Before you can build a successful blog, you need to know the basics! Today’s Blogging Basics Series post is all about WordPress, its two different versions, and which is best for your blog.
Why Use WordPress at All?
I’m not going to go into detail as to why you might choose WordPress over Squarespace or other content platforms in this blog post. It depends on you! But, in short, WordPress is what I use and have used since I started blogging in 2008. It is still the platform of choice across a wide range of markets, and I think that it’s easy enough to understand the basics, and it’s incredibly powerful and customizable once you get to know its more advanced aspects. That’s why I recommend it to everyone!
If you want more help getting your blog set up without spinning your wheels then I actually have a FREE 1 week course to get you set up the right way…Click here to sign up to my FREE 1 week blog course... & get your blog set up the right way
Why Are There Two Different Versions of WordPress?
If you’re a complete beginner, then you may not realise that there are two separate versions of WordPress: wordpress.com and wordpress.org (self-hosted). When most people talk about setting up your own website using WordPress, they probably mean the second one. Confused? Don’t worry, I’m going to cover it all here so it makes sense!
WordPress.org is where you can go to download your own copy of WordPress to install on your own website. This is the same software that powers WordPress.com, the difference is how you use it. By downloading it and installing it on your own website, you have way more freedom than you would on WordPress.com. You are free to download third-party themes and plugins that can do just about anything you want for your website. However, it does mean you need to spend the money on a domain name and on website hosting.
WordPress.com is a service that uses the WordPress software. They make it free of charge to host your blog with a URL like “yoursite.wordpress.com”. You can pay if you want to upgrade to using a URL like “yoursite.com”, or for additional features, but effectively it’s still run through WordPress.com so you don’t have the same freedom and flexibility that you’d have if you set it up on your own website. They limit certain functionality of the WordPress software, and also have rules as to what you can and can’t do with your website.
Why I ONLY Recommend Using WordPress.org
I don’t believe anyone should be using the free WordPress.com option unless you are never EVER going to turn your blog into a business and you are willing to live with their rules and limitations. The fact that it’s free is NOT worth these limitations.
Running WordPress on your own website does cost money, but it can be extremely affordable. And I think it’s totally worth this cost to build a blog that looks and runs better, and has a lot more potential to grow along with your business.
To use WordPress on your own website, you’ll need to:
1) Register a domain name (for around $10 per year)
2) Sign up for web hosting (from as little as $5 per month)
3) Install WordPress to your website
4) Install a theme to change the way your site looks
Remember, if you want more help getting your blog set up without spinning your wheels then I actually have a FREE 1 week course to get you set up the right way…Click here to sign up to my FREE 1 week blog course... & get your blog set up the right way
If you’re a complete beginner, then the above might seem quite daunting to you, but don’t let it put you off! I was in your shoes at one point, and I’m pleased to say it all became second-nature to me quite quickly. Check out the other posts in my blogging basics series for details on how to complete each step.