When I first started getting into building websites. I just knew WordPress as WordPress and just thought it was some blogging tool.
It took me quite a while to realize that there are two VERY different versions of WordPress. So, what are they?
WordPress.com and Its Disadvantages
WordPress.com is a free way to use the benefits of WordPress. The main benefit of going this route is that it is indeed completely free. That’s about it though.
The list of disadvantages are a bit longer than the benefits:
WordPress in Your Domain Name
Unless you pay extra, your website will contain the term “wordpress” in the domain name. For example http://google.wordpress.com. If you’re attempting to look professional what so ever, you need to have a custom domain name that you have full control over.
What?! That’s pretty much my favorite thing about WordPress. As a developer, I can build custom apps and some pretty cool features, but why spend the time if I can click a download button and have almost anything I need in a matter of minutes. Sure I may not find exactly what I need ever time, but for the most part, there’s typically a plugin that fits your needs.
Not Many Themes
One other great feature of WordPress is the thousands of themes there are out there. It can actually be overwhelming at times but you can always find exactly what you’re looking for if you spend the time. With WordPress.com, your theme selection is very limited to their choosing.
If you’re using WordPress.com your ability to customize is locked down. You can make your typical text and color updates here and there, but if you want custom styling or any custom functionality, you’re out of luck. If you’re a developer with any level of knowledge, if even just CSS, you’ll find this extremely frustrating. Even if you have no development knowledge, I can almost guarantee that at some point you’ll want to do some cool things with your website that you’ve seen elsewhere; with WordPress.com that may not be an option for you. I’ve had many past clients who I’ve been unable to help because they’re on a WordPress.com site.
Let me get to it; this is the way to go!
WordPress.org is WordPress’s self-hosting option. Let’s get the cons out of the way. You have to host it yourself, which means you’re paying some sort of monthly fee to a company to host your website. You also need to maintain it and perform upgrades, although most hosting companies automatically upgrade if you’d like.
Besides that, it’s pretty much the opposite of all the downsides that WordPress.com is lacking.
- Custom domain name of your liking, just like mine, GetSiteGo.com.
- Install as many plugins as you like. Go crazy.
- You want a clean, simplistic theme? How about a feature-rich business theme? Whatever you chose, you have thousands of options.
Those are just the main benefits.
Please if you’re going to take anything form this article, just start on the right path with hosting your own WordPress site. Don’t be scared to start, hosting is actually very cheap. HostGator for example, is less than $4 a month! That’s one cup of a coffee a month; I think you can handle that.
If you need some help choosing a hosting plan check out How To Choose a HostGator Plan and if you’re ready to get things started, go to The Easiest Way To Build A New Website and Start Blogging.
You got this!