What you need to know about WordPress

To take advantage of today’s inbound/online marketing opportunities, it’s important to be able to manage your website day-to-day. If you’re updating your site, one option to explore is WordPress. It started as a blogging platform, but nowadays many companies are building entire, complex websites in WordPress.

Basic WordPress is a free, open platform software. This means software developers can modify the original code to create custom designs and functionalities – known as plug-ins. This is unlike proprietary software like Microsoft Word that can only be modified by Microsoft.

To design a site in WordPress you start with a template called a theme. There are many themes offering different layouts. It helps to think through what content and functionalities you want in your site before choosing a theme. Some are free and others are considered premium and come at a (one-time or annual) fee ranging from $35 to $169.

Where people get confused about WordPress is that there are two of them – WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Here’s the main difference:

  • WordPress.com is a website where you can quickly build and host a blog or a simple website for free. You can pretty easily do this yourself.
  • WordPress.org is a website where you download basic WordPress software for free and use it to build custom-designed websites that are hosted with qualified Internet service providers (ISPs). You will almost certainly need to hire a professional website developer.

In both cases, once the site is built, you’ll be able to make changes, add and delete much of the content and add landing pages in-house. With a custom WordPress site, you may still need help from your designer from time to time to add pages to the navigation or after software updates. But you’ll have a professionally designed presence that reflects your company – and any functionality you need, including ecommerce.

Though neither version offers a perfect or completely simple option, WordPress is growing in popularity as a functional way to make the most of your website.

Following is a handy list of differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.



  • Free. (Upgrades for a custom domain name, to add audio/video, etc., are available at small annual fees.)
  • More than 90 themes to choose from. Modify certain design elements if you understand cascading style sheets (CSS). Custom themes not allowed.
  • Custom plug-ins not allowed. Some common plug-ins (for subscriptions, social media sharing, etc.) are provided.
  • Everything taken care of for you: setup, upgrades, backups, security, etc.
  • New features frequently offered.
  • Your blog/site is on hundreds of servers and unlikely to go down.
  • You’re part of the WordPress.com blogging community which can provide traffic and social media benefits.
  • Free 24/7 support.



  • Requires more technical knowledge to set up and run.
  • Use any theme you’d like, or one you create yourself.
  • Install plug-ins that you’ve created or downloaded from the WordPress.org Plug-Ins Directory.
  • Complete control for your developer – or you if you’re technically minded – to change code.
  • Paid, qualified hosting service/ISP required.
  • You handle backups.
  • You stop spam through plug-ins.
  • You upgrade software manually when a new version comes out.
  • Community/support forums, but no WordPress-provided support.


Ellie Becker is president of E.R. Becker Company Inc. in Norwalk, a public relations and inbound marketing consultancy. She is an inbound marketing certified professional. Reach her at ellie@erbeckercompany.com or read her blog at www.erbeckercompany.com.


Bernadette Nelson is principal of Studio B/Visual Communication in Norwalk. She has more than 20 years of experience in graphic and web design. Reach her at b@studiob-ct.com or www.studiob-ct.com.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Mega World News
Yahoo Buzz
Weekend Joy

Filed Under: Opinions Columns


Article source: http://westfaironline.com/2011/15107-what-you-need-to-know-about-wordpress/

Related Posts