I received a question today via email from someone I met at WordCamp Detroit 2011. First, go to these things. The next WordCamp Detroit is October 6, 2012. They are great educational events. And if you know a few things and are pleasant to people, they will remember (and recommend!) you.
Second, the question reminded me just how much ignorance and confusion still exists about WordPress.
Here’s the question:
I was wondering what the difference is between BlueHost and WordPress.org when it comes to hosting my site (or blog). When I spoke with Blue Hosts’s tech support last night, they told me that there was no difference between Blue Host and WordPress.org—and that I would be getting the exact same thing, but there’s quite a price difference between Blue Host ($142) and wordpress.org ($13 a year with my domain already purchased elsewhere). Is there any truth to this?
Well, yes, there is some truth to this, but the question is also like comparing apples and paring knives (yes, lunch is overdue as I write this): You need both to serve a delicious snack, but they are very different things.
First, let’s make a distinction between WordPress and hosting.
- WordPress is free (the meaning of free could fill another blog post) publishing software. It runs on a web server and manages and publishes website and blog information.
- Hosting is a service where a computer with special software is connected to the internet to share web pages, manage email accounts, store files, etc.
WordPress, which is free software, runs on a server, which costs money.