It has always seemed unnecessarily complicated to me. But there it is, there are two of them. They do different things and it helps to understand what those are, especially if you want to set up your own site using WordPress.
You are at a computer (or phone or laptop or smart TV) and you are looking at a website – this one, for example.
How are you seeing that website? It is being delivered to you by an internet service provider, which in South Africa could be Telkom or MWeb, for example, or a cellphone company, either over actual cables, or via wireless technology.
But where is the website? It is lives on the big computers of a hosting company, which provides a space for the site’s files and makes sure it is viewable on the web.
Got all that? Back to WordPress.
WordPress.com gives you the ability to have a website/blog without worrying about the hosting part of things. They do the hosting. Your URL (web address) might look like this though: www.craftgroup.wordpress.co.za. That’s good for your family genealogy site, or your craft group, or your church youth group. You can do this yourself because setting up a site on WordPress.com happens on the site, in a step-by-step process.
If you are running a business, though, you might want something more professional: a URL that says www.yourbusiness.co.za. To get that you’re going to have to register your URL and find a hosting company, and then find a way to get your blog/site into the innards of that company. The software from WordPress.org that runs your site will sit with whatever host you have chosen. It is usually easier to pay a professional to sort this out for you.
What happens then?
Whether you have your site on WordPress.com, or on hosted by another company, you will use the WordPress publishing program to make changes to your website.
If you are a non-technical person this is probably already more information that you need. In that case, start here:
Do you want a simple blog for personal use, and are happy for the web address to have the word WordPress in it? Then head to WordPress .com.
Do you want a website for a business or any other professional purpose? Then head to WordPress.org – or hire someone who can help you through this process.
Contact me if you would like to chat about how I can help with all your organisational or communication needs (coaching, editing, writing, social media) – or if you would like a little WordPress coaching.
People who work on newspapers or on news websites speak often of “the system”. Sometimes they mean it in a general sense (the way in which the world is run, or how their company works) – but mostly they mean the computer program that they use to write or edit their articles. These staffers sometimes don’t know that the system (which is often hated) has another, longer name: it is actually a content management system, or CMS.
The CMSes used to make newspapers or big news websites are complex affairs because they allow many people to work on various pieces of content at the same time. That multi-user setup requires various levels of access to the system, and the ability to move pieces of content to different departments, where people will do different things to each piece of content. An article may be written, then edited, then illustrated by different sets of people.