Beginner’s Guide: What is a Domain Name and How Do Domains Work?

We are often asked by beginners: what is a domain name and how do domains work? Many of our beginner users confuse domain names with hosting and other services. In this beginner’s guide, we will answer what is a domain name and how domains work.… Read More »

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We are often asked by beginners: what is a domain name and how do domains work? Many of our beginner users confuse domain names with hosting and other services. In this beginner’s guide, we will answer what is a domain name and how domains work.

Domain names and how do they work?

What is a Domain Name?

Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.

In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.

A more detailed explanation:

Internet is giant network of computers connected to each other through a global network of cables. Each computer on this network can communicate with other computers.

To identify them, each computer is assigned an IP address. It is a series of numbers that identify a particular computer on the internet. A typical IP address looks like this:

66.249.66.1

Now an IP address like this is quite difficult to remember.

Domain names were invented to solve this problem.

Now if you want to visit a website, you don’t need to enter a long string of numbers. Instead, you can visit it by typing an easy to remember domain name in your browser’s address bar. For example, wpbeginner.com.

What happens when you enter a domain name in your browser?

How domains work

Your browser sends a request to a global network of servers that form the Domain Name System. These servers then look up for the name servers associated with a domain and forward the request to those name servers.

For example, if your website is hosted on Bluehost, then it’s name server information will be like this:

ns1.bluehost.com
ns2.bluehost.com

These name servers are computers managed by your hosting company. Your hosting company now forwards your request to the computer where your website is stored.

This computer is called a web server. It has a special software installed (Apache, Nginx are two popular web server software). The web server now fetches the requested website and sends it to back to the browser.

How is Domain Name Different from Web Hosting?

web hosting

If domain name is the address of your website, then web hosting is the home where your website lives.

This is the actual computer where your website’s files are stored. These servers are offered as a service by hosting companies.

To create your website, you need both domain name and web hosting.

However, it’s important to remember that they are two separate services, and you can buy them from two different companies.

Now you may be wondering, how would it work if you bought them from two separate companies?

You just need to edit your domain name settings and enter the Name Server information provided by your hosting company. Name Server information defines where to send user requests for your domain name.

We recommend getting both your domain name and hosting from the same company. This allows you to easily manage your domain and hosting under the same account.

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website?

Choosing domain name

Domain names are available in many different extensions. The most popular one is .com. There are many other options like .org, .net, .tv, .info, .io, and more.

There are also country specific domain names which end with country code extension like .uk for United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .in for India.

We recommend using .com, mainly because it is the easiest to remember and works best for business websites.

For more on this topic, please take a look at our guide on how to choose the best domain name.

How to Buy a Domain Name?

You can buy domain names from many companies. These companies are called domain name registrars. A domain name typically costs 14.99 per year. Some popular domain name companies are:

However, a domain name registration does not automatically give you hosting service. For that you will need a website hosting account as well.

Many WordPress hosting companies offer domain name registration services as well. This allows you to manage both services under one account, and you also don’t need to worry about changing name server settings for your domain.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and 60% discount on hosting. Basically you can get started for $2.75/month.

We hope this article helped you learn what is a domain name and how do domains work. You may also want to see our list of best free domain name generators to find cool ideas for your next domain name.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Beginner’s Guide: What is a Domain Name and How Do Domains Work? appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2017 (Compared)

Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. The problem is finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners. With so many website builders out there, how do you know which is… Read More »

The post How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2017 (Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. The problem is finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners. With so many website builders out there, how do you know which is the right solution for you? In this article, we’ll help you choose the best website builder by going over the pros and cons of the most popular options.

How to choose the best website builder

We will be comparing the following website builders in this article. If you are interested in a particular website builder, then just click on the name to skip ahead.

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Sitebuilder.com
  3. Wix
  4. BoldGrid
  5. Shopify
  6. Weebly
  7. Squarespace
  8. iPage Website Builder
  9. GoDaddy Website Builder
  10. WordPress.com
  11. Webs.com
    1. Choosing the Best Website Builder — What to Look for?

      Before comparing the top website builders, we recommend that you write down what you want to do with your website? What are your goals and what features would you like to see on your website.

      For example, you can write down things like: have a blog section, photo gallery, online store, reservation system, contact form, slider, etc.

      If you are unsure about what you want, then check out your competitors or other websites for inspiration.

      Most website builders offer a drag and drop user interface to build your website. You can take advantage of the trial accounts to test drive before you make your final decision.

      Next, you need to consider your growth options. Will you be adding regular updates to your website? Do you need a blog section? Would you be selling more products on your website in the future?

      You need to make sure that the website builder you choose is capable of handling your needs as your business grows.

      That being said, let’s take a look at the top website builder platforms to make your website without hiring a developer.

      1. WordPress

      WordPress

      WordPress.org (also known as self hosted WordPress) is the world’s most popular website building platform. Over 28% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress.

      Note: There are two versions of WordPress available. There is self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com. We will talk about WordPress.com later in this article. You can also read our WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison for more details.

      The self-hosted WordPress tops our list of best website builder due to its popularity, powerful features, scalability, and ease of use.

      WordPress is a free and open source website builder. This means that you have maximum control over your website compared to any other builder in this list.

      Unlike other website builders, you will need a WordPress hosting account and host your own website (this is a lot easier than it sounds).

      Pros:

      WordPress gives you complete control on every aspect of your website. It can be used to build any kind of website. For example, an eCommerce store, community forums, a social network, a membership website, and more.

      There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can use for your website’s design. It also has amazing drag and drop page builders like Beaver Builder and Elementor which allow you to easily create your own page layouts.

      Drag and drop editing in WordPress

      You’ll also get access to more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins. These are like apps for WordPress that adds additional features and functionality to your website.

      WordPress is fully translated into dozens of languages and can be easily used to create multilingual websites.

      Cons:

      You will have to manage your own website, which means you will need to familiarize yourself with a new system. This slight learning curve is easily overcome by most users, but it does feel a bit difficult in the beginning.

      You will also have to keep up with WordPress updates, plugin updates, and create backups.

      Pricing:

      WordPress software is available for free, but you will need a domain name and web hosting which typically costs $14.99/year and $7.99 per month respectively.

      Fortunately, we have worked out a special deal for WPBeginner users. You can start a website for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on web hosting that comes with free SSL and a free domain name.

      For more details, see our guide on how to make a website with step by step instructions.

      2. SiteBuilder.com

      Sitebuilder.com

      SiteBuilder.com is a fully hosted website builder platform. It offers a great set of tools to build your website without writing code or learning technical skills.

      Pros

      SiteBuilder.com offers a fully hosted platform to build your website. This means you will not have to pay separately for hosting your website.

      They offer an all-in-one platform with hosting, domain name, and a branded email address on your own domain name.

      SiteBuilder offers thousands of website templates for all kind of websites. You can start with any of these designs with just one click. Each of these templates is fully editable with simple drag and drop tools. Just point and click anywhere on your website to edit a specific section.

      SiteBuilder drag and drop editor

      They also offer an ecommerce plan which allows you to sell your products online. It automatically creates a new PayPal account for your email address to receive payments from your customers.

      Cons

      SiteBuilder is a hosted platform which means you are limited to the tools they offer.

      Their free plan includes ads, so you really need to upgrade to a paid plan if you want your website to look professional.

      Pricing

      SiteBuilder.com offers a limited free plan which doesn’t include a domain name. Their paid plans start from $8.99/month billed annually. The ecommerce plan starts $11.99 per month.

      If you want to quickly build a website, then SiteBuilder.com can do the job. It is not a CMS like WordPress, so you will not be able to extend the platform itself.

      3. Wix

      Wixlogo

      Wix is another popular cloud based website builder. It offers ease of use combined with a powerful set of features to easily build your website.

      Pros

      Wix is a fully hosted platform, so you will not have to pay for hosting. You get access to hundreds of templates to choose for your website’s design. Each template is fully editable with their intuitive drag and drop site builder.

      Wix Builder

      It also comes with dozens of free and paid apps that you can install on your website. These apps allow you to add new features and functionality to your website. Some of them are created by Wix, and others are created by third-party developers.

      Wix offers a free plan with limited bandwidth and storage. However, you can use this plan to test drive their drag and drop website builder. It does not include a domain name, so if you decide to keep your website, then you may want to upgrade to a premium plan.

      You also get a free SSL with all Wix plans, but you will need to turn it on for your website.

      Cons

      Free and Connect Domain plans will show Wix branded ads on your website. You’ll need to upgrade to their Combo or Unlimited plan to remove those ads.

      If you ever decide to move your website away from Wix, then you will find it quite complicated to do so.

      Their Connect Domain plan which costs $9.16 per month only lets you connect a custom domain name, so you’ll still have to buy a domain name separately.

      Pricing

      Wix offers a limited free plan with a Wix branded sub domain. You can connect a domain for $9.16 per month. Their combo plan starts at $14.95/month and will get you a free domain name. The ecommerce plan costs $26.25 per month.

      If you are interested in how it stacks up against WordPress, then see our comparison of Wix vs WordPress.

      4. BoldGrid

      BoldGrid

      BoldGrid is a new kind of website builder that is built on top of WordPress. It is available as a standalone WordPress plugin as well as a fully hosted website builder suite.

      Pros

      BoldGrid is built on top of WordPress, so you get full advantage of WordPress with a customized user experience. BoldGrid’s website builder allows you to choose a professional design from their gallery of themes.

      After that you can customize those designs with a drag and drop customizer. You can point and click on any item in the preview section to edit its properties. You can change colors, fonts, layouts, navigation menus, and widgets with ease.

      BoldGrid

      Need a staging website? BoldGrid creates one for you with a single click. This allows you to test out your new designs, layouts, plugins, and themes before making it live for everyone to see.

      It also comes with a full WYSIWYG page editor. No more guess work when editing your pages in WordPress. You’ll get exactly what you see on your page editor window. You can also use GridBlocks to simply drag and drop elements to your page and build your own layouts from scratch.

      All BoldGrid themes are ready for WooCommerce. This allows you to easily create a storefront using BoldGrid’s drag and drop builder.

      Cons

      BoldGrid runs on top of WordPress, so you will still need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to use it.

      You will still need to manage your WordPress site on your own. This includes keeping backups and installing updates.

      Pricing

      BoldGrid basic plugin is available as a free download. You’ll need a WordPress hosting account and a domain name to install and use it. We recommend using InMotion Hosting because they are an official BoldGrid hosting provider.

      This means you can easily setup BoldGrid with a few clicks on InMotion Hosting’s platform.

      InMotion Hosting has agreed to offer WPBeginner users 50% discount on hosting. Click here to get started with InMotion Hosting.

      If you want to use WordPress but with the ease of hosted drag and drop website builders, then BoldGrid would be perfect for you.

      5. Shopify

      Shopify

      Shopify is a website builder designed specifically for online stores and ecommerce websites. It powers more than half a million businesses with 1 million active users. Over 40 Billion dollars worth of products have been sold on Shopify’s platform.

      Pros

      Shopify is an all-in-one fully hosted solution, this means you don’t have to worry about managing software, installing updates, or keeping backups. Shopify does all that for you.

      It offers integrated payment solution called Shopify Payments. You can also add third-party payment gateways to accept payments.

      As an ecommerce website builder, Shopify comes with full inventory management, unlimited products, powerful stats, easy marketing solutions, all neatly wrapped under one roof. They have hunereds of designs to choose from, and you will never need to add code.

      Shopify

      With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Shopify makes it super-easy to create a full-fledged ecommerce store. They also offer in-store POS, which allows you to sell products at your location, while accepting all credit cards and taking advantage of Shopify’s inventory, shipping, marketing, and stats management tools.

      You can even integrate Shopify into WordPress, allowing you to use both great solutions at the same time.

      Cons

      If you are just starting out, then you may find Shopify’s pricing a bit higher than some other website builders in this list.

      If you ever want to move your website away from Shopify, you will find it quite difficult to do so.

      Pricing

      Shopify’s basic plan will cost you $29 per month. You can upgrade it to Shopify for $79 per month or Advanced Shopify for $299 per month. Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month, which basically allows you to add a buy button on any website.

      If you want a hassle free ecommerce website builder, then Shopify may be the perfect option for you.

      6. Weebly

      Weebly logo

      Weebly is an easy to use website builder with tons of great designs. It includes a beautifully crafted page builder which allows you to edit your website without learning any coding skills.

      Pros

      Weebly is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t need to install and manage any software. They take care of hosting your website and managing all the software that runs in the backend.

      It comes with dozens of website designs to use as an starting point for your website. These gorgeous designs are fully editable using Weebly’s live page editor.

      Weebly

      Weebly also comes with built-in support for ecommerce. This allows you to easily create an online store and start selling.

      Each Weebly site comes with built in features for contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, and more. This allows you to easily add features to your website without any complicated setup process.

      Cons

      Weebly is a fully hosted platform so you are locked to the features they offer. You cannot hire a developer or designer to add new functionality of feature to your website.

      Weebly charges 3% transaction fees on every purchase made through your ecommerce store. You’ll need to upgrade to their business plan to avoid these additional fee.

      Pricing

      Weebly comes with a very basic free plan. Their paid plans start from $8 per month billed annually. The pro plan costs $12 per month, and their business plan costs $25 per month.

      If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then check out our comparison of Weebly vs WordPress.

      7. Squarespace

      Squarespace

      Squarespace is a popular fully hosted website builder known for its great designs and ease of use.

      Pros

      Squarespace comes with enterprise grade infrastructure for hosting your website. This secure and robust platform allows you to focus on growing your business without worrying about hosting.

      Squarespace includes tons of website designs to get started. All of these designs are fully ready for all types of content. They are fully editable, and Squarespace even allows you to use multiple templates for the same website at once.

      Squarespace

      Adding content to your website is very easy on Squarespace. Just point anywhere on your website and start typing. You can easily drag and drop items on pages to create your own layouts in minutes.

      Squarespace also has an ecommerce plan which allow you to add an online store to your website. It offers a nice interface to manage your products, inventory, orders, coupon discounts, and more.

      Cons

      Squarespace offers limited integrations with third-party service which can be a hurdle in growing your business.

      Their ecommerce plans only allow Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal for payment processing. You cannot add additional payment gateways.

      Pricing

      Squarespace websites start from $12 per month and $18 per month. Their online stores start from $26 and $40 per month.

      Squarespace is a beautifully designed platform that offers very easy to use features. It can be perfect if you just want to quickly build a website.

      If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then take a look at our comparison of Squarespace vs WordPress.

      8. iPage Website Builder

      iPage website builder

      iPage Website Builder is another easy to use tool to build your website. It is sold as an addon to the hosting services provided by iPage.

      Pros

      iPage Website Builder is a simple drag and drop website builder. A limited version of the builder is available with your iPage hosting account for free. You can upgrade it to professional or business plan to get unlimited features.

      The website builder tool includes 100+ professionally designed and mobile-responsive templates. You can apply these templates to your website with one click.

      Page editing is made really simple with drag and drop tools. All elements on your web pages can be easily edited by simply clicking on them in live preview. It also has pre-built sections that you can drag and drop on your website.

      iPage builder has built-in social media tools, SEO settings, and beautiful image galleries. You can also embed videos, add Google Analytics, and add an eCommerce store.

      Cons

      The website builder is limited in terms of features. You cannot just add a new feature to your website. There are no third-party integrations or addons that you can install.

      Pricing

      The basic website builder comes free with your iPage hosting account. You can upgrade it to professional for $6.99 per month or business for $15.99 per month.

      iPage Website Builder is a simpler and easy to use tool perfect for a starter website with fewer pages. It is not exactly a content management system, so you will be limited in the future should you try to expand your website.

      9. GoDaddy Website Builder

      GoDaddy Website Builder

      GoDaddy is one of the largest domain name and hosting service providers in the world. They offer a simple and elegant website builder complete with hosting included.

      Pros

      GoDaddy Website Builder is a simple and easy tool to create professional looking websites. It comes pre-loaded with several ready to use blocks that you can drag and drop to build different layouts.

      GoDaddy Website Builder

      It also has integrated photo library with professional images from Getty Photography that you can use on your website. You can also upload your own photos and create image galleries.

      GoDaddy website builder works on smaller screens too. This allows you to work on your website on the go using your mobile phone or tablet.

      Cons

      It is not as feature rich and flexible as most other website builders on this list. It offers limited set of features with fewer design options.

      It is quite difficult to move your website from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress.

      Pricing

      Personal plan costs $5.99/month, business plan for $9.99/month, and business plus plan for $14.99/month. All plans are billed annually.

      GoDaddy Website Builder can be used for a basic website with a few pages. However, it is not a good choice to build content rich websites.

      10. WordPress.com

      WordPress.com

      WordPress.com is a blog and website hosting service run by Automattic. It is created by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress open source software, hence the name WordPress.com. To learn more, see our article on how are WordPress.com and WordPress.org related.

      However, WordPress.com is not the same as self-hosted WordPress.org. Please see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

      Pros

      WordPress.com is a website hosting service. Built on top of the same WordPress software but with a totally custom user experience. You don’t have to worry about the software and backups as WordPress.com takes care of it.

      Their free and paid plans have different set of features. All plans allow users to choose from hundreds of free and paid WordPress themes. You can then use the built-in customizer to add your site title, use widgets, add navigation menus, and so on.

      WordPress.com

      It doesn’t offer the same drag and drop functionality of other website builders. However, you can easily customize designs to a certain extent.

      Cons

      You cannot install custom plugins or themes unless you upgrade to their business plan.

      Premium and lower plans do not have ecommerce features or third-party ad network support. With the business plan, you can use WooCommerce and third-party ad networks. However, you will still have to follow WordPress.com’s terms and conditions.

      Pricing

      The basic plan is free, but is extremely limited. Their personal plan starts with $4 per month billed annually and includes a custom domain. Premium plan costs $8.25 per month billed annually and it gives you the ability to monetize your site and advanced design customization. Business plan costs $24.92 per month billed annually, and it gives you the ability to have Ecommerce and custom plugins.

      11. Webs.com

      Webs.com

      Webs offers a simple website builder platform suitable for small business and personal websites. It has an intuitive easy to use builder, with pre-made website designs, and a powerful set of features.

      Pros

      Webs is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t have to worry about the software, updates, or backups.

      It has an intuitive website builder that lets you choose from dozens of professional website designs. Each design comes with simple customization options that you can configure from the builder itself.

      You can edit any item on a page with simple point and click interface. You can also drag and drop commonly used items like images, videos, photo gallery, text, columns, maps, and contact forms.

      All paid plans also include free custom domain name for your website. Enhanced and pro plans also come with ecommerce features and custom email addresses using your domain name.

      Cons

      It has a limited set of features and integrations that cannot be extended. You cannot hire a developer to help you modify design or add new features to your website.

      Pricing

      Webs.com has a limited free plan. Their paid plans start from $5.99 per month, $12.99 per month for enhanced, and $22.99 for pro.

      Webs.com can be used to build a small business website, a store with limited items, or a photo gallery. However, due to its limited set of features it is not an ideal platform to build content rich websites.

      Our Pick for The Best Website Builder

      After carefully evaluating different website builders, we believe that WordPress beats them all in overall performance, ease of use, and flexibility.

      It is not just great for beginners. World’s top brands are using WordPress on their websites. See many more reasons to choose WordPress as your website builder.

      We hope this article helped you choose the best website builder for your project. You may also want to see out list of tools to help you grow your website.

      If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

      The post How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2017 (Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.

YouTube vs Vimeo – Which One is Better for WordPress Videos?

When it comes to uploading videos online, YouTube and Vimeo are the two most popular platforms in the market. That’s why we’re often asked about YouTube vs Vimeo – which one is better? They are both great platforms with their respective advantages and disadvantages. In… Read More »

The post YouTube vs Vimeo – Which One is Better for WordPress Videos? appeared first on WPBeginner.

When it comes to uploading videos online, YouTube and Vimeo are the two most popular platforms in the market. That’s why we’re often asked about YouTube vs Vimeo – which one is better? They are both great platforms with their respective advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will compare YouTube vs Vimeo and share their pros and cons to help you decide on your video platform.

YouTube vs Vimeo - choosing the best platform for WordPress videos

Why Choose YouTube or Vimeo for WordPress Videos

If you want to start a blog, then WordPress is the most popular blogging platform recommended by experts.

While you can directly upload your videos to WordPress, it is not designed to stream videos.

Videos are large files and most WordPress hosting providers don’t offer servers optimized for video streaming. If multiple users access videos on your website at once, then this could crash your server.

On top of that, each user has a different type of internet connection. Your high quality videos will take forever to load on slower internet connections.

Video static

On the other hand, video hosting platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are designed to serve videos. They have server resources and technology to offer a far superior video streaming experience than WordPress.

Most importantly, you can easily embed these videos in WordPress.

For more on this topic, see our guide on why you should never upload videos to WordPress.

That being said, let’s take a look at YouTube vs Vimeo, and which one is better for your WordPress videos.

1. Pricing

Both YouTube and Vimeo are for-profit companies. Their pricing options are based on how they make money online.

YouTube:

YouTube is free. Mainly because they make money by showing advertisements. These advertisements are displayed inside the video player, in the sidebar, and inside the YouTube app.

YouTube also offers a paid subscription called YouTube Red for viewers. This service allows viewers to get rid of advertisements as well as access YouTube original shows.

YouTube Red

However, as a content creator you’ll be able to upload as many videos as you like for free.

Initially, you will not be able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. However, you can increase this limit by verifying your account.

Vimeo:

Vimeo’s business model is quite different than YouTube. They make their money by selling video hosting service, so publishers and businesses can offer their users an ad free viewing experience.

They offer a range of pricing plans starting with the free plan, which is limited to 500 MB of storage per week and 25GB per year.

After that you can join Vimeo Plus, Pro, or Business plans. Each of them offers different upload limits and features.

Vimeo Plans

Free plan is quite limited in terms of storage and features. You can start with Vimeo Plus, it costs $7 per month and will give you 5 GB of storage per week.

2. Upload Limits

Both platforms have different policies regarding how much video content you can upload.

YouTube:

By default you can upload unlimited videos, but each video should be under 15 minutes. However, after verifying your account, you can upload videos with up to 12 hours of playback or 128GB file size.

This is very generous and fairly reasonable for all type of content creators.

Vimeo:

Vimeo has different limitations on the upload size for each plan.

  • Free: 500 MB per week upto 25 GB per year.
  • Plus: 5 GB per week upto 250 GB per year
  • Pro: 20 GB per week upto 1 TB per year
  • Business: No weekly limits and up to 5 TB total storage

See detailed comparison of all Vimeo plans.

3. Audience Size and Reach

Both platforms offer video sharing options, have dedicated communities, and social features baked into their product.

YouTube:

When it comes to audience size and reach, YouTube has the obvious advantage.

YouTube Stats

It is owned by Google, so it’s noticeably more visible into all their other products. Almost all Android phones in the world come with the YouTube app pre-installed.

YouTube has a community of more than 1 billion users, that’s one-third of the internet. It is also the world’s second most widely used search engine.

Vimeo:

Vimeo has a much smaller user base than YouTube, but it is stilly fairly huge. Vimeo has over 170 million users, and it is growing at a significant pace. Vimeo is home to some of the most creative content creators in the world.

Vimeo Stats

Apart from channels, it also has a Groups feature where users can create and participate in groups. Users can also limit group content visible only to its members.

Vimeo has a pretty decent search feature, which allows users to search for videos, people, channels, and groups. Their content discovery feature shows relevant videos in the sidebar. However, by design they are not as noticeable as they are on YouTube.

4. Privacy Controls

Not all publishers want their content to be seen by everyone. For example, if you are selling online courses or running a membership website, then you want to restrict video access to paying subscribers only.

Let’s checkout how both platforms empower publishers to control privacy of their videos.

YouTube:

YouTube video privacy settings

YouTube offers three privacy settings for videos you upload.

  • Public – These videos are publicly accessible by anyone. They can be searched, listed, and displayed across YouTube platform.
  • Unlisted – These videos can be accessible by anyone who has the URL. However, they will not appear in YouTube search or related videos
  • Private – These videos are only visible to you, and specific users you choose.

Apart from these settings, you can also disable comments on your videos. YouTube allows you to disallow embedding of your videos on any websites, but this will also block you from embedding videos on your own WordPress website.

YouTube is not an ideal platform if you want to host private videos.

Vimeo:

Vimeo video privacy

Vimeo offers more privacy options than YouTube. Their privacy settings allow you to make videos public, private, or unlisted. You can also share video only with users you follow.

Paid plan users can also restrict video embeds to their own websites only. They can even disallow their videos to be viewed on Vimeo.com itself.

You can also password protect videos, and users will need to enter that password to view the video. You can then add those videos into password protected posts on your WordPress website.

If you want to have more control on who watches your videos, then Vimeo is a much better platform for you.

5. Video Editing

Both platforms offer great tools to upload, edit, and manage your videos.

YouTube:

YouTube video editing

YouTube offers powerful video editing features. They offer a video editor that allows you to create videos from your previously uploaded videos, photos, title, and more.

You can also create videos using your videos and photos in Google Photos. Their web based video editing tools offer a simple and easy video creating process.

YouTube also allows you to add links, annotations, captions, and subtitles to your videos. It also offers live streaming feature where you can live broadcast events, news, or just casual vlogs.

Vimeo

Vimeo video settings

Vimeo does not offer as many video editing features as YouTube. However, it does offer all the basics you’ll need.

It allows you to add video title, description, category, tags, license, and audience rating. You can also upload captions and subtitles to your videos. Vimeo does not have annotations features, so you cannot add clickable links into your videos.

The best part about Vimeo though is that you can replace your video with a newer version without having to change the video URL or stats. This is something that you cannot do on YouTube without uploading a new video on a totally new URL.

This specific feature is really handy because if you made a mistake or just need to update screenshots in your tutorials, then you can easily do so while keeping all the view count and the same video URLs across your membership site.

6. Monetization Options

Both platforms allow their users to make money online from their videos.

YouTube:

Make money from videos on YouTube

YouTube allow content creators to join the YouTube partner program by signing up for Google Adsense to monetize their videos. Video creators get a cut for the ads displayed on their videos.

However, you’ll first need to accumulate at least 10,000 views for your channel before you can join the program.

YouTube also allows content creators to use other monetization options. Publishers can sell products in their videos, add paid reviews, join affiliate programs, get sponsors for their videos, ask for donations, and more.

Many of the YouTube’s most popular content creators use platforms like Patreon where viewers can directly support their channel with donations.

Vimeo:

Vimeo on Demand

Vimeo prides itself in offering an ad-free video platform. They do not have an advertising program that you can join.

However, they do offer “Vimeo on Demand”. A platform where you can sell videos directly to viewers. You’ll need at least a Vimeo Pro account to join the program. Think of this as your own version of Netflix.

Vimeo also allows you to mention sponsors in your videos, add links in video description, and ask users to support your channel on platforms like Patreon.

Conclusion

YouTube and Vimeo are both excellent platforms for your WordPress videos. Depending on what you are trying to do with your videos, one platform could be better for you than the other.

If you are a blogger or small business who want to use videos to build a subscriber base and reach a much larger audience, then YouTube will be better for your goals.

If you are making a website with membership options or selling courses, then you need more privacy and a top-notch viewing experience. That’s when Vimeo is a better choice.

We hope this article helped you learn more about YouTube vs Vimeo and which one is better for your WordPress videos. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post YouTube vs Vimeo – Which One is Better for WordPress Videos? appeared first on WPBeginner.

How Much Does a Custom WordPress Theme Cost?

After writing our article on how much does it cost to build a WordPress site, several readers asked us to expand on the custom website cost section. If you’re wondering how much does a custom WordPress theme cost, then you’re in the right place. In… Read More »

The post How Much Does a Custom WordPress Theme Cost? appeared first on WPBeginner.

After writing our article on how much does it cost to build a WordPress site, several readers asked us to expand on the custom website cost section. If you’re wondering how much does a custom WordPress theme cost, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we will share how much does a custom WordPress theme cost as well as few tips on how you can save money and avoid overpaying.

Cost of a Custom WordPress Theme

What is a Custom WordPress Theme?

A custom WordPress theme has a unique design, layout, and set of features that are made specifically for your business needs.

Since there are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available, a custom WordPress theme helps your company / brand stand out.

The benefit of getting a custom WordPress theme is that you’re not limited by the constraints of a pre-existing template or layout. You have full freedom to customize your website and get any specific functionality built within your theme.

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Custom WordPress Theme

Since each custom WordPress theme is built specifically for the individual client, the cost of the project varies based on the requirements. Below are some of the factors that will impact the cost of your custom WordPress theme:

Individual Freelancer vs Agency

To create a custom WordPress theme, you will need someone who can design (designer) and code your theme (developer).

Depending on your needs, you may be able to find an individual who can do both design and develop the site, but remember it’s hard find a person who’s excellent at both design and code.

When you go with a full-service agency, it’s a one-stop shop because they have designers and developers in their team. This is also the reason why sometimes agencies can be more expensive.

Alternatively, you can hire an individual freelance designer and developer separately and mange the project yourself.

Experience and Expertise

Design and development is a creative process, so the project cost vary based on expertise, experience in the field, and creativity.

Well reputed WordPress development agencies may cost more than an individual developer or freelancer. However, a well known WordPress developer can sometimes charge even more than an agency.

Features, Functionality, and Expectations

Adding more features and functionality to your custom theme will increase the development time and cost. Normally, clients have higher expectations than their budget allows.

High quality work with custom features will take more time and hence it will cost more.

Change orders and Revisions

If you change the scope of your custom WordPress theme project in the middle of the process, then this can significantly increase your cost. While minor changes are ok, often freelancers and agencies will charge change-order fees for major change requests.

Hosting, Maintenance and Support

A custom WordPress theme does not include WordPress hosting, website maintenance or offering support after delivery of the project.

Some agencies and freelancers might offer these services at an additional cost.

How much a Custom WordPress Theme Actually Costs?

Cost estimates for a custom WordPress theme

Because there are several factors that affect the cost, it is extremely difficult to explain how much a custom WordPress theme cost in fixed numbers.

A typical custom WordPress theme for business or personal website theme could cost between $1,500 – $5,000.

A custom WordPress theme with additional built-in features or companion plugins can cost anywhere between $6,000 – $10,000.

If you have a complex enterprise level project, then is not uncommon for the prices to go above $30,000.

How to Avoid Overpaying for a Custom WordPress Theme?

Controlling cost of your custom WordPress theme project

With over a decade of experience in the WordPress industry, we have few tips that you can use to avoid overpaying for a custom WordPress theme.

Have a Clear Scope of the Project

When you’re building a house, you typically have a list of features that you want such as 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, etc.

You need to make a similar list for your website and list down all the things that you would like to have such as:

  • Editable home page with a testimonial slider and services list
  • Contact page with a contact form and a Google map with ability to find directions
  • Gallery area to showcase the work
  • Blog section with Social media share buttons

Having a detailed list makes it easier for someone to give you an accurate quote. It also helps limit revisions / change-order fees.

Find Live Website Examples for Inspiration when Possible

Going along with a detailed scope, having a list of inspirations really help with the design process.

You can have a list of websites and list out what you like about each of them.

This gives the designer a clear idea of what you’re looking for thus reduces the revisions and overall cost.

Use Premium Plugins vs Custom Built Functionality

Most reputable WordPress professionals will always choose a premium WordPress plugin vs build it out from scratch because it’s more efficient and saves cost.

However as a customer, we always recommend that you also do your research. Often the developer that you choose may have other suggestions, and it’s important that you understand why they decide to choose one plugin over another.

Customize Premium Themes vs Build from Scratch

One of the ways to significantly reduce cost while still getting a “custom” look and feel is to find an existing theme that has 90% of what you want.

While this cheats the custom theme concept, it can significantly reduce the overall cost.

Powerful drag and drop WordPress page builders like BeaverBuilder and Divi has given birth to an entirely new industry of “Website Assemblers”.

Professional website assemblers use existing WordPress plugins in combination with a drag & drop page builder to build you a custom-looking WordPress site at a much more affordable price.

How to Find the Right Developer or Agency for a Custom WordPress Theme

Finding developer for your custom WordPress theme

Due to its ease of use and low barrier of entry, there is a wide-range of people and companies offering custom WordPress theme services.

Finding a developer or agency with right experience and skill set can be a bit difficult. Specially because a lot of “website assemblers” also call themselves developers.

Here are some places where you can find experienced developers for your custom WordPress theme project.

Genesis DevelopersStudioPress, creators of the famous Genesis theme framework has a developers showcase where you can find experienced WordPress developers to work on your custom theme.

WPEngine Consultants – Managed WordPress hosting company, WPEngine, also has a dedicated page that lists experienced WordPress developers and agencies.

WPHired – This is a job board where you can post your WordPress jobs. Developers can then apply for the job, and you can discuss your project with them. You’ll have to look for developers with relevant experience and skills.

WordPress Jobs – Another WordPress specific job board where you can post jobs and interview developers.

Upwork – An online freelancing website where you can post your job and interview developers from all over the world. This would allow you to find developers with lower rates. It is an enormous community with designers and developers of varying skills and expertise.

Conclusion

A custom WordPress theme can make your website stand out with its unique design and custom features. However, not all beginners and small businesses can afford that right away.

If you are just starting out, then you can use a premium multipurpose theme and build your website at a fraction of a price.

Most modern themes have enough customization options that you can use to make them unique. Check out our showcase section where we regularly publish collection of themes for different industries and niches

However if you can afford a custom WordPress theme, then it is definitely worth the investment. Unique branding, custom design, and tailor made functionality will help you grow your business faster and give you an edge over your competitors.

We hope this article helped you understand how much does a custom WordPress theme cost and how you can avoid overpaying. You may also want to see our list of most notable big name brands using WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How Much Does a Custom WordPress Theme Cost? appeared first on WPBeginner.

How Much Does a Custom WordPress Theme Cost?

After writing our article on how much does it cost to build a WordPress site, several readers asked us to expand on the custom website cost section. If you’re wondering how much does a custom WordPress theme cost, then you’re in the right place. In… Read More »

The post How Much Does a Custom WordPress Theme Cost? appeared first on WPBeginner.

After writing our article on how much does it cost to build a WordPress site, several readers asked us to expand on the custom website cost section. If you’re wondering how much does a custom WordPress theme cost, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we will share how much does a custom WordPress theme cost as well as few tips on how you can save money and avoid overpaying.

Cost of a Custom WordPress Theme

What is a Custom WordPress Theme?

A custom WordPress theme has a unique design, layout, and set of features that are made specifically for your business needs.

Since there are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available, a custom WordPress theme helps your company / brand stand out.

The benefit of getting a custom WordPress theme is that you’re not limited by the constraints of a pre-existing template or layout. You have full freedom to customize your website and get any specific functionality built within your theme.

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Custom WordPress Theme

Since each custom WordPress theme is built specifically for the individual client, the cost of the project varies based on the requirements. Below are some of the factors that will impact the cost of your custom WordPress theme:

Individual Freelancer vs Agency

To create a custom WordPress theme, you will need someone who can design (designer) and code your theme (developer).

Depending on your needs, you may be able to find an individual who can do both design and develop the site, but remember it’s hard find a person who’s excellent at both design and code.

When you go with a full-service agency, it’s a one-stop shop because they have designers and developers in their team. This is also the reason why sometimes agencies can be more expensive.

Alternatively, you can hire an individual freelance designer and developer separately and mange the project yourself.

Experience and Expertise

Design and development is a creative process, so the project cost vary based on expertise, experience in the field, and creativity.

Well reputed WordPress development agencies may cost more than an individual developer or freelancer. However, a well known WordPress developer can sometimes charge even more than an agency.

Features, Functionality, and Expectations

Adding more features and functionality to your custom theme will increase the development time and cost. Normally, clients have higher expectations than their budget allows.

High quality work with custom features will take more time and hence it will cost more.

Change orders and Revisions

If you change the scope of your custom WordPress theme project in the middle of the process, then this can significantly increase your cost. While minor changes are ok, often freelancers and agencies will charge change-order fees for major change requests.

Hosting, Maintenance and Support

A custom WordPress theme does not include WordPress hosting, website maintenance or offering support after delivery of the project.

Some agencies and freelancers might offer these services at an additional cost.

How much a Custom WordPress Theme Actually Costs?

Cost estimates for a custom WordPress theme

Because there are several factors that affect the cost, it is extremely difficult to explain how much a custom WordPress theme cost in fixed numbers.

A typical custom WordPress theme for business or personal website theme could cost between $1,500 – $5,000.

A custom WordPress theme with additional built-in features or companion plugins can cost anywhere between $6,000 – $10,000.

If you have a complex enterprise level project, then is not uncommon for the prices to go above $30,000.

How to Avoid Overpaying for a Custom WordPress Theme?

Controlling cost of your custom WordPress theme project

With over a decade of experience in the WordPress industry, we have few tips that you can use to avoid overpaying for a custom WordPress theme.

Have a Clear Scope of the Project

When you’re building a house, you typically have a list of features that you want such as 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, etc.

You need to make a similar list for your website and list down all the things that you would like to have such as:

  • Editable home page with a testimonial slider and services list
  • Contact page with a contact form and a Google map with ability to find directions
  • Gallery area to showcase the work
  • Blog section with Social media share buttons

Having a detailed list makes it easier for someone to give you an accurate quote. It also helps limit revisions / change-order fees.

Find Live Website Examples for Inspiration when Possible

Going along with a detailed scope, having a list of inspirations really help with the design process.

You can have a list of websites and list out what you like about each of them.

This gives the designer a clear idea of what you’re looking for thus reduces the revisions and overall cost.

Use Premium Plugins vs Custom Built Functionality

Most reputable WordPress professionals will always choose a premium WordPress plugin vs build it out from scratch because it’s more efficient and saves cost.

However as a customer, we always recommend that you also do your research. Often the developer that you choose may have other suggestions, and it’s important that you understand why they decide to choose one plugin over another.

Customize Premium Themes vs Build from Scratch

One of the ways to significantly reduce cost while still getting a “custom” look and feel is to find an existing theme that has 90% of what you want.

While this cheats the custom theme concept, it can significantly reduce the overall cost.

Powerful drag and drop WordPress page builders like BeaverBuilder and Divi has given birth to an entirely new industry of “Website Assemblers”.

Professional website assemblers use existing WordPress plugins in combination with a drag & drop page builder to build you a custom-looking WordPress site at a much more affordable price.

How to Find the Right Developer or Agency for a Custom WordPress Theme

Finding developer for your custom WordPress theme

Due to its ease of use and low barrier of entry, there is a wide-range of people and companies offering custom WordPress theme services.

Finding a developer or agency with right experience and skill set can be a bit difficult. Specially because a lot of “website assemblers” also call themselves developers.

Here are some places where you can find experienced developers for your custom WordPress theme project.

Genesis DevelopersStudioPress, creators of the famous Genesis theme framework has a developers showcase where you can find experienced WordPress developers to work on your custom theme.

WPEngine Consultants – Managed WordPress hosting company, WPEngine, also has a dedicated page that lists experienced WordPress developers and agencies.

WPHired – This is a job board where you can post your WordPress jobs. Developers can then apply for the job, and you can discuss your project with them. You’ll have to look for developers with relevant experience and skills.

WordPress Jobs – Another WordPress specific job board where you can post jobs and interview developers.

Upwork – An online freelancing website where you can post your job and interview developers from all over the world. This would allow you to find developers with lower rates. It is an enormous community with designers and developers of varying skills and expertise.

Conclusion

A custom WordPress theme can make your website stand out with its unique design and custom features. However, not all beginners and small businesses can afford that right away.

If you are just starting out, then you can use a premium multipurpose theme and build your website at a fraction of a price.

Most modern themes have enough customization options that you can use to make them unique. Check out our showcase section where we regularly publish collection of themes for different industries and niches

However if you can afford a custom WordPress theme, then it is definitely worth the investment. Unique branding, custom design, and tailor made functionality will help you grow your business faster and give you an edge over your competitors.

We hope this article helped you understand how much does a custom WordPress theme cost and how you can avoid overpaying. You may also want to see our list of most notable big name brands using WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How Much Does a Custom WordPress Theme Cost? appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Manually Update WordPress Plugins via FTP

Do you want to learn how to manually update WordPress plugins via FTP? Sometimes the 1-click WordPress plugin update fails which can break your website. The only way to fix that is by manually updating the plugin. In this article, we will show you how… Read More »

The post How to Manually Update WordPress Plugins via FTP appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to learn how to manually update WordPress plugins via FTP? Sometimes the 1-click WordPress plugin update fails which can break your website. The only way to fix that is by manually updating the plugin. In this article, we will show you how to manually update WordPress plugins via FTP without breaking your website.

Manually updating WordPress plugins via FTP

Why Update WordPress Plugins Manually?

WordPress comes with a built-in system to manage core, theme, and plugin updates. All you need to do is click on the update link, and it will update your plugins. For more details, see our guide on how to properly update WordPress plugins.

However sometimes these updates can fail due to incorrect file permissions, incorrect version number, or other server configuration factors.

If an update gets interrupted midway, then you will end up with a broken site. You may see briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error, syntax error, or internal server error.

The only way to fix this is by manually updating the WordPress plugin via FTP. By doing so, you will be able to fix those errors and continue using the latest version of the plugin.

Let’s take a look at how to manually update WordPress plugins via FTP.

Manually Updating WordPress Plugins via FTP

First, you will need to download the latest version of the plugin you are trying to update. If it is a free plugin, then you can download it from the WordPress.org plugin page.

downloading a free WordPress plugin

If it is a premium plugin, then you can download the latest version from the specific plugin’s website. You will need to login to your account and download the plugin to your computer.

All plugins come in .zip files, so you need to extract them.

Unzip plugin file

Next, you’ll need an FTP client. We’ll be using FileZilla in our example, but you can use any FTP client you like.

To connect to your website using FTP, you will need to enter your website name in the hostname with your FTP username and password.

Connecting FTP client to your website

If you don’t know your FTP username or password, then check the email your WordPress hosting company sent you when you signed up. It usually contains your FTP username and password.

Alternatively, you can also find this information in the cPanel dashboard of your hosting account.

Once you are connected to your website via FTP, you need to go to /wp-content/plugins/ folder.

You’ll see different folders for all the plugins you have installed on your WordPress site. Right click on the plugin that you want to update and then select ‘Rename’.

Rename old plugin folder

Now rename this plugin by simply adding -old to the plugin folder name. For example, wpforms-old.

Next, you need to download the renamed folder to your computer as a backup. This will allow you to revert back to the old version in case you need it.

Backup old version of plugin

After downloading the old plugin to your computer, you can delete it from your website.

Delete old version of plugin from your website

We also want to make sure that the plugin is deactivated in WordPress database as well. To do that, you need to simply login to your WordPress admin area and visit the plugins page.

You will see an error that the plugin has been deactivated due to an error.

Deactivated

Now that we have removed the old version, it is time to install the latest version of the plugin.

Switch to your FTP client and under the ‘Local’ section, locate the new plugin folder on your computer. Now right click and select ‘Upload’ from FTP menu.

Upload new version of the plugin

Your FTP client will start transferring the plugin folder from your computer to your website.

Once finished, you can login to your WordPress admin area and go to the Plugins page. You need to find the newly installed plugin and activate it.

Activate the latest version of plugin

You can now check the updated version of the plugin to make sure that everything is working correctly.

That’s all, you have successfully updated a WordPress plugin via FTP.

It is really crucial for WordPress security to always use the latest version of WordPress. It is also equally important to keep your WordPress plugins and theme updated.

If a WordPress plugin stops working after the update, then you can rollback the plugin and report the issue to the plugin developer.

However, there is no reason to continue using an outdated version. If the issue is not resolved in a timely manner, then you should look for an alternative plugin to do the job.

We hope this article helped you learn how to manually update WordPress plugins via FTP. You may also want to see our list of most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Manually Update WordPress Plugins via FTP appeared first on WPBeginner.

12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked

We are often asked what are some signs that indicate a WordPress site is hacked? There are some common telltale signs that may help you figure out if your WordPress site is hacked or compromised. In this article, we will share 12 common signs that… Read More »

The post 12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked appeared first on WPBeginner.

We are often asked what are some signs that indicate a WordPress site is hacked? There are some common telltale signs that may help you figure out if your WordPress site is hacked or compromised. In this article, we will share 12 common signs that your WordPress site is hacked.

Signs that your WordPress site is hacked

1. Sudden Drop in Website Traffic

Drop in website traffic

If you look at your Google Analytics reports and see a sudden drop in traffic, then this could be a sign that your WordPress site is hacked.

There are many malware and trojans out there that hijack your website’s traffic and redirect it to spammy websites. Some of them don’t redirect logged in users which allows them to go unnoticed for a while.

Another reason for the sudden drop in traffic is Google’s safe browsing tool, which might be showing warnings to users regarding your website.
Each week, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing. That’s why every blogger and business owner needs to pay serious attention to their WordPress security.

You can check your website using the Google’s safe browsing tool to see your safety report.

Spam and malware injection

One of the most common signs among hacked WordPress sites is data injection. Hackers create a backdoor on your WordPress site which gives them access to modify your WordPress files and database.

Some of these hacks add links to spammy websites. Usually these links are added to the footer of your website, but they really could be any where. Deleting the links will not guarantee that they will not come back.

You will need to find and fix the backdoor used to inject this data into your website. See our guide on how to find and fix a backdoor in a hacked WordPress site.

3. Your Site’s Homepage is Defaced

website homepage defaced after hacking

This is probably the most obvious one as it is clearly visible on the homepage of your website. Most hacking attempts do not deface your site’s home page because they want to remain unnoticed for as long as possible.

However, some hackers may deface your website to announce that it has been hacked. Such hackers usually replace your homepage with their own message. Some hackers may even try to extort money from site owners.

4. You are Unable to Login to WordPress

Failure to login in WordPress

If you are unable to login to your WordPress site, then there is a chance that hackers may have deleted your admin account from WordPress.

Since the account doesn’t exist, you would not be able to reset your password from the login page. There are other ways to add an admin account using phpMyAdmin or via FTP. However, your site will remain unsafe until you figure out how a hacker got into your website.

5. Suspicious User Accounts in WordPress

Suspicious user accounts in WordPress

If your site is open to user registration, and you are not using any spam registration protection, then spam user accounts are just common spam that you can simply delete.

However, if you don’t remember allowing user registration and notice new user accounts in WordPress, then your site is probably hacked.

Usually the suspicious account will have administrator user role, and in some cases you may not be able to delete it from your WordPress admin area.

6. Unknown Files and Scripts on Your Server

Unknown files and scripts in WordPress folders

If you’re using a site scanner plugin like Sucuri, then it will alert you when it finds an unknown file or script on your server.

You need to connect to your WordPress site using a FTP client. The most common place where you will find malicious files and scripts is the /wp-content/ folder.

Usually, these files are named like WordPress files to hide in plain sight. Deleting these files immediately will not guarantee that these files will not return. You will need to audit the security of your website specially file and directory structure.

7. Your Website is Often Slow or Unresponsive

Slow or unresponsive website

All websites on internet can become victims of random denial of service attacks. These attacks use several hacked computers and servers from all over the world using fake ips. Sometimes they are just sending too many requests to your server, other times they are actively trying to break into your website.

Any such activity will make your website slow, unresponsive, and unavailable. You will need to check your server logs to see which ips are making too many requests and block them.

It is also possible that your WordPress site is just slow and not hacked. In that case, you need to follow our guide to boost WordPress speed and performance.

8. Unusual Activity in Server Logs

Server logs

Server logs are plain text files stored on your web server. These files keep record of all errors occurring on your server as well as all your internet traffic.

You can access them from your WordPress hosting account’s cPanel dashboard under statistics.

serverlogscpanel

These server logs can help you understand what’s going on when your WordPress site is under attack. They also contain all the ip addresses used to access your website which allows you to block suspicious ip addresses.

9. Failure to Send or Receive WordPress Emails

Email errors in WordPress

Hacked servers are commonly used for spam. Most WordPress hosting companies offer free email accounts with your hosting. Many WordPress site owners use their host’s mail servers to send WordPress emails.

If you are unable to send or recieve WordPress emails, then there is a chance that your mail server is hacked to send spam emails.

10. Suspicious Scheduled Tasks

Suspicious scheduled tasks

Web servers allow users to set up cron jobs. These are scheduled tasks that you can add to your server. WordPress itself uses cron to setup scheduled tasks like publishing scheduled posts, deleting old comments from trash, and so on.

A hacker can exploit cron to run scheduled tasks on your server without you knowing it.

11. Hijacked Search Results

If the search results from your website show incorrect title or meta description, then this is a sign that your WordPress site is hacked.

Looking at your WordPress site, you will still see the correct title and description. The hacker has again exploited a backdoor to inject malicious code which modifies your site data in a way that it is visible only to search engines.

12. Popups or Pop Under Ads on Your Website

Spam popup ads

These types of hacks are trying to make money by hijacking your website’s traffic and showing them their own spam ads for illegal websites. These popups do not appear for logged in visitors or visitors accessing a website directly.

They only appear to the users visiting from search engines. Pop under ads open in new window and remain unnoticeable by users.

Securing and Fixing Your Hacked WordPress Site

Cleaning up a hacked WordPress site can be incredibly painful and difficult. This is why we recommend you to let experts clean up your website.

We use Sucuri to protect all our websites. See how Sucuri helped us block 450,000 WordPress attacks in 3 months.

It comes with 24/7 website monitoring and a powerful website application firewall, which blocks attacks before they even reach your website. Most importantly, they clean up your website if it ever gets hacked.

If you want to clean up your site on your own, then take a look at our beginner’s guide on fixing a hacked WordPress site.

You should also check out our ultimate WordPress security guide to follow the best practices and protect your site.

We hope this article helped you look for signs that your WordPress site is hacked. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked appeared first on WPBeginner.

12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked

We are often asked what are some signs that indicate a WordPress site is hacked? There are some common telltale signs that may help you figure out if your WordPress site is hacked or compromised. In this article, we will share 12 common signs that… Read More »

The post 12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked appeared first on WPBeginner.

We are often asked what are some signs that indicate a WordPress site is hacked? There are some common telltale signs that may help you figure out if your WordPress site is hacked or compromised. In this article, we will share 12 common signs that your WordPress site is hacked.

Signs that your WordPress site is hacked

1. Sudden Drop in Website Traffic

Drop in website traffic

If you look at your Google Analytics reports and see a sudden drop in traffic, then this could be a sign that your WordPress site is hacked.

There are many malware and trojans out there that hijack your website’s traffic and redirect it to spammy websites. Some of them don’t redirect logged in users which allows them to go unnoticed for a while.

Another reason for the sudden drop in traffic is Google’s safe browsing tool, which might be showing warnings to users regarding your website.
Each week, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing. That’s why every blogger and business owner needs to pay serious attention to their WordPress security.

You can check your website using the Google’s safe browsing tool to see your safety report.

Spam and malware injection

One of the most common signs among hacked WordPress sites is data injection. Hackers create a backdoor on your WordPress site which gives them access to modify your WordPress files and database.

Some of these hacks add links to spammy websites. Usually these links are added to the footer of your website, but they really could be any where. Deleting the links will not guarantee that they will not come back.

You will need to find and fix the backdoor used to inject this data into your website. See our guide on how to find and fix a backdoor in a hacked WordPress site.

3. Your Site’s Homepage is Defaced

website homepage defaced after hacking

This is probably the most obvious one as it is clearly visible on the homepage of your website. Most hacking attempts do not deface your site’s home page because they want to remain unnoticed for as long as possible.

However, some hackers may deface your website to announce that it has been hacked. Such hackers usually replace your homepage with their own message. Some hackers may even try to extort money from site owners.

4. You are Unable to Login to WordPress

Failure to login in WordPress

If you are unable to login to your WordPress site, then there is a chance that hackers may have deleted your admin account from WordPress.

Since the account doesn’t exist, you would not be able to reset your password from the login page. There are other ways to add an admin account using phpMyAdmin or via FTP. However, your site will remain unsafe until you figure out how a hacker got into your website.

5. Suspicious User Accounts in WordPress

Suspicious user accounts in WordPress

If your site is open to user registration, and you are not using any spam registration protection, then spam user accounts are just common spam that you can simply delete.

However, if you don’t remember allowing user registration and notice new user accounts in WordPress, then your site is probably hacked.

Usually the suspicious account will have administrator user role, and in some cases you may not be able to delete it from your WordPress admin area.

6. Unknown Files and Scripts on Your Server

Unknown files and scripts in WordPress folders

If you’re using a site scanner plugin like Sucuri, then it will alert you when it finds an unknown file or script on your server.

You need to connect to your WordPress site using a FTP client. The most common place where you will find malicious files and scripts is the /wp-content/ folder.

Usually, these files are named like WordPress files to hide in plain sight. Deleting these files immediately will not guarantee that these files will not return. You will need to audit the security of your website specially file and directory structure.

7. Your Website is Often Slow or Unresponsive

Slow or unresponsive website

All websites on internet can become victims of random denial of service attacks. These attacks use several hacked computers and servers from all over the world using fake ips. Sometimes they are just sending too many requests to your server, other times they are actively trying to break into your website.

Any such activity will make your website slow, unresponsive, and unavailable. You will need to check your server logs to see which ips are making too many requests and block them.

It is also possible that your WordPress site is just slow and not hacked. In that case, you need to follow our guide to boost WordPress speed and performance.

8. Unusual Activity in Server Logs

Server logs

Server logs are plain text files stored on your web server. These files keep record of all errors occurring on your server as well as all your internet traffic.

You can access them from your WordPress hosting account’s cPanel dashboard under statistics.

serverlogscpanel

These server logs can help you understand what’s going on when your WordPress site is under attack. They also contain all the ip addresses used to access your website which allows you to block suspicious ip addresses.

9. Failure to Send or Receive WordPress Emails

Email errors in WordPress

Hacked servers are commonly used for spam. Most WordPress hosting companies offer free email accounts with your hosting. Many WordPress site owners use their host’s mail servers to send WordPress emails.

If you are unable to send or recieve WordPress emails, then there is a chance that your mail server is hacked to send spam emails.

10. Suspicious Scheduled Tasks

Suspicious scheduled tasks

Web servers allow users to set up cron jobs. These are scheduled tasks that you can add to your server. WordPress itself uses cron to setup scheduled tasks like publishing scheduled posts, deleting old comments from trash, and so on.

A hacker can exploit cron to run scheduled tasks on your server without you knowing it.

11. Hijacked Search Results

If the search results from your website show incorrect title or meta description, then this is a sign that your WordPress site is hacked.

Looking at your WordPress site, you will still see the correct title and description. The hacker has again exploited a backdoor to inject malicious code which modifies your site data in a way that it is visible only to search engines.

12. Popups or Pop Under Ads on Your Website

Spam popup ads

These types of hacks are trying to make money by hijacking your website’s traffic and showing them their own spam ads for illegal websites. These popups do not appear for logged in visitors or visitors accessing a website directly.

They only appear to the users visiting from search engines. Pop under ads open in new window and remain unnoticeable by users.

Securing and Fixing Your Hacked WordPress Site

Cleaning up a hacked WordPress site can be incredibly painful and difficult. This is why we recommend you to let experts clean up your website.

We use Sucuri to protect all our websites. See how Sucuri helped us block 450,000 WordPress attacks in 3 months.

It comes with 24/7 website monitoring and a powerful website application firewall, which blocks attacks before they even reach your website. Most importantly, they clean up your website if it ever gets hacked.

If you want to clean up your site on your own, then take a look at our beginner’s guide on fixing a hacked WordPress site.

You should also check out our ultimate WordPress security guide to follow the best practices and protect your site.

We hope this article helped you look for signs that your WordPress site is hacked. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked appeared first on WPBeginner.

13 Crucial WordPress Maintenance Tasks to Perform Regularly

Ever wondered which WordPress maintenance tasks you should be performing regularly? After starting a blog, often users don’t perform maintenance checks unless something breaks. By running regular maintenance tasks, you can make sure that your WordPress site is always performing at its best. In this… Read More »

The post 13 Crucial WordPress Maintenance Tasks to Perform Regularly appeared first on WPBeginner.

Ever wondered which WordPress maintenance tasks you should be performing regularly? After starting a blog, often users don’t perform maintenance checks unless something breaks. By running regular maintenance tasks, you can make sure that your WordPress site is always performing at its best. In this article, we will share 13 crucial WordPress maintenance tasks to perform regularly, and how to do each one of them.

Crucial WordPress maintenance tasks to perform regularly

Why and When to Perform WordPress Maintenance Tasks

Your WordPress site is a powerful system made of several parts. This includes your WordPress hosting, WordPress software itself, plugins, and themes.

On top of that, you add your own content with text and images. Together, all of them make a website that is loved by your visitors and customers.

However, this system needs to be looked after to ensure optimal performance. There are few simple maintenance tasks that you can perform on a regular basis to ensure that your website is working at its best.

How often should you perform WordPress maintenance tasks?

If you run a busy website with a lot of traffic, then every three months. For smaller websites with low traffic and content, you need to do these maintenance tasks every six months.

Now that being said, let’s take a look at the essential WordPress maintenance tasks you need to perform and how to do them.

1. Change All Your WordPress Passwords

Change all your passwords regularly

Passwords are your first defense against unauthorized access to your website. You should always use strong unique passwords for all your online accounts including your WordPress website, FTP accounts, and database.

However, even if you are using strong passwords and they are compromised, then it is possible that you wouldn’t even notice it.

That’s why WordPress security experts recommend changing your WordPress passwords regularly. This includes passwords for your WordPress admin area, FTP or SSH accounts, and your WordPress database password.

For more details on this topic, see our beginners guide on how to manage passwords for WordPress users.

2. Create a Complete Backup of Your Website

Create manual backup

Backups are one of the most important WordPress tool in your arsenal. There are plenty of great WordPress backup plugins that can help you completely automate the WordPress backup process.

However, sometimes your backup solution may suddenly stop working without you even noticing.

Once in a while, you need to manually run your backup plugin to create a complete backup of your website. After running the backup, you need to verify that your backup files are properly stored at the remote location of your choice (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc).

3. Check and Update All WordPress Files

Check and update all WordPress files

WordPress comes with a built-in system to manage updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes. You should always use the latest version of WordPress and keep all your plugins and themes updated.

However, there are some situations when you may miss an update. For example, when a premium plugin or theme’s license expired, and it failed to check for an update.

Go to the WordPress Updates page to manually check for updates. Review all your installed plugins and themes to make sure that they are running the latest version.

4. Check and Delete Spam Comments

Review spam comments

If you are using Akismet to combat comment spam in WordPress, then it automatically keeps spam away from your comment moderation queue.

However, sometimes Akismet may end up marking a legitimate comment as spam. Once in a while, you need to take a quick look at the spam comments to ensure that there are no real comments incorrectly marked as spam.

Once you are done, you can safely delete all spam comments from your website. If you have thousands of spam comments, then you should use this method to batch delete all spam comments in WordPress.

It wouldn’t necessarily improve performance, but it will ensure that you don’t miss out genuine comments.

5. Test All Your WordPress Forms

Test all your WordPress forms

WordPress form builder plugins like WPForms make it super easy to create beautiful forms on your website.

However due to misconfiguration on your WordPress hosting server or your email service provider, sometimes these forms may suddenly stop sending emails.

You need to check all forms on your website to make sure that they are working properly. If a form is not working, then see our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

6. Optimize Your WordPress Database

Optimize your WordPress database

WordPress stores most data in your WordPress database. It contains all your content, comments, users, and settings.

However, overtime your database may gather a lot of unnecessary data. This increases your WordPress backup sizes which may affect uploading, downloading, and restoring backups.

Optimizing your WordPress database allows you to clean up clutter, defragment tables, and improves database performance.

For step by step instructions, see our guide on how to optimize your WordPress database with one click

7. Run Performance Tests

Run performance tests

Many users optimize their WordPress performance when they first start and then forget about it. Meanwhile you keep adding new content, install new plugins, or may even change your theme. All of them may affect performance of your WordPress site.

Faster websites are not just good for user experience, they also improve your website’s performance on search engines. This is why you need to regularly do a thorough performance review of your website.

When reviewing your site’s performance, don’t just limit it to improving your homepage. Also test your most popular content, and all your important pages.

For best results, follow our step by step guide to boost WordPress speed and performance.

8. Find and Fix 404 Errors

Fix 404 errors

When a user requests a page that doesn’t exist on your website, then WordPress will show them a 404 error page.

404 errors that occur because a user mistyped an address are normal and nothing to be worried about. However, 404 errors that occur because a page is no longer available can cause bad user experience.

If you are not already tracking 404 error pages, then see our guide on how to easily track 404 error pages in WordPress and redirect them.

9. Find and Fix Broken Links

Find and fix broken links in WordPress

As your website grows, you will realize that some external websites that you linked to in your older articles do not exist anymore. Some may have moved to new locations, while others may just disappear.

The broken links issue is not just limited to external links. You can accidentally add broken images, poorly formatted links, or misspell your own links. This causes bad user experience and affects your site’s bounce rate and page views.

You need to check your website for broken links as part of your WordPress maintenance routine. For instructions, see our guide on how to find and fix broken links in WordPress.

10. Perform a Thorough Content and SEO Audit

SEO Audit

Next thing you need to include in your regular maintenance tasks is a thorough in-depth review of your content. This is where the data from Google Search Console and Google Analytics comes in.

Google Analytics shows you where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your website. This data allows you to discover content on your website where users are coming but are not converting into customers or subscribers.

Google Search Console shows you Search Analytics which helps you find search keywords where your site appears in the results. You can sort it to show you keywords where your site can easily rank higher by updating those articles.

Search Analytics in Google Search Console

If you are using Yoast SEO, then you can set particular keywords as focus keyword, and it will analyze your content for that keyword.

Improving SEO score of an article in WordPress

Even with an excellent SEO score, you can still further improve content by adding new information, images, and linking to it from other pages on your website.

For more SEO tips, follow our ultimate step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

11. Optimize Images on Your WordPress Site

Optimize images and media library

Images take longer to load hence they decrease your page load speed. Some of them you’ll discover during the performance checkup of your site.

However you will definitely miss those in your less popular articles. If you run a multi-author WordPress site, then some of your authors may not be as careful about image sizes as you are.

Adding image and media library review to your WordPress maintenance checklist, allows you to stay on top of the issue. You can perform this check to find out images that can be reduced in size or images that are just too large.

For more information, see our guide on how to save images optimized for the Web.

12. Review WordPress Security Logs

WordPress security review

Some WordPress users don’t realize that their site is under attack until it slows down or their search rankings drop.

We have already mentioned some security precautions like changing passwords, and creating manual backups as proactive measures. You also need to review your site’s access and error logs to see if you can find any unusual activity on your site.

We also recommend using Sucuri. It is a website security company that offers website firewall to protect your website against common threats.

For a complete security audit of your WordPress site, follow the instructions in our step by step ultimate WordPress security guide.

13. Troubleshooting Maintenance Tasks

Troubleshooting

Most WordPress maintenance tasks are quite harmless and wouldn’t affect your website’s normal functioning. However, some may slow down your site, like checking for broken links or running image optimizer plugin.

If you run a staging site, then you can perform your maintenance tasks on your staging site and then push them live.

However, most users don’t run a staging site. In that case, you’ll have to expect a temporary slow site and some unexpected errors.

One way to deal with this is by putting your WordPress site in maintenance mode. Alternatively, you can perform these tasks during your low traffic hours.

If you run across an issue, then see our guide on how to fix common WordPress errors. If the error you are seeing is not listed there, then follow the steps in our WordPress troubleshooting guide. It will help you locate the problem and find a solution.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn crucial WordPress maintenance tasks you need to perform regularly on your website. You may also want to see our list of the most wanted WordPress tips, tricks, and hacks.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 13 Crucial WordPress Maintenance Tasks to Perform Regularly appeared first on WPBeginner.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better? (Comparison Chart)

Did you know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are actually two very different platforms? Often beginners confuse the two which leads them to choose the wrong platform. We’re often asked by our users which is the better platform: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. To help answer that, we… Read More »

The post WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better? (Comparison Chart) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Did you know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are actually two very different platforms? Often beginners confuse the two which leads them to choose the wrong platform. We’re often asked by our users which is the better platform: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. To help answer that, we have created the most comprehensive comparison of free WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (self-hosted version).

Our goal is highlight the key differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, so you can choose the right platform for your needs.

Self hosted WordPress.org vs free WordPress.com

Since choosing the right platform is crucial for your online success, we have created the most complete comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org ( text comparison, table-based comparison, and a full infographic).

If you just want to start a blog or make a website the RIGHT way, then you can skip this article and head over to our guides here:

Having said that, let’s take a look at the differences between self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (Infographic)

Self Hosted WordPress.org vs Free WordPress.com

Note: This infographic and article compares the powerful self-hosted WordPress.org with the free WordPress.com hosting service. You can unlock additional features in WordPress.com by upgrading to their paid service. We have highlighted those features as well.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Comparison

The best way to understand the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is to take a look at each platform individually.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org aka “the real WordPress”, is the popular website platform that you have heard all the great things about.

It is open source and 100% free for anyone to use. All you need is a domain name and web hosting. This is why it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress.

Below are the pros and cons of using the self-hosted WordPress.org to build your website or blog.

WordPress.org Benefits

With WordPress.org, you have full control of your website. You are free to do anything you want and customize it as much as you need. Here are some of the benefits of choosing WordPress.org to build your website, and the reason why it is the go-to choice.

  • It is free and super easy to use. (See why is WordPress free?)
  • You own your website and all its data. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You are in full control.
  • You can add free, paid, and custom WordPress plugins / apps to your website.
  • You can use customize your website design as needed. You can add any free or paid WordPress theme that you want. You can also create completely custom designs or modify anything that you want.
  • You can actually make money from your WordPress site by running your own ads without sharing revenue with anyone.
  • You can use powerful tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking.
  • You can use self-hosted WordPress to create an online store to sell digital or physical products, accept credit card payments, and deliver / ship the goods directly from your website.
  • You can also create membership sites and sell memberships for premium content, courses, etc and build an online community around your website.

WordPress.org Cons

There are a very few cons of using the self-hosted WordPress.org site.

  • Like all websites, you will need web hosting. This is where your website files are stored on the internet. Initially, the cost is around $3-$10 per month. However as your website grows and gets more traffic, the web hosting costs will increase as expected, but then you would be making enough money to cover the costs.
  • You are responsible for updates. You can easily update your WordPress site by simply clicking on the update button (1-click), so it’s not too much work.
  • You are responsible for backups. Thankfully, there are tons of WordPress backup plugins that let you setup automatic backups.

The real cost of WordPress.org website varies based on what you are trying to build (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc). There are also other factors like free templates vs premium templates, free plugins vs premium plugins, etc.

On a low budget, you can build your website for as little as $46 per year. See our guide on how much does it really cost to build a WordPress website for full details.

For 99% of users, our recommendation is always to use WordPress.org. See our guide on how to start a website.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. Because of the same founder, often users confuse WordPress.com with the popular WordPress.org software.

The WordPress.com hosting service has 5 plans:

  • Free – Very limited.
  • Personal – $36 per year
  • Premium – $99 per year
  • Business – $299 per year
  • VIP – starting at $5000 per month

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of WordPress.com.

WordPress.com Benefits

The free WordPress.com platform is a good choice for hobby bloggers and those starting a blog for their family. Here are some of the benefits of using WordPress.com:

  • It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space. (Personal plan $36 /year gives you 6GB, Premium plan $99/year gives you 13GB storage, or Business plan for $299/year for unlimited storage).
  • You will not have to worry about updates or backups. WordPress.com will take care of that.

WordPress.com Cons

There are several limitations of free WordPress.com which differentiate it from WordPress.org. Here are some of the disadvantages of using WordPress.com:

  • They place ads on all free websites. So your users will see ads, and you don’t make money from it. If you don’t want your users to see their ads, then you can upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $36 per year).
  • You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your website. If you run a high traffic site, then you can apply for their advertising program called WordAds where you share revenue with them. Premium and Business plan users can use WordAds right away.
  • You cannot upload plugins. Free plan users get built-in JetPack features pre-activated. Business plan users can install from a selection of compatible plugins ($299 / year). WordPress.com VIP program lets you install plugins, and it starts from $5000 per month.
  • You cannot upload custom themes. Free plan users can only install from the limited free themes collection. Premium and business plan users can also select premium themes. There are limited customization options for the free version. Premium and Business plan users can use custom CSS.
  • You are restricted to their stats. You cannot add Google Analytics or install any other powerful tracking platform. Business plan users can install Google Analytics.
  • They can delete your site at anytime if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
  • Your site will display a powered by WordPress.com link. It can be removed by upgrading to the Business plan.
  • WordPress.com does not offer any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.
  • You cannot build membership websites with WordPress.com.

As you can see, the WordPress.com hosting platform is quite limited when you’re on the free, personal, or even premium plan. To unlock some of the more advanced features, you have to be on the Business plan ($299 per year) or on the VIP plan ($5000 per month).

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (FAQs)

Since this is a popular topic, and WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners, we get tons of questions regarding WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We have done our best to answer the most frequently asked questions below:

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better?

If you are a personal blogger, and you don’t care about making money from your website, then go with the free WordPress.com.

If you are a business or a blogger that wants to make money from your site, then we recommend using the self-hosted WordPress.org. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to grow your website the way you want.

While you can get several advanced features with the WordPress.com Business plan ($299 / year for each website), you can make that money go much further on a self-hosted WordPress site which costs $46 per year.

In our expert opinion, WordPress.org is hands down the better platform. That’s the platform that every professional blogger, small business owner, and even big name brands likes Disney uses.

How do I start a WordPress.org Website?

To start a self-hosted WordPress website, you need a domain name and WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet such as google.com, wpbeginner.com, etc. Web hosting is where your website files are stored on the internet.

We recommend using Bluehost for hosting your website because they are one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. They’re also an official WordPress.org recommended hosting provider. Last but not least, they’re offering our users a free domain + 60% off on hosting.

For step by step instructions, you can checkout our free guide on how to make a website.

If you need help, WPBeginner team can even build your website for free. Learn more about how our free WordPress blog setup works.

Can I move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

Often new users who don’t know the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org end up starting with the free WordPress.com service. Once they see the limitations of the platform, they want to switch to “the Real WordPress” aka WordPress.org.

Yes, you can definitely switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and fairly easily move all of your content.

We have created a step by step guide on how to move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, or you can take advantage of our free blog setup servie, and we will transfer your blog for free.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Summary

The best way to think about the differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is the analogy of renting a house vs. owning a house.

WordPress.com is similar to renting a house. You have limited power and control over what you can and cannot do.

WordPress.org is like owning a house. Where you have full control, no one can kick you out, and you can do anything that you want.

Below is the summary of everything we discussed above in our self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison:

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Final Thoughts

The confusion created by the similar domains: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is quite unfortunate for beginners. There is a lot of history behind the decisions, and you can read more about that in our article how WordPress.com and WordPress.org are related.

Our hope is that you found this article helpful in understanding the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

We wish you all the best with your website and hope that you chose the right platform: WordPress.org.

If so, you may want to follow our guide on how to learn WordPress in 7 days or less.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better? (Comparison Chart) appeared first on WPBeginner.