WordPress.com or WordPress.org – A Guide To Making The Best Decision
You want to blog on WordPress but you don’t know if you should go for .Org or .Com. Which one is right for you?
Millions of websites are hosted on WordPress. WordPress.com is a hosting platform that makes it easy for anyone to publish online.
What are the Pros and Cons of each?
- It’s free and super easy to set up
- All of the technical maintenance work is taken care of — Setup, upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc.
- Your blog is on hundreds of servers, so it’ll always remain available, even under high traffic
- Your content is backed up automatically
- You’ll get extra traffic from being a part of the WordPress.com community
- You can find like-minded bloggers using search and the reader
- Your dashboard is secure (SSL) making it even safer to log in on shared networks
- We provide 210+ themes (and adding more every day) which you can customize, but you cannot upload a custom theme.
- You can’t modify the PHP code behind your blog. The themes can not be changed in any way
- You can’t upload plugins to improve and supplement your blog
WordPress.com is for anyone who wants to keep a journal type blog, without an intention to one day turn this into a monetized solution. Ads and any kind of referral traffic which generates revenue is not allowed in the WordPress.com platform.
With WordPress.com, you don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server to use WordPress.com. Instead, you can focus on creating awesome content!
For no charge, WordPress.com provides web hosting, unlimited database storage with redundancy and backups, automatic software upgrades, community support forums, multi-lingual administration and themes, real-time traffic stats, comment tracking, and other features not available anywhere else.
WordPress.org is for the more serious blogger/small business operator. The number of modifications that can be made, allows you to build a site which meets your exact specifications.
WordPress.org (self-hosted) Benefits
- Ability to upload custom themes
- Ability to upload plugins
- Complete control to change code if you’re technically minded
WordPress.org (self-hosted) Cons
- You need a good web host — This generally costs $7-12 a month, or thousands of dollars per month for a high traffic site
- Requires more technical knowledge to set up and run
- You’re responsible for stopping spam
- You’re responsible for creating and maintaining backups of your site
- You’re responsible for updating the WordPress software when new versions are released
- If you get a huge spike in traffic, your site will probably go down unless you have a robust hosting setup
With WordPress, you can install themes and plugins, run advertisements, edit the database and even modify the PHP code (more advanced users) that powers your site. Anyone can download the software for free from http://wordpress.org, but it must be installed on a web server before it will work. Hosting your own WordPress software can be fun and rewarding, but it also places full responsibility on the blogger.