WordPress is now the world’s most popular Web publishing software. It’s designed to help non-technical people create professional websites and blogs, without using programming codes.
But did you know WordPress comes in two versions?
- com: When you subscribe to this free online service, the software is ready to go, so you can start work on your site immediately.
- org: This is also free software, but you must sign up for a paid hosting account to use it. Hosting usually costs between $60 and $80 annually.
The WordPress versions look alike and work in much the same way. Either will accommodate domains ending in .com, .org, .net, and many other suffixes.
Many people choose to begin with WordPress.com because it’s a little easier to use and there’s no financial commitment. But WordPress.com has some limitations:
You’re not allowed to sell products or display advertising on a WordPress.com site. In addition, you can’t change font styles, sizes, or colors without subscribing to a custom design package (at $30/year). WordPress.com does offer free domain names, but they include the word “wordpress.” It’s possible, however, to switch to a standard domain name for a small annual fee.
WordPress.org requires a degree of independence but offers a lot more in return. It’s up to you to open a hosting account (WordPress.org doesn’t host websites), and you’re responsible for installing the script. But your host will have software to simplify the installation. WordPress.org’s main selling point is the huge number of free templates (known as themes) and add-on features (known as plugins). There are thousands available to provide any kind of look and perform any kind of chore you can imagine!
Because it’s hosted privately, there are no restrictions on a WordPress.org site. You can sell advertising and products and use third-party applications.
If you’re not ready to commit to WordPress – or if you’re looking to create a simple blog or website for yourself or a small business or organization – the WordPress.com course is a good place to start. On the other hand, if you have some familiarity with websites and have (or are willing to sign up for) a hosting account, consider enrolling in the WordPress.org class.
No matter which route you choose, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much fun it is to create an attractive, dynamic WordPress website.
You can brush up your WordPress skills in Creating WordPress Websites or Creating WordPress Websites II. The first course covers creating a blog or website on wordpress.com, while the second course focuses on creating a blog or website on wordpress.org.