If you are new to the world of WordPress things can seem very confusing when it comes to what version of WordPress you are using. We are going to help clarify somethings.
First what makes up a website? The very first thing is your domain, think of it as a home address. The second is a hosting plan, think of that as a house. It is where all your content will love. Now WordPress… think of that as what makes that house look nice. You need each one of these to make it all work.
WordPress.com is usually where people start their journey. You will come across so many websites that end in .wordpress.com which means they are on the free hosting plan. The free plan has tons of limitations and ads mixed in with your content. Of course, you can upgrade the free plan and pay a premium to be able to get support, upload plugins, upload themes, customization options, remove ads, get backups, etc. The list is very long if you get the point.
So why do people use WordPress.com? Because it is simple, everything is handled in one place. It doesn’t take much setup, getting going is a breeze it is just an expensive option.
So why use WordPress.org? Well, you don’t actually use WordPress.org at all. This is where it gets confusing. Unlike WordPress.com the .org website doesn’t offer any support or login other than a free forum for other users. Going with WordPress.org is always referred to as being self-hosted.
So how and why would I be self-hosted? What is the benefit? Is it hard? What do I gain?
All valid questions we have gotten over the years. Here is how being self-hosted works. With WordPress.com you sign up pick a domain, your plan, and then off you go.
With a self-hosted website, you first need to buy a domain. Then you need to buy a hosting plan. Then point your domain to the hosting plan. Then install WordPress and activate your SSL and done. We know a lot more steps. Think of it as getting all the ingredients together for a cake whereas on WordPress.com you are buying a cake that’s already made for you.
If you pick the right hosting company the process will be painless, most of them include a free SSL with most plans, they offer some type of free backup option. Maintenance is minimal on WordPress sites, make sure plugins, themes, and WordPress itself are up to date and make sure you have a backup.
So why do it? It’s a personal choice ultimately. People prefer to have the freedom to do what they want with their site and not have to pay such premium prices.