A lot of WordPress newbies would agree that they are confused between using WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Admittedly, even those who have already set up their blogs with WordPress.com have nagging thoughts about why they did not choose to have their sites on the WordPress.org platform and vice versa. As you have committed yourself to make it great in blogging, it would be best to learn about the pros and cons of each so that you begin your blogging journey feeling confident and at ease with your choice.
WordPress.Com (WP.org) and WordPress.Org (WP.com) In a Nutshell
To answer the first question, yes, WP.org is different from WP.com. The dissimilarity is really a simple concept.
WordPress.Org is a DIY site with limitless possibilities.
WordPress.Com provides site hosting services.
To further explain how each works, here are the pros and cons for both:
WordPress.Com comes fully hosted and handled by a team who provides premium hosting. Included in the package are security features as well as backups for your files. Even though it seems that you only get a sub-domain on WordPress.com, there is an option to have a custom domain upon an upgrade. Premium upgrades include domain name registration if you want a custom domain name, added functions like adding videos and allows you to use their premium themes.
There are hundreds of WordPress themes to choose that allows you few basic customization to design your blog. However, you cannot upload any plugin, custom themes or modify the code behind you blog. There is an option to integrate social media accounts like FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr. There is no need to install plugins for features like polls, comments, stats, and others as they are already included. WordPress.com forums and personal support are available should there be any concern on managing a WordPress blog.
On the other side of the table, WordPress.Org is a self-hosted version which means you get to do everything from finding a host, provide backups, perform maintenance and other security stuff. At WP.org can find countless free WordPress software like themes and plugins that you can use to build a blog.
WP.org allows you to install custom themes. You have full responsibility and more control for your blog or website. Choose your own domain name, upload and install your favorite WordPress themes or code your own website, install plugins and access your files on your own database. Although there is no personal support available, you can always visit the WordPress forums for assistance.
So, the big question is, which one is for you?
The primary concern, especially for newbies, is the technical aspect of having a WordPress blog. It may sound liberating to have everything done all by yourself but if you do not have the skills to do it then don’t push it. That is how easy you can tell if you are going to register for either a WordPress.com account or have the software from WordPress.org.
If you have the skills and knowledge to install and customize WordPress themes, install security features, use plugins, and get a reputable hosting account, then you are more than ready to download the WordPress software and play with it to suite your preferences best.
But if you want to be more focused on writing the best articles, researching for your next piece, or simply just want to let professionals handle all the technical duties for your blog, it wouldn’t hurt to choose WordPress.com.
Now, with all these facts laid down, there are some points that must be understood before taking a big step of choosing which one to have for your blog. For the WP.com, there is no way you can change the PHP source code even for just a few changes that you absolutely want. You are also limited to the plugins available on site. That’s a mere fraction of the thousands of plugins that can be used for a self- hosted blog.
And for those who are looking forward on the design of the blog, the hundreds of free WordPress themes may not be enough as customization is very limited. Sure, all these limitations and downsides of having a blog under WordPress.com will go away but it all comes with a price. For example, you may have certain control for changing the themes, font, and basic CSS code but you will have to pay at least $30 a year. You will also have to pay $99 a year as a premium user if you need to post huge photo and video files. And the biggest downside if you are going to have your blog for free on a WP.com platform is that you cannot monetize it or even place your own ads on your own blog site.
This is why serious bloggers choose to self- host or have WP.org instead of the other. Having your own domain makes you look more superior simply because you have the freedom to have everything customized. Sometimes, the option to have your own domain is all it takes to make other people look at your blog as something serious, more professional, and a lot reliable compared to those who only bear a sub domain. There is that assurance that you can do what you think is best for your blog. Even if you do not have the skills, yet, there are plenty of ways that can help get your blog be ready without paying too much for it. Best blog hosting sites can be sought from plenty of providers and with the variety of plans available, you can have something that will fit your blogging needs as well as your budget.
Creating a blog using a free platform like WordPress.com can look so easy thereby making it appealing to new bloggers. But, a free hosted blog can be shut down anytime and you cannot do anything about it since you do not fully own it. So if you are looking forward to longevity in the blogging industry, a self-hosted blog is recommended because you take full control of everything including how long you want your blog to be available online. Even if it will cost you more for self-hosting, the freedom to monetize your blog gives you financial freedom and you will be able to afford premium WordPress blog themes, plugins, security, and even a top-notch company to host your blog.