Accounts on Wordpress.com

This is the third in our WordPress and Web Development series. Click here for the previous article and here for the next one .

W e will familiarize ourselves with some of the layers we mentioned in previous lessons, using the free service offered by Wordpress.com. Wordpress.com does a lot of the heavy lifting for you - you don’t have to worry about where your computer is on the Internet, what its IP address is, where the database is that contains your data, who installs the WordPress application itself, and so on.

To use Wordpress.com, you simply need a web browser - the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox should all work - and a functioning email address. They have a free option, and also offer a number of paid plans.

It’s worth exploring the different services that Wordpress.com offers, for some of the price levels. The different price tiers (4, when this entry was written) relate to the various aspects of drawing revenue on a website, of extending a website built specifically with WordPress, and of the technical aspects involved in running any web server.

We’ll focus momentarily on one aspect of what the different levels buy you: the resources that go into creating a computer on the cloud that can act as a web server.

There are two major types of resources needed on a computer - the chips that run various instructions and computations; and storage space for the data that is accumulated over time. Technically, we refer to these two resources as compute and storage resources, respectively.

More specifically, compute resources tend to consist of resources needed to manage connections to the Internet, and those needed to perform operations on the server itself. Similarly, storage resources also break down into two typical parts: database storage, and disk storage.

In the 4 pricing tiers on Wordpress.com, each grants a different amount of disk space. In a website, disk space translates usually to videos and images - these take up the most space for any website, among the various digital assets needed to run it, and are usually not stored in the database.

The free tier also does not offer a custom domain name. To understand what that means, let’s move to the next section in this series - domain names.