WordPress is open source (free) software that has been built by hundreds of WP community volunteers and which now boasts that millions of people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call ‘home’.
Whether you want to build a commercially focused small business website or simply document your own journal or hobby blog, WordPress is versatile enough to help you create a very individual ‘space on the net’.
Briefly, let’s differentiate between the two user options of WordPress.com (hosted) and WordPress.org (self-hosted).
WordPress.com is a ‘hosted for you’ version :
- On the plus side, it is free to use when you open an account and offers you standard options, with the ability to purchase additional features to enhance your blog, such as buying domain name mapping.
- On the minus side, this option is less flexible [than the WordPress you download and install yourself] and all the hard work you’ll be putting into your blog content will be in the hands of WP.com and potentially outside your personal control.
So Why Use This Option? If you are happy to accept its limitations: it can work well for hobbyists or bloggers who are focused on a particular theme or topic. If it becomes popular you may achieve some commercial success.
WordPress.org is a ‘SELF hosted’ version :
- On the one hand, you’ll have total control over your own domain url, content and your design. You’ll also be able to access many more free and premium features to help you create and build your ‘perfect’ small business website or blog.
- On the other hand, you will need to invest in a domain name and suitable website hosting, so you’ll need a small budget to get started.
Why Use The Self-Hosted Option? It’s actually much more flexible to use [than the hosted option] The investment costs for starting, or taking, your small business online are very small in the overall scheme of things of starting and growing a business.
Additionally, the self-hosted version can be easily extended with my favourite WordPress framework and a premium or custom child theme that can help you achieve a higher return on your investment (ROI).
In Business? : The self-hosted option is by far more beneficial to you if you want to build, develop and have control of, your creative or small business website around your own services or products, or run your blog as a commercial enterprise.
Research Your Options
As you would if you were to start a bricks & mortar business – It makes sense to do your own research into both WordPress options, domain and hosting resources, and how an advanced framework can make your website and business smarter.