Were you aware that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are actually 2 different things ? Yeah there are differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org but most of the time, users especially beginners tend to confuse them. This confusion can lead them choosing the wrong platform for managing their activities. In this article I will Briefly talk about WordPress.com vs WordPress.org bringing out their differences by comparing them based on advantages and disadvantages.
This is in order to help you to make a better choice on which one to use when building your blog or website.
It’s a hosting service created by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress.
It has 5 plans as am writing this article
- The Free plan – Limited
- The Personal plan ($4/month)
- The Premium plan ($8/month)
- Business plan ($25/month)
- E-commerce plan ($45/month)
Here is a screenshot
Let’s dive into it’s pros and cons.
What Benefits in using WordPress.com ?
This platform is good for a simple blogger. Someone who does not expect to have more storage ( free plan is up to 3GB you pay to upgrade) or make money. So if blogging is a hobby for you, you can opt for WordPress.com.
- WordPress.com manages your backups and updates so you don’t need to worry about that.
- It ‘s free and hosting is free. But however if you wish to get more features you need to upgrade to one of the plans above based on what you want.
Unfortunately WordPress.com tends to have more disadvantages than benefits. I have listed some below.
- You can’t really make money if you are using a free plan. In order to place an Ad in your website, you must apply for their WordAds program. But luckily if you opt for their Business plan you can directly add their ads.
- If you have good traffic, WordPress.com places their Ads to your website and the only way to remove it is by upgrading your plan.
- The free WordPress.com domain name comes with the brand name WordPress.com in your domain that is http://yourdomain.wordpress.com. To get a custom domain you need to upgrade your plan.
- If you have a free plan, you will always get the “Powered by WordPress” in your website’s footer. Equally to stop seeing that you need to upgrade.
- It does not offer any e-commerce feature unless you switch to the e-commerce plan. Also you cannot build a membership website with it.
- You cannot upload plugins. Free plan users can use some of the activated features in Jetpack. As for Business plans, they have the possibility to choose from some selected variety of plugins presented to them. There is also a special program called WordPress.com VIP which lets you install plugins starting from $5000 per month.
- You cannot upload themes. Free plan users have a limited number of themes (usually 4) and they cannot upload a theme. Premium and Business plan users can use premium themes as well as add custom CSS to customize their theme.
- You cannot install Google Analytic or use any other powerful tool to track traffic on your website. Although Business plans can install Google Analytics.
Now let’s compare these with WordPress.org.
This is a self-hosted platform that requires you to purchase your own domain and hosting. It’s 100% free and open source. As i said earlier you just need a domain name and a web hosting service.
In the next section I will outline some of it’s advantages as well as disadvantages.
Why should I use WordPress.org ?
- Firstly, using WordPress.org you have full control of your website, you can do whatever you like ( this does not mean you should carry out illegal activities), customize as you want.
- You can add free or paid plugins and themes. You can equally create your own plugins and themes and use them.
- Data on the website is owned by you. Nobody will turn off your website (unless you haven’t paid for your monthly or yearly hosting) as long as you don’t do something illegal.
- As I said above you can upload plugins, you also have the possibility to install Google Analytics since WordPress.com does not offer you that.
- Isn’t it great that you can make money online ?
Amazing right ? This is possible by running your own ads on your website and you won’t have to share your revenue with anyone. Check on some programs like Google AdSens. But there are many other ways.
By the way if you already have a website make sure to read my article on 4 easy ways to bring great traffic to your website. Getting traffic can also help and encourage other brands to advertise on your website.
- A documentation is available for you to use and many forum are there to answer your questions
- Lastly but not the least you can create your own online store and some tools such as WooCommerce are available, easy to use and help you manage your store. You can also manage payment directly from your website.
As usual nothing good comes alone. Let’s talk about some of the bad ones.
As we said above, this is a self-hosted platform, so you need to purchase a domain and hosting account. The web hosting is where all the files, databases of your website are stored. Also choosing a good plan is important and it depends on what you intend to do now and later. However many web hosting platforms offer different kinds of plans and some of them offer discounts for a year or two. If you don’t have enough budget I recommend you use Godaddy hosting (they offer affordable plans)But you can also use Bluehost, Hostgator or any other web hosting.
Take note that as your website grows so will be the cost of hosting. But since you will be able to make enough money you can compensate for that.
Here comes the end with WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. I hope I was able to help detect the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. When choosing which one to use, make sure you study your requirements thoroughly so that you can choose the one that will be more beneficial to you. Here is a little summary
When should I use WordPress.com ?
Do you blog as a hobby ? Are you not interested in earning some money ? Then choose WordPress.com.
When should I use WordPress.org ?
Are you a business owner, professional blogger ? Do you want full control ? Do you need money ? WordPress.org is the answer.