Comparison: Which To Use?
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. The confusion for new bloggers when choosing which one to use to host their blog.
With WordPress.org, YOU host your own blog or website. WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, takes care of all of the hosting for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server
In brief, WordPress.org is where “WordPress” the software is freely available to the public. The same goes for thousands of plugins, in addition to a number of “premium” plugins that can be purchased separately.
WordPress.org is terrific resource for “do it yourself” site owners. With support forums and tons of “how to” information, site owners can modify their designs and functionality to the limits of their creativity.
Also covered by the “ORG” side’s documentation are the basics: installing WordPress, walk-throughs of your first posts and categories, etc. The supporting documentation is remarkably good considering it’s a no-cost service.
With the WordPress Codex at your command, you’ll be able to find everything you need to get WordPress (the software) rolling on your own domain — and most web hosts have very simple “one click” WordPress installation scripts.
There’s really only one thing missing… while one-click installation of WordPress often makes setup quick and easy, you will need a web host — and a host is not free.
Web hosting costs vary, but for “decent” WordPress hosting of a typical small- to medium-sized site, $7-15/month is about the range.
You’ll also pay a few dollars for the annual renewal of your domain name an example: mydomain.com.
Over on WordPress.com, things are flipped a bit. Installation is a snap, and the web hosting is provided. And, ignoring the usual asterisks, the hosting is free!
The pros of no-cost hosting are clear. Aside from quality hosting services, you’ll also get baked-in spam protection, automatic backups, automatic updates, proven security, and some WordPress.com plugins and services not found elsewhere (or not right away).
That’s the good news.
The primary “cons” are that you cannot modify the PHP source code (even “newbies” often discover they want to make a few changes). You can’t upload any plugins, either — though there are plugins available on WordPress.com, these represent a fraction of the “19,000 and counting” available on WordPress.org.
Finally, while you can choose among nearly 200 themes, you can’t upload your own — and customization of these boilerplate themes is relatively limited.
Remember the asterisks? Most of them go away with a price tag. Here are some notable ones.
Your “domain name” will sound unprofessional, i.e.
your-website-name.wordpress.com — though you can buy your own domain name, then map it to the WordPress.com system. At a cost, of course, but one you’d also have with self-hosted WordPress.
The links advertising WordPress.com and themes cannot be removed. Extra storage begins at $20/year. If you want to roll-out your own videos, then VideoPress is $60/year (note: Youtube embedding is available without the VideoPress upgrade).
Premium themes have a price tag as well, ranging from about $45 to $100, each. These themes can’t be transferred off WordPress.com if you later choose to go self-hosted.
Which is better for me?
All in all .com version of WordPress is a nice place for a beginner blogger. It is a good job done by the people behind the WordPress.com. But you won’t have too much flexibility, there and you won’t be able to have a full control unless you pay more money.
The brilliant thing about .org it is the large community of people modifying it and adding on to the software. Open source software thrives on ideas from the community and so does WordPress.
When you set up a site using WordPress on your own server. You have the freedom to do whatever you want with it. You’re only limited to the amount of storage space you have. Other similar features provided by the hosting package you choose.
My recommendation: WordPress.org
When it comes down to cost, freedoms and limitations, and maintenance and development considerations, WordPress.org wins.
It may take more time and effort to set up a WordPress site, but you will have full control over the look and feel of your site. You will be able to use custom themes and customize their look, and also upload custom plugins to add more functionality to your site.
If you plan to grow your site and increase traffic, then downloading WordPress from WordPress.org is my recommendation.
If you’ve any question regarding setup WordPress site, just drop me a line!