When I first got started with blogging I was confused between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and am sure most of you beginners are confused too.
Do you know what WordPress is? WordPress is a Content management system. Most bloggers including me use it to write and manage our blog post.
Wikipedia definition of what is WordPress.
Now that you know what a WordPress is do you know the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
Most people don’t know that there is difference and often they assume its the same. Knowing the difference between the two can help you determine which type of service to use.
Before we jump into the difference, lets get to know why you should use WordPress as your Content Management System
Reasons why you should use WordPress.
- Lower setup and maintenance costs
- The most popular CMS in the world
- Open Source with room for expansion
- Highly customizable for great flexibility
- Designed for anyone, not just developers
Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
To understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org we should look at each program on its own and understand it.
What is it?
WordPress.com is one specific “website as a service” implementation built on the WordPress.org software. WordPress.com hosts your site and handles everything for you, but at the expense of some flexibility.
It is created by the co-founder of WordPress. Matt Mullenweg.
WordPress.com is a for-profit business owned by Automattic that uses the WordPress.org open source software.
WordPress.com hosting service has 5 plans.
- Free Plan but limited
- Personal – $36 per year
- Premium – $99 per year
- Business – $299 per year
What is contained in the Free plan.
The free plan is limited and I don’t recommend for people to use it if the want to make money from their blog or for business purposes.
- In this plan you use a sub-domain of WordPress. e.g yourdomainname.wordpress.com
- It displays WordPress.com Ads.
- Has limited storage space.
If you use the paid plans, you’ll be able to use your own domain name and remove the ads, but you’re still limited in what you can do with your site.
Pros of WordPress.com
- Its has a Free plan of up-to 36 GB of space.
- The paid plans are cheaper than other hosting providers.
- The WordPress.com team take cares of Update and security so you don’t have to worry.
- It’s easy to start using it.
Cons of WordPress.com
They are only few benefits for using this type of hosting but the disadvantages of using is a lot.
Here are the disadvantages of using it even if its the paid plan.
- You are given limited storage.
- They place ads on all free websites.
- You are not allowed to sell ads on your websites.
- You cannot upload or customize themes to your liking.
- They can delete your website at any given time without notice.
- WordPress.com does not offer any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.
- You are restricted to their stats
- You cannot build membership websites with WordPress.com.
When and Who to use the WordPress.com
- If you are a beginner and want to learn how to blog.
- If you don’t have any money to purchase hosting.
- Blogging as a hobby.
It’s also called Self-hosted WordPress. It is an open source WordPress software.
Anyone can download and use it for free. WordPress.com uses this Software in their hosting. You need to purchase your hosting and domain name to use it.
Pros of using WordPress.org.
- It’s simple and easy to use.
- It’s free to download and use.
- You are fully in control.
- You can customize its theme to your liking.
- Adding free or paid third party plugin.
- You can monetize your site.
- Create an online store is possible.
- You can add other analytics to check site statistics e.g google analytics.
Cons of using WordPress.org
- You need a hosting provider.
- You are responsible for updates and security.
- Back up responsibility is yours
This how WordPress.org looks like
Note: The cost of running WordPress.org varies with which kind of website you are creating e.g the cost of running a blog is cheap compared to the cost of running a E-commerce website.
Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com which is better?
It depends with the purpose of your blog or website. Do you want to make money?
If your are a personal blogger or you blog as a hobby and you don’t want to make money from it the use WordPress.com
But if your main goal for your blog or website is to make money from it eventually then I highly recommend you go with WordPress.org.
The business plan in WordPress.com cost $299 per year and for the same amount you can get a Self-hosted site of more than three years in Bluehost.
Using WordPress.org is much cheaper if you compare to the paid plans of WordPress.com.
Since I started blogging I have used WordPress.org in all my website and it’s the hands down the best Content Management System.
WordPress.org is used by big brands all over the world as its easy to use and navigate in compared to WordPress.com.
Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Most people don’t know the difference between the two and they end up starting in WordPress.com and eventually they decide to move to WordPress.org.
Its possible to move from your website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Moving from one platform to another may be too technical to others but it’s not that hard.
If you started with WordPress.com and want to move this is how to move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. or if you have not started you can learn how to start a blog from scratch with these easy steps.
The confusion created with the two types of WordPress platform often makes it hard beginner to start a blog.
But I hope with these article I have helped in some way to differentiate between them.
feel free if you have any question you can ask me here or catch me Twitter and I will respond to your questions.
When you started blogging which platform did you start using and which one are you using now?