The WordPress website builder is the most popular in the world. Each and every one of us has looked at thousands of WordPress sites in our lifetime, and it’s not really a secret as to how this website builder has come to be one of the more popular solutions on the market.
If you’ve started your research with WordPress, you may have noticed that two WordPress options are available. One of them is called WordPress.org and the other WordPress.com. Confusing, right?
Well, today we’re going to be talking about WordPress.org, since it’s the better website builder for people interested in making legitimate business websites. However, if you have any questions about the difference between the two, feel free to check out this comparison.
As stated before, WordPress.org is mainly for those who want full control over their website, tons of plugins and some cool options in terms of making money.
What’s the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
- Limited support for themes
- No plugins are allowed
- Completely free
- Minimal options for monetization
- No maintenance required
- You get traffic from the WordPress.com network
- Complete theme support
- Plugins are allowed
- Expenses for hosting, themes, premium plugins and domains
- Tons of options for monetization
- A decent amount of maintenance required
- You must build your own traffic
How Many Sites Have Been Made With This Website Builder?
Over 74 million websites are using WordPress.org at the time of this article.
As the most popular site builder in the world, it’s interesting looking into the features that make it so intriguing. Furthermore, you’ll notice that many of the other builders have constructed their dashboards to look similar to WordPress.
Anyways, what are some of the features you can expect from WordPress.org?
To start, most hosting platforms include one-click installations for WordPress, so although it used to be a pain to complete an installation, it’s pretty easy now.
In addition, you receive some of the more powerful blogging tools, like comments, HTML editing, access to source code, user management and more.
Implementing ads and trying out other moneymaking tactics are provided through the WordPress.org interface, but the main reasons WordPress.org is so popular is because of control and the plugins. We’ll talk about the plugins below, but in general you have no limits when building your website. Security, cleanliness, hosting, speed and everything is completely up to you.
WordPress.org Ease of Use
The ease of use is another standout feature for the WordPress.org website builder. The backend is super clean, with tabs on the left for things like Media, Pages, Posts, Comments and more.
Installing a theme or plugin generally takes a simple click of the button, and thanks to hosting accounts, you no longer have to go the manual route for installing WordPress onto a server. Overall, WordPress has a slight learning curve for the extreme beginner, but so does every website builder.
It works okay for beginners, yet advanced users are also known to utilize WordPress since it gives complete control over HTML and CSS files.
WordPress.org is opensource, meaning that it’s built by a collection of developers, and you don’t have to pay a dime for the download.
However, that doesn’t mean that your entire website is going to be free.
In fact, as a website builder, WordPress.org gives you more control than most of the solutions out there. However, this means you must pay for hosting, domain names and whatever other items you’d like to implement on your website.
Let’s outline the general costs involved with WordPress.org:
- The WordPress download – $0
- A WordPress theme – From $0 to $75 (one-time payment)
- Hosting – From $3.49 to $35 per month (when getting started)
- Domain name – Usually around $10 per year
- Plugins – Most of them are free, but premium plugins could cost you anywhere from a $5 one time fee to a $30 monthly charge.
You also may have to pay a developer to build your site as you scale up your business. The cost for this is tough to hammer down, but if you run a small business, think about getting a freelancer or running the site yourself. Larger businesses are better equipped to hire a salaried employee.
WordPress.org Templates and Design
The options are endless for WordPress themes. Basically, you can choose from the free repository or purchase a fairly inexpensive theme from a third party premium seller. We recommend buying a premium theme, since you get support and better coded themes.
Some of our favorite places to buy themes from include:
Your website design depends completely on the WordPress theme you choose to implement with this website builder. But that’s what’s cool about WordPress: You can find a beautiful theme for just about any industry. Looking for a doctor, band or sporting theme? You shouldn’t have any problem finding one that suits your business.
Although we would recommend Shopify for the ultimate beginner, WordPress actually has a pretty easy option for making your own ecommerce store.
WordPress by itself is not going to give you much for selling online, but if you integrate with the WooCommerce plugin, you will have the ability to sell physical and digital products online.
WooCommerce is free, and it works best when you find a theme that is designed just for that plugin. Although it runs with any WordPress theme, you’re better off locating one that’s for WooCommerce.
WordPress.org SEO and Marketing
For marketing on WordPress.org, you’ll typically turn to one of the many WordPress plugins. You can find anything from social media buttons to email marketing tools. These plugins are better than anything you will find on the market, but be wary of ones that open up security holes.
As for SEO, the search engines are going to get pinged automatically when you make an update. You’ll also notice that clean URLs and meta data comes up automatically. However, if you’d like to customize SEO on a individual page basis, we recommend going for the SEO by Yoast plugin. It requires a little bit of knowledge, but most people can read through the documentation to figure out how to work it.
WordPress.org Customer Support
WordPress.org customer support is non-existent. However, some would argue that it’s the best in the world.
What do I mean by that? Basically, you don’t get any dedicated support team you can call, but tons of blogs cover WordPress, and the WordPress forum is littered with detailed information to guide you along.
WordPress is recommended as a website builder for intermediates and advanced users. Although it’s not that hard to teach yourself as a beginner, you may be a little intimidated. If that’s the case, we recommend going with something like WIX or Weebly.