What is WordPress ?: differences between .com and .org
Although this is a basic aspect, it is convenient to make it very clear, because still many people WordPress sounds like a simple blogging platform.
But today it is much more than that: it is the main content management system (CMS, for its acronym in Content Management System ).
In fact, its implementation is currently so high that it is estimated that more than 20% of websites that exist on the Internet are based on WordPress. That is, about 1 in 4.
Even giant multinationals like Microsoft have chosen WordPress as a publication tool.
However, for practical purposes it is necessary to make a brief distinction:
- org: is the paid version of WordPress , either by contracting it directly on your website or through third parties, such as hosting companies with the included WordPress service. It is much more complete and we will deal with it in the first part of this article.
- com: is the free version of WordPress , more limited, mainly used as a blogging platform, we will deal with it at the end of this article.
And to finish limiting the terms and concepts, it is worth remembering that a content management system or CMS is a support structure software ( framework ) to create and manage online content at different levels, depending on the type of user and their permissions within that framework .
It works with databases that allow to separate content and design, so that a website created with a CMS allows to change the design without compromising the content already generated.
Once the concepts of WordPress and CMS have been clarified, let’s get to know their advantages and disadvantages.
General advantages of WordPress.org
The list of advantages is really broad and covers all kinds of aspects. The main ones are:
- It is very scalable: this means that this CMS is perfectly valid for small websites, personal, small companies or professionals, but can also grow hand in hand with the web to reach a really large volume. On pages like this one from Strato you can find a detailed analysis of all the WordPress details. It allows not only to add numerous functionalities, as we will see, but also to have a hierarchical user structure through a well-defined permission system that goes from the main administrator to the most basic of the editors.
- It is open source: this means, basically, that any user can contribute to the development of WordPress with their own contributions. This, in turn, has several consequences, but the main one of them all is:
- Wide variety of available designs: many are individual designers or design agencies that create their own template (called Theme or Theme) and make it available to other users, in some cases for free and in others for payment.
- Numerous plugins: plugins are small tools created by external developers that are added to a WordPress website to add new functionality or improve an existing one. There are thousands of plugins with very different objectives, such as creating forms or entering social buttons. Some are free and others are paid. It is, therefore, another of the positive consequences of being open source.
- Extensive and intuitive control panel: creating and managing new pages, menus, categories or any other detail of the web is really easy from the control panel. In addition, it works in the Cloud, so you can access it from a browser anywhere and with any device.
- A mobile friendly CMS : both the control panel for content management and most of the designs available in WordPress are responsive , that is, they are displayed perfectly on any type of device, something increasingly important in the current times .
- Extensive technical support: around WordPress there is a vast community of developers able to help other users to solve problems related to the platform. Sometimes they are free aids through discussion forums, but other times you can hire specific support services to solve specific problems. With so much variety and, therefore, so much competition among developers, the prices are usually not very high.
- Good SEO behavior: the HTML code is clear and readable for search engines, mainly Google, so if you work properly content, search engine indexing and positioning will have great chances of success.
- Numerous updates: WordPress is renewed continuously with continuous updates, which allows to solve faults or deficiencies of all kinds.
Disadvantages of WordPress.org
They are not too many and, for the majority of users, they weigh less than the advantages, but it is also important to mention them:
- It is not a free service: there are other free versions, such as WordPress.com or other tools used to create content (free online web creators, for example), although these are also more limited, logically.
- It requires a medium level of knowledge: WordPress is not an overly complex platform like others, but neither is it as intuitive as the Drag and Drop web creators, for example. In any case, after a short period of contact, the user will know how to get along quite easily on the platform.
- Although there are plugins that add commercial features, such as WooCommerce, WordPress is not usually the favorite option for online stores of some complexity and size. In those cases, Magento, OpenCart or Prestashop, among others, is often preferred.
- Limited design flexibility: although there are templates for all tastes, if you are looking for a completely customized design, it will be necessary to hire the services of a web designer, to which you can transmit your own ideas so you can create a 100% customized website . However, there is an intermediate solution, which is to hire a web designer to create a custom website but in turn based on WordPress, so that the design can be taken up more easily by other designers in the future or even the user himself if he has a minimum knowledge of WordPress.
Finally, at an intermediate point between the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress, we place the issue of security.
And we do so because the experts do not end up agreeing on this issue.
While some speak of vulnerability in relation to other CMS like Drupal, reflected in certain attacks suffered during their years of existence, others put the emphasis precisely on the ability of the community to develop security plugins and remedy malware attacks, of which nobody on the Internet is completely safe.
Advantages and disadvantages of WordPress for blogs (WordPress.com)
Finally, a brief review of the pros and cons of using the free version that, as we said, is basically used for logs.
Among the advantages are, in addition to many of those mentioned above (updates, responsive designs …):
- Its free nature
- Its ease of use and less complexity than the .org version
Among the disadvantages we can highlight:
- The user does not have his own web domain, but he chooses a subdomain within the WordPress.com platform. Using a metaphor, it’s like ‘living in WordPress’, with the limitations that this entails.
- Impossibility of introducing ads on the web to monetize the blog: this is one of the limitations we mentioned. And this happens, for example, with other blogging platforms such as Blogspot.
- Less ability to customize designs, which sometimes results in a less professional image of the website, so it is not recommended for business pages.