2012 has brought increasing emphasis on success in Search being influenced by how web content is shared via social media channels. The beauty of WordPress is that it facilitates comments and makes social sharing, of blog posts or web pages particularly easy
Over the past few years WordPress has become commonly used, not just for it’s original intention blogging but also as a website platform. It provides a very affordable way to establish a quality web presence, with added benefit of full CMS, content managed system.
There are two WordPress platforms, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The differences between each does cause some confusion.
The major difference between the .com and .org versions of WordPress is related to hosting. WordPress.com is hosted and managed by WordPress, so it’s free to start using straightaway, once you have opened your account. WordPress.org on the other hand, requires you to download the files from WordPress.org and then upload them to your chosen hosting provider, having paid for your own hosting account.
So, why would you want to bother with downloading files and incurring the cost of a hosting package when you can get the same thing for free direct from WordPress.com? The simple answer is that although they would seem to be very similar, they are in fact miles apart in terms of both features and benefits for establishing a business blog or website.
I run courses to help people get set up and running with a WordPress blog. I initially set them up with the .com version, calling the process learning to sail ‘inside the harbour’. Once delegates understand the basics of writing, editing and publishing blog posts and uploading media files, I can confidently send them away without worrying them about spam, back-ups and database hacking. OK, there aren’t as many themes (how the site looks), or Plugins (functionality options) as on a WordPress.org site, but then that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
WordPress.org is a very different beast, boasting 100’s of free themes and similar numbers of Plugins, but there is also a requirement for ‘beyond the harbour’ technical skills. Anyone lacking those skills should sensibly link up with one of an increasing number of developers who have experience working with WordPress.org.
When choosing a developer, make sure yours offers more than just a quick tutorial at hand over. I see increasing numbers of WordPress.org site owners who, having paid for their site, have been well and truly left “holding the baby”.
The trouble is that the site/blog owner carries on in blissful ignorance until disaster strikes through not backing up, upgrading versions/Plugins or having established security up at the server, resulting in their site malfunctioning in some way or other.
So, WordPress.com is a good place to start, for anyone with limited technical skills. If the more robust WordPress.org platform becomes more attractive then it’s possible to migrate content already put onto the WordPress.com installation, over to WordPress.org.
So is it WordPress.com or WordPress.org for your business? I consider WordPress.org the only option to consider for business application, but involving a developer to hold your hand is advisable. So, if you don’t want to incur the cost, consider starting on WordPress.com.
I run half-day and full day workshops to get people set up and running with a WordPress.com blog.
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