If you are working on a project, you may face the prospect of having to create either a personal or business blog to get your message out, and to better interact with your clients or customers.
Before you start any web project, a little planning will help. “How to Plan Your Perfect Website” on the SunAnt blog will guide you on your way.
However, finding the best platform for your blogging needs becomes the next important issue. A good question to ask yourself is “What is your level of technical expertise, and how much do you want to exert yourself in using it?”
A Content Management System (CMS) is a good answer for your website needs. For truly professional looking blogs, the WordPress CMS leads the pack for both the common person and business professionals. It is a feature-rich open-source CMS which can be modified in many ways. WordPress has a huge userbase, and there is a lot of support available should you need it. We even helped with the latest release!
Basically, beginner bloggers, or “newbies” in Internet jargon, find WordPress.Com the way to go for user-friendly features and simplicity. Another deciding factor is whether the blogger wants to incur the expense associated with the other available platform WPO.
There is no expense factor to decide with WPC as it comes totally free and almost completely conforms to a “plug n’ play” environment. Totally web-based and on a premium hosted platform, it has everything a beginning blogger needs and much more.
A personal support and forum form part of the quality blogger’s hub with security, backups and custom upgrades readily available. Other appealing features abound as there is no download software needed; and you don’t have to bother with managing a web server for your blog. Hosting is totally free. WPC also handles your website’s security and backups.
There are a few drawbacks with this simplicity. Your website’s name will be example.wordpress.com. For a small added cost, you can buy your own custom domain name. You are restricted to limited, though still large, choices regarding the theme, or design, although some customization is possible. Again, or a small added cost, specialized themes, and customized designs are available. You can’t add any plugins. WordPress is renowned for all the added plugins, which add features and functionality to your blog. WPC does reserve the right to post ads on your site, but you can elect not to have ads for $30 per year.
If you want more features, need a business blog/website, or want to sell products, then WPO is the better solution, as WPC forbids advertising content on their websites or blogs.
With greater functionality, comes greater responsibility. Its true for webmaster Peter Parker, and its true for websites too.
* are setting up an ecommerce site
* want greater functionality through plugins
* want to do your own individual design
* able to handle some general website maintenance
* don’t mind some coding for added tweaks
then you’ll need a self-hosted WordPress installation.
You will have to incur the expense of getting/renewing your own domain name. Also, you will have to find your own web host site. You will need to download and install the WordPress package. You will have to deal with support issues. You’ll have to pre-pay the web host plan, and determine which extra features you need. Make sure your web host has good uptime and reliability.
The upside though, is a feature-rich website that can do most everything that you would want in a website. It will be as customizable and changeable as you want it to be. There literally thousands of feature-packed plugins to choose from, and the look can be changed as you need it.
Both WordPress.com (WPC) and WordPress.org (WPO) are among the most popular Content Management Systems found on the Internet. Which one you choose depends on the purpose of your blog and your level of tech expertise.
A good website development company like SunAnt (formerly the Orion Group) can help you with your website needs. There are many considerations to be aware of, and Orion will show you the solution that works best for you.