WordPress first started in 2003 as a blogging platform. Since then it has grown and grown to become a huge website platform used by many.

Stats show that around 42% of all websites in existence on the internet are a WordPress website. (source: kinsta.com)

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS), which means that anyone can access, use, or alter the code behind the WordPress CMS. Learn more about open-source CMSs here.

It operates on a block like system, allowing you to stack pre-built blocks together to make the website that you want. No programming knowledge is strictly needed to create a WordPress website.

These blocks are referred to as ‘Plug-ins’.

These plug-ins are created by a large community/network of contributors – made up of self-taught developers, large development companies, and anyone in between.

Check out our 'Nachos Bytes' to learn more about 'Plug Ins' here.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com??

There are two types of WordPress sites – WordPress.org, and WordPress.com.


WordPress.org websites are referred to as ‘self-hosted WordPress sites’.

This is a free, open-source WordPress site that you can host with any hosting provider to create a website that is entirely yours.

WordPress.org websites are harder for the average Joe to set up and manage as there is a lot of flexibility and customisation - often too much for a beginner to manage easily as they often require some HTML or CSS. They also require more manual maintenance which doesn’t suit those looking for a low-fuss website.

Whilst there are a lot of forums offering information, support, and advice for WordPress.org websites, they are mostly run by volunteers so the information provided is of varying levels of useful.

WordPress.org websites are easier to monetise via affiliate links etc as you don’t have the same restrictions that you have with WordPress.com websites.

When most people refer to ‘WordPress’ they are referring to the WordPress.org version of ‘WordPress’.


WordPress.com refers to the business side of the WordPress umbrella.

This is a service that is powered by WordPress.org, owned by ‘Automattic’, and is run for profit.

With a WordPress.com account you will manage everything from your website builder dashboard, various plans are available depending on your use but to be able to get a decent level of customisation you will need to be on a higher plan.

WordPress.com websites come with automatic site maintenance (although we still recommend you carry out your own maintenance as well) and technical support is available (the level of support does depend on your plan) making it easier for the average Joe to handle the website themselves. WordPress.com also comes with inbuilt site hosting.

If you are planning on going down the ecommerce route then you will want a WordPress.com website with a dedicated ecommerce package – known as ‘WooCommerce’. Note that WooCommerce is not available on the free plan.

The downside of WordPress.com is that there is not as much customisation and the free plan has limited search engine optimisation (SEO) and analytics tools.

Who uses WordPress

WordPress can be used to build any sort of website, from business websites, ecommerce stores, forums, social media networks, membership sites, portfolios, and of course, blogs.

Anyone from individuals to large corporations have been known to use the WordPress platforms.

Reasons to Use WordPress

If you are setting up a WordPress site yourself and only use free plug-ins, then the only costs you will incur are your website hosting and your domain name. There are no ongoing costs for the use of the WordPress platform unlike other open-source content management systems out there.

Another reason to use WordPress is that it is a flexible platform that allows you to change your website's look and functions using the plugins on offer. With more customisation given to WordPress.org websites than WordPress.com websites.

Because it is a huge platform there is a wealth of guides, blogs, tutorials, and groups out there all designed to help you set your WordPress website up.

Reasons not to Use WordPress

The main reason not to use WordPress, or at the very least, to be extremely cautious about using WordPress is the security side of the platform.

Being open source, and offering free plugins has seen many individuals and businesses using WordPress being exposed to hackers. Free plugins, and paid-for plugins that have not been maintained, can have ‘back doors’ that give hackers access to your website and its content.

There have unfortunately been several insistences of sites being held for ransom or data collected/stored on the site being hacked/stolen. Unfortunately, these cases are on the rise.

We always recommend that you…

  • keep your login details secure
  • use 3-factor verification on your account
  • check out reviews of plugins before you install them
  • keep plugins up to date
  • install and keep up to date the WordPress security plugins
  • use your common sense when using plug-ins – if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is

Maintenance, maintenance, and maintenance are key with any WordPress website, this can often be where individuals and businesses struggle. Digital Nachos can help you with your WordPress website maintenance so you have one less thing to worry about.

Published: 1st Feb 2024

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