One of the most common questions blogging beginners have is ‘What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Read on to find out the answer, plus some advice on how to decide which is best for your blog.
OK, so what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? WordPress.com is a hosted service, which means that you create a blog on WordPress’s servers rather than paying to ‘rent’ space from a web hosting company. It’s fast and easy to set up a new blog and WordPress.com offers attrsome very niceactive templates plus much more including backups, web stats and security. You can even get a custom domain, which means you can change the URL of your WordPress blog from, say ‘blogname.wordpress.com’ to ‘blogname.com’. This gives you a more memorable URL to share as you promote your blog as well as helping you to brand your site. WordPress.com is free unless you buy any of the optional additional services they offer.
The alternative is WordPress.org. With WordPress.org you’ll need to buy your own web hosting and install the WordPress software on your web host’s server. This is more difficult than setting up WordPress.com, but there are plenty of WordPress tutorials (try YouTube) to help you or you can pay a professional to do it for you if you prefer. WordPress.org itself is free of charge as it’s open source software, although you may choose to pay for some premium plugins.
So why would you choose the extra work of WordPress.org when you can set up a blog in seconds with WordPress.com? The advantage with WordPress.org is that it’s your site so you can make your own rules. With WordPress.com you need to stick to WordPress.com’s terms of service. If you break these then you could find your accoutn shut down alnd lose your blog.
If you’re blogging for business then having a WordPress.com blog could give the wrong impression, too. If your clients know that it’s cheap and quick to set up a self-hosted blog then it could look unprofessional to use WordPress.com, especially if you haven’t set up a custom domain. If you already have a business website then it’s usually easy to add a blog to it, so it’s worth discussing this with your web designer before you go ahead and start a new blog at WordPress.com.
Howeverd, if you’re just starting out on your blogging journey, then a WordPress.com blog could be a great choice. You can export your blog’s content from a hosted WordPress site to a self-hosted WordPress site later on if you need to, so this doesn’t need to be a one-off decision.
There are many other reasons why you migth want a self-hosted blog, too. There’s a big choice of themes and plugins which means you can choose almost any feature you want for your site from design features such as fonts, colors and layouts to functional features such as shopping carts and email sign-up boxes. So there’s plenty of room for your blog to grow, for example if you’d like to sell advertising or information products in future.and develop if you want it to.
So now you can see the difference between the two different types of WordPress and will be able to decide which is best for your blog.