What is WordPress.Org? WordPress For Beginners

What is WordPress.Org? WordPress For Beginners

You want to start a blog and you’ve heard about WordPress. But did you know there’s WordPress .org and WordPress .com? Find out which you should use to start your blog here.

When I started my first blog I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted to write and so I needed somewhere for my writing to live.

Like lots of first time bloggers I’d heard of WordPress.

All the advice I found online suggested that WordPress was the place to be for blogging.

And so I started my first blog on WordPress. Whoop whoop! I had a blog.

BUT, what I didn’t realise was that there are two separate versions of WordPress.

One is .com and the other WordPress .org

Guess what? I picked the .com version. It was the wrong decision.

I really should have chosen WordPress .org from the beginning. And I’m going to tell you why here.

Don’t have time to read this now? Pin it for later!

What is WordPress.org? Blogging Tips For Beginners

{This post probably contains affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything extra, but enables me to bring you great tips and advice for free. You can read my full disclosure here.}

Starting a Blog

You’ve decided to start a blog, which is great!

And you’ve read my blog posts on how to start a blog that makes money, and how to choose your niche.

So you’re all set. You know that you want to start a blog that will eventually make money.

You’ve decided that your new project isn’t going to be a hobby. It’s going to bring in some income.

Not sure if your blog is going to be a hobby blog? Grab my FREE ebook to help you decide.

So the next thing to decide is where your blog is going to live. What type of web hosting are you going to use?

This is a really important decision.

What’s Web Hosting?

Web hosting is crucial for your blog.

It’s the place where all the files linked to your blog (pictures, posts etc) live. 

If you want to get technical, web hosting is the phrase used to describe the computer servers that keep your blog alive and visible on the internet.

You’re essentially renting virtual storage space. 

Because web hosting is where EVERYTHING on your blog is going to live, you need to trust your web host and know that they’re capable of keeping your blog live for as much of the time as possible.

You cannot have a blog without web hosting.

But the question is do you choose a blogging platform that is “hosted” or “self-hosted?”

Hosted and Self-Hosted: What’s the Difference?

When you start your blog you have a choice of whether you want to use a hosted or self-hosted blogging platform.

I don’t want to get too technical here. But I’ll do my best to explain the difference.

Hosted Blog Platform

A hosted blog platform is where a company takes care of all the software, programming and web hosting for your blog.

It’s an all-in-one option. And it’s the least “techie” choice.

Examples of hosted blog platforms include Wix, Blogger, Weebly, Squarespace and WordPress .com.

Most new bloggers start their blog with a hosted platform.

It’s the simplest way to get a blog up and running quickly.

The host company does all the heavy lifting. They provide the software, and programming for your blog. And they’ll host your site on their servers.

You can even customise the look of your blog on a hosted platform if you want to. And some of the host companies I mentioned above offer a free blog platform.

WordPress .com does.

How great is that? A free place to for your blog to live!

Well, it’s sort of great. But only if you’re not planning to make money from your blog.

Let’s take WordPress .com as an example. This is the hosted blog platform I started out with, so it’s the one I know best.

You can sign up to WordPress .com right now for free and just starting writing content for your blog. Brilliant!

BUT the free option is very limited. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • your domain name (website address) has to end .wordpress.com
  • you cannot use plugins (you will definitely need plugins!)
  • you cannot show ads on your site
  • WordPress WILL show ads on your blog
  • WordPress will earn revenue from the ads they display on your site, but you won’t earn a penny

So to be able to use your own domain name, disable WordPress ads and show your own ads to monetise your blog you will have to upgrade to a paid version of WordPress .com.

What is WordPress.org? Blogging Tips For Beginners

Downsides to Hosted Blog Platforms

This is a really expensive way to start a blog.

But the cost isn’t even the biggest problem with taking this route.

You will not own your website if you choose to start your blog on a hosted platform.

And that’s the problem right there!

Imagine for a minute that you’ve been writing and posting great content on your blog for six months or more.

You’re starting to get some great traction on your blog. Your audience is growing. You’re even making some revenue from ads and sponsored posts.

Great work!

And then your host company goes into liquidation overnight. Your blog is gone. The content is gone. All your hard work is gone.

It’s not your fault. But there’s nothing you can do about it.

Okay, so you may have been sensible enough to draft out your blog posts in Google Docs (I definitely recommend you do this!) But, because you didn’t actually own your blog, you’re going to have to start over.

Or maybe your host platform double their prices after your first yearly subscription comes to an end. You don’t want to pay what they’re asking, so your only choice is to move to another host.

You should be able to transfer your blog posts. But the website – the structure of your blog – belongs to the host company. Not you.

Again, you’re going to need to start over.

Self-Hosted Blog Platform

If you’re going to invest your time and money into your blog, then you really should OWN your blog.

The only way to own your blog is to have a self-hosted website. But what exactly does this mean?

A self-hosted blog is one you build yourself.

You buy your domain name and pay for your web hosting. And you use the WordPress .org software to create your blog.

So you own your domain name. And you’re paying a web hosting company to store your blog on their servers and make it visible on the internet.

But the blog that you build using WordPress .org is all yours! It belongs to you.

You can change your web hosting company every time your subscription is up if you want. You can even change who you pay for your domain name if you like. Or change your domain name entirely if you need to.

The structure and content of your blog will still be there. Because it’s yours!

If you’re planning to make money from your blog, then I would absolutely recommend going self-hosted with a WordPress .org website.

I would have saved myself a whole bunch of time and money if I’d known the difference when I started my first blog.

What is WordPress.org? Blogging Tips For Beginners

Which Web Host for WordPress.org?

Choosing to start a WordPress .org self-hosted website really is the best option if you plan to make money from your blog and want to grow your audience quickly.

But you’re going to need to pay for web hosting. You will need a company to store your blog on their servers to make your blog visible online.

There are so many web hosting companies to choose from! So how do you decide who’s best?

This will always cause controversy and debate among bloggers.

Some bloggers will always prefer one company over another.

And some will have had a bad experience with a one company, while another blogger may absolutely love them.

It’s all totally subjective. But there are two web hosts that I would recommend to new bloggers: Siteground and Blue Host.


I personally love Siteground. It’s the web hosting company I’ve used and trusted from my very first self-hosted blog. And it’s the company I use to host this blog too!

They’re super-fast. Totally reliable. Completely safe. And have a customer service team that’s second-to-none.

And, if that isn’t enough, they have a great offer at the moment.

For a limited time you can sign up to Siteground’s StartUp plan for only 99p for 3 months. Just click on the image below to get this great offer.

Blue Host

Another great hosting company is Blue Host.

I’ve personally never used Blue Host’s service, but I know lots and lots of other very successful bloggers who do and highly recommend them.

They’re even one of the companies listed as WordPress .org’s recommended web hosts.

For as little as just £3.70 per month Blue Host make it quick and easy to set up your WordPress .org blog.

WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

Okay, so if you’ve read this far then you know already that WordPress .com and WordPress .org are two completely different things.

WordPress .com is a web host platform, much like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and others I mentioned above.

It’s fine to use WordPress .com if you want to start a hobby blog (one that doesn’t make any money).

But it’s really very limited. And it is not the right choice if you plan to make money from your blog.

Upgrading to any of the WordPress .com paid plans is expensive and still very limiting. So don’t do that.

If you plan to monetise your blog then the best thing you can do is to build a self-hosted website using the WordPress .org software from the start.

The WordPress .org software is open-source, which means it’s totally free to use!

And it’s pretty much limitless.

Building your self-hosted blog using the WordPress .org software will give you access to literally thousands of plugins that you can use to streamline your site, grow your audience and make money more quickly than if you choose the hosted platform route.

It may seem more daunting to start a self-hosted blog. But actually the tools you use in WordPress .org and the same as those at the backend of WordPress .com.

You’re going to have to learn to use them anyway, so you may as well learn on a website that you actually own.

I wasted so much time and money choosing to start my first blog on a hosted platform.

And it was a real pain in the ass to move everything over from WordPress .com to my self-hosted WordPress .org site.

This was all hassle I could have avoided!

If I could go back in time, the best advice I would give myself would be to make sure I owned my blog from the start.

And that’s my advice to you too: start your blog as a self-hosted WordPress .org site and use a great company like Siteground for your web hosting.

What Next?

I’d love it if you joined my Facebook community of busy mummies just like you who want to start a blog.

Or if Instagram is where you prefer to hang out, you can find me there too!

Finally, if you’ve found this post useful, please take a moment to share it using the buttons below 🙂

What is WordPress.org? Blogging Tips For Beginners

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