WordPress is by far the most popular way of building a website. You see and hear phrase “WordPress” very often, but did you know there are actually two versions of it?
The key difference – WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Both “com” and “org” are very different platforms. The major difference beetween them is – who actually owns your website?
WordPress.com hosts your website for you, making it easy to access it right away. You do not have to worry about installing WordPress software and making the website yours – once registered you instantly get access to website dashboard area.
There are some limitations however – you can not add your own themes and plugins (unless you pay good amount of money for Business plan). Moreover your website can be shut any time if it violates any rule.
WordPress.org requires you to find and purchase hosting on your own. Price varies, but starts at as low as $2.75 per month (see: which hosting company do I recommend?).
After WordPress is set up and running, you are the only owner of your website and can modify it in any way you want – by installing any theme, plugin or just change code.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – which one is better?
There is no definite answer to that question, unfortunately. People usually go for less expensive and far more customizable option, which is self-hosted WordPress.org, although some of them still would like to skip the setting up process and just enjoy writing.
Let’s check out some pros and cons for both platforms:
- free to use,
- you are your website owner,
- highly customizable,
- allows adding themes/plugins,
- allows creating online store,
- allows monetizing your website
- requires paid hosting (starting from $2.75/mo),
- you are responsible for software updates (usually just a click in website dashboard),
- you are responsible for backups.
- free to use (on extremely limited plan),
- requires no set up,
- requires no maintenance.
- can be expensive to unlock more features ($4 and above),
- you are not website owner, it can be removed any time,
- they place their ads on your website,
- you can’t install themes/plugins (on limited plans),
- you can’t monetize your webiste (on limited plans),
- you can’t create online store (on limited plans)
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Which one should I choose?
It all depends on how much flexibility would you like to have with your website. While WordPress.com is usually go-to for people who don’t want to bother with setting everything up, after some time most of them switch to WordPress.org anyway.
If you plan to grow in the long run, build a brand around your website/blog and remain having full control over the process – I suggest going with WordPress.org.