WordPress.org

WordPress.org is open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app.

 

The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization.WordPress Jargon Glossary

The WordPress.org software is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your recipe site to a Fortune 500 web site without paying anyone a license fee. The WordPress software is released under the GPLv2 (or later) from the Free Software Foundation.

The WordPress Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded to further the mission of the WordPress open source project. The WordPress Foundation owns and oversees the trademarks for the WordPress and WordCamp names and logos.

Domain Name

You’ll need to register your own domain name. This is the address that you enter into your browser to find your site (e.g. myawesomesite.com). Domain registration is typically renewed each year using a service such as Namecheap. Domain registration typically costs anywhere from a couple of dollars per year to $30 or $40 p/yr, depending on the domain you wish to register.

Website Hosting

To use the WordPress.org software you’ll need to purchase website hosting. This is where you store all your website files and content. Like domain name registration, website hosting is typically renewed on a yearly basis although some companies also offer monthly, quarterly or 6 monthly payments. Website hosting can cost as little as $5 per month through to hundreds per month. The type of hosting will depend on the type of website you have. An eCommerce site for example, would require better (& typically more expensive) hosting than what a small brochure site would require.

Setup

WordPress is well known for it’s ease of installation. Most web hosts have automated systems in place to help you get WordPress installed and setup. For those that like a more hands-on approach there’s easy to follow instructions for their famous 5-Minute Installation.

Plugins

The WordPress.org Plugin Directory has over 55,000 plugins that are free to download and install on your WordPress site. On top of that, there are also hundreds of paid/premium plugins available from a wide range of Theme & Plugin shops. Using the WordPress.org software, you’re free to install whatever plugin you wish on your site.

Themes

The WordPress.org Theme Directory has approximately 6,000 themes that are free to download and install on your WordPress site. On top of that, like Plugins, there are hundreds of paid/premium themes available from a wide range of Theme shops. Using the WordPress.org software, you’re free to install whatever theme you wish on your site. If you’re running a business, you may even decide to get a developer to build a completely custom theme, just for your business.

Security

When using WordPress.org software, you’re responsible for your sites security & maintenance. It might sound difficult, but there’s lots of trusted and well-known free plugins that strengthen the security of your site. The first step you should take is to ensure your password is secure and strong. Never use birth dates, family or pet names, common words or short passwords.

Site Updates

Your WordPress site will attempt to automatically update itself whenever a minor version is released (e.g. v4.8.1, v4.9.3, v4.9.4). For major version releases (e.g. v4.9, v5.0), you’ll need to update your site manually. Thankfully though, WordPress has made this extremely easy and it’s just a simple matter of clicking the Update Now button in your Dashboard. Your WordPress Dashboard will also advise when your themes or plugins have updates available. Like WordPress itself, keeping your themes and plugins updated is incredibly easy as well.

Backups

Most website hosts will perform regular backups, but it’s always a wise move to perform your own as well. There are numerous free and paid plugins that allow you to backup your site. There are also paid services such as VaultPress (which is the same service that WordPress.com utilises).

Customisation

Running your own copy of WordPress on your own hosting environment gives you 100% complete control over your website. You’re free to install whatever plugin or theme you wish, along with adding whatever content you wish. Once you’ve paid for your Hosting and Domain Registration, there are no other fees, unless of course you choose to also purchase a premium/paid plugin or theme. Most hosting services provide generous amounts of disk space and bandwidth to allow your site to grow.

Monetisation

You have complete control over the monetisation of your site. The WordPress.org software wont display any ads on your site, unless you specifically choose to put them there. It’s completely up to you whether you want to display adverts, use affiliate links or which ad network you’d like to use.

Email

Most hosting plans also include access to free email accounts. If your site is myawesomesite.com for example, you can quickly and easily create an email like hello@myawesomesite.com. The amount of emails you can store will depend on the amount of disk space that comes with your hosting plan.

Your Content

You own your content and you’re free to do with it, whatever you want (as long as it’s not against the law, of course).

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a hosted version of the open source software. Use it to start a blog or build a website in seconds without any technical knowledge.

 

An online implementation of WordPress code that lets you immediately access a new WordPress environment to publish your content.  WordPress.com is a private company owned by Automattic that hosts the largest multisite in the world. This is arguably the best place to start blogging if you have never touched WordPress before.WordPress Jargon Glossary

WordPress.com uses a modified version of the WordPress.org software, and is owned and operated by Automattic, a privately held ‘for-profit’ company. Automattic was started by Matt Mullenweg, one of the founding developers of the Open Source WordPress.org software. Automattic are the people behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, VaultPress, Akismet and more.

Domain Name

When using a free WordPress.com account, you’re supplied with a WordPress.com subdomain (e.g. yoursite.wordpress.com). If you wish to use your own domain name such as myawesomesite.com, then you need to use one of the paid WordPress.com accounts. The Personal Plan (& above) includes a free custom domain name.

Website Hosting

WordPress.com is a hosted environment. This means that you wont need to pay for hosting as it’s provided as part of the service.

Setup

Since WordPress.com is a hosted solution, there’s nothing that you need to setup. You simply sign up for an account and then follow the instructions to create your site.

Plugins

The free version of WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to upload third-party or external plugins to your site. The only way to install plugins on your WordPress.com site is by upgrading to their top Business plan. You can upload almost any plugin (or theme) with a Business Plan, but they wont guarantee it will be fully compatible. There are also some plugins that aren’t allowed, such as ones that duplicate WordPress.com functionality (e.g. backup, caching, security plugins).

Themes

The free version of WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to upload third-party or external themes to your site. Instead, they provide a limited selection of themes that you can choose from. Paying for a Premium plan provides access to a further selection of “premium” themes. If you upgrade to a Business plan you can upload your own theme.

Security

WordPress.com will manage all the security for your site. Like any website though, if you have an insecure or short password, your account will still be susceptible to being compromised. Always ensure your password is secure and strong. Never use birth dates, family or pet names, common words or short passwords.

Site Updates

You wont need to perform any WordPress updates as this is automatically handled for you. You also wont need to update any plugins or themes on your free account as WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to upload any plugins or themes yourself.

Backups

Whilst your site will be automatically backed up as part of the service, no matter what plan you’re on, if you accidentally delete your own content they wont restore it for you. The only reason they’ll restore your content is if they are at fault for removing it (e.g. they accidentally remove your site for some reason or their servers crash). If you delete a Page or Post it will sit in the ‘Trash’ for 30 days, unless you permanently delete it beforehand. Any content in the ‘Trash’ can be restored by yourself. If you delete your media files though (e.g. documents, images etc.), they are immediately and permanently deleted. WordPress.com backups utilise VaultPress, which is another service by Automattic.

Customisation

WordPress.com sites are very limited with what you can and can’t do to your site. To gain more customisation, you’re required to pay extra fees. Free plans do not allow you to upload any plugins or themes. Your theme choices are limited to the ones that they provide. To get access to more themes, you will need to pay fees to upgrade your plan. The free Plan only provides 3GB’s of disk space to upload your documents and images. If you want more disk space, you will need to pay fees to upgrade your plan.

Monetisation

With your free WordPress.com plan, your website will display ads. You have no control over what ads are displayed, and the only way to remove them is to upgrade to a paid plan. Affiliate links are allowed on WordPress.com as long as the primary purpose of your blog is to create original content. They do not allow sites that exist primarily to drive traffic to affiliate links. Affiliate links need to be related to your site’s content in some way. If you’d like to make money on your site with advertisements, WordAds is the official WordPress.com advertising program available for site owners. The program features ads from external ad networks such as Google, Facebook, AOL, and more. Users on a paid Premium or Business plan have automatic access to the WordAds program. If you’re on a paid Personal plan you can apply to get access to WordAds but your site needs to pass a minimum traffic requirement (thousands of pageviews each month). You also need to be using a custom domain name (i.e. using your own domain name rather than a WordPress.com subdomain), which in turn means that free users are ineligible.

Email

WordPress.com does not provide email accounts. If you have upgraded your WordPress.com plan to use a custom domain like myawesomesite.com for example, and you wish to create an an email such as hello@myawesomesite.com, you will need to use an external service to do so. Some services such as Zoho are free, whereas others like Google G Suite or Office 365 have paid plans. After creating an account with your chosen email service, you will then need to configure your DNS settings so that your email is forwarded to your selected service.

Your Content

Whilst you still own your content, be aware that according to the WordPress.com Terms of Service, “Automattic has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Automattic’s sole discretion, (i) reclaim your username or website’s URL due to prolonged inactivity, (ii) refuse or remove any content that, in Automattic’s reasonable opinion, violates any Automattic policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (iii) terminate or deny access to and use of WordPress.com to any individual or entity for any reason.”