Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
WordPress.com and WordPress.org
I’ve gotten a few questions about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress is blogging software and it comes in two main flavors. .Org is the place to go to download the free WordPress software to run on your own server. In this flavor you can modify the code (php and modules built using other languages) and install thirdparty plugins, themes, and other goodies.
WordPress.com is where you go to start and run a free online blog. Here you have a bit less customization available but you also avoid the headaches of hosting and maintaining the software on your own server. For beginners, WordPress.com is probably the place to start. Read more at WordPress.com.
Community over mass customization
The concept of mass customization has always been interesting to me. It’s the idea that we want custom products as long as they are not too different from what everyone else has…or more expensive. In my web work I’m often trying to balance the demand for custom work with the need to keep costs under control.
A recent radio interview caught my ear because the guest has just completed a book about the decline of Starbucks…the epitome of mass customization. Starbucks is a great example because people are able to place unique coffee orders (customization) and receive their item immediately within a cost range no different from their peers (mass marketing). Hanging out in a Starbucks or sipping from a branded cup imbues hipness. It communicates that you have $4 a day to spend on coffee, insist on only the best, and know what you want.
But, the value of that image is declining because coffee and coffee houses meant something very different before Starbucks. People are remembering that for hundreds of years coffee houses have been places where people gather to discuss, debate, assemble and find community. The allure of mass customization is giving way to the simple yearning for simple human contact.
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko