The Different Ways to Host WordPress
If you’ve been researching WordPress for any amount of time then you’ve probably come across WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Although they both look and sound very similar there are some major differences, so what exactly are they and why should you care?
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a website ran by the creators of the software which allows you to create your own website for free. Not only do they allow you to create a beautiful well designed website, but they’ll also host it for you free of charge. WordPress.com also offer a paid service if you need any extra features unlocking such as extra storage or premium themes. In addition to this they will also regularly update your blog with security updates and protect it from any unwanted spam.
To create your website all you have to do is register a free account with them and then choose your websites name. Once you’re all signed up you can change and edit your website as much as you want. You don’t even have to worry about installing or setting up WordPress as it’s already done for you.
Not only is WordPress.com a great website to host your website for free but it also showcases what the content management software is capable of. There are literally millions of blogs hosted on the website ranging from portfolios to blogs to personal websites. If you need inspiration for your site then be sure to check out the other websites to get some ideas.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org on the other hand is where you get a copy of the software and manage the hosting, updates and management yourself. By installing the software on your own server this gives you a lot more freedom and flexibility as after all the software is open source and can be altered. These changes can be anything from minor cosmetic changes to major work which completely changes the functionality of the website.
If installing and setting up the software on your own might sound a bit tricky then don’t worry. WordPress.org have plenty of forums and tutorials to guide you through setting the software up. If you do get stuck you can also reach out to other members on the forum who will be more than happy to help.
The Difference Between the Two
So now you have an understanding of what the two WordPress websites are, how can you determine which is the right one for you? There are a few things to consider before making a decision but here are the most common things to think about before deciding.
What’s the Cost?
When it comes down to cost, WordPress.com wins without a doubt, you can’t get cheaper than free! Spending money on your website can actually make it much better, but don’t worry you don’t have to spend a lot.
The beginner package on WordPress.com gives you 3GB of storage for free but you’ll still need to register your own domain name if you want it to look professional. These domain names can cost a few pounds a year and are renewed every year. On the beginner package you will still be subject to ads as they help pay for your free hosting. If you want to remove these ads then you should probably consider a paid package.
The first paid hosting package offered by WordPress.com is $99 a year and comes with 13GB of space which is plenty of room for most users and gets rid of those pesky ads. For individuals wanting to take it to the next level WordPress.com also have a business package which is available for $299 a year. This package is aimed more at professionals looking to create their own website and comes with unlimited storage, no ads and access to unlimited premium themes to make your website stand out from everyone else’s.
If you are thinking of going for the paid package then you can also do it with WordPress.org. First things first you need a web host and depending on how many websites you want to host and how large they are will determine what storage you need. Popular hosts can offer you 10GB of storage for $2.50 a month and many of them offer regular discount promotions.
In addition to this you will also have to purchase a domain name which is normally around $15-20 a year depending on which domain name registrar you use. A domain name is essential if you want your website to look professional.
Both sites have their advantages and disadvantages. WordPress.com allows the less experienced individual to create beautiful websites without that much technical knowledge as everything is set up and installed for them. The downside is there isn’t that much customisation as the user is limited to certain built in themes and templates. The chances are if you make a website you’ll find someone using the same theme as you.
WordPress.org on the other hand allows users to completely customise their website down to the smallest detail. Custom themes and plugins can also be installed to make your website stand out from the rest. The downside of using WordPress.org is it can be very complicated and technical, which isn’t for everyone. Depending on your level of technical understanding will greatly influence your decision.
To summarise the main differences between the two options here is a handy table.
|Let’s you create your own website free of charge and host it on their server
|The software is downloadable free of charge but you’ll have to get your own hosting
|Choose from plenty of built in themes from the WordPress.com library
|Install custom themes from other websites or build your own unique themes
|Have to register an online account and accept the terms and conditions
|No registration required, simply download and install
|Easily integrate your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media accounts
|Install a plugin to enable social media sharing functionality on your site
|Personal support and access to the WordPress community forums
|Community forums are available but no individual support
The Third Option
If you’re looking for a custom built unique website but don’t have the technical knowledge know how to do so then pick the third option. Here at Purplebox Digital our team of in house developers and designers work hard to create the perfect website for you. Why settle for a $50 theme when you can have something completely unique. To see how we can help make your idea become reality contact us for more information.