Welcome to my first post of November 2016! I can’t believe it is already November. When I was brainstorming about what to write for this week, I thought about doing an update/response to my old post about Blogger vs. WordPress (.com). I then realized that since it has been months since I have used either of those, a list of pros and cons of WordPress (.org) would be a much better post. If you are considering starting a website or moving an existing one to WordPress, read on.
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NOTE: This post refers to the free open source version of WordPress (.org), not websites hosted through wordpress.com.
Pros of WordPress.org
1. It’s Flexible.
WordPress is a very diverse platform. You can use it just for blogging, you can set up an online shop, or you could build an all-inclusive website filled with whatever you want. You can also add different plugins which increase the functionality of your website or blog.
2. It’s Common.
Roughly 1 in 4 websites are set up through WordPress. That means that it is very easy for you to find tutorials and other information on the platform (such as this very post!) with a simple Google or Pinterest search. If you have any problems getting everything set up or if you have questions down the line, someone has probably been there before and can help you along the way.
There are forums, chat rooms and even Facebook groups where you can go with WordPress related questions. And no question is a dumb question.
3. It’s for Everyone, techie or not.
You may be hesitant to start using WordPress, because you think that it requires a lot of coding and other tech knowledge. Well, that is not true. There are multiple ways around having to work with the more technical side of things. You can use plugins or even hire a designer who works specifically with WordPress.
You don’t ever have to touch the code of your website. If you need to add a certain function, just search for a plugin that can do the job for you for free or cheap.
4. It’s A Software, not a Web Host.
You can use WordPress with many different hosting companies, so you can find something to fit your budget and other needs without having to sacrifice being able to use it or not. Also, if you outgrow a host or happen to have problems, you can take your website with you.
If you are looking for a reliable, budget friendly host, I recommend SiteGround. Their plans start at just $3.95 for the first year and are only $9.95 per month after that. I love the service they provide, and they offer a great value at a great price.
Cons of WordPress.org
1. It can Get Expensive.
Whether you choose an expensive hosting package or you splurge on all of the best plugins, you can end up spending hundreds of dollars on your website. If you go into it without any direction, it is easy to get wells deep into the world of WordPress and you can spend your whole paycheck in one day.
If you are careful and you know just what you want, it is easy to stay within your budget and not spend a ton of money.
2. It has a Learning Curve.
While it is easy once you get used to it, WordPress can be hard to learn. There are so many different things you can do with it, and all of the new information can be overwhelming. As I am writing this, I look at the list of options that I have, and it is monstrous. Compared to a program like Blogger where it is pretty simple, WordPress can be confusing at first.
3. There are a Lot of Options.
If you are the type of person to experiment with different things, WordPress is not for you. There are thousands of different plugins that you can play with, and if you don’t have a vision for your blog, it can be time consuming to go through those plugins. There are also dozens if not hundreds of different themes to choose from.
In some cases, options are a good thing, but they can hold you back from actually improving and promoting your work.
4. It’s a Software and Not a Host.
Yes, this is both a pro and con of WordPress. If you want to have everything in one place regarding your hosting and your actual website, WordPress might not be for you. If you really want to work with WordPress, you can use one of the upgraded plans through wordpress.com. However, it will not be as flexible as the open source software, because it will not have access to plugins or certain themes.
If it is worth it to you to use install WordPress on a website that you create through a different hosting platform, do it. WordPress is great, and I believe the pros outweigh the cons.
If you are hooked and would like to purchase hosting, please consider SiteGround. It is the hosting company that I use, and I am extremely happy with them.
Can you think of any other pros and cons? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!