I work exclusively in WordPress for umpteen technical reasons which I won’t bother your mind with, but namely:
- The code is clean and updated very regularly in line with security and performance
- It’s by far the most used CMS with more than 50% market share
- It’s built specifically for non-technical users. It’s my deep-seated belief that anyone who owns a website should be able to do basic things like update copy, swap imagery, and add pages/posts without having to grab a designer every time. I take great strides to build for ease, ensuring that clients can easily use the sites I deliver. Period.
Should I set up through WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
Let’s clear up one of the most common confusions for first-time WordPress site owners: .com vs .org?
WordPress.com: In the .com version of WordPress, you keep your website on WordPress’ servers rather than hosting it on your own. (Sort of like renting a pre-made apartment rather than using the template for that apartment on your own land.) It’s free, you can get up and running quickly, and it gives you a start on your site. Also, you don’t have to perform your own maintenance, as WordPress does that for you.
- You can’t upload custom themes or any plugins
- Unless you pay, you can’t use your own web address without the .wordpress.com attached
- Other restrictions include being unable to remove ads, which make it less than ideal for business use, and you are unable to have any ads of your own on your site.
WordPress.org: The .org version on the other hand lets you do just about anything you want.
(You own the house, and the land, and the right to do anything and everything your heart desires.) Web store? Sure! Membership site? Absolutely, bring it on. Control over SEO, branding, and customization? Yes, yes, and yes.
You can have any theme you like, any configuration of plugins you like, and any ads you feel like running at no extra cost.
The only real ‘drawback’:
- It isn’t fully free. WordPress itself is, but you do need to pay for a domain name / web address (not expensive, usually less than $20/year for the first year) and web hosting (pricing varies, you can get hosting for <$5/month if you like but it’s worth shopping around. I ADORE Flywheel, for example, and they’re $15-ish a month).
Needless to say, WordPress.org gets the WordPress Wizard seal of approval every single time.
How can I speed up my site?
Then, these steps will likely make the most impact:
- Remove or scale down images where you can. Don’t spend too long on this, but if you know there are any on key pages that you don’t actually need, removing them can have a positive impact on load speeds.
- Check your plugins to see which ones are performing poorly/slowing down your site by installing a plugin like WordPress Inspector. Either remove them entirely, or replace with a different plugin.