What Version Of WordPress Should I Be Using As A New Blogger?
So you have decided to foray into the world of blogging – this means that you will be joining more than 440 million blogs on the World Wide Web. That’s a lot, but before you start to fear a heavily saturated market, it is estimated that as little as 5% are regularly updated, meaning the other 95% are stagnant.
With some simple mathematics, that leaves 2.2 million blogs to compete with, and once you clear away bloggers not in your industry or targeting the same audience as you, that number greatly reduces once more.
As a new blogger, the chances are that WordPress is your desired platform. But which version of WordPress are you planning on using?
You Mean There is MORE THAN ONE Version of WordPress?
Absolutely, yes, and to make it even more complicated, they are both called WordPress. These are WordPress.com and WordPress.org – the same CMS on the face of it, but two completely different beasts’ altogether.
WordPress.com – User-Friendly, but Limited, CMS
Let’s make it simple, shall we? WordPress.com is an online platform specifically for bloggers that required no additional software and limited technical knowledge. With minimal requirements, there is, of course, limited potential as you cannot customize any coding of your website.
This means that you can pick from a selection of WordPress themes, of which there are only 165 free, meaning that there is a very real chance that your site will look the same as thousands before it. You can pay for the premium package, but even then the platform only allows for very limited customisation.
No FTP access is required with WordPress.com as all of the important behind-the-scenes files are online. This may be the preferred option of choice for bloggers who only want to write content, but for those who wish to have more control over their website as a whole, this could be an issue.
WordPress.org – The Full Package
If you are looking for an all-in platform that allows you to make all of the changes you like, then head on over to WordPress.org. Instead of the simplified online version you are given with WordPress.com, you will download the full version of WordPress from .org onto your web server.
This may require FTP access in order to make style changes, meaning that some coding knowledge is advantageous. If coding is not your forte, then fear not because you will be able to download WordPress plugins for your website, something that you are unable to do on the free version of WordPress.com.
If you are expecting to have a good amount of advertising revenue, then WordPress.org is the way to go. On WordPress.com, you can only make use of the platform’s own advertising system, whereas you have total freedom on WordPress.org.
What is Your End Goal?
Picking which of the two WordPress’ is right for you ultimately depends on what you are looking to get from blogging. If your heart is set purely writing content with the hope of gaining exposure, with little to no actual technical tasks, then you should head on over to WordPress.com.
If you are looking to run your blog more as a business, then WordPress.org is for you. Even if you are not completely comfortable with the technical side of things, there are many web design agencies out there that are able to build a fully-functioning WordPress site. While this does come at a cost, it will ultimately open the door to more advertising and, if you are interested further down the line, e-commerce opportunities.