Creating your first blog can be daunting. But with WordPress, it doesn’t have to be.
One of the key decisions you are going to have to make early on if you want to use a free platform or pay for your own. I spent days researching so I could make a better choice. You can have a better and easier time blogging by understanding this choice from the start.
Why Does It Matter
It all depends on what you want to do with your blog. Many of you are going to start with WordPress. If so, there is a decision you are going to have to make: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
In a recent post, I discussed why teachers should blog and how it becomes your platform. Sometimes teachers want to make money with their platform. There is nothing wrong with this; it is akin to a side-job. Or, they want the freedom to tinker with additional premium plug-ins that make their site look really unique.
Some of these additional features are only available on WordPress.org sites. A small bonus that with WordPress.org, you won’t have wordpress in your website link, like www.wordpress.yoursite.com.
Some of you might just want to start your blog as a hobby. Or as a website for your classroom. That is fine too! In this case, your blog is still your platform. You just don’t intend on it becoming anything more than a place to put your thoughts.
Either way, I would highly recommend you check out WordPress as the place for your blog.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress is widely recognized as a favorite and frequently used online blogging platform. This software allows you to create, manage, and then publish your exclusive content seamlessly. This is one of the reasons why more than 20% of the web and almost about 50% of all blogs are said to be powered by WordPress.
Originally, WordPress was started as blogging system but this has evolved and turned out to be a complete Content Management System or CMS. Basically, WordPress can do a whole heck of a lot more host a blog. Now, WordPress is only limited by your imagination. If you really want to customize your blog, there are numerous plugins, widgets, and these available to completely transform your WordPress website into something that is uniquely yours.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?
If you are new to WordPress, you are probably confused and overwhelmed by the differences between the two. You are actually not alone. Many potential bloggers are also confused about this never ending WordPress.com vs WordPress.org debate. I know it took me days to figure out which platform I wanted to use. But no one has time for that so allow me to break it down for you.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Know the Differences
One main difference between these two WordPress blogging sites is who’s really hosting the site. In WordPress.org, it is you who is hosting your own site or blog. This is also where you will find free WordPress software which you can easily download and have it installed in your web server.
To make that point clear, you will need to first buy your own domain, from say Bluehost. You can then download the WordPress software. It sounds daunting but it really isn’t. The domain registration process is super fast and installing WordPress is super easy. I had my first domain bought and WordPress loaded in 15 minutes. Also, I had zero coding ability when I did this. It was as easy as following the directions.
WordPress.com on the other hand handles all the hosting exclusively for you. You don’t have to worry about downloading software, managing your web server, or paying for the hosting. WordPress.com is perfect for beginners who have the desire to start their blogs because there is no need for them to download any plug-ins, theme, or software and no coding skills are required.
This is easy to use but it might take some time to be familiar with its interface if you are new to online blogging. WordPress.com is also ideal for all teachers who are looking to start a hobby blog. Maybe you just want to host your class website or start your own place to share stories and resources.
The best thing about WordPress.org is that it is an awesome platform to showcase your awesome student work and your experiences. There is another cool feature of WordPress.com, if you chose to go down that road. With WordPress.com, you can possibly transfer to a WordPress.org self-hosted domain anytime. The transfer process will take all of your content and put it on your new self-hosted website.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Which Site To Use?
WordPress.com offers an inexpensive way for you to share images and thoughts and connecting with other educators. If you already have a blog with WordPress.com, you do not have to worry because you can transfer to self-hosted platform anytime.
This difference usually confuses many new bloggers, especially in terms of choosing the best site. The choice is a technical one but not a difficult one. Certainly not as hard as I made it out to be. Ultimately, it is your style, your site, and your voice anyway.
My final recommendation? If you have even the slightest feeling that blogging is going to become more than just a twice a year hobby, or you know you want to be committed to it, then go with WordPress.org to start. It is just easier than having to transfer later. This is what I did. I weight it out and started mine with a self-hosted WordPress.org. Being an educator, like you, I didn’t have time to waste on unnecessary steps!
Questions: What do you plan to do with your blog? Have you ever considered monetizing it? What is holding you back from starting one right now?