What is WordPress?

by Jun 2, 2019Website

If you are new to having a website, you might be wondering what WordPress actually is.  Well, there’s actually two answers to this question!  Because there’s actually two types.  It is really important to understand the difference between them before you setup your website or blog.

WordPress.com

The first is wordpress.com.  This is a hosting service you can build your blog on for free but there’s a catch.  In my opinion, the biggest catch is that if you build your online presence using wordpress.com, is that you are building your site, your online home, on someone else’s property.  You don’t actually own your online space.  WordPress.com will use your website as advertisement space, meaning they will use your website as their own personal billboard.  You’ll also not have your own unique domain because you are really just using a sub-domain of wordpress.com – it’s a bit like living in someone’s spare room for free but you have no power to control who can sit on your bed or nap there because the person letting you stay there says, “well you’re here for free, so to make money I’m allowed to let other people hang out in your room, for a fee, plus I want my name on your business and to promote my own business.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not ok with me.  I’d rather build my own online home on my own virtual block of land and if I rent out a room (to advertisers) then I’ll choose who I want to be associated with – thanks!  So, this is where WordPress.org steps in.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is what most people are referring to when they talk about WordPress.  It is a popular opensource website platform used for self-hosting. With WordPress.org you have full control over your website which means you are free to customise it anyway you like – or have a web designer develop it for you.

WordPress.org itself is free.  You own all the data on the site and a third-party provider cannot turn off your site because they feel like it.  With WordPress.org you can create a store, sell advertising space, create a membership site – you’re really only limited by your imagination!

But with freedom comes responsibility.  With WordPress.org, you are responsible for the website maintenance and updates and you will have to pay for hosting, which is  very affordable.  You will also be responsible for making backups of your site, in case it gets hacked or something happens to it.

Many businesses and bloggers choose to outsource these responsibilities to a website developer who offers maintenance plans or trains staff in house to do these things on their behalf.  The hosting service you choose also make a difference.  There are many hosting providers who are specialist WordPress.org hosts and when you host your website with them, they may take care of some of these things on your behalf automatically.

To find out more about the services offered at Designed by Cherie check out our Services page.