Some questions that I commonly hear from people who want to start a website are -What is WordPress, WordPress.com and WordPress.org ? What do I need to build a website ? Should I build website on self hosted WordPress.org or free WordPress.com? Where can I buy a domain and hosting from ?
I have tried to address the above queries and provide more details in the blog below.
In my previous blog, I talked about what are the three things you need to start a website. In that blog I mentioned about something called WordPress.
So before we go ahead with building a website in WordPress, let us talk about WordPress in some more details.
What is WordPress?
In simple words, WordPress is software that you can use to create your own website or blog. I will not go into much technical details as this is what you mostly need to know.
Some more facts that you may be interested in:
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– WordPress is free software
– WordPress is easy to use and learn
– You don’t need any prior knowledge of designing websites to create a website using WordPress. Most people who create websites using WordPress are not techies or web designers.
– You can create any type of website using WordPress – a blog, an e-commerce store, a membership site and so on.
– Many biggies including Time Magazine, Linked in, Google, Facebook, eBay etc use WordPress to power their websites
What do you need to run WordPress?
You need a domain and web hosting.
We have already covered what is a domain and what is hosting in our previous blog. If need be you can go through the same to revisit the concepts.
What is WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
Now if you search for WordPress you will find terms like – WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
When I started with my website www.sharingourexperiences.com three years back, I was not sure what each meant and another thing I was not clear on what should I use ?
So let us look at this aspect in the next few sections.
If you think at any point of time that what I am saying is too technical, take a deep breath and read one paragraph at a time. This is what I have done for the last three years.
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a free version that uses WordPress software at its core and enables you to build a simple blog or website in just a couple of minutes.
So out of three things needed that we talked about before:
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Domain – You get a free domain name that looks like ‘Chosen Name of your site’.wordpress.com. You have an option of buying your own domain name and upgrading to that later.
Hosting – You get a free hosting
Platform – You use WordPress Platform for building a site
What can you not do with WordPress.com ?
Please note that with websites built on free WordPress.com
– You can not use custom Themes. Theme in simple words is how your website looks.
– You can not install Plugins. Plug-in is block of codes that you can just download and activate and they define how your website behaves. You could have a plugin for menus, or lets say sharing button and so on
– You are limited in terms of monetization.
So in case if your aim is to build a simple blog on which you can talk about things you want then you can stop reading further and create an account on www.WordPress.com.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is the place you will find WordPress software. With WordPress.org, you will have to host your website on your own hosting server.
So out of three things needed that we talked about before:
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Domain –You will need to buy your own domain name
Hosting – You will need to buy hosting for your own site
Platform – You will still use WordPress platform or software for building a site
What can you do with WordPress.org
With WordPress.org you can install plug-ins, custom themes, monetize your site using advertisements, affiliate links or edit the code behind your site. Mainly you have full control of your website.
But you will also have to manage your own website – for e.g. take back ups, manage updates. Mainly take over all responsibility for your site.
So this is the option you have to use in case if you want to create an online store or earn money from your blogs.
Self Hosted WordPress.org Versus Free WordPress.com?
Now the question that most of us face is should I build my website on self hosted WordPress.org or free WordPress.com? Well the answer depends on why you want to build a website. And what do you intend to do with it.
If you want a simple blog and want someone to maintain it for you then you can set up your blog on WordPress.com.
But if you want to set up an online store or make money from your blog via advertisements, affiliate marketing then you will need to use WordPress.org.
Here is a good info graphic that represents the above information and some more technical details.
Image Source – www.wpbeginner.com
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Please note that I have compared Free WordPress.com above, WordPress.com also offers some upgrades but I personally find them expensive compared to what you can get elsewhere.
Where can you buy domain and hosting from?
I have included various sites from where you can get a domain and hosting in my previous blog.
Please note that some hosting providers give a free domain when you buy hosting from them so please do not buy a domain separately.
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(Cheapest and reliable – their main advantage is that they transfer your blog for you and have excellent support)
(Cheaper and internationally recomended, transferring the blog is not difficult but you will need to to it yourself)
(Expensive but fastest)
Latest Deals on recommended hosting
Hosting provider that I use and recommend is
Their support is excellent as they not only resolve the issue but also guide on how things are to be done. I have been able to maintain this site based on their support. One important point you need to be aware of is – there chat support is not available during India hours. It starts in late evening and is available till morning, as is not an Indian host provider, the rest of the time you can submit a ticket.
If you are planning to buy hosting then buy shared hosting plan from . It will cost you approximately Rs 400 per month and you will get a free domain. Also they have around 97 days money back guarantee option (highest I have come across).
See some more details below.
Payment Plan and features from . For more recent plans, please do check their site by clicking on image below
Below is an affiliate link so if you will sign up using below then I will get commission from (affiliate marketing) but that will be true even for , Go Daddy and many more. So the reason I am mentioning this to you is that this review and recommendation is not paid, its an honest recommendation.
So would love for you to use the below link for signing up and buying your hosting.
There are different types of hosting which I will probably explain in some other blog. But for now what you need to know is shared hosting will work best for you.
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Shared hosting in very simple words is like many people staying in an hostel, everyone has a fixed space of their own. If you (your website) need more resources than what you have been provided, the hosting provider will ask you to get a bigger room (a different type of hosting plan).
Updated to say – I have also used Bluehost US and Siteground now while setting up websites for other bloggers and happy to recommend as cheaper and reliable option but still would say if you can afford go for Dreamhost
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