What is WordPress? (and what to Use)

I design all my clients’ websites in WordPress. It’s a fantastic plaform for writer websites and small business websites because it can grow as your career and your business grow. But “WordPress” has three different meanings which can cause confusion.

So let’s go over the definitions and what they mean for you.

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WordPress has several meanings (and I’m only recommending one of them)

WordPress 1 (Noun): free website-building software

Screenshot Of The WordPress Admin Page

WordPress is the name of a content management system – that’s a software program that lets you build a website without coding. (You can add code, but it’s usually only needed for complex sites.)

When I say “I build websites in WordPress” I mean the WordPress software.

WordPress 2 (noun): A nonprofit foundation that develops the WordPress software

The WordPress Foundation develops the software. You can find their website at WordPress.net

Screenshot Of WordPress.net Website

Although the software is free, to put it on the internet you will need to pay a company to host the site. Web hosting companies specialize in this.

WordPress 3 (noun): One option of many website hosts

Here is where it gets confusing.

There are dozens of companies that host websites built with the WordPress software.

But if you Google “WordPress” one of the top results is a hosting company at WordPress.com. It’s associated with the WordPress foundation at WordPress.net. (This is why you’re confused.)

Screenshot Of WordPress.com Website

This leads a lot of people to think that they have to use WordPress.com to make a WordPress website.

What we do and recommend: Build sites with the WordPress software, but use a different hosting company

We use the WordPress software but not the WordPress.com hosting company. 

The WordPress software is top-notch. It’s stable, has enough features to grow as your career or business grows, and you’re not locked in to a particular hosting provider.

However, when you compare the cost and features of website hosting companies, WordPress.com isn’t the best choice. They keep their costs down by stripping away a lot of the functions of the free software. If you need even one of those features (now or as your website grows) you’ll end up paying so much to get it back, that it would be cheaper to use a different website host.

What I mean when I recommend WordPress

Which website host should you use?

That will take a much longer post to compare, but we recommend BlueHost and Siteground.. (Affiliate link.)

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