Tech Q&A: WordPress.com v. WordPress.org

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What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Which is better?

I don’t know if there’s a single “better” between the two, but there is probably a “better for you right now.”

The obvious plus for WordPress.com is that it’s a potentially free, user-friendly service. In less than an hour you can have a blog up and running. For $13 you can map to your own domain name (registered through WordPress or not)—no domain.wordpress.com. The drag-n-drop widgets make it pretty easy to add buttons, links, and social networking functions. It does, however, have its limitations, even if you upgrade for CSS design flexibility or video hosting. Also, WordPress.com, in exchange for this free to low-cost service, will run random ads on your blog. For $30 a year you can prevent this, but you are not allowed to run ads of your own.

WordPress.org is not as simple, right out of the gate. You’re on your own for hosting, so to get it started, you’ve got to know a little something about FTP uploading, databases, and the like…or know someone else who does. But once it’s all set up and you’ve chosen your theme (of which you have many more choices and are free to customize) and plug-ins, it pretty much acts like WordPress.com. With WordPress.org, you can install plug-ins for monetizing ads, stats analysis, and e-commerce.

What seems to make the leap to WordPress.org easier is a hosting service such as Bluehost. For $5-10 a month, you can choose WordPress scripting and it’ll take care of much of the nuts and bolts of it, making this pro option more accessible to the less tech savvy among us.

So what’s the tipping point? If you just feel a little penned in by the “.com,” and it’s worth upwards of $100 a year to you, then it might be time for “.org,” perhaps with the help of a hosting service or a super geeky friend. And if you get stuck or scared, WordPress has a huge support site and community.

Bottom line, don’t feel bad about taking your time. Plenty of respected bloggers use free blogs. Focus on your content and get to the flashy stuff when you can.

Have you got a tech question? Hit us up at VidaVeganConference [at] gmail [dot] com. We’ll dig up the answers!

Tech Tips Roundup

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Whilst scouring the Internet for tech tips to share with y’all, we found so many great resources that we just felt we should highlight some. In the event you have NO questions at all and are perfectly happy with your blog, chances are you’ll still find some good ideas and be inspired to step it up.

For Bloggers By Bloggers published a list of blogging mistakes that make you look a bit the amateur, like leaving that meta widget in or not having share buttons.

Super intimidated by WordPress.org so you’re sticking with the limitations of WordPress.com? (Hey, that’s us!) WP Beginner is a fantastic resource for everything from themes to plug-ins. Tons of tutorials and current deals/coupon codes for savings on hosting and themes and such.

Daily Blogging Tips put together a list of 20 SEO terms you should know. (Pssst, that’s Search Engine Optimization, by the way.) If you’re blogging for the love of the feel of the keys, then never you mind this one, but if you’re at all interested in making sure others read that stuff you type, check it out.

Got Blogger questions? Spice Up Your Blog has a section just for you. They cover WordPress and general blog tips as well, you know, including a bunch of CSS info.

If you’re ready for a more professional-looking Twitter background, Bloggermint will point you in the right direction, whether you’re working with Adobe Illustrator or even PowerPoint. They’ve rounded up tutorials (including videos) and design basics.

So get to reading and get to work!