“WordPress.com vs WordPress.org” is a topic that always comes up when people seriously start to consider using WordPress to build their site.
“Which one should I use?”, “What is better for me?”, “Are there any things that I am not aware of about these two?” All questions come up at that time.
We will cover all of these and more in this article. By the end of this article, I want you to have all the necessary information to choose one of these two solutions. Good enough?
Okay. Let’s get started. But before that…
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com will host and manage the WordPress installation for you. All you have to do is build your website without worrying about all the technicalities of running a website.
WordPress.com was started by Matt Mullenweg who is also the co-founder of WordPress. He started it because there were a lot of people who wanted to use WordPress but did not want to get into the nitty-gritty details of hosting WordPress on a web server, taking backups, managing security etc.
At WordPress.com, you can just register for a free account and get started with building your website. It is that simple.
Automattic has an entire team which manages all the technical aspects of WordPress.com so that your site is always up and running.
Benefits of WordPress.com
- You can get started for free without having to worry about hosting your website.
- WordPress.com manages backups and security.
- Over 300 free themes available to choose from and some premium themes can be purchased.
Cons of WordPress.com
- It is a hosted platform that is operated by Automattic. So you need to follow their Terms and Conditions instead of having the full freedom to do whatever you like when you host a website yourself.
- WordPress.com can shut down your website if you do not adhere to their Terms and Conditions.
- You cannot install any plugin you like. You need to play by WordPress.com’s rules.
- You cannot install any premium theme you like. You have to select from whatever theme WordPress.com makes available to you.
- Want to have those jazzy popups, landing pages, conversion optimization plugins installed on your website to increase sales and conversions? You can forget all of that.
- Above 5 points make it impossible to run any serious business website on WordPress.com.
What is WordPress.org?
On September 9, 2010, Automattic handed over the WordPress trademark to WordPress Foundation which is the umbrella organization that supports WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is the site from where you can download WordPress software for free.
Apart from downloading WordPress from WordPress.org, you can also join thousands of volunteers from around the world who contribute to the development of WordPress.
Once you have downloaded WordPress, you can install and run it on any web host of your choice. What you do with your website is up to you, there are no Terms and Conditions to follow other than what you set for yourself.
Benefits of WordPress.org
- There is no risk of someone else shutting down your site.
- You are the owner of your website. You don’t have to adhere to someone else’s Terms and Conditions.
- You can install as many plugins as you want to extend WordPress.
- You can install any theme that you like.
- You can customize WordPress in any way you like, right from its user interface to its database.
- You can monetize your website in any way you like.
- All those jazzy popups, landing pages, conversion optimization tools can be installed to increase sales and conversions.
- You can easily run a serious online business.
Cons of WordPress.org
- You will have to maintain your own site. There will be no team to take care of all the technicalities for you if you don’t hire one.
- You will have to take care of backing up your website.
- You will also have to take care of the security of your website.
If you are worried about the above 3 points then don’t be. There are Managed WordPress Hosting providers like Kinsta and SiteGround that can do all of the above things for you. So you can just concentrate on building your website.
What is Better? WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
If you ask me then it is definitely WordPress.org.
Having the freedom to fully control every aspect of your website is extremely important if you are serious about generating revenue from your site.
If you just want a website to show off to your friends and family then WordPress.com might just be right for you.
I hope you have now got a very good idea of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. So make your decision wisely. If you need any help in learning WordPress then read this tutorial for beginners. It covers everything about WordPress.
If you still have any questions, just ask them in the comments below. I will be happy to answer them.