The first thing to realize is that everything on this site refers to having the WordPress software installed on your own hosting plan. The website wordpress.com is something else entirely and unrelated to everything here. The site that relates to using WordPress on your own hosting service is wordpress.org. (Note the .org extension.) You will have nothing to do with the wordpress.com site, (except to register and get an API key for the two plugins that need one).
I know, it is confusing and I have no idea why it is set up this way. It is just one of those things that must be committed to memory without trying to understand why. Now if you hire me to get your website set up and running, you won’t have to worry about these sorts of things!
Back to why you should use WordPress instead of something like WordPress.com or Blogger/BlogSpot. WordPress.com and Blogger are much more limited in what they offer and in what you can do with your site. Customizations are limited and the ability to augment your site with tools and plugins does not exist.
WordPress gives you unbeatable power to do what you want to make your site your own. WordPress is also much more search engine friendly. If you want to have your own brand and web identity, then WordPress is your best choice. You also can not have your own domain on WordPress.com or Blogger. This website at either of those services would be under the wordpresss.com, (or blogspot.com). That is very important for brand identity and SEO.
Every WordPress installation is unique because it can be drastically changed in pretty much any way you want. Additionally, self-hosted WordPress so flexible and powerful that it can be used as a replacement for the traditional hand coded html website. Using WordPress as a content management system, (CMS), even for sites more complicated than this one, or my Healthy Living blog, is where WordPress really shines.
Many of you do not need a complicated html site, and can get what is needed with less work and less expense by taking advantage of the flexibility and customizations available in a WordPress CMS installation. Some of you may even have an existing traditional html website that you just want a WordPress blog added to. I have done both and can help you with either need.
With a little help at the outset, WordPress can be mastered and understood. Even if you have no interest in learning the more technical aspects of installing and running a WordPress site, it is well worth it to hire someone to set it up, get it running, and do any future involved customizations or changes you might want. Someone like WebsiteHostingParadise who has set up hosting service and WordPress sites numerous times, can make it quick and easy for you to get going. With a little training and some ongoing email communication, you will be comfortable in no time!
For those that have no technical interest at all and may not have even the minimal time needed to maintain a WordPress installation, they offer monthly maintenance services to keep you going full speed ahead.
Is WordPress for Everyone?
This question is a good one, and one that I almost always answer “yes”. In fact in this article, “Why You Should Use WordPress“, which you should certainly read, I discuss many reasons why a WordPress site is the best way for most people to go. There is, however, a small percentage of people that might find it hard to use WordPress, either for a standard blog, or as a Content Management System, (CMS), for a website.
WordPress is generally thought of as being easy to learn and use, even for people who are not overly technically inclined. However, like with anything new, there is a learning curve that most people easily master. However, if the image you have of yourself is that you are unable to understand or learn how your computer, email, word-processing, or other technology works, then you might be frustrated trying to master WordPress. Most people will have no trouble using WordPress to manage, backup and post information to a website. Even if you need to hire someone to do upgrades to the WordPress software, set up email accounts on your hosting server, or to insert a custom logo into the header of your site, there are still usage and cost benefits to using WordPress rather than having a hard-coded html website.
But what if you want a web presence but have no time or interest in learning how to work with WordPress. What if you have difficulty surfing the web or using Google to find answers to questions. In this case, your choices are more limited. You could pay a lot of money to have a custom built html website made for you. Then you will have to pay your designer or programmer on an ongoing basis to maintain and administer your site. You can also have a WordPress site that you post new material to, but pay someone like me on an ongoing basis to do the maintenance and administration of the site. This costs less that the html web site route, but does require a small monthly budget for administration and support.
Your only other option is to use a service like Blogger. The one size fits all approach of Blogger is very limiting, but almost no technical interest or effort at all is needed. The other problem with a service like Blogger is that your site is on the Blogger domain. You do not have your own domain name and unique web address. For example this site is underthewordpresstree.com. On Blogger, the best I could get is firstname.lastname@example.org, not good for SEO or having a professional web identity.
So, don’t be discouraged, just be realistic in evaluating the type of person your are and what your budget for your website is. Most of you will do just fine with a WordPress site. If you are unsure, contact us and we can discuss the specifics of your situation with you, helping decide which path you should follow.