WordPress Websites: The Difference Between WordPress.com & WordPress.org

A business website is your most important online marketing tool. WordPress websites are very popular and used by millions of businesses. A website will help you expand your marketing on the Internet and connect with customers who are searching online for products and services you offer. Once you have your website set up, you can connect it with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can also set up online search ads to direct customers from the search engine pages to your website.

Deciding which type of website you need can be confusing and you may have a lot of questions. It is best to find a good web designer in your local area who can guide you through the process and design your website. Here are some tips to help you get started.

What Are The Options For Business Websites?

There are a couple of different options for business websites. You can get a WordPress website which is a popular option today. A WordPress website can be a cost-effective and flexible option to add functionality as you grow. It is based on the WordPress platform, which has several themes available. These WordPress themes already have the basic functionality coded into templates that can be customized to give you a custom look. This article is about WordPress website options.

Another option is to have a custom website designed which is unique to your specifications. Custom websites are more expensive than a WordPress website because they take a lot more time to design and build. They are coded from scratch without templates. You will need some experience of web software such as HTML and CSS to maintain them or you can have a web designer maintain the website for you.

Your Website Must Be Responsive and Search Engine Optimized

The number of online searches today on mobile devices like smartphones has exceeded searches on desktops.

Whichever option you pick, it is important to ensure that your website is designed to be Responsive or Mobile-friendly. This means that your website will scale in size to look good on all devices including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The text will be easy to read and all the functionality including navigation bars, pages and images will scale and look good on all devices.

Today, the number of online searches on mobile devices like smartphones has exceeded searches on desktops. A responsive website ensures that your website looks good to customers on a smartphone or any device they choose to browse your website. Responsive websites also rank higher in Google search engine listings.

Your website must also be optimized for search engine optimization or SEO. This means that your web designer will optimize your title and description tags, urls and image tags with relevant keywords for your business. This will improve your website ranking in search engine listings when a customer searches online for your product or service.

WordPress Websites

A lot of businesses today use WordPress for their websites. WordPress started in 2003 as a personal publishing solution but it has since evolved into the largest self-hosted blogging tool. According to estimates on WordPress.org, over 60 million websites use WordPress today.

While WordPress began as a blogging platform, it can be used for blogs and regular websites. WordPress is a versatile content management system (CMS) with many features. There are hundreds of themes and plugins available to add features and functionality. WordPress is very flexible, user-friendly and cost-effective and works well as a business website.

WordPress Hosting Options- What Is The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Once you have decided on a WordPress website, you will have to decide on which hosting option to select. Where to host your website is an important decision to make before you get started on building the website.

WordPress offers 2 hosting options for your website – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The difference between the two options can be quite confusing. The main differences between the two options are summarized below.

WordPress.com – Fully Hosted Option

With this hosting option, your website is fully hosted on the WordPress.com website.

  • Your website will be fully hosted on the WordPress.com website.
  • There are 3 pricing plans to select from.
  • You will get a free website address such as example.wordpress.com
  • If you want to use a custom domain name such as example.com, you will have to pay more to upgrade
  • The amount of file storage you get for your website depends upon the pricing plan you pick.
  • You have to pick from the allowed WordPress themes for your website. You cannot use custom themes.
  • You cannot use plugins to add new features.
  • You cannot run advertising on your site.
  • You can use Google Analytics to track website performance only if you get the business option.

WordPress.org – Self Hosted Option

If you select WordPress.org, your website is self-hosted on a hosting provider of your choice. This is the option we recommend for a business website.

  • Your website will be self-hosted on the hosting provider you choose.
  • You can use your own custom domain name for the website.
  • You are responsible for your website security, backups and updates.
  • You can buy as much file storage as you need for your website from your hosting provider.
  • You have the flexibility to use any WordPress theme available in the market – free or premium.
  • You can use plugins to add new features.
  • You can customize your website as much as you want to.
  • You can run advertising on your website if you want to.
  • You can track website performance with Google Analytics.

When you self-host your website on the hosting platform of your choice, you have total control of your website. You are free to customize it as much as you want. It is a much more versatile option for a business website.

What Will I Need To Get For a Self-Hosted WordPress Website?

Once you have made the decision to go with a self-hosted WordPress website, you will need to get the following items for your website. Once again, your web designer can guide you through the process.

Domain Name You will need to purchase the domain name for your website from a company that sells domain names. Be prepared to spend some time picking the domain name of your choice. All the short names are usually taken.

Hosting Provider You will need to purchase hosting for your website from a web hosting company. Hosting is usually also sold by the company where you bought the domain name.

SSL Certificate If you are going to have an ecommerce site or any site that transfers sensitive customer information; you will need to get a SSL certificate. A SSL or or Secure Sockets Layer Certificate encrypts all sensitive information relayed between the user’s browser and your web server. The hosting company also usually sells SSL certificates.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Program If you are going to build the website yourself, you will need FTP software to transfer files from your computer to your server. There are several FTP software programs that you can use. Your hosting provider may also
recommend the FTP program they prefer.

Backup Plugin Regular backups of your website files and database are extremely important. In case of any issues, you will be able to recover your website quickly with the stored backup. There are several good WordPress plugins that can be installed on your
website to take regular backups or your web designer can set this up.

Regular Updates WordPress releases frequent software updates. Most of the updates are critical security fixes.
It is very important to ensure that you keep your WordPress software, plugins and themes updated to the current release to keep your website secure.

Strong Passwords Make sure you use strong passwords to keep your website secure and do not share them.

As the popularity of the WordPress Content Management System increases, there has been an increase in the number of hacking incidents. Strong passwords and regular software updates are essential to keep your website secure.

We hope you found this article helpful in making a decision about a website for your business. Please continue to check our blog for more articles.

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Gold Mango Design LLC. Is a Web Design and Internet Marketing company in Plano, TX in the Dallas area. We help small to medium businesses establish a strong online marketing presence. We design WordPress websites, Responsive or Mobile-friendly websites and Custom websites. We provide internet marketing services including SEO or Search Engine Optimization and Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click services. If you need help with Web Design or Internet Marketing services, please contact us at www.goldmangodesign.com