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Skill Level Beginner
- [Instructor] Did you know there are two forms of WordPress websites? One is available at wordpress.com, while the other is available at wordpress.org. What's the difference? Wordpress.org is the original WordPress. This is a piece of software you'll need to download, install and use with your own separately purchased web hosting. Wordpress.org has been around since 2003, so it's had a lot of time to grow and evolve into the powerful platform that it is today. The big, big advantage here is that there are tens of thousands of themes. That's the way the website looks, including its layout, and colors and so forth. And it has extra pieces of functionality called plugins that seamlessly integrate with WordPress. You can make it do whatever you want. E-commerce, event registration, blogging, contact forms, photo galleries and so much more. They're all possible with wordpress.org. And best of all the software is free to download and use. You can also add your own programming to it, since WordPress is open source. The disadvantage is that there are tens of thousands of themes, and thousands of plugins to choose from. How do you choose the right ones for you? How do you figure out how they all work? How do you determine what you need? Also, since the software is free to download and use, there is no one to call to help you. You can find some help online in Facebook groups, or Reddit forums, or on the WordPress forum and in some other locations, but there's no guarantee of an answer. Next, this is free software, like that's a free puppy. The software may not cost you anything, but the ongoing maintenance and updates are non trivial. You will spend time regularly keeping your site up to date with wordpress.org. Wordpress.org is best if you have a budget to hire a web developer, or you need its extensive features. There's a steep learning curve to become proficient in wordpress.org, especially if you're learning on your own. It's not impossible, but it takes a huge amount of time. Time you might better spend working on your project, your business or your side hustle. If you don't have a background in code or in building websites, then wordpress.com is probably a better fit for you. There's a free version as well as some low cost options that let your site grow with you. Wordpress.com limits you to fewer theme and plugin choices, which means that you have fewer things to choose from, which means that you don't have that wide variety of options that you have with wordpress.org, but it's much easier to make a choice. All of the maintenance, the hosting and the updates are included, and they're all done for you. Best of all, you can always start on wordpress.com and then move to wordpress.org when you're richer and you have that budget for that web developer. So consider starting small with wordpress.com. Try out the platform, and move later once you've established yourself. Do you prefer wordpress.com or wordpress.org for your site, and why? Do you have any WordPress tips and tricks to share? Join our conversation in our LinkedIn group.