Website Platform Reviews: Wordpress

Who uses WordPress, and Why?

You’re in amongst a very high-profile group if you use WordPress to publish on the web. Many famous blogs, news outlets, music sites, and celebrities are using this CMS (content management system) to great effect.
For example, famous blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch are both on WordPress. News outlets like The New York Times Blog area use Wordpress.

If you’re ever curious about about who uses WordPress, try visiting the WordPress site showcase. You'll be amazed by the number of well-known sites and famous people using WP to power their websites.

If you’re new to WordPress, you might be wondering about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

While there are a few major differences between the two versions of Wordpress, the one deciding difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s actually going to be hosting your website for you.

With WordPress.org, you host your own website on your own personal server. WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your web server, which can be more complicated that you think.

WordPress.com, on the other hand, takes care of all of the hosting for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server.

Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com have pros and cons when we consider our industry (and the fact that this is not most people's forte).

If you’re not interested in paying for your own hosting, managing your own web server or paying someone else to handle that for you, you’ll probably want to use WordPress.com. It’s free and easy to set up and you have lots of options for customizing your site.

A few of the cons of using WordPress.com include that your domain will, by default, include “WordPress.com.” You also can’t upload any custom themes, plugins or modify the PHP code behind your site. Again, there's no real harm in this, if we're just starting out.

While WordPress.com is free to set up, they do offer several premium upgrades, including domain name registration (if you don’t want WordPress.com in your domain name), the ability to upload videos and if you want to use their premium themes.

Using the downloaded version of WordPress from WordPress.org opens up more control and flexibility for your WordPress site, but it also means more responsibility. Using a self-hosted version of WordPress means you can use your own domain name (www.domainname.co.uk), upload and install themes and plugins, edit the code behind your site and have access to your site’s database (or files). Most of the showcase sites you see on the WordPress site showcase are the self-hosted version of WordPress, since many of them have unique functionality or a custom-made design.

The beauty of the whole system is that you don't need to learn HTML or coding to create a professional quality site.

I'm happy to help you with either version of Wordpress - although I always recommend the .org version as it's easier to grow into.

Rich