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

One of the most common questions blogging beginners have is ‘What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Read on to find out the answer, plus some advice on how to decide which is best for your blog.

OK, so what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? WordPress.com is a hosted service, which means that you create a blog on WordPress’s servers rather than paying to ‘rent’ space from a web hosting company. It’s fast and easy to set up a new blog and WordPress.com offers attrsome very niceactive templates plus much more including backups, web stats and security. You can even get a custom domain, which means you can change the URL of your WordPress blog from, say ‘blogname.wordpress.com’ to ‘blogname.com’. This gives you a more memorable URL to share as you promote your blog as well as helping you to brand your site. WordPress.com is free unless you buy any of the optional additional services they offer.

The alternative is WordPress.org. With WordPress.org you’ll need to buy your own web hosting and install the WordPress software on your web host’s server. This is more difficult than setting up WordPress.com, but there are plenty of WordPress tutorials (try YouTube) to help you or you can pay a professional to do it for you if you prefer. WordPress.org itself is free of charge as it’s open source software, although you may choose to pay for some premium plugins.

So why would you choose the extra work of WordPress.org when you can set up a blog in seconds with WordPress.com? The advantage with WordPress.org is that it’s your site so you can make your own rules. With WordPress.com you need to stick to WordPress.com’s terms of service. If you break these then you could find your accoutn shut down alnd lose your blog.

If you’re blogging for business then having a WordPress.com blog could give the wrong impression, too. If your clients know that it’s cheap and quick to set up a self-hosted blog then it could look unprofessional to use WordPress.com, especially if you haven’t set up a custom domain. If you already have a business website then it’s usually easy to add a blog to it, so it’s worth discussing this with your web designer before you go ahead and start a new blog at WordPress.com.

Howeverd, if you’re just starting out on your blogging journey, then a WordPress.com blog could be a great choice. You can export your blog’s content from a hosted WordPress site to a self-hosted WordPress site later on if you need to, so this doesn’t need to be a one-off decision.

There are many other reasons why you migth want a self-hosted blog, too. There’s a big choice of themes and plugins which means you can choose almost any feature you want for your site from design features such as fonts, colors and layouts to functional features such as shopping carts and email sign-up boxes. So there’s plenty of room for your blog to grow, for example if you’d like to sell advertising or information products in future.and develop if you want it to.

So now you can see the difference between the two different types of WordPress and will be able to decide which is best for your blog.

How to Twitter your way to traffic

Ever wondered how to get traffic to your website using Twitter? Read on and find out!

First, what should you Tweet? Twitter is a social media platform, but it helps to think of posting there as if you were instant messaging – keep it short and to the point.  That means you have to make the most of every word and to capture attention quickly in each Tweet. Fortunately this is easier than than it used to be now you can post images and even videos. In fact, you should post images and videos with your text as these are more enagaging and stand out more than text alone. With 6,000 tweets being posted per second (www.internetlivestats.com/twitter-statistics/) standing out is important!

To decide on what to tweet, think of your goals. Who do you want to connect with? What type of content might they be interested in or find useful? Then think about how you use Twitter to give your audience what they are looking for.

Search for the people you’d like to connect with on Twitter, then follow them. If they like what you post then the chaces are they’ll follow you back. Aim to do this slowly and in a natural way, though. This is because Twitter prevents you from following hundreds of people in one go,and twitter users don’t appreciate those people who follow vast numbers of people and then immediately ‘unfollow’ them when they don’t follow back. Nobody likes to feel they are being used just to boost someone else’s follower numbers.

These days you need to tweet a lot. The  ‘lifespan’ of a tweet is pretty short because it’s quickly replaced by many more, so you’ll need to post frequently. Research when your followers are most active and make sure you’re posting at those times so they can see your tweets.  Don’t just send anything though, make it count. Make sure you tweet valuable, interesting or entertaining information. Make sure you share content from other Twitter users, too. Your followers won’t just want to read your content, they’ll want to read great content from many different sources.

Look at popular Twitter users to see how they’re using tweets to grow their brand, establish a persona, show expertise or drive traffic to their sites. Don’t copy them, but be inspired by the content they post , what they say in their tweets and how they connect with their followers.

To drive traffic back to your own site, first make sure you have some good content on your own site. Then post tweets with links to that content to encourage your followers to click through and read it. You’ll need to post fresh content regularly to keep your followers coming back to your site. Don’t forget to capture email addresses when your followers are at your site, that way you’re not dependent on them seeing your tweets to stay in touch with them. Offering a free gift or a discount in exchange for their email address will enable you to do this.