WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which one to choose?
Unless you’re completely new to web development and blogging, chances are that you’ve heard of WordPress. Very few people, however, realize that there are actually two forms of WordPress- WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In this article, I’ll undertake a comparison between the two which will hopefully make deciding which one is best for you a little easier.
To begin with, let’s look at each one individually.
WordPress.org is the open source, free version out of the two. It is arguably the more popular one out of the two. Being free, all you need to create a website on it is hosting and domain.
WordPress.org offers full control of your website. You are free to design and edit it any way you desire with no restrictions whatsoever. Some other benefits are:
- Free and easy to use
- All data and content is your own. You own it. So the only way it will get taken off is if you decide to take it off yourself.
- You can add any theme you want.
- You can add any plugin you want to your website.
- Can use Google Analytics to track your visitors.
- You can create an e-commerce website.
- You can also create membership websites.
It’s not all rosy though, inevitably there are some downsides to using WordPress.org.
- You’ll need to pay for hosting and domain. You can purchase hosting for around $10 a month and most hosting providers allow you to get a free domain along with the hosting. You will have to renew your domain and hosting each year though. You can read more about hosting providers here.
- You are responsible for updates and maintenance of your site.
- You are responsible for backups and security. You can take care of both using WordPress Plugins so they’re not that big an issue.
Essentially, the cost of your website depends on what exactly you’re trying to make. You can spend a lot of money buying sophisticated plugins and premium themes or you can make something simple. The choice is up to you.
WordPress.com is the paid version of WordPress. There are 5 different plans you can purchase:
- Free – Very Limited
- Personal – $4 per month
- Premium – $8.25 per month
- Business – $24.92 per month
- It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that, you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space.
- No need to worry about updates or backups. WordPress.com will take care of that.
- You’ll have to place ads on all free websites. In order to get rid of them, you will have to upgrade to a Personal account. You don’t make any money from these ads should a visitor click on them.
- Free users are NOT allowed to sell ads on their websites. A high traffic site can apply for the WordAds advertising program, where you share revenue with them.
- You cannot upload plugins. Business Plan users can install a selection of Plugins ($299/year).
- You cannot upload custom themes. Free Plan users can install from a limited selection of themes. They are also very limited in how much you can customize them.
- You are restricted to their stats. You cannot download Google Analytics.
- They can delete your site at any time.
- Your site will display a powered by WordPress.com link. Business Plan users can have that removed.
- You cannot build e-commerce websites.
- You cannot build membership websites with WordPress.com
As you can see, in order to unlock some advanced features you will have to pay a large amount of money.
Which one should you choose?
This really depends on what you intend to use WordPress for. If you’re looking to start blogging as a hobby or do it solely for writing articles then go with the Free Plan on WordPress.com.
However, if you’re looking to make money through blogging then WordPress.org should be the way to go. It has more flexibility and allows you to more room to customise and design your site that way you want.
WordPress.org allows you more option and so can be used by anybody. WordPress.com, with all its restrictions, limits the type of people that can take benefit from it fully.
Regardless of which one you choose, you can switch between the two should you change your mind at a later stage. So you can try to start off with WordPress.com and if it’s not suiting you then switch over to WordPress.org or visa versa.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Final Thoughts
So there you go, those were the two forms of WordPress.
You can think of WordPress.com as renting a house and WordPress.org as owning one. You have one where you get full control whilst the other one you are more limited.
It’s very common for beginners to get confused between the two form of WordPress and so I hope this article was helpful.
I would personally recommend using WordPress.org simply because of the freedom it allows you. Developing and designing your website from scratch is a lot of fun. Code Central by NS was designed on WordPress.org.
I wish you the best of luck with your website. If you have any questions you can always message. Please do subscribe to Code Central by NS.