A new person in the field of blogging will definitely get confused when he is told that there is a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
This confusion happens because differentiating two things that bear the same parent name is a hitch. Hence the question abounds: What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
As someone who has used both WordPress.com and WordPress.org, I think I am in a good position to answer this question.
In this article, I will be giving a clear difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, while also giving their pros and cons.
Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are similar in their functions but they are still two different platforms of WordPress.
They both serve the same content management system (CMS). However, the primary difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who is doing the hosting of the website.
What this simply means is that, if you are using WordPress.com, then the burden of hosting your website will not be carried by you but by WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is self-hosted. Hence, you bear all the burdens and responsibilities involved in hosting and managing your website yourself.
To give you a better picture of what I mean, we will consider them separately in brief and also look at their pros and cons.
If you want to host your blog or website yourself, which also implies getting a custom domain name, WordPress.org is the place where you will go and download the WordPress software with which you will use to manage your content.
This is only necessary if your web hosting company has not provided a means where you can quickly install it from your cPanel. This is why I always recommend Bluehost for hosting your website.
Advantages and Disadvantages of WordPress.org
For someone who intends to go into blogging, it is important you know the advantages and disadvantages of your preferred blogging platform.
Having said this, let’s now consider some of the advantages of using WordPress.org.
Advantages of WordPress.org
1. WordPress.org is a free platform; anybody can download the software, install it, and begin to use it. You don’t have to pay anybody for using the software.
2. WordPress.org offers you complete control over your website and all the content. You do not have to worry about anyone shutting your site down, because it’s completely owned by you. Provided you don’t engage in illegal activities.
3. If you seek a platform that allows you the opportunity to monetize your site as you please, then WordPress.org is the platform.
With WordPress.org, you decide how to monetize your site. Whether through ads network, affiliate marketing, etc. I mean you have complete control over your ads.
4. You can customize your site as you please with this platform. There are thousands of free and paid themes you can use and give your site any kind of looks you desire.
5. You can also extend your site functionality with this platform. For instance, you can create an online store to sell your products and services.
You can also create a forum, a news website, a Portfolio, etc. Whatever kind of website you desire to build can easily be achieved by just installing the right plugin.
Talking of WordPress.org is incomplete without mentioning its disadvantages.
Disadvantages of WordPress.org
1. Though WordPress.org is free software, however, you will need hosting and a domain name to use it. Hence, you get to pay yearly hosting and domain fees.
That is not all, as your site traffic increases, you will also have to upgrade your hosting plan.
2. Since you are in total control of your website, the responsibilities of updating your site themes and plugins fall on you.
3. Backing up your site and its content and protecting it from attacks, is completely your responsibility when using WordPress.org.
WordPress.com offers hosting services unlike in WordPress.org where you purchase web hosting services for yourself.
WordPress.com offers bloggers a free and paid hosting services like other blogging platforms (Blogger, Tumblr, etc) do. Either of the above free or paid hosting is accessed through WordPress.com.
Under the free plan, your domain name will have a ‘.wordpress.com’ link. Also, you are denied access to some features like plugins and custom themes unless you switch to a paid plan.
The paid plans for WordPress.com are as follows:
- Personal – $36/year
- Premium – $99/year
- Business – $299/year wit
- VIP – starting from $5000/month
A new blogger can start for free and upgrade to any of the paid plans later.
Advantages and Disadvantages of WordPress.com
Let’s start with the advantages of WordPress.com before looking at some of the disadvantages.
Advantages of WordPress.com
The free plan is absolutely OK for those whose hobby is blogging or writing and wants to push out their work out there without having to spend any money. However, you will only have access to up to 3 GB space.
WordPress.com takes care of updating our site and every necessary backup. That’s pretty a good load off your shoulder.
Disadvantages of WordPress.com
Under the free plan, WordPress will place their ads on your site; you don’t benefit from the ads. Hence the idea of making money through blogging isn’t obtainable under this plan unless you upgrade to their plan.
You don’t have access to plugins and custom themes. You only work with what is provided.
Attached to your blog domain too is a .wordpress.com links. This makes your site looks unprofessional. You can remove it by upgrading to the paid plan.
You cannot build a membership or e-commerce site with the free wordpress.com.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Which is Better?
Now you know the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, the next question you will want to ask is between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, which is better?
The objective answer to this question is simple. WordPress.org is better. However, your choice should be based on the kind of site you intend to build and your budget.
If you don’t want to spend any money to start a blog, you just want to try it out, you can start with the free WordPress.com plan.
On the other hand, if you plan on making money from your blog, then WordPress.org is what you should go for.
Also, building an advanced WordPress website requires access to plugins and themes that you won’t have with WordPress.com unless you upgrade to their Business plan of $299/year.
However, $299/year is way too much when compared to owning your own self hosted WordPress website with just $47.
My intention for stating out the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is for you to be better informed and choose the self-hosted version (WordPress.org) for your blog.
Creating a self-hosted (WordPress.org) blog is very easy and also affordable. As a matter of fact, with just $47, you can create your own WordPress website.
Learn how to create a WordPress website with our step by step guide and get your site up and running in less than 30mins.