WordPress Dot What?

Over the past 12 months, I’ve had the same conversation with multiple, well-meaning business owners and entrepreneurs. Each of these individuals set out with the same goal:  To build a WordPress website. They’d heard great things of the versatility and customisability that WordPress offered, and their hopes had been set high.

So? How did they go? The partial-truth tells us that they were successful. They each did in fact create a WordPress website. The complete truth, however, tells a different story. They had ended up with something that wasn’t exactly what they were expecting. 

In speaking with each of these people, and helping them get on the right track, I had to explain a basic truth that can so easily be a stumbling block. 

There are two different versions of WordPress.

Yes, that’s right. “WordPress” simply isn’t “WordPress” per se. 

But before you go running for the hills, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. 

Let me explain. 

If you were wanting to give WordPress a go, you’d do what any well-meaning person (just like those mentioned above) would and Google “wordpress”. What you’d expect to find would be, of course, WordPress. And well, you do… WordPress.com.

What many don’t realise, is that there are actually two versions of WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Stay with me. 

WordPress.com is a premium, complete website service, whereas WordPress.org is free, open-source software that you install on your own server.

Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org both come out of the same company, Automattic. The big difference however is that WordPress.com is a premium, complete website service, whereas WordPress.org is free, open-source software that you install on your own server. 

WordPress.com

THE PROS

WordPress.com takes care of website hosting, helps you register your domain name and handles all things like security and backups. All-in-all, it’s a brilliant service. 

Its main purpose is for creating and maintaining basic websites and blogs. And, for most people wanting a do-it-yourself website, is a perfect solution. 

THE CONS

When it comes to themes, plugins and customisations, however, this is where there are limitations. There are loads of great themes and plugins available for WordPress.com, but these numbers are minuscule when compared to WordPress.org. 

WordPress.com remains a solid, reliable solution. This is however, achieved by restricting many features that WordPress.org users become so accustomed to. 

WordPress.org

WordPress.org in its purest form, downloads as an archived folder full of code files. This will, of course, be completely overwhelming for most. 

With the help of someone who knows what they’re doing (I might know someone 😉), you can, however, have WordPress.org up and running on your web host reasonably quickly.

THE PROS

The real beauty of WordPress.org and its open-source-ness is that the sky is the limit with what you can do with it. From complete, custom designed websites, to full-blown web-apps that can then translate into other platforms such as mobile applications. 

There is a plugin for almost everything, and when their’s not, you can get one built. There is the ability to completely custom build your theme (the look and the feel of the site) from the ground up or purchase a pre-build one.

THE CONS

With anything open-source, however, the responsibility now rests on your shoulders for things such as security, updates and backups. Though with the right tools in place, this can be a painless exercise.

Harness The Power of WordPress.org

Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org really are wonderful tools. They are both simple platforms to use, and in a number of ways, have many similarities.

The superpower of WordPress.org really begins to shine through, however, when you begin to uncover and harness what it can do. 

If you haven’t yet figured it out, I’m a huge fan of WordPress.org. The majority of our website projects are built using this amazing tool, and of course, so is this site. You can see a gallery of our sites here.

When you spend enough time in the kitchen, you begin to get a glimpse into how the special sauce is made. We’re continually amazed by what can be achieved when building with WordPress and love seeing our clients faces when they get to spin up their shiny new website. 

There are endless possibilities with WordPress, just make sure you chose the right one. If you have any further questions, or would like to enquire about what you can achieve with WordPress, get in touch with us.

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