In a sentence: The most popular blogging platform in the world, easy to use and you are allowed to make money unlike most options.
Could I have started with anything else? Did you know that WordPress is currently powering more than 25 percent of the entire web? Yep, one in every four websites is built using WordPress.org. Just wow!
For a step by step guide, you can look at my guide on how to create a blog to find out how to get going with WordPress.org in the next 30 minutes.
- Price. Couldn't be better – it's $0 for the software itself.
- Do you get your own domain? No. A custom domain name is something you have to buy separately. Then you can hook it up to your hosting account.
I highly recommend HOSTGATOR for hosting. I'll tell you why later…
- Any prior skills required? / Ease of use. Self-hosted WordPress certainly isn't a no-learning-curve kind of thing. Installing it and then configuring it properly will take 20 minutes to an hour if you haven't done this before. However, after that, using this blogging platform on a daily basis to publish your posts is very fast and straightforward. Plus, you can find great guides online that make the whole thing even easier.
- Designs available? A ton! There's more than enough free themes in the official directory at WordPress.org. Plus, there are literally hundreds of theme stores / theme houses that offer myriads of custom designs.
- Plugins and extensions. WordPress offers extreme extensibility. Again, there are more than 42,000 free plugins in the official directory, and who knows how many more available throughout the web.
- Hosting included? No. The software you get from WordPress.org is a downloadable package, which you then have to upload/install on a web server you already manage. [For people who are just starting their blogging journey I recommend that they use HostGator as they offer an easy WordPress installation process.] More on this in a bit...
Who's WordPress.org perfect for?
WordPress is one of the best blog sites for...
- Bloggers who want to make money on top of their blog.
- Bloggers who want to make the blog a part of their business.
- Professional bloggers.
- Hobby bloggers who want to actually own their site instead of being at the mercy of a large company.
- Beginners who don't want to deal with a steep learning curve.
On top of this, because of WordPress' extreme customization possibilities, it's one of the best blogging sites if you want to build a professional blog that's going to play an important role in your business.
With self-hosted WordPress, you retain full control over your website, what is show on it, and the way it looks and performs.
Pros / Cons
- The most popular blog platform in the world.
- Massive number of designs available.
- Massive number of plugins available.
- Great community - you will always find someone to help you out with a challenge.
- - No hosting included.
- - Reduces the learning curve if you're just getting started.
- - Setting up your site to suit your needs perfectly can a few hours.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
I know it’s easy to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com, which is a blog hosting service next on this list. To make it easier for you, we made this guide on the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Check it out.
Why buy hosting instead of using free blog sites?
If you want to make money off your blog or gain a serious following, then you need to pay for web hosting. Self-hosted WordPress.ORG blogs allow you to easily monetize the blog with Adsense advertisements, Amazon ads, or sell your own products. This really isn't possible with the .COM version of WordPress or any of the other free websites.
Here's the truth: WordPress.com (and any other free hosting blog site) will own all of your blog posts and will show their OWN ads for random companies on YOUR blog.
They will make money off of your hard work!
Plus you won't be taken seriously if your domain name is something like Startbloggingonline.wordpress.com versus self-hosted like mine: startbloggingonline.com.
So, if you don't care about who advertises on your blog, being taken seriously, or making money, then go with WordPress.COM but if you want to earn a part-time/full-time income or be taken seriously as a blogger then go with WordPress.ORG and host it yourself.
It's a small investment, but less than one cup of coffee at Starbucks a month!