WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
I hadn’t actually planned on writing this blog, but I’m going to since it ended up being part of my blogging/writing journey.I wanted to set up a blog. If you’re going to set up a blog, WordPress is one of the best ways to go. A large portion of the internet is powered by WordPress and they do blogging well. I run a website using Weebly and I like it for a regular site, but a blog works well (in my opinion) on WordPress.
So I went to WordPress.com and set up my blog. Within no time I was getting hits and getting people following me (same day, actually). Now, some of those were people I knew and had threatened or coerced into following me, but some were actually willing participants. These people were reading, liking my posts and following my blog within a day or so of setting it all up! It was exciting.
The cost wasn’t bad, either. It was free to set up and then I could pay $4 a month for some extra benefits such as my own domain name and a few other perks. I had planned on going that way.
Unfortunately, I ran into some problems. There were a number of things I couldn’t change on the website and it was frustrating me. I started to do some research (something I should have done beforehand) and I found out that people often ran WordPress on Bluehost.com.
Sooooo… I started looking into Bluehost and found I could set up a site there for about $3/month (big sale going on at the moment). I also found out that Bluehost is set up to work directly with WordPress. This was sounding good. But then I thought (wrongly), that I had to spend the $4 for WordPress and $3 for Bluehost in order to make them work together. Since I’m trying to do this all on a budget, this wasn’t sounding good. I set up an account with Bluehost and found it to be irritatingly confusing so I cancelled it and got my full refund.
I was frustrated.
I then continued my research and found out this is how it works…
WordPress.com is the site I was originally on. The cost starts at $4 for a paid site. It’s really easy to use, but it’s fairly limited in terms of what it can do. Eventually if you monetize your site (that means you’re getting so many hits that you can run ads and make money off of it), you can split the money with WordPress.
WordPress.org is a free publishing platform that works within places like Bluehost. It’s much more powerful and not as limited as WordPress.com, but a little more complicated. Eventually if you monetize your site, you keep all the cash you make from the ads.
WordPress also has a cool app that lets you keep an eye on stats and approve comments on your posts and so forth. That works for a site using either WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
So, I went back to Bluehost and logged into the account that I had made earlier. I picked my domain name (I know… it’s pretty awesome… you’re probably wondering if “pb” stands for “peanut butter”). I paid for three years (cheapest way to do it). I installed WordPress in my Bluehost account (I think it might actually have been partly installed already which seemed odd). I googled how to set up a good WordPress site on Bluehost and away I went.
To sum up: If you’re going to start a blog, I would strongly recommend you set up an account through Bluehost or another provider that offers solid WordPress integration. Bluehost isn’t the only one, but they are a big company and at the moment, quite affordable. Pick your domain name, install WordPress into Bluehost and follow a Youtube video about setting it up and away you go!
NOTE: Once you set up your blog, you need to take care of SEO. To learn how to do this, check out this blog on Setting up SEO for Your Blog.