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[resolved] Should beginner start with WP.com to build CMS + blog? (6 posts)

  1. Bill
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi,

    I'd be very grateful for some fundamental guidance. I have spent days looking through materials and am still confused.

    I am a small business owner; relatively nontechnical and inexperienced, who wants to build a website including a blog yesterday.

    It is my understanding that WP.com is simpler to work with than WP.org. Would you agree? (Fewer options, Maintenance and Security handled for you, no installation)

    It's also my understanding that features offered by WP.org make it preferrable over WP.com for CMS? (ability to edit templates, themes, CSS, and install plug ins, and better for SEO.) Would you agree?

    If so, does it make sense for someone to become familiar with WP by starting a small CMS (estimate of 5-30 static pages plus posts) with WP.com and then migrating to WP.org or would the move create sufficient new work and requirements for redundant work that it would have been better to start with the WP.org version from the beginning?

    Does your response depend upon certain variables and, if so, which and why? i.e.
    CMS size,
    CMS complexity,
    relative value of up front time savings vs. total time savings,
    my technical ability (provided)
    anything else?

    My guess is that one can only have a good sense of the answer to this question if either they are intimately involved with the programs or they have done it before. I know support indicates that the migration snd theme changing should be painless, but it also seems like a fair amount of time is put into getting output the way you like it and that one might wind up repeating much of this when presented with more options in the WP.org version. It has also been my experience that in reality things rarely go as smoothly as they should in theory. On the other hand, the learning curve seems intimidating and I am looking for ways to moderate it.

    Many thanks in advance for your advice!

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 3 years ago #

    It is my understanding that WP.com is simpler to work with than WP.org. Would you agree?

    Yes

    It's also my understanding that features offered by WP.org make it preferrable over WP.com for CMS? (ability to edit templates, themes, CSS, and install plug ins, and better for SEO.) Would you agree?

    Yes

    If so, does it make sense for someone to become familiar with WP by starting a small CMS (estimate of 5-30 static pages plus posts) with WP.com and then migrating to WP.org

    Yes - it's a route often suggested here for new users. The content that has been developed on wp.com can be imported into your self-hosted site at a later date.

    The only minor drawback to this approach is that you are unlikely to find the same theme with exactly the same functionality available for use on your self-hosted site. Themes on wp.com are often enhanced/extended compared to their self-hosted versions.

  3. Bill
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks for your response esmi! I have seen many of your responses already. You must work hard at being helpful.

    I was concerned about not finding the same theme on WP.org. This concern would not be so much about finding another theme on WP.org that would work aesthetically because I'm leaning toward simplicity of appearance but more about layout and what else there might be that I am not anticipating. I don't want to spend alot of time tweeking a WP.com site only to have to do it again in WP.org. In your previous response, however, I see that you classify this problem as a "minor drawback" so I must be overstating the potential problem. Fair to say?

    It occurs to me as I write that perhaps the solution lies in the question. Maybe, the best thing would be to develop the CMS on WP.com only to a rough and still somewhat unfinished state before moving. In other words, move to WP.org before undertaking any detailed finish work.

    Does this make any sense?

  4. Actually, you won't be able to modify the theme much on wordpress.com without buying the custom CSS upgrade, and even then you'll only be able to edit the stylesheet.

    Almost every theme offered on wordpress.com can be found here and used with your self-hosted WordPress(.org) blog.

    Considering what you're describing, I recommend starting with a self-hosted WordPress(.org) blog.

    This article details the differences between wordpress.com and WordPress(.org):

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

  5. Bill
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks James! I appreciate your advice.

    I had read the article that you provided in your link a number of times. It seems to lay out the pros and cons of the .com vs. .org options clearly. The challenge, of course, is to weigh the costs and benefits of each approach in the context of one's own needs and capabilities without the capacity to really understand the implications.

    Ultimately, the choice might best be made by an experienced person with sufficient understanding of one's situation and the likely costs and benefits of the two options making a simple recommendation. That's what you've done James.

    Thanks again!

  6. You're welcome!

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