I could give you lots of important statistics like WordPress powers 32% of the web!
WordPress users create 41.7 million new posts and 60.5 million new comments each month. Think about it, 1,390,000 new WordPress posts are published every day. WordPress is so popular that the spammers create 132 million spam messages every month. The good news is that the WordPres plugin, Akismet, fends off 99.9% of the spam.
Here’s an important statistic. More than 1.1 million new registered WorPress domains are registered every 6 months. And, people must be constantly looking for WordPress information because the term WordPress is searched for 2,740,000 times every month.
Hey, there’s more. WordPress dominates Google’s Search Engine Results Pages with 583,000,000 results and WordPress is by far the most used Content Management System on the web. Sites like The New Yorker, BBC America, Bloomberg Professional, Sony Music, Facebook Newsroom, Disney, Sweden’s Official website, the Microsoft News Center, Bata Shoes, cPanel Blog, Time Inc., Marks & Spencer for Business, ExpressJet Blog and – well you get that WordPress is BIG and an important player on the Internet.
That’s all great, but you want to know what WordPress can do for you and help you in your online endeavours. So, the first question is, why are you on the net? What are you trying to accomplish?
You want to blog, you think that affiliate marketing will enhance your income and make life financially easier, or you just want to learn to create websites. Maybe even sell some of them. There are a million ideas and things you might want to do on the Internet.
Let’s assume you need a website, because if you don’t you needn’t continue reading this or any of the WordPress pages. Now decide if you want, or need, a self hosted site or a pre-built site (WordPress.org or WordPress.com). WordPress has two versions and the pre-built makes a great site with a couple of important caveats.
WordPress.org that you have heard so much about. It’s open source and free to use. You need to buy hosting from anyone of a few hundreds hosts and you need to buy a domain name (i.e. example.com). This is the self-hosted WordPress.
With the self-hosted WP, you have full control over your website. You own the site, the data and your site isn’t subject to someone else’s terms that can turn off your site.
You can add WordPress plugins and applications to your hearts content and you can customize the site as you like. You can use free or paid themes or you can build a theme yourself.
You can make money by running your own ads and you can use Google Analytics for tracking information about your site. You can have your own store and sell digital or physical products too.
You can create a membership site and in general do whatever you want with your site, except doing something illegal.
Not everything is chocolate and roses though. Hosting isn’t free and can cost $3 to $10 a month or if you want a more robust service $30 to $100 a month. You are responsible for updates (pretty simple) which can happen daily. Or you can get managed hosting for a fee and your hosting service will do the updates.
You should (must is a better word) do backups. Granted your host also backs up, but they usually charge to restore the backup. So you should backup using one of the many plugins available, and you should keep the backup off your server.
Even with all the pros and cons above, it is recommended that you build your website with WordPress.org, the self-hosted version.
Now let’s look at WordPress.com, a full hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. There are 5 plans for using the dot com WordPress. the free and very limited plan; the personal $36 USD a year plan; the premium $99 USD a year plan; the $299 USD business plan and the VIP plan that starts around $5,000 USD a month plan.
WordPress.com is a good choice for family bloggers and hobby bloggers. The free plan gives you 3GB of space, and you upgrade as you require. Updates and backup are all taken care of by WordPress.com.
WordPress.com places ads on your site, and you don’t make any money from the ads. You can’t sell ads on your site. You can’t upload plugins or custom themes. In fact you can only use the themes they make available. No membership sites, no eCommerce sites and you can be deleted any time you violate their Terms of Service.
So there you have it, time to make a decision and get going with your idea for a website.
You can use the forum to talk to others about what you think you want.