We are told that WordPress is the best blogging software out there and yet when it comes to getting started, we encounter the same old problem that every new blogger does. WordPress.com or WordPress.org. What? There is two? What’s the difference between the two?
Comparing WordPress.com VS WordPress.org
They both are “free services,” well, more on that later, neither is completely free, but one is definitely lower cost than the other.
WordPress is a free open source content publishing platform. WordPress.org is the home of the platform while WordPress.com is the commercial hosted version. There is a lot of confusion among new bloggers as of which one to choose to host their blog. I am going to do a comparison of the two starting below.
WordPress.com is already hosted for you, which means no monthly hosting fees. WordPress.org is a self-hosted, which means you would have to find a host and usually pay monthly fees. They could be as little as $3 per month.
WordPress.com It is fully maintained and controlled by WordPress.com, whereas, WordPress.org is fully maintained by you. This means that you would be responsible for maintenance, spam protection, backup and security.
WordPress.com lacks customization and flexibility whereas you have full control over this with WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is part of a larger network of blogs, whereas your WordPress.org site lives independently on its own.
Ready to sign up for WordPress.com? Hold on, not yet, read on.
Choosing Your Domain Name
The last time I checked, you will get 3 GB of space with WordPress.com, with the option to purchase 100 GB more at $160 per year. With WordPress.org, once you get a host, you will have unlimited storage space. This holds true with most hosting companies, such as HostGator.
When it comes to customizing your site, it is not easily done with WordPress.com. First of all you have no FTP access. You cannot easily edit the code, or if you want to edit the code it will cost you an additional $30 a year.
Alternatively, with WordPress.org, you have full control over your files, and you can modify and customize your site as you wish.
With WordPress.com there is limited selection of free designs. Premium themes start at $20. With WordPress.org there are literally thousands of free and premium themes available to make your site look pretty and unique.
There are no plugins available with WordPress.com, and limited opportunities for new features and functionalities. Whereas, with WordPress.org, there are thousands of free and premium plugins and you can pretty much add any feature you want.
If you wanted to make money with your blog, it would be difficult with WordPress.com as ads are not allowed. But, WordPress.com displays ads on your site. Furthermore, you have to pay a yearly fee if you want the ads to go away.
With WordPress.org, you have complete control over your ads, affiliate links, or anything else you want.
It seems that WordPress.com nickel’s and dimes you just so that you can have a free hosted blog with them. Although, I wouldn’t call this free. Would you?
WordPress.com Owns The Content of Your Blog
When you upload your content to your self-hosted blog, you own it. No one has a right to do anything with your content. Not so with WordPress.com:
By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog. This license allows Automattic to make publicly-posted content available to third parties selected by Automattic (through the Automattic Firehose, for example) so that these third parties can analyze and distribute (but not publicly display) your content through their services.
You also give other WordPress.com users permission to share your Content on other WordPress.com sites and add their own Content to it (aka to reblog your Content), so long as they use only a portion of your post and they give you credit as the original author by linking back to your site (the Reblogging function on WordPress.com does this automatically!).”-WordPress.com TOS
They say it is solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing, and promoting your blog. Which doesn’t necessarily sound like a bad thing. But, it comes back down to control. You can’t control how, when, or where they display your blog content. Your content can also be re-blogged. You deserve credit for your content!
WordPress.com isn’t really free
Free is very tempting to us all and at first glance it may seem that WordPress.com is free. But, as you can see from the graphic above, there are so many additional charges once you get your “free” site working.
Technically, WordPress.org is not free either. You have to pay for hosting services, but comparatively, you can do so much more with it, and then you have full control over your content. It belongs to you, for you to do with it as you please. So why wouldn’t you want to have your own self-hosted blog with WordPress.org?
Easier to Get Started With WordPress.org
It is easier to get started with WordPress.com. It is just a matter of going to their site and setting up a new account, picking a domain name,(with a wordpress.com ending)selecting a theme and then start blogging. You don’t have much control of anything else.
Some people like this and will get started this way, and then, at some point realize they really need a self-hosted site. Then they have to move their site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. The task is not overly complicated, but it does require following a few steps.
In my opinon, I think it is just better to start with WordPress.org from the beginning and be done with it. It will save a headache later on.
Set Up Your Own Website
If you are interested in starting your own website, click this link and download my free Ebook, Starting a Blog or Website. It explains everything you need to get started.
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