WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

So you think you might want a blog or a website using WordPress…

This is a simple guide for those who are new to having a blog or website and also to let you know about my services.

What is the difference? A blog is a website. A website can have a blog. The difference is how it is designed, what it looks like, specific features and who puts it on the web (called hosting).

A blog means a few things these days:

It can be an online diary for an individual or businesses to write regular posts about what they are up to (news). A blogger may blog about their point of view or a subject so it doesn’t necessarily have to be about something current–just interesting. Blogs have grown into full websites like HuffingtonPost.com which started and still maintains a strong blog component, focusing on the contributor and opinions rather than a straight news reporting style.

A blog can also be used to make simple website that lets the public know about you and content doesn’t change that often.

It’s up to you. That is where WordPress comes in.

Why WordPress?

WordPress offers free or low-cost websites (and software) that are nice looking and easy to use.

What I love about WordPress is that organizing information and content is straightforward. Anyone can use WordPress and have their own website without much trouble or investment.

WordPress.com

Provides the hosting for free unless you want your own domain name then that runs about $26 per year. You get 3GB of storage but there is a fee if you want more space and you must purchase storage if you are going to upload music files. After signing up the next thing you will want to do is to choose a theme.  Many are free and I have found them complete and attractive but you can buy additional themes for about $75.

One design note is that WordPress doesn’t allow changing of fonts and colors unless you pay an additional $30. WordPress.com has a bundle purchase of domain, styling, no ads and storage for $99 per year.

There are many ways to organize and feature content. Options I especially like are the contact feature so readers can send you a message through your site without giving out your email address and the word editor which will not only check your spelling but also your syntax.

Additionally publishing posts on WordPress.com provides exposure of your blog to the WordPress community of other bloggers and readers. (63 million blogs on WordPress.com).

Other things to know are that they will not allow advertising unless you have a high trafficked blog and mature content is permitted but you cannot post sexually explicit materials.

WordPress.org or so you might want your own website

Same basic structure as WordPress.com, WordPress.org is free open source software that can be used to build your own website.

You want something to look distinctive and different from other sites on the web. You want more control of the design and look for promotion and brand building. For example you want your logo across the main page of your site and another special graphic going left to right and it’s non-negotiable. You want advertisers on your site.

Your are going to publish a lot of content, videos, music and many posts per day. You plan on having A LOT of traffic.

You don’t want another company to have control of your site and shut it down. It is very, very unlikely but if you blog on WordPress.com and something like Tumblr ultimately they have the lock and key and you must conform to their guidelines. They could suspend or close your site. This is why no matter where you make your website or blog: back up, back up, BACK UP YOUR WORK.

You want to sell things off your website or have features like clients making reservations or order food.

How much will it cost?

Hosting costs anywhere from $4 to $15 per month on the average. If you are a big company it’s entirely different.

WordPress.org is free open source software that can be used to build a basic site and or you can hire someone to do it for you.

The advantage is that it is free, a way of managing web content that is easy to use and the basic format is already designed.

As stated, the software is free and comes with some free themes. But often people purchase complex or elaborate themes for $30-$100. From there you may need to hire a designer or developer to further make the kind of site you are looking for.

After handling design and the technical aspect of setting up hosting, WordPress.org is easy for a business professional to manage their own website. At least 15% of the web is run on the WordPress.org software, many big companies use it and it is constantly being improved upon.

I help people with WordPress, please contact me with questions or a consultation at: erinblogs.com/contact/

While everyone who uses these services is privy to this information, this article was written by Erin M. and is copyright of erinblogs.com.

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