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WordPress.com and WordPress.org… What’s the difference?

If you are reading this, then you have at the very least , “heard” of WordPress. Maybe you have even begun to read through the sites and blogs talking about WordPress. But, you are probably thinking ( and trust me, you are not alone ) —what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? . . . Wait, there are two!

The truth is the difference between the two can cause some confusion, and it is easy for some to start to develop an annoying but steady twitch of the eye trying to read through all the info. Let us clear up the confusion as easily as we can. WordPress started out as a collection of some smart innovative folks, and their introduction of a revolutionizing Open Source blogging software. With WordPress.com, one can utilize the same WordPress software as is found on WordPress.org. The main difference is actually quite simple. On WordPress.com the hosting and managing of the software is skillfully done by the smart folks at WordPress. For the computer novice, this means that software updates and maintenance are automatic. On the other hand, WordPress.org offers the same software, but one needs to host it on their own server or with a 3rd party host.

So why choose WordPress.com?

  • To begin with, it’s FREE.
  • It is a lot easier to set up and maintain
  • Again, one does not have to worry about things like: installation, upgrades, spam, backups (important if planning on posting a lot of content), and security
  • With WordPress.com the blog/site will be stored on hundreds of WordPress servers, so there is no chance the blog will go down because of traffic
  • It is possible to get that much desired extra traffic from WordPress blogs of the day and tags
  • And,again it’s FREE

So why not to choose WordPress.com?

  • Well, although WordPress.com offers over thousands of pretty cool themes, one cannot upload and run a custom theme (say for instance there is a desire to brand the blog to look completely unique to an organization)
  • One can’t edit any of the PHP code on your blog
  • Sorry, no plugins

UPDATE: WordPress.com now has a VIP program. If your site is high traffic and a high-profile site then you can do custom themes, custom coding, add coding, and WordPress plugins. But this is seriously expensive.

So why choose WordPress.org?

  • Customization or upload a theme that is unique to the brand
  • Upload and install all the plugins imaginable
  • There are a lot of people who host their own blogs with WordPress.org software and the community is great
  • It is possible to go in and change code to get the results one is looking for
  • So why not to choose WordPress.org?
  • Hosting. it is very important to find a great hosting provider. This will run about $5 to $15 a month. If the blog takes off (as is always desired) then the hosting can be thousands of dollars a month for a high traffic site
  • WordPress.org is going to require some strong technical knowledge. So if one is not technically inclined, there will be a learning curve
  • Spam can, and probably will, affect you. It’s job of the site owner to stop it
  • Backing up the WordPress site will have to be handled by a 3rd party backup provider
  • Every time WordPress issues a software update (happens more than is probably expected), it will be necessary to upgrade manually
  • Finally, if one gets a lot of traffic (again, as is always desired) the site can crash. So make sure a good WordPress hosting provider is selected

WordPress.org-vs-wordpress.com

WordPress is a blogging software company providing an Open Source blogging solution. They happen to be one of the most popular platforms out there, and many companies use their platform to run their sites. Going the WordPress.org route allows one to install custom themes and plugins, have ads on the site (a great way to make money), and edit code to accomplish all the things that will make the site unique. Anyone can download the Open Source WordPress software for free from WordPress.org. But remember, this route has a need to have a web server to install it on before it will work. And web hosting is going to cost something.

Whereas, WordPress.com gives you a source for FREE everything. It allows one to get the WordPress software and platform, web hosting, unlimited storage and backups, automatic updates, support through community forums, 100+ themes, traffic states, and so much more. Moreover, with the WordPress.com route, there is comfort in knowing it will always be FREE, and there is never paying for anything. The drawbacks, however, can be big. Without being able to do ad coding, there is a loss of a good way to make cash. And without being able to customize the theme, it becomes probable that the site will have the problem of having that “look like the other guys” feel.

So whichever platform is chosen, however big one chooses to take it, one can’t go wrong using the WordPress software. Just know what desired, do the homework, and start blogging!

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10 Comments


  1. Andrew

    August 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

    This is good to know. I never knew the difference between the two before.

    Reply

  2. Maggie

    August 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

    The platform is free unless you choose to use your own URL. Domain mapping only costs like $5-15 I believe.

    Reply

  3. Charles

    August 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Anyone have any experience with their hosting?

    Reply

  4. Martin

    August 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

    WordPress is way better than Blogspot. Tumblr isn’t bad though either.

    Reply

  5. Sue

    August 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I believe I paid $12 for the domain mapping service.

    Reply

  6. Martin

    August 20, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Yeah it is $12, Sue.

    Reply

  7. Dorothy

    August 22, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I am searching on what I want for my website. I have been checking your themes and this article was a good read. I never know at all. I guess being new on this WordPress thing makes me want to learn more.

    Reply

  8. Jared

    August 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I started out with Tumblr and looked for another way to reach out more readers. WordPress is truly far better than anything else out there. I always recommend this to whoever wants to start their blog site.

    Reply

  9. Natalie

    August 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Oh so that is the difference between the two. I always thought that there is only one WordPress. I never thought there are 2 kinds of them.

    Reply

  10. Bruce

    August 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I was just checking what this article is all about. My web designer told me to check this since I barely know what WordPress is and what to do with it. He just wanted me to know the basics, so I will be able to keep up in case we have our weekly meetings. Thanks for the post.

    Reply

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