Everything you need to know about Wordpress, but were too afraid to ask

By James C | Friday, 13 May 2016

We discussed previously Everything You Need to Know About Website Building - that aside from building it yourself from the raw code or paying a web designer you could also use our drag-and-drop Site Builder.

There is another option you need to know about: Wordpress.

Step one: Wordpress.com or Wordpress.org?

You've registered your amazing new web domain for your website, and got your web hosting. To make your site you have decided that the best option for you is to use Wordpress with your hosting. But, wait: you've seen the option to "install" Wordpress. What does this mean? How is this different to Wordpress.com?

Bloggingthing.com has a very handy infographic detailing the differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. Go check it out.

The simplest explanation is that on wordpress.com you can have your blog or website for free, ending wordpress.com, but it has limited support for themes and restricted plugins.

Wordpress.org is self-hosted, meaning you pay for your own web domain and hosting, and are responsible for your own site maintenance, but you also get greater support for themes, and more freedom with plugins. There are many more features and advantages than just those, too.

Wordpress.org: you're not alone

Installing wordpress.org doesn't mean you have to design your website from scratch.

You aren't on your own, with the themes available to you, you are able to customise your site as little - or as much - as you like.

Many people start with a standard free theme, before moving on to premium options, and then as they become more experienced and learn to do more, start customising their themes and design, and designing their own template.

A big difference between using Wordpress.com and installing Wordpress software for yourself is the responsibility.

Where Wordpress.com is free to use (with some exceptions) and comes with the benefits of automatic updates, backups and spam protection, when you install Wordpress you take these on for yourself.

But, just like Spider-Man, with great responsibility comes great power: including the power to add jQuery elements and edit the PHP code.

The question of how professional you would like your site to look is an important one to consider.

Wordpress.com: advantages

With a site on Wordpress.com at the most basic level you are limited to a web address ending .wordpress.com, you're fairly limited with design, and have ads on your site.

If you're setting up a blog or a website dedicated to LOLcats and Doge memes, this might be just what you need, and you don't need to look any further.

On the other hand, if you're setting up a website for yourself as a professional, for your startup, or for a bigger business, give serious consideration to the right look.

You already get the importance of the right domain name, and the advantages of new domains when it comes to getting the name you really want. For a fee, you can get this on Wordpress.com.

But when you consider what a visitor to your website sees, what do they think? Do you look like a business that should be taken seriously?

Installing Wordpress software is crazy easy to do, and it gives you the advantages of using Wordpress with complete control. Including the best tools to look completely professional.

Pros and Cons

If weighing up the pros and cons has you wondering why Wordpress at all, it's worth recapping some of the main points.

  1. Quick
    Wordpress is quick and simple to install
  2. Templates
    Wordpress comes with thousands of templates and designs, ready to use, and easy to change
  3. Easy
    Wordpress is easy to use and learn, with support available via forums
  4. Mobile-friendly
    Wordpress is mobile-friendly, and endorsed by Google, giving you a basic advantage in search
  5. Embedded media
    Wordpress makes it simple to embed different types of media - whether it's music, photos or video

If you are self-hosting your website, and want that middle ground between making it all yourself from the ground up and using our drag-and-drop Website Builder, you can't go wrong with installing Wordpress.

Check out the Wordpress Showcase to see for yourself who is using Wordpress, then get Wordpress for your Web Hosting today.