WordPress is a Content Management System(CMS.) So a lot of the hard work that goes into creating a website is done for you, as this piece of software helps you organise your content.
WordPress started as a CMS for blogs, but over the years it has developed into something much bigger. Huge companies such as CNN and the New York Times all use WordPress.
If you wanted to create a website completely from scratch. You would have to learn to code. You would need to create hundreds of rows of code that looks something like this:
WordPress produces all the basic code for your web browser to read. Being a CMS means WordPress enables you to upload all your content to your website very easily. The code that is created by WordPress is very search engine friendly.
As WordPress is flexible, you will be able to change the way your site looks in seconds without any of the main sites code been altered.
WordPress.org is where traditionally you would download a copy of WordPress and upload it to your server. Most hosting companies now provide a one click WordPress install, so it’s even easier to start using WordPress.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
There are two versions of WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
The main difference between .com and .org is that .com is a one stop solution which includes hosting, a domain name and a website builder. WordPress.org is is stand alone software which you install on your web server (with your hosting provider.)
WordPress.org is what I use for the following reasons:
- It’s completely free.
- There are awesome customisation options.
- You can easily add functionality to your website.
- It’s extremely user friendly.
- You can monetise your website.
- It’s open source which means it’s constantly updated. It also doesn’t really have a chance of going bust.
- There isn’t a limit to the size of your website.
View the Why I Love WordPress post to read more.
How to create a WordPress.org site
Most things on WordPress.org can be done for free. However there are a few things you will need before you begin your WordPress journey.
A domain name is your site’s online address. jessica-thomas.com is my domain name. Google.com is Google’s. You need to purchase a domain name for your website.
You can use your current hosting provider or a domain registrar such as GoDaddy.com.
Usually a domain name costs around £7-12 a year. It can cost more if you require a domain name that is more popular. You will pay your domain registrar annually for the domain name each year. If you no longer require the domain name you can usually sell it back to your registrar or let the domain name expire.
The files and folders full of code which make up your website are stored on a server. When you buy hosting for your website, you are paying to use the space on their web server. You are renting server space from the “web host.” The cost of using a hosting provider to rent your website is usually around £5-£10 a month. The costs vary greatly depending on the host and what they are providing. Some hosts offer unlimited storage or backups of your website, which means they charge slightly extra. If you are using a hosting provider for the first time, I would recommend checking the level of customer support they provide. It’s worth paying slightly extra to ensure you are getting the required level of support.
There are hundreds of different hosting providers out there and selecting one can be a minefield. I personally use 20i for my hosting but Siteground and WPEngine are very popular within the WordPress community.