If you are a new blogger or new to web development, at a certain moment, you will have to encounter this famous word; “WordPress”. But not just that word, still, at a certain moment you will have to wonder what is the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org? Could both of these be different things? So what is the difference anyway?
All the above questions might popup. Well, in this article we are going to look at exactly that, what is the difference between the two, so make sure you read on.
Well, WordPress comes in two ways. WordPress a Content Management System(CMS) and WordPress a blogging platform but all features remain and work in the same way. But before we go any further, let us look at what is a Content Management System (CMS) as this will give us wider view of what all this is about.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)
Without making this any technical: A Content Management System (CMS) in general is a software system used to process, manage, organize and transfer data or specifically content. Content can be of any type like audio, video, pictures, text and more or a combination of all the above.
Normally these systems are multi-user, that means that, a team of many people can work on the same on the same system. Users on these systems can be given different roles according to what they are supposed to do and with limited capabilities on the system. For example there could be the top user who has the top capabilities to even create other users with smaller roles on the system.
One other thing to note about these systems is that every content management system is created according to the kind of task it is going to serve. Some CMSs could focus more on audio, others video, text, etc; or a combination of all.
With that small general introduction to Content Management Systems(CMS). Lets us get back to WordPress.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
WordPress was release for the first time in mid 2003 as an open source blog publishing system. It was focused more on publishing blog content. Over the years WordPress has turned into a full Content Management System to manage web content. WordPress can now be used to develop and manage all sorts of websites and apps.
WordPress can be downloaded free of charge, from it’s official website wordpress.org and can be downloaded as a zip file which is extracted and then uploaded to a web server.
WordPress has made creation of websites and blogs easy. Initially for someone to create dynamic websites was hard and someone had to have a lot of technical knowledge of web development. With WordPress, you can create and update web content with ease and without having any technical knowledge.
WordPress now powers many of the big websites owned by huge companies
Later in 2005, the founder of WordPress come up with a blogging platform with the same name WordPress. The platform could be accessed through wordpress.com. What is different about this platform, is that it offers users free access to create websites or blogs with limitations which can be removed with paid upgrades.
WordPress.com runs a modified version of wordpress.org. Instead of a user having to download the WordPress software and hosting it their own server, with this platform, all that is eliminated. All the user needs to do, is to create an account with their email address and start right away creating web content.
Sometimes wordpress.com is called hosted WordPress and wordpress.org is called self hosted wordpress since you have to download and host the software on to your own server.
Features of WordPress
What made WordPress popular and to be loved my many people, is that is comes with a bunch of features that people need and love. Not just that, but they made web content creation a lot easier and fun to do. Lets us look at some of them bellow.
Themes in WordPress are responsible for the way how your WordPress site looks on the front end. In others words WordPress themes are responsible fot the design, layout or feel of your WordPress site.
WordPress comes with a number of built-in themes and each year, they add a new theme that comes with the core software. On top of that there are a number of free themes that a developed by individual developers which can help you set up your WordPress site as soon as possible.
On top of the free themes there are alot of premium themes on the market, one can buy a theme of their choice to improve on how their WordPress site looks.
There is also something called plugins in WordPress which help extend the functionality of WordPress. There are many free and paid plugins on WordPress, like plugins which help out send email newsletters, social media plugins, ADs plugins, webpage builders and alot more.
The customizer is a feature in WordPress that helps you change the look of you WordPress site while at the same time previewing as you make changes. You can see color change you have made in the live preview and also are able to see how your site would look on different mobile devices.
With WordPress, a site can have as many users as possible. From as many administrators as possible to simple WordPress visitors. On WordPress users are able to register on the site but this feature can be turned on and off according to the needs of the site.
Widgets are smaller components of WordPress themes which display some important information on the front end to a visiting user to a WordPress site. Widgets can also be used to request data from site visitors like, a widget can be used to display a contact form on the sidebar of the website, to display an Ad or show headlines of the recently published articles.
Choosing to use a self hosted WordPress or hosted WordPress all depends on what direction you want to take your website. In my next articles about WordPress, we are going to look at who should choose to use either a self hosted WordPress or hosted WordPress, so make sure you do not miss those articles.