My clients often get confused about what WordPress actually is. Here is my answer:
There are the two ‘types’ of WordPress – WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a blogging platform that is owned and hosted online by Automattic (the developers behind WooCommerce – which is a world-leading eCommerce solution for WordPress). WordPress.com is an all-in-one hosting solution much like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Shopify in that they host and manage your website files for you. With WordPress.com you do not own your website files. You also do not have control over your website files. This means that if WordPress.com were to close down (very unlikely, but not impossible), you’d face the risk of losing your website and all it’s content. WordPress.com uses a modified version of WordPress.org’s open source website software.
WordPress.org is free-to-use, open source content management software. With WordPress.org, the website owner or developer needs to organise their own website and email hosting (a dedicated third party company that will store your website files for you on their servers and make sure your website stays online). This is why WordPress.org is known as a self-hosted website option. The important distinction is that this option gives you full control over your website files and you 100% own your website.
Over 25% of the websites on the internet use the WordPress.org content management system.
Because it’s the most popular framework out there, you’ll also easily be able to find a web developer to help you with your WordPress website. This is not the case with Shopify, where Shopify experts are few and far between.
Every website I design and develop uses WordPress.org software and a premium WordPress theme with a world-class visual page editor / builder (Elementor Pro). These tools make it easy for my clients to edit, update and maintain their own sites. This is what I call empowered web design – you no longer need to call your web developer every time you need to make a minimal change to your site.