how to set up a reunion website. wordpress .com or .org with paypal?
WordPress is an amazing platform for the creation of websites, although it can be confusing when you first look into it. WordPress isn’t a company, it doesn’t have a location, it has no phone number to call. What exactly is it?
WordPress is a free tool, open-source, which means that the code is online and available to everyone, who can then enhance or modify it as they please. You can download the software, and get a blogging site up fairly quickly. Even though there is no central location, there are hundreds of resources, tutorials, and help to be found online.
C&O recently offered volunteer help with a reunion website for The Raoul Company National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera, and we began with a WordPress.com account, which is known as the free WordPress platform. You can set up a domain name (We chose phantomreunion.wordpress.com) which has free hosting and has wordpress.com at the end of the address.
Alternatively, there is the option of signing up with Worpress.org. Under this WordPress platform, you must purchase a domain and you have to figure out your own hosting. So why move to WordPress.org, and pay for what is free?
With the Phantom site, we set up our free .com account and downloaded a free template, available from the WordPress Appearance interface. This simple format was fine for us. However, we ran into too many limitations and complications when we wanted to do more with Paypal options.
With a free WordPress.com account, you are allowed to post a Paypal button for donations. We needed to post a button for ticket sales, a button for t-shirt sales, and also options for each of these such as sizes and amounts. We also like having full control of our site code, being able to customize things, and using the many free WordPress tools available to .org users, called “Plug-ins”. If there is something you do not understand how to code, it is fairly likely that a Plug-in can be installed to do the job for you.
Fortunately, we have hosting resources. We were able to use a domain of our own that is currently in development, and set up the .org site there. (Hence the url: “LifeinthisMoment/PhantomReunion”). For a one night event, and setting it up for free, we didn’t think this was a bad compromise.
In the end, it is the customization of a site that convinces us to go with WordPress.org for all of the sites that we develop. If a website is of value to a client who wants to establish a solid presence on the web, this choice has all the function required.
In a nutshell, these are our favorite reasons to sign up for WordPress.org:
• Use of any themes, free or purchased
• Purchased themes often come with extensive support
• Use of any plug-ins, free or purchased
• Use of FTP for uploading files
• Full control of your site, with no advertising for someone else
• Storage space is not limited, you set up storage with your hosting server
• Third party programs, such as Google AdSense and Google Analytics
One last development note: With full control over your own sites, you must be aware of maintenance issues. Making sure your site is secure, backing up your site, and maintaining your site are part of the job, and well worth it for the reward of a unique and customized online home.