WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Difference

by Rob W. on 15 June, 2012 · 1 comment

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free software program (Content Management System) that anyone can use to build and maintain a website or blog. It is used by millions of people and companies around the world.

What’s the main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

The software is exactly the same. The only difference is where you are going to have the software installed.

WordPress.com = your blog or website is hosted by WordPress on their servers.
WordPress.org = The place where you can download the software (for free). You then have to install it on your own servers or with a hosting company.

What are the Pros of Cons of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?

WordPress.com Pros (Benefits)

  • 100% free (though you can pay for additional Premium Features)
  • simple set up (mainly click here and there a few times and its ready, no need to worry about the technical set up)
  • maintenance is done by WordPress. This includes upgrades of software, backups of your content, general security and comment spam that is taken care of
  • Site is hosted over hundreds of servers so sudden spikes in traffic will not cause it to go down
  • Dashboard is secure (SSL) making it safer to log in when on shared networks
  • Around 200 themes to choose from which can be customized

WordPress.com Cons (Against)

  • You currently can only host up to 3GB on your website
  • You cannot upload your own custom theme; only use one of the themes they provide.
  • For the technical guys, you can’t change the php code.
  • You cannot upload plugins (there are many cool plugins to make your website better)
  • WordPress sometimes shows ads on your site and revenue is for them, not you.
  • You cannot show any of your own ads (including google ads, affiliate links etc)
  • You cannot have sponsored posts or any other way of monetizing your blog.
  • A WordPress.com link appears at the bottom of your pages. Even VIP websites cannot remove this link.

WordPress.org Pros (Benefits)

  • You can upload your own themes (and go crazy with the design)
  • You can upload one of the thousands of plugins that are available (it’s like pimping your page)
  • For those that know coding, you can dig into the code and make as many changes as you like.
  • You can monetize your blog with advertisements, affiliate products etc. and all of the revenue is for you.

WordPress.org Cons (Against)

  • You have to install WordPress yourself (some hosting companies offer a multi-click process to make it easier)
  • You have to pay for your own hosting (at least $4 a month)
  • You have to stop your own comment spam (though you can use WordPress’s spam filter for a fee)
  • You have to back up all of your files
  • You must make sure you update the software when new versions of it become available
  • Sudden spikes in visitors may cause the site to go down unless you have a decent hosting company

Sometimes you have a little of the best of both worlds by using the premium features of WordPress.com

WordPress.com Premium Features

Even though WordPress.com may appear like you are limited in what you can do to your blog to make it more interesting, you do have the possibility to include Premium Features to your website, of course at a price. The following premium features are charged on a yearly basis:

Your own domain name:
When you sign up for a WordPress.com blog, you’ll create a URL like mycoolblogname.wordpress.com. However, WordPress does offer the possibility to use your own domain name like mycoolblogname.com (called Domain mapping) though it currently costs around $13 per year.

Extra Storage
You currently can host up to 3GB on your website though if you need more you can have up to 200GB.

You can upload videos and they convert them to the right formats for sharing with a great minimalist player design

No Advertisements
Adverts usually appear on the free website so if you would like to be able to turn them off, then you have this feature.

Custom Design
This upgrade allows you to play with the blog fonts via a point-and-click interface but you can also use CSS for more advanced design.

Notice how many of these features would be free if you use WordPress on your own hosting.

What I recommend

If you are new to blogging, creating websites or WordPress in general, then you may want to create a practice website on WordPress.com to experiment with how it works etc. This is an ideal path if you are doing this as a hobby, for an online journal or for a local club without any intention of making any money from the blog or website. Also later you can decide to stay with them or if you want more flexibility, to use WordPress with another hosting company.

If you are more serious and you want to be able to create a more professional website then I personally prefer to have it on my own domain with the flexibility to do whatever I like with the website and that is when you would want to go with WordPress.org. You can download the latest version of WordPress and install it on your own servers. Note, many hosting companies have a “one-click” installation process for WordPress to make it easy to set your new website up.

Just so you know, this website uses WordPress on its own servers.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 comment }

james March 31, 2013 at 11:05 pm

This is really good to read. I have spent some time searching for answers to this question, and with your description, .org is for me! thank you!

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