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 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.
- 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?
Find a Kitchen
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?)