The big difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the setup and hosting requirement. To get started with blogging, to learn about WordPress and its features, and to see if it is right for you, I would certainly recommend the WordPress.com Starter Course. You do not have to make any commitments, don’t have to pay to operate your site and can make an informed decision on the best options for you whenever you feel ready.
If you already have some knowledge about WordPress and are interested in a group course on WordPress.org, which will cover: ‘How to use WordPress.org, set up a hosting account, install WordPress to it, upload themes and plugins, and customise your site using a mobile-ready theme and page creation plugin to create responsive column based content’, please have a look at web-training.ie or get in touch.
Who is WordPress.org for?
- Anyone who would like to create a new website incorporating a blog, but who will need additional features such as specific photo galleries through plugins, a customised theme, or the ability to edit PHP.
- If you already have a good website and would like to add WordPress to it as a blog function, to communicate with your readers and boost your website in search engines.
- If you would like to add PayPal or advertising to your site (affiliate marketing).
Is WordPress.org more difficult to use?
The software or ‘back-end’ (writing posts, pages and changing settings) of WordPress.org is exactly the same as WordPress.com – that’s why the WordPress.com Starter Course applies to both. However in WordPress.org you will need to register a domain and sign up with a good web host. Then you install the software and create a databank in order for WordPress.org to work. From then on you’re responsible for backups, updating software, and for stopping spam on your site. If you’re technically minded it’s not too difficult to learn, otherwise it’s recommended to hire a third-party service provider to run regular backups and updates for you.
So what should I do if I’m interested in the self-hosted WordPress version?
As mentioned above, the main WordPress functions work the exact same way for both .org and .com sites. Therefore, regardless of which you intend to operate, the WordPress.com Starter Course is the place to begin.
Then I would recommend either to have a look at our WordPress.org course or to get in touch with a good web developer like MacManCreative specialised in WordPress and get them to create you a customised theme which will suit your business requirements and let you stand out from the crowd. Or you can get started with one of the many templates out there (free or they will cost you a small fee), I will be happy to make recommendations and put you in touch with the right people. They will also be able to take care of your backups and updates as necessary. If you don’t need your own customised theme yet, or don’t want to pay for the web development and hosting, you might want to look into the Advanced Course where we can add a lot of customisation as well – we’ll show you how!
In short – the WordPress Starter Course is a good start for everyone
The WordPress.com Starter Course is the place to start for anyone who wants to learn about and use WordPress. As explained above, exactly the same software is used in the free WordPress.com as in the self-hosted WordPress.org version – the only difference is the setup and that WordPress.org can be developed further as your site grows.
The WordPress.com Advanced Course is a booster for websites built in WordPress.com – to gain more visibility, use the power of social media and encourage people to follow up and interact with each other! A great course for when you’re comfortable using and administering your WordPress.com site. Please note, the WordPress.com Advanced Course is tailored to people who use WordPress.com not .org. Some of the topics covered in the Advanced Course can only be achieved in WordPress.org by using additional plugins.
If you have further questions please feel free to have a look through our Frequently asked questions.
If you are interested in attending a course, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I will answer all comments by e-mail, so please add ‘email@example.com’ to your contacts, otherwise my answer might end up in your spam folder.