Are you looking to set up a new site or a blog for your existing site? If you are changes are you’re looking at WordPress as a simple and yet powerful tool for managing both blogs and complete websites.
However, one question which I’ve been asked before is about the flexibility of this tool for managing your site design. The concern often raised is that there are only a limited number of templates and as such you’ll be stuck with the same site look and feel and other sites and that you can’t make your new blog look as you would like it too.
For me this is a question which throws me “How can I use WordPress when I know what I want my site to look like and WordPress only has a limited number of templates which can’t be changed?” The reason for my perplexed response is that there is a simple answer to this question, WordPress CAN be customised. Our site uses WordPress and you can see that we’ve customised this to look and feel as we would like it too and you can do this too.
All you need to do to is customise one of the themes (which is like a templates) available from WordPress. You can even buy themes from companies or pay someone to do this design work for you.
So where does this belief that you can’t customise WordPress come from? Well there are actually two services available from WordPress. One of these options is on WordPress.com and is the easiest to use for people with no experience of using WordPress or other CMS systems.
WordPress.com blogs are hosted by WordPress meaning that your blog is on their system and you only have access to limited functionality, including templates. This DOES mean that you don’t have the functionality to customise your blog as much and are limited to a set of themes provided by WordPress – which is where this belief comes from.
Personally the only time I’d use this version of WordPress would be if I was running a personal blog and not if I was running a blog for a company or looking to run an entire site on this platform.
However, if you are planning to run and entire site or a blog on your own site then you will want more functionality and so you want to use the other WordPress version available on WordPress.org. This allows you to place WordPress on your own site and customise it fully.
The other thing to consider when choosing which version of WordPress to use is the type of site you are running. At the moment sites on WordPress.com are not able to display any form of moneymaking such as AdSense and this includes affiliate links so if you are a personal blogger and you are thinking of making a bit of money from your blog it’s probably best to go with a site you host yourself from WordPress.org which doesn’t have this limitation.
Something else to note about the WordPress hosted sites is that if you want to host audio files or music you will need to buy some additional space from WordPress as the standard free space from WordPress won’t be enough for you.
So there you go, if you want to run a website and company blog on WordPress you will need to use your own hosting but by doing this you will be able to fully customise the look and feel of your website and apart from the domain registration and hosting cost (which you’d have to pay even if you didn’t use WordPress) this service is still free.
Don’t forget once you’ve built your site we’ve given a lot of advice for the SEO of your WordPress blog including what plugins to use to help with performance of your new site.
I hope this blog has hoped to reassure you that from a business point of view, if you use the right version, WordPress will allow you to design a site which looks and feels as you would want it to.