To be clear, the use of either version of WordPress can be free, but this post is meant to help differentiate the two and to offer support for folks unlikely to be familiar with how to design & to manage a sophisticated business website themselves.
Most Websites Use WordPress
There’s a reason WordPress is the most widely used website software on the planet and it’s ONLY PART because it can be free. Mostly it’s because the software’s ‘open source’ status has attracted the collective talents of the largest development community on earth to maintain & advance it. And because of that collective talent, a business can build virtually any enhancement into its’ WordPress website – affordably! It’s because just a few years ago those same enhancements would have been built from scratch, prohibitively expensive and quite possibly less reliable. And it’s also because, rather than ‘a potentially soon to be obsolete website’, WordPress advances at an unparalleled pace.
With WordPress.com, if you don’t concern yourself with your own domain name or too much customization you might be just fine. With WordPress.com you will have to accept a free subdomain [i.e. mybusiness.wordpress.com], basic shared hosting and some potentially unwelcome embedded advertising, but you won’t have to install or set anything up. While there is always going to be a learning curve, it offers ‘forum support’ (not human) for any questions and there’s also a series of free themes with limited customization capability. Keep in mind that nothing is truly free online. There are conveniences here, but the catch is some embedded advertising and cost when you want upgrades or any freedom to customize. If that doesn’t sit well, or you know you’ll want a site much more specific to your business needs, than you’ll likely need WordPress.org.
If you want a completely custom website on your own domain, unlimited features, maybe some 3rd party software integration, NO more forced advertising, managed hosting, lots of storage and the flexibility to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it … than you are going to need WordPress.org. Regardless of whether or not you want live support, one way or another the upgrades & constant maintenance will have to be managed. Important: basic shared hosting plans will NOT do this! And it’s only with WordPress.org that one will be able to leverage support into more features, more design and the customization that meets particular needs.
WordPress For Business
Ultimately what this all means is, you can get a free site and / or blog at WordPress.com. It is going to be a subdomain URL of WordPress [i.e. business.wordpress.com ] and it’s going to be limited to what those that manage WP.com platform decide it offers. It’s there business model, not yours! Or you can download software for free from WordPress.org, with no limitations. Note that unless you’re capable with upgrades, 3rd party software integration, security, maintenance, hosting, customization, design and all that comes with modern marketing online– it is going to cost a little money. It’s the case regardless of the software platform and it happens to be what Kinetic Knowledge focuses on.
Unless you are a capable do-it-yourselfer, let us know what you have in mind. We can do all the heavy lifting AND you can focus on your core business.