Wednesday, October 14, 2020

WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org ~ Again


Kudos to the WordPress gang in NE Arkansas!


What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

One of the attendees at last night's meetup was close to my age, and she was trying to understand the computer jargon and Internet terms that were being thrown her way... 

A New Analogy:

A Grocery Store ~ A Restaurant ~ A Kitchen 

The attendee's issue was that "WordPress" informed her that the connection between Facebook and her website was going to end later this month (October, 2020). 

The other participants (it was a Zoom meeting) were talking about how to use WordPress.org to do "self-hosting." They used terminology that made sense to the speakers but not to the attendee. To add to confusion, we eventually discovered that her website is hosted at WordPress-dot-com and everyone tried to explain that!

To me, the challenge was to define relationships to show how the pieces fit together. I came up with an analogy that took the discussion completely out of the computer world for a few moments:

A Grocery Store is the source of food. You pick the stuff you want, then take it somewhere to prepare it. If you want Italian, you pick up pasta. The take-away is that you shop here and prepare elsewhere.

A Kitchen is where you prepare the food you get from the grocery store. Most people think of a kitchen as being in their home, but it can be anywhere. For now, just consider it as a place different from a grocery store.

A Restaurant gets food from the grocery store, cooks in their kitchen, then serves it. You choose from a menu.

That's three different places dealing with the same thing in different ways: food.

My analogy was that WordPress.org was the Grocery Store, and a web hosting company provides a Kitchen.
  • The former (WordPress-dot-org) is the source of WordPress and many WordPress add-ons. 
  • The latter (kitchen) is where you prepare and use WordPress.

Where does WordPress.COM it fit in? 


WordPress.com is a restaurant! It's not a grocery store, and it's not your kitchen, either. There's a convenience factor, and probably knowledgeable staff available, but your choice is limited to what they decide to provide. You're probably out of luck if you want sushi at a Mexican restaurant. 
Other examples of sites that act like restaurants are Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and Shopify. You can search Google for "WordPress Alternatives."

Find a Kitchen


A web hosting company rents a kitchen. You pick up your own food, and you prepare it there. Examples of web hosting companies are Hostgator, GoDaddy, Bluehost and Siteground. There are thousands to choose from. (Technically, WordPress.com is a web hosting company.)

***

Meanwhile, back in Arkansas, the Meetup attendee finally understood what everyone was trying to tell her, and she had a better grasp of what she can do. Meanwhile, the other WordPress developers were nodding their heads in agreement to my analogy.






Yeah, yeah... I know the analogy has many holes. We don't "prepare" WordPress, we "configure" it. The analogy is intended to offer a non-technical explanation, and it works well for people born before 1980 - the boomer/gen-X crowd. (Do millennials cook?) 
My role is to help shop and to teach how to prepare the dinner....



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