I first began running WordPress workshop at Kensington Central library back in 2014 and it really took off! People of all ages and profession were attending. There were even some people from Amazon and Google attending these sessions which I found was quite interesting. But what I found out was the following:
Most of them have heard of WordPress
Some of them had a blog on WordPress.com
Hardly anyone knew any coding (programming languages)
Difference between WordPress.com and self-hosted version of WordPress (wordpress.org)
Option 1: WordPress.com
If you are happy to run a blog and focus only on content generation, then go ahead and open a free account on wordpress.com. You can even buy a unique domain and have your blog there or go for the free option and have your blog address as yourblogname.wordpress.com where yourblogname is the name you choose for your blog.
Option 2. WordPress.org (self-hosted)
If on the other hand you want complete control over your blog, add functionalities, have control over creating email addresses, FTP, database etc. then go for this option. While WordPress is free for both options, you will need to sign up for a web hosting package and pay a monthly fee in order to run this self-hosted version of WordPress. Make sure you choose a web hosting package that offers the 1-click install option for WordPress.
5 Quick Tips About the self-hosted version of WordPress
1. If you are complete beginner to WordPress, sign up to WordPress.com and practice setting up your blog for free.
2. If you have opened a WordPress.com account and got used to using that version of WordPress but want more flexibility and control, sign up for a web hosting package and install the self-hosted version of WordPress.
3. Always test a WordPress theme (the actual layout, template or look and feel of your blog/website) on sites like gtmetrix.com and tools.pingdom.com and make sure they don’t have scores below 75%. Any lower and your site will take so long to load that first-time visitors will simply leave your site at the first signs of delay in page load.
4. While there are over 37,000 free plugins available to install, avoid installing plugins too many. Try not to go beyond 15.
5. Maintain good structure of a page or post. H1 is usually the title of the page and post so use H2 fonts for headings inside the page/post followed by H3 and H4. Having structured content will get you on the good books with Google.
5 Signs You Should Invest In a web hosting package to run your WordPress website
1. You want to build your website your way
2. Need to add extra functionalities (Ecommerce, membership, forms, social media feeds etc.)
3. Want to create domain related email addresses (looks more professional than gmail/yahoo)
4. Need to customise the layout of your website
5. Want full control of your website/blog
Rafi Akbar run monthly WordPress courses at Google campus. Rafi's passionate about helping beginners to get their websites up and running. Rather than building websites for you, Rafi will teach you how to build a fast loading, error free website all by yourself.