Battle of the WordPress Platforms. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org vs Rainmaker

Hakkeyoi (はっけよい)!

Let the CMS Battle Royale begin

Do you ever feel like being in business is a fight for your life? We both know the marketplace is an arena for competition. And to win this battle you need to be at the top of your game. Having better marketing than your opponents is essential to success.

A well thought out, and strategic marketing plan gives you an advantage and makes you the favorite to win. This content strategy is the game plan you need to stick to to bring home the prize.

Your website and blog are two of your most precious business assets. In fact, with a well-designed integration, they are the most valuable marketing asset you own.  And they should be the home and heart of your content marketing efforts. They are where you execute most of your content marketing strategy.

In my opinion, you should only trust them with WordPress.

This substantial post (2500 words) will compare the WordPress.com, WordPress.org and Rainmaker WordPress platforms. Read on to see which is just right for your business or personal blog. If you don’t have time now, bookmark it and read it later. And I would recommend doing so on your desktop, laptop or tablet. This decision is crucial for your business.

Let’s start with a quick point about WordPress as a site and blogging platform.

As I said in a previous post about WordPress:

It is the best CMS (Content Management System) for small business.

More than 25 percent of the world’s websites are built and run on WordPress. And that percentage is increasing every day. WordPress itself says, “over 409 million people view more than 15.8 billion pages each month” on the platform. Matt Mullenweg started it in 2003.

It is open-source software. That means the software is free, and it is a database driven platform. A worldwide network of developers, designers, and companies like Mobile Atom Media support WordPress. Many of these dedicated souls are continually building website themes for WordPress. And even more developers build “plugins” to add functionality to it.

WordCamps occur yearly in cities across the globe. They are where bloggers, developers, and designers can learn even more about it. WordPress.tv has hundreds of videos covering almost every aspect of it. The site, codex.wordpress.org, has everything there is possible to know about it.

There are several versions of a WordPress website or blog. They include WordPress.org sites, WordPress.com sites, and customized versions of WordPress. The Rainmaker platform is one of the later.

I have clients on all three platforms and which one is best for you will depend on your unique business needs. This post aims to help you make that decision.

No matter which platform you use, it is best to have a professional assist you with setting it up. Theme selection, plugin selection, widget choice and placement, typography, search optimization, hosting, speed, security and your site’s aesthetics are all things that can benefit from the attention of a pro. Hint, this is what we do at Mobile Atom Media. 😉

So what are the differences in the three platforms?

WordPress.com – the Makushita (幕下) division of WordPress CMSs

To paraphrase from my previous post:

Matt Mullenweg’s company, Automattic, hosts WordPress.com sites. The hosting is free. … Your web address (also known as your URL) would be your website domain.wordpress.com. There are around two hundred themes to choose from, but you can’t customize them for free.

You will only have the functionality Automattic provides. And you cannot add any plugins developed by third-party developers. It also has a limited amount of storage capacity for your content. And if Automattic wants to, they can run ads of their choosing on your site.

You can pay Automattic for extra functionality. Showing your website domain.com rather than your website domain.wordpress.com is an example. You can pay to have a customizable theme, extra storage space, email support, and as of August 2017 third-party plugins and themes.

At this point, it is going to cost you what a basic WordPress.org site would. But, you will not have the complete control of a WordPress.org self-hosted site.

The advantage is that you do not have to maintain the site by updating the operating software and themes. If you are a small service-oriented business, a WordPress.com site can work well for you.

If you only want a personal blog, it is perfect for you. It can also work well for small service oriented businesses.

WordPress.org – the Jūryō (十両) division of WordPress CMSs

Again, to paraphrase my previous post:

A WordPress.org site uses the free WordPress software that the site owner downloads, sets up and pays a service to host. You have complete control over it. Choose from thousands of customizable themes and plugins to get the exact look and functionality you want.

You select your hosting service and can integrate it with your email provider. You will have to maintain the site by updating the operating software, theme, and plugins. It is the content marketing home you own. It is your house and can be as big as you want it to be.

WordPress.org is what most businesses use, including ones in the Fortune 100.

Rainmaker – the Makuuchi (幕内) division of WordPress CMSs

Rainmaker is a WordPress platform that lets you:

get more power from WordPress with less hassle. Build powerful content-driven websites, start a sophisticated membership program, sell digital goods the smarter way, and much more. Even better, never waste valuable time with plugins, complicated code, hosting, maintenance, or upgrades.

With these descriptions in mind, let’s jump into the details and differences. If you need to, select the screenshots to see a larger version in a new browser tab. We will be looking at WordPress dashboards as well as page and post editors.

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