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Gecko Designs
523 N Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802

(406) 662-1123

Differences between WordPress.org & WordPress.com websites?

Written by Gabriel on August 16, 2012

What is WordPress? Understanding its features & options

We often receive questions about differences between the WordPress.com & WordPress.org website platforms and our reply is, “What are the goals of this new website?” There is no one-size fits all answer for this important decision. Essentially, it comes down to how customized of a website experience you would like to offer your audience.

Let’s start by discussing the key elements of all WordPress websites that make it such a powerful & popular Content Management System (CMS). The WordPress CMS has wide ranging benefits for the average website owner & content manager. The concept behind using CMS’s is to have a Graphic User Interface (GUI) on the back-end for system administrators & creative contributors to use that is intuitive, highly functional, and nearly fool-proof. This enables folks who specialize in things other than website development to create and manage content without paying their web developer to constantly edit their live website content. Another useful feature the WordPress CMS are WordPress Themes which permit websites to change their front-end look with just a couple clicks at any time. The ability to easily switch between multiple themes means that your website can have a holiday season look if you want with almost no hassle!

Key differences between the two WordPress platforms:

Security Updates
SEO Friendly Blogging & Tagging
Free Hosting
Free Themes
Premium Paid Themes
Custom Themes
SPAM Filtering
Custom Functionality
Free Plugins
Revenue Advertising
Unpaid Advertising
Large Community of Developers

WordPress was initially developed as a blogging-specific CMS, but because of its robust, database-driven backend it has gained wide popularity and marketshare. WordPress has been open source technology since its inception permitting an extensive community of web developers to contribute to its expansion and growth.

What we have today is a professional-grade CMS that is very flexible. Leveraging a giant library of plugins and other resources that are mostly free to download, install, and modify means that when you want new features for a custom WordPress.org website, it can be implemented rapidly. Additionally, WordPress websites are ideal for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This means that your website will be better indexed by search engines (Google & others) leading to more exposure and traffic across the internet.

More details about the differences between WordPress.org & WordPress.com

If you are looking for a very basic website lacking custom functionality and are happy with one of the many available free WordPress Themes or premium WordPress Themes, a free WordPress.com website will likely suit your needs. With your WordPress.com website, you will have the opportunity to purchase and configure your own domain name (website address) or to use the free option which will give your site a URL like this:http://yourwebsite.wordpress.com.

There are drawbacks to using WordPress.com for a (mostly) free website. Custom themes (the front-end style of a WordPress website) are not available. Plugins and custom functions are not available. WordPress.com websites are not permitted to include revenue advertising. WordPress.com will place their own advertising on free webpages. Additionally, WordPress.com websites are not allowed to contain monetization with web stores, advertisements, or any other money-making functions. Learn more here!

At this point, you might be thinking, “WordPress.com websites are too limiting for my purposes,” and you’re right. Unless you’re starting a simple blog or need a free place to share information online with folks, the limitations are problematic.

Now let’s delve into the WordPress.org platform and how it works! The CMS system is totally free to use on your own website. As with all websites, the process begins with purchasing a domain name (URL) and server space (hosting). These are paid services that we can help you shop around for based on prices and pertinent features. Once you have a spot on the internet for your website to reside, you can begin implementing a new WordPress.org website. Here’s how it works: first, the WordPress software package is loaded onto your server, it comes with a standard theme that looks pretty nice. You can use this theme, shop for free ones or find a paid premium theme that you like. If that doesn’t suit you, then you can find a web development shop (like us) to create a custom WordPress Theme styled to exactly match your creative vision. We spend a lot of time working on the concept art to ensure that we build precisely what our clients want for their online business presence.

At this stage, you have a website domain and server loaded with the WordPress.org CMS. You have selected a WordPress Theme or had a custom theme created for your website. The actual functionality of the website will be defined by the customer needs. Basically, anything you can think of for your website is worth discussing! Event calendars, visitor login accounts & user-only content, let your imagine go wild: we love challenges.

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Gecko Designs, LLC
523 N Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802

(406) 662-1123

523 N Higgins Ave, Missoula
Avi Kolko 2 months ago
Gecko built us a new Unity Hospice website from the ground up, as well as designing new brochures and other collateral material. Working with them has been a pleasure - they are professional, organized, responsive, aim to please, and are easy to work with. Their design work is beautiful, and they really took pains to understand the look we were going for. Highly recommended!
Avigail Bass 4 months ago
We redesigned a very very old website with Gecko and began the process during coronavirus. Despite those challenges, the team at Gecko was very helpful and flexible. They built us a beautiful website, taking into account all our needs. The project manager Grace, was a pleasure to work with, always available to answer questions, great with communication, and very organized. They went above and beyond to make sure the end product was perfect, even if it meant putting in extra hours, or extending the project longer than anticipated. We really appreciated all they did for us and could not be happier with the results!
Craig McKay 5 months ago
Gecko Design staff was super easy to work with. They were able to help us create an incredible web site that is getting noticed. I would highly recommend Gecko to anyone looking for web design.
Courtney Firak 8 months ago
Working with the team at Gecko Designs has been fantastic! I worked closely with Ali to create a new meetings website and she was so patient with all the changes to copy and took the time to walk me through the back-end of Word Press. I am confidently making changes on own but know that any request will be done quickly. The team was even very responsive over a weekend to meet a deadline. Highly, highly recommend!
PHC Missoula 9 months ago
Gecko's team does great work. We had a fairly complex request with a variety of stakeholder interests at play. Their team listened carefully and responded thoughtfully to our needs throughout the process! We were very pleased with the process and thrilled with the final product they provided.
We’ve been working so hard making our clients look good, we neglected our own brand for quite a few years (25 to be exact...)! New look comin’ at ya Spring 2021! Has it been awhile since you’ve re-branded? We get it! Call us and we can help! (406) 662-1123