So you have just made your mind and you want to start writing your own blog. But you don’t know how and where to start. In this article I will explaining to you about the best blogging platform WordPress CMS, and the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
And how you can choose between both types to give you the best start.
In the beginning you might be wondering how you should start, you will be asking an important question:
Where should I write and publish my articles?
There are so many places where you can choose to start writing and publishing your articles, however my top choice would definitely go to the number 1 blogging platform WordPress.
WordPress is a free and open-source Content Management System ( CMS ), in which you can write articles, tutorials, code snippets, add forms and grab user input, connect with social media, organize and manage all your content in one place and many more. Read more in Wikipedia about WordPress.
WordPress key power relies on its huge number of plugins that can be applied to without writing a single line of code, you will be able to achieve so many tasks and control different aspects in your blog.
Also you can choose for a wide range of themes that you can apply to change the design and look of your website, with few button clicks without having to write single line of Html, Css.
In addition to that, WordPress provides a great live view of all the traffic stats, that can give the blogger useful information about the daily number of visitors and pages viewed with details about the visitors from which countries, which referrers and the backlinks details and many more details.
Now let’s dig a little deeper and let me tell you the 2 options that you have when are entering the world of WordPress.
There are 2 types of WordPress solutions.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (self-hosted)
Both solutions are built on top of the WordPress CMS.
Now to help you understand what’s the difference between both, I will explain about each of those solutions separately.
Having a website or blog created under WordPress.com will be fully maintained and supported by WordPress.com team on their website.
It is super easy to create a new blog under WordPress.com. With few clicks or taps you will have your own website under WordPress.com, and it will be assigned a subdomain name from your own choice (somedomain.wordpress.com)
You can leave everything else in terms of updating, maintenance, backups out of your way and stay focused on writing content.
Just open WordPress.com and follow the instructions to create your first blog.
Always remember, since this is a subdomain, it is not a custom domain, so its existance relies on the availability of WordPress.com itself.
Having a subdomain is free of charge, if you would like to have your blog under your own domain name inside WordPress.com, then you will need to select from one of the paid plans provided by WordPress.com, all plans include a free custom domain.
If you opt to select any of the plans, you will be paying a yearly subscription, and your blog will be hosted and fully maintained by WordPress.com.
You will not have full control over your blog’s file system or any resources of the server that your blog will be hosted on. Everything you need regarding maintenance, backup or upgrades will be handled behind the scenes on behalf of you. You won’t need to take care of anything except writing your amazing articles.
Also it is important to mention that having your blog hosted under WordPress.com will not give you flexibility when it comes to monetizing your website, this means that WordPress.com itself will limit you the choice of which ad service provider you can include in your site, depending on the type of paid plan you choose.
Recently, there has been some modifications on the process of including ad service programs in your WordPress.com blog:
Let me explain to you how this is done:
First, you cannot include ads with a free WordPress.com account, because you need a custom domain mapped to your WordPress.com account, so in order to map an existing domain to your wordpress.com account you need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Second, if you choose a Premium plan, you are limited to only include the official ad service program of WordPress.com, which is called WordAds
Still, you are eligible to include WordAds program into your Personal account provided that you have family safe content with moderate to high traffic on your current blog.
And Last, with only a WordPress.com Business account, which has the most features, you can either use WordAds, or any 3rd party ad service provider, including Google Adsense, OpenX, Lijit, BuySellAds, and Vibrant Media.
Take a look at the WordPress.com plans
Bottom line: Stay with a WordPress.com solution if you have no extra time to maintain your blog and take frequent backups, and If you are a non-technical person or you don’t want to play around with the WordPress platform and/or edit/build themes and plugins. And also you are content with what WordAds will provide you in terms of ad services and monetizing your blog.
This is also known as self-hosted WordPress solution.
To start with a blog, you need to open the WordPress.org website, and then download the WordPress software package, and then install it on your local machine.
Since WordPress software is built on PHP and MySQL, you will need to install the needed components on your machine. Which is a web server, PHP and MySQL.
To make things easier for you, I’d prefer that you install the WAMP bundle (Windows Apache MySQL PHP) if you are working on a windows machine, and the LAMP bundle for Linux. and the XAMPP bundle that runs on Cross-platform operating systems. X stands for X-OS, which can also work on Mac OS X
Nowadays, many hosting companies do provide very easy installation of WordPress software on their servers with simple 1-click or few clicks installation wizard.
You can install WordPress on a shared hosting and you will have better access and control over all your files and resources.
And you will be reaping the benefits of numerous plugins and full customization you can do over your blog.
And I can say that it is serving me pretty well, in terms of availability, speed and ease of use.
To avoid the hassle of caring about installing WordPress.org on your local machine, and preparing all the bunch of components to make it work, just navigate through any of the good hosting companies, as mentioned previously, and purchase whichever you find suits your needs, also in terms of cost.
The great thing about self-hosted WordPress solution, is that you have a massive number of plugins available for you to install and apply on your blog for free, from your web admin panel, you go to the plugins menu, and then add new plugin, from there you can search for whatever plugin you need to apply to your website.
If you know PHP and MySQL, you can write your own plugin and include it in your website. You just need to learn the structure of WordPress Software since it is a Content Management System, so you will need to understand how things are done within this platform.
Having your blog hosted under a shared hosting provider, will require you to purchase a domain name, and then point or map the nameservers of your host to your domain url.
These nameservers are available under your account of your hosting provider, usually they look something like the below:
You need to insert similar URLs into your domain’s DNS configurations, which should be located under your account settings of your domain registrar’s website.
Sometimes, your domain’s registrar doesn’t allow you to change these values yourself in your account for security purposes, so you might need to send them an email specifying that you want your nameservers to be pointing to your domain name.
Once done, it usually takes up to 3 days for the DNS changes to take effect, or the more technical term to propagate, everywhere on the internet.
When it comes to monetizing your WordPress.org blog, you are free to choose whatever ad service provider, and there are no hidden costs or upgrade plans that you have to do, to include a particular ad program. Just search for the plugin of the ad service provider and click to install it on your blog. Of course, you will need to submit your blog to the ad service provider to get the approval to be able to include it in your blog.
Bottom Line: Stay with a WordPress.org solution whenever you want to have better control over your blog, in terms of maintaining or taking backups, you can find many backup plugins , so you don’t need to do a lot work except for configuring the plugin of your choice to schedule the task for you. Also WordPress.org is more cost-effective since you will have full access to everything over your blog with only paying the hosting provider. And you can include whatever ad service provider you like, you are not entangled to upgrade plans similar to those on WordPress.com.
So WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Which one should I start my blog with?
This is a very good question, especially nowadays the increased number of people who are sharing their stories.
My personal recommendation is that you start with a free account under WordPress.com, this will give you the option choose a subdomain name, and then you can start adding your content and articles, and publishing them to your subdomain.wordpress.com.
Once you reach an adequate number of published articles to begin with, usually it is good to have at least 7 good quality articles, and have few more ideas about what to write next (around 4), then you should start with moving your work from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, having your own domain name already at your hand.
And yes you might say that I am standing in the side of WordPress.org, but to be honest, it is much better than keeping your blog under WordPress.com, given all the points I mentioned previously.
Also, I recommend that you think of your blog name, and buy your domain name even before you start with creating your blog on WordPress.com, you need to start with something unique, so that you can have your blog name under WordPress.com subdomain, so it will be like myamazingdomain.wordpress.com.
I did this too, if you check the url codingsonata.wordpress.com, you will see it is the same as my current blog codingsonata.com when I first began writing it. I had to think about the domain name earlier, and so I obtained it.
And now as you can see, I transferred my work from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org. And it is working perfect so far.
Make sure in the beginning you only focus on preparing some good quality articles, you don’t need to care about how many visitors/page views you are getting.
Your blog needs to provide useful and interesting information to your readers either about technical topics or your personal thoughts.
Do provide code snippets or runnable code widgets if your blog contains technical tutorials about development topics, and Include as many references and helpful links resources.
When it comes to WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, both solutions are great and have very good features to offer you, and both have their pros and cons.
If you are a new starter in the blogging world, go ahead to WordPress.com and start with creating your first blog under a free WordPress.com, choose your subdomain name, and try to stick with it, and in the meanwhile, get a custom domain, and better to have it the same subdomain name and keep it reserved.
Then until the time comes that you are ready to transfer your work to self-hosted WordPress.org solution, which many hosting providers have super easy WordPress installation process.
Good luck with your blogging. If you have already started a blog, share with us your blog link.
For this topic about blogging and WordPress, I am sharing with you this wonderful harpsichord masterpiece from the Barouq era.
The Harmonious Blacksmith & Passacaglia by Handel
I hope you enjoy it, and happy blogging.