live life, not work!