Last Updated on August 5, 2020
WordPress and SEO can be a confusing combo, especially if you don’t understand the difference between WP.com and WordPress.org. When creating a website (or a blog), your WP platform is a critical piece of the puzzle. As an analogy, it’s like leasing a car versus buying one. They each have their pluses and minuses. Choosing which one that’s right for your business depends upon what your goals and how you want to manage your online presence.
Let’s take a deeper look at what exactly WP is and explain the two flavors available:
- .com gives you a way to create a blog quickly without worrying about outside hosting and domain name registration.
- .org has all the tools you’ll need to set up a more robust website.
Great for hobbyists, family vacation bloggers and other recreational use, WordPress.com is the quick and easy way to take advantage of this awesome content management system (CMS).
Pros: This is the place to go if you’re looking to quickly start a blog with minimal fuss and financial investment. You can literally be up and running in minutes. You can pick from a wide variety of predefined templates and start your blog immediately. Your blog is hosted on their servers so they take care of all the technical back-end details.
Cons: One of the reasons you create an online presence — website and blog — is to create visibility for your business. Because your site is on their servers, any SEO equity built benefits WordPress and not your business. You’re limiting yourself to simply blogging, rather than a creating a site where you can sell your products or services.
This version is perfect for businesses who want a robust and stable platform for their website and blog. Compared to Joomla and Drupal, WP is the fastest growing CMS because of its ease of use and wide selection of functionality.
Pros: At .org you can get (for free) all the files you’ll need to install WordPress and fully integrate it. You can also select themes, plugins including add-ons like eCommerce solutions. WordPress and SEO is a winning combination when done right.
Cons: You can’t simply download WP and set up a website. You’ll also need to register a domain name and get a web hosting plan from a third-party provider. Usually, all of this costs less than $100 per year. You’ll also need some expertise to jump through the technical hoops. While the process is straightforward, there are ample opportunity for missteps, security being one of them, if you don’t know what you’re doing.
WordPress & an SEO Boost
In my opinion, WP and White Hat SEO go hand-in-hand. Because it organizes a site’s information so well, search engines like Google and Bing know exactly where to find the data they need to serve up a site during a search query. From what I’ve gathered during my 5+ years of helping businesses build and sustain SEO equity, WP provides approximately a 5% boost out of the box. While this may not seem like much, this is quite a competitive advantage as every little bit helps for SEO rankings.
My advice is that if you’re serious about your business, WordPress.org is really the best option. You get the most functionality, flexibility, and the benefit of a large pool of designers and developers that can work on your site. Not sure what questions to ask an online agency about creating a website? No problem. Use this list of interviewing questions before taking the plunge.