Bad news…good news…leads to this post

Bad News. If you read my Wonderful World of Widgets post and the subsequent comment made by a kind-hearted “real-world blogger” (whose been at this a wee-bit longer than the 5 days we have – lol)….you’ll know that I didn’t quite get it right.   As I was plodding along trying to wrap my head around Widgets, not once did I come across anything that said there were two different WordPress platforms.  Whew…good thing @Heidi_Caswell clarified it because I was starting to explore how Plug-ins worked …and as it turns out…they only work on self-hosted blogs using WordPress.org software (which is not what we’re using – sigh).

Good News (at least for me).  My misstep gave me an idea for this blog entry: a quick overview of the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and my initial thoughts around which one I might end up using when I decide to pursue blogging further (which I’m pretty sure I will).

So…once I knew what to look for, I easily found a document on WordPress.com that explained the differences between the two plus provided a list of the pros and cons for each.

Which one you chose, depends a great deal on how you answer these two questions:

1.  What do you plan to do with your blog? 

If you want a basic blog that is free, easy to set up and you don’t want to run advertisements or take advantage of plug-ins (which are not permitted on .com), than WordPress.com makes sense (it’s the one we’re using).   But if you want to be able to upload custom themes, upload plugins and don’t mind paying for a web-host, then using the WordPress.org software and self-hosting might be the better option.

One very popular feature of WordPress (.org) is its rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its abilities beyond the features that are part of the base install; WordPress(.org) has a database of over 18,000 plugins[11] with purposes ranging from SEO to adding widgets.  – Wikipedia

Both allow you to integrate PayPal into your site (WordPress.com / WordPress.ca).  As well, both can accommodate selling eBooks, but only WordPress.ca allows you to add a shopping cart or integrate a custom store.  With the basic WordPress.com, you’ll either need to sell via PayPal (manually) or use a “middleman” like Gumroad.

2.  How tech-savy you are?

If you don’t know how to do all the customizing or don’t want to be bothered taking care of all the technical maintenance work – setup, upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc., (or paying someone to do it for you), then WordPress.com may make more sense.  But if you have the technical abilities and want the flexibility to take complete control, to change code, run advertisements, edit the database, upload a whole range of plug-ins….and on and on…then self-hosting (WordPress.org) might be what you choose.

So as newbie bloggers, how do we even begin to decide something like this?  My answer: Now that I know that the two even exist (smile), I plan to pay  careful attention to the whether the blog I’m admiring is a .com or .org.  If all my wishes and dreams can be met in a .com and I don’t have to challenge myself technically….then .com it is.  But if I really want to do more than what the .com allows, I know that there is more than enough information on the internet that will help me develop the technical skills needed to take advantage of the larger world of WordPress.org.  Stay tuned….

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27 Responses to Bad news…good news…leads to this post

  1. petphotos95 says:

    I did see your blog and then the response, and thought, “oh, boy,” it just gets more complicated. I thinkone also has to think about whether the blog will be a part of or in additional to a larger website, and how that website will be hosted. It’s all in what the end goal is going to be.

    • Good point. My post was a bit biased towards the approach I’m likely to take if I pursue blogging, which is to have an independent blog, not tied to a larger website. But that may change the more I dive into this. There is still so much to learn!

  2. wendy0114 says:

    First of all… I love the emoticons that you have – where can I get them? Second of all, isn’t it fascinating that someone else in the blogosphere (not know to you, i presume?) say your post and took the time to respond. Now, I can see how like minded people can be brought together. You have given us alot of information and I for one – appreciate it. 😊

    • Wendy: The “emoticons” are simple jpegs that I found on the internet (by googling “smiley face jpegs”). I saved them to my computer than added them to the post. As
      for the non-class member who found my post and commented on it – I was so surprised that I checked our class list twice to make sure it wasn’t a classmate! I was stoked when I found out someone in the “real world” had posted a comment on my blog (even if it was a comment correcting me – lol).

  3. There is an email subscription link on the right hand column, second from the bottom. Hopefully I have set it up properly. Thanks for visiting my blog. Cheers. 🙂

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