The significant difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org lies in the web hosting provider for your website. WordPress.com hosts your website for you while WordPress.org lets you organize your blog or website. WordPress.org allows you to utilize the power of WordPress for your website, and you just need to download the free WordPress software and install it on your web server.
Understanding WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Before moving forward, it is essential to understand these platforms in detail
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a self-publishing website platform that takes care of your hosting requirements. It is not entirely free but offers many useful features for your website free of cost.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is an open-source, free website platform that runs on your web hosting account. Often referred to as self-hosted WordPress, it is entirely free to use for everyone.
Features of WordPress.com
WordPress.com allows you to create a beautiful website in no time. It carries different levels of features according to the various plans available. Let us explore its features in detail here:
WordPress.com empowers you to build your blog or website in a matter of minutes. It is effortless for a non-specialist to launch his website even without any technical knowledge.
Variety of Plans
WordPress.com has a plan suitable for everyone. If you are tight on your budget, you can start with a free program. With the growth of your website, you can upgrade to a higher plan. You will never be forced to improve by the platform and are allowed to stay at the free program lifelong. Utilize the paid plans for advanced security, SEO tools, and customization.
Adding a custom domain
People are generally of the view that using a custom domain is impossible with WordPress.com. It is because most people try out their hand at the free plan offered by the platform which restricts the use of the custom domain. Your domain is a WordPress.com subdomain like yourdomain.wordpress.com instead of yourdomain.com under an open plan. But that does not mean you cannot use a custom domain with WordPress.com. When you buy a plan, even if it is the smallest one, you are allowed to use your custom domain for your website.
Mobiles are an essential part of our lives today, and we access the majority of online information via these devices. It becomes necessary for you to consider this fact while developing a website for the general public. With WordPress.com, you can create a mobile-friendly website in a few clicks. Easy access to your website content across different devices gives added
Availability of Themes
WordPress.com offers you hundreds of Website Themes to decorate your content beautifully online. New themes are also added by the platform every week. You can easily customize these themes to suit your website needs.
Help and Assistance
WordPress.com doesn’t leave you alone in your struggle to build the website of your dreams. They have a friendly team of technical engineers to solve your queries. These engineers are available via real-time online chat to help you as and when required. This technical support is possible only if you have a paid plan. For ‘free plan’ holders, 24/7 email support is available which you get a response in a reasonable time—considering that you are not paying for a platform and still receive support itself a great thing.
With the popularity of the platform, numerous community forums have been made by like-minded people to help each other. All WordPress.com users, including the ones using a free plan, can access these forums and raise their queries. A fellow platform user will happily answer all your concerns—the best method to find an answer instantly if you are on a free plan. Most of the time, you’ll receive a response from someone within 10 minutes. The benefit of a large community developed around WordPress.com.
Easy media uploads
WordPress.com allows you to create beautiful photo galleries or showcase your art. You can drag and drop your media files, including images, videos, and audio to your content. It is effortless to upload a variety of content to your blog or website.
Convenient website management
The platform empowers you to update your website content from any device. There are several desktop and mobile apps available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, which makes it convenient for you to post content from anywhere without any time restriction.
Ability to export
Although WordPress.com has a free plan, it doesn’t bind you to stay with it forever. You can always export your website content and take it to another platform of your liking. Unlike some other free platforms, WordPress.com is fair with you here. You own your content and have full right to it, no matter what.
WordPress.com provides you with the data of your visitors to improve and grow your website. With the in-depth statistics, you know what your visitors love to read, at what time they pay a visit to your website, their geographical location, and more. Such valuable information helps you modify your site growth strategies.
The platform offers you a variety of social sharing tools to automatically send your new website posts to various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can also add social sharing tools that encourage your website readers to share your content online.
Features of WordPress.org
WordPress.org has a wide variety of features that can further be extended with the help of unlimited plugins compatible with it. Many of these plugins are free to use and can enhance the functionality of WordPress.org to a great extent. Let us dwell more profound on the basic features of WordPress.org in some detail:
Ease of Use
It is effortless to set up a WordPress-powered website with a quick installation of WordPress.org. Even if you are not a techie, you can get online and start publishing your content with ease.
WordPress.org is exceptionally flexible to serve any kind of website or blog. Whether you want to build a business website, a personal blog, a government website, a photoblog, a news website, a professional portfolio, or an online community, WordPress.org will help you do that.
A website builds with people, and there are many names behind its success. Authors create the content; editors edit it, administrators are responsible for site management while subscribers utilize the information shared on the website. The User Management feature of WordPress.org allows you to add several contributors to your website, making it a step forward to success.
Ease of publishing
Publishing content online is not a big deal now. If you know how to create a Word Document, you can publish a post online. WordPress.org has made it easy to create posts and pages, add media, and make it live for the world to see. A variety of tools are available for you to schedule your content, create draft posts, edit your content, and secure your content with a password.
Easy media management
WordPress.org has made adding an image to your post extremely easy. It is like sending your picture via Gmail to a friend. You just need to drag the image or upload it to the Media section and add caption and alt text to post a picture with your written content. A few image editing tools are also available at your disposal.
Easy Theme Management
There is a wide variety of themes available in the WordPress.org theme directory. You can pick the one that suits your needs the best. If you don’t like any theme from the directory, you have an option to upload your theme as well. Just a click is what it takes to transform your website with a change in theme.
WordPress.org carries immense power in itself. But that’s not all. This power can further extend with the use of numerous plugins available in WordPress.org’s plugin directory. You can conveniently add social media widgets, complex galleries, calendars, forums, spam protection, contact forms, and much more to your website.
Supports multiple languages
WordPress.org can be accessed in over 70 languages. If you would like to use the platform in your local language, there are high chances of its availability. It is effortless to change the language from English to other languages.
Automatic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
WordPress.org has been built as optimized for all the search engines, and you don’t need to make a special effort for its optimization. However, if you want to use the advanced SEO features, you can always utilize the available SEO plugins.
Online content is all about engagement. If no audience utilizes your content, you won’t be able to survive in the long run. WordPress.org features a built-in comment section for your website. Your family, friends, followers, and the general public can post their comments on your blog content for increasing your online engagement.
Easy to install and upgrade
Installing WordPress.org is a one-click task with many web hosts. The regular upgrades offered by the platform are also quick and easy to take effect. If you are comfortable using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program, you can opt to integrate WordPress.org with your host via FTP as well.
Freedom to use
WordPress.org is licensed under the General Public License (GPL) system that provides you ample freedom for its utilization. WordPress.org can be used, modified, installed, and distributed freely. This is what has made this platform loved by everyone around the globe.
Full Control on Website
With WordPress.org, the ownership of your content remains with you. You can always change your host if you don’t like it. Giving control of your hosting to someone translates to the appearance of unwanted content like adverts on your website. When you are in full control, no one can access your website and deteriorate its quality.
Cons of WordPress.com
- The free plan features advertisements on your website, taking your website’s aesthetics down.
- You don’t have the freedom to install additional tools like Google Analytics in the free and basic plans.
- You don’t have complete ownership over your website and content. Your website can be deleted anytime if the platform feels that it violates its service terms.
Pros of WordPress.com
- It gives you an option to start a free blog or website and keep it open for lifelong if desired.
- You don’t have to spend money on purchasing a hosting plan separately as WordPress.com provides it to you.
- Automatic backups of your website and its content are maintained regularly. You can always go back to a specific date if you accidentally lose your data while managing your site.
- It is straightforward to create and manage your website. You can build yours in just 5 minutes.
- Automatic updates are performed to keep your website up-to-date all the time.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – How to choose?
Now that you know the difference between these platforms entirely well, it is best to address your primary concern. The answer to this question depends genuinely on your needs and differs from person to person. If your expectations from your website change over time, your preference for the platform will also change. Just like Weebly
Let us consider the appropriateness of each platform one by one:
When is WordPress.com best for you?
Following are the instances when WordPress.com will serve your purpose well:
When you want to share your views with the world or start your blog, you can do it free of cost with this platform.
If you want to create an online portfolio of your services, it can be done with WordPress.com’s free plan.
When is WordPress.org best for you?
Following are the instances when WordPress.org will serve your purpose better than WordPress.com:
When you are an entrepreneur planning to monetize your website. WordPress.com offers minimal monetization methods.
Although, these limitations opt-out in the business plan that plan costs multiple times the cost, you will bear with WordPress.org.
If you are planning to set up your online store, the platform offers you much better features and flexibility than WordPress.com.
Also, it has more reasonably priced plans for your eCommerce store.
How to start a free website now and have all advanced WordPress features later?
You can always start a free blog or website with WordPress.com. It gives you the security of not losing anything if your efforts don’t yield off.
After a while, when you are successful in growing your website to new heights, you can transfer your website to WordPress.org quite quickly. You won’t even lose your website content or technical data in this process.
You must consider routing your previous subdomain to the new one to point your old visitors to the original web address.
Benefits of using this method:
You utilized the best feature of WordPress.com initially. It’s not necessary to invest anything when you are short on your budget.
Develop your brand and a loyal following of readers.
You utilized the best features of WordPress.org when your website needed them the most.
The availability of a wide range of features at reasonable prices and the flexibility to monetize without limitations are the major factors responsible for shifting your website to this platform.
That is the reason why big brands like TechCrunch, BBC America, MTV News, Sony Music, and others use WordPress.org.
Don’t forget that you avoided the expensive plans offered by WordPress.com by shifting to WordPress.org through this method.
Pros of WordPress.org
- It is open-source software that is free for everyone.
- You can work on it with ease without any technical knowledge.
- Your website and its content are wholly owned by you. Your website cannot be deleted anytime if the platform feels that it violates its service terms.
- Website deletion can only take place if you are doing something illegal through your website.
- A variety of website customization options are available via themes.
- You are allowed to make money with your website by running advertisements.
- You are free to use any number of free and paid plugins to enhance your website’s performance.
- Opening an online store has become comfortable with WordPress.org.
- Powerful tools like Google Analytics can be utilized for custom analytics and tracking.
- You can lock your website content with a password and sell your website membership for a price. It can be truly beneficial if you want to sell your online course without a commission cut.
Cons of WordPress.org
- Automatic backups of your website and its content are not performed. Backups have to be maintained manually or from third-party plugins.
- Website hosting isn’t included with WordPress.org, hosting has to be purchased from a hosting company.
- Automatic updates are not available with WordPress.org. You will have to keep an eye on the latest updates to keep your site up-to-date.
- The initial time of setting up your website will be a few hours as you’ll need to purchase your hosting separately and then integrate WordPress.org with it.
From the above-detailed comparison, you must have noticed that WordPress.org is better than WordPress.com in many aspects – Whether it be the features offered, the prices charged, the flexibility provided, or the ownership of data and content given in your hands. WordPress.com is only suitable for limited needs and functionality. If you are skeptical about investing upfront, follow our unique method described above. Else, choose the platform that satisfies your needs well.