If you are new to WordPress, you might have been wondering about it – WordPress.org or WordPress.com? Is there any difference in the first place? A frequent and rather reasonable point of confusion, this question is faced by every beginner. It gets difficult to choose which one is right for you when you have these two splendid and powerful blogging tools as your options. In this article, we will simplify the confusion and understand the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com in detail.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
To say in a super simplified way, WordPress.org is where you host your own website and get everything done yourself. Yes, I mean “everything” – from getting a domain name and WordPress installation to adding a theme and other plugins. You have complete access and full control of each and every corner of your website.
On the other hand, on WordPress.com, all the scrupulous jobs are done by WordPress team. All that you need to do is to just focus on the content. But there is more than what meets the eye. There are several other considerations to be discussed about when comparing WordPress.org vs WordPress.com, and those are mentioned below.
Understanding The Difference Right
Understanding both of them will help you make an informed choice between the two.
1. Hosting and Domain Name
Let us understand who is the server host in both of these variants of WordPress, and learn about domain name that you have in both the cases.
In WordPress.org you host your website yourself. You will need a hosting provider for that, and that requires you to pay. There are many good hosting providers for WordPress.
You can choose any domain name you want for your website.
WordPress.com relieves you of any need to find a hosting provider. It itself hosts your website. What I mean is your website is hosted on WordPress server. You don’t have to look for a web host.
In the free version you get a domain name of the type – yourdomainname.wordpress.com. However, you can have a custom domain name by paying a fee.
Both of the blogging tools come at some cost. Let us see what are the things you have to pay for, in both the cases.
The WordPress software is free to download from WordPress.org. However, as mentioned earlier, hosting your website comes with a price tag. The price may vary from host to host, and the type of hosting you choose like shared, VPS or dedicated.
Though you will have many free themes and plugins. But there are premium versions of them too.
In WordPress.com, though most of the features come for free, you will have to pay for additional features like removal of third party ads from your website, extra storage, custom design package, etc. Again, you have a choice among themes, some of which will require you to pay for them.
Let us look at the plans offered by WordPress.com:
- Free – With the Free Plan, you have WordPress.com subdomain and hundreds of free themes. The storage is 3GB. But there will be incessant ads and a lot will be missing that paid plans come with.
- Premium – With the Premium Plan, you have your custom domain. The storage is increased to 13GB. Because you are paying them, there is an email and live support. You won’t be nagged with advertisements. Also, there is space for hosting audio and video files.
- Business – You will get everything that Premium Plan offers. In addition, you have unlimited storage, unlimited premium themes and Google analytics.
To know more of the plans, visit here.
3. Customization Options
As a blogger, you would want that, to manage each and everything about your blog. So, make an informed choice between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, if you want complete control into your hands.
When it comes to WordPress.org vs WordPress.com customization, WordPress.org certainly has the upper hand. It lets you choose, add and modify every little nook of your website. Additional features come in the form of “plugins”. You have the freedom to choose from tons of themes and plugins for your website. And what more, if that’s not enough, you can yourself create themes and plugins or simply tweak around the codes of the existing ones to suit your needs!
In this case WordPress.com might seem a little dull as it doesn’t let you customize in details. Although you can opt for the paid “Custom Design” package, it still doesn’t come at par with the freedom one gets on WordPress.org. You can choose from hundreds of themes, however, there is no provision of plugins as such. Functionalities of most of the popular plugins on WordPress.org are already integrated in WordPress.com.
Protecting your website against any malware, sudden breakdown, or hacks is important. However in both the blogging tools, the degree of responsibility on your shoulders differs.
While using WordPress.org, since you have complete control over your website, the responsibility of its maintenance also rests on your shoulders only. It is your job to ensure that you take regular backups and install necessary security patches. Also, the uptime and downtime of your website depends on your hosting server. So you should choose your hosting provider wisely.
None of this headache is yours in WordPress.com. Premium hosting, security, and backups – everything is taken care of by WordPress. You don’t have to worry about any sudden breakdown of your website or any other security issue such as getting hacked, etc.
Technical setbacks can happen any moment. Important is that they are addressed with alacrity by support forums.
With thousands of advanced and experienced developers included in its vast user base, WordPress.org provides a great support. With its ever active support forums and several guide documentations, one can be sure to find solutions to their queries and problems on WordPress.org. You get all of this without any cost.
On WordPress.com too, support forums have proven to be remarkably good in terms of responsiveness and the beginner-friendly documentation. Users who have upgraded versions of WordPress.com can also get personal support.
6. Plugins And Themes
If you are looking for your blog’s optimization, then you need plugins. Plugins have been written for your every need on WordPress.
WordPress.org support free/premium plugins and themes. The plugins will improve the functionality of your website extensively. Plugins for security, SEO, updates, and a lot more can be installed on your WordPress.org website to improvise your blogging.
With WordPress.com, this will be missing. There will be some features you can make use of, but maximizing the potential of your blog won’t be possible. Even with paid plans of WordPress.com, you won’t have what you have with WordPress.org
WordPress.org or WordPress.com – Which is Right for me?
We put forward the comparison of WordPress.org vs WordPress.com and discussed about the differences. Now it’s time for you to choose which one suits you right. Analyse what do you want from your website/blog. Is it money? Or are you an amateur blogger, writing in your spare time?
Go For WordPress.com
If you want a simple, hassle-free blogging experience, WordPress.com is the one that you need. With it’s easy yet splendid user interface, you can bring out the best in you and showcase to the world. WordPress.com offers you an inexpensive, and clutter free method to share your work and connect with others.
Go For WordPress.org
On the other hand, if you want a flipped version of WordPress.com, if you want to explore the awesome world of WordPress in your very own, customized style – choose nothing else but WordPress.org. In fact, if you want a professional website, this is exactly what you need. With WordPress.org the sky is the limit. Blogging would be an adventure with you diving into new fruitions at each step.
To be honest, you cannot maximize the potential of your blog without WordPress.org. As a beginner, WordPress.com is effective tool, but growth in the blogging world will be possible only with WordPress.org. Because it is going to let you do everything with your website, which is not possible with WordPress.com.
Let us know what did you choose between WordPress.org and WordPress.com and how your experience was with it.
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