WordPress powers over 35% of all websites so it makes sense for people to wonder if WordPress hosts websites. All websites need hosting somewhere, and it is not always very clear how to accomplish this when first starting with your new website. Let’s explore the details to get the answer.
Does WordPress Host Websites? WordPress is not a web hosting company. WordPress is the software that creates websites. WordPress .com has a service where you can create a starter website on its software platform. WordPress.org is the software & plugin directory for creating fully functional websites. Sites built with the WordPress.org software require hosting.
The difference between WordPress .com and WordPress.org can be confusing, so we will go into both of these services and then review some excellent hosting options for those just getting started with their WordPress website.
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When people talk about WordPress, they are usually talking about WordPress as software or the content management system for running websites.
When you look closer there are two parts to WordPress. WordPress. com and WordPress.org. The dot com part is software as a service company where you can run limited functionality websites. The .org part is the content management code or software and plugin directory.
WordPress. com is a service where you can set up a website, and they maintain it for you. This service is relatively limited. They have several levels of plans that range from free to $45/month. The free plans are limited and do not give you much control over your website.
WordPress.org is the code or software that creates a website and its features. WordPress.org does not do any website hosting. WordPress.org only provides the core word press.
They also have an extensive plugin directory that adds all kinds of functionality to your WordPress website.
WordPress. com can runs as software as a service. They have five different plans to choose from
- Free – Free
- Personal $4/month
- Premium $8/month
- Business $25/month
- eCommerce $45/month
As you move up in price, you move up in site storage and bandwidth. To get to a site with a good level of customizability, you will need to go with the business plan at $25 month.
Also, know if you choose to go with the free plan, your site will have ads displayed on it. For many having ads on the website is a deal-breaker. It just is not professional to have a business site that is also showing ads.
WordPress.org is the website where all of the software to create your website is developed. The core files, security, and code standards are all part of WordPress.org.
It is the hosting aspect that is not part of this site. You are on your own to find hosting for your site. They supply the code you provide the hosting.
Finding your hosting is a good thing. There are hundreds, if not thousands of hosting companies, so you will be able to find one that meets your site’s needs best.
In addition to the core WordPress files, they have an extensive plugin directory. This part of the site contains hundreds or thousands of plugins that add and extend the functionality of your website. It is the plugin directory that brings WordPress to life.
Hosting Options for Beginners
It is confusing getting started with WordPress. Now that you know the difference between wordpress. com and wordpress.org, you should have a good idea as to which service is best for you.
If a fully customizable and flexible website is the right choice, then you will need to find a hosting company for this site. Let’s talk about the best hosting options.
For those just getting started, we have three different recommendations. All are low cost, great for beginners, have the premium plans to move to as your site grows, and all have excellent customer support. The three companies are SiteGround, Bluehost, and CloudAccess.
Siteground was established in 2004 and has been a HUGE WordPress and open-source software supporter over the years. They now host millions of domains and have over 500 employees.
All of their staff is well versed in WordPress and happy to help answer any questions you might have along the way. Their servers are fast and reliable. We host a few of our websites with them currently.
Another one of the darlings of WordPress hosting is Bluehost. They are super easy to work with, have great prices, and a stable, reliable platform. We have hosted with them and had a great experience. If you look around, you will see many positive reviews.
They are a great company to get started with, and the prices are incredibly competitive. I will say if your site grows large, over 30,000 page views per month, you may want to consider switching to a different hosting company. While saying this, Bluehost is an excellent company to start hosting and website adventure.
CloudAccess is a company you may not have heard of, but we highly recommend them. They are more of a managed WordPress hosting company, which is a higher level than just basic hosting.
So when you signup, you will tell them you are running a WordPress site, and they will put you on a server cluster with only WordPress websites. Being on a WordPress site cluster allows them to configure the servers for WordPress optimally. They also are substantial WordPress supporters and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to hosting your website.
As you have learned, WordPress is the software that creates websites. Most of the time, website owners are using there own hosting and running a fully customizable WordPress install.
There are times where it makes sense to use the WordPress.com service to run a more limited version of WordPress.
If you have any questions or need more information, please post your questions in the comments, and we will get the question answered. Chance are if you have a question, 100 other people have that same question.
Steven Johnson, a WP Hosting Reviews senior editor, works from Atlanta and covers all things related to WordPress and Hosting.
He graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, has managed hosting companies and now builds WordPress and Joomla Websites for small to medium companies full time.