.com or .org – that is the question
WordPress is THE most popular content hosting platform out there used and abused by everyone and their mother from a school kid to a real entrepreneur.
However, as you may have probably noticed if you ever blogged with WordPress, that there are two versions of the tool: wordpress.com and wordpress.org and even though it essentially works the same in either format, here are some fine detail between the 2 options.
Same, but very different. Let me explain.
WordPress.com is a blogging platform like Tumblr, Blogger, Medium, Ghost, and many more. As a host, they manage and curate your blog (that you can create and run for 0.00$) in exchange for placing their ads there.
Some of the major pros are:
- Inexpensiveness (we did mention it’s free, right?)
- Your blog ends up on hundreds of services making it highly unlikely to go down or crash
- Like a great manager, it lets you fully concentrate on what you came there for – content creation by taking care of everything else: setup, backups, spam, security.
- It’s very easy to set up. Again, step by step guide-through, tips, help. If a blog host were a mom, it would probably be called WordPress.com.
- A common myth claims using wordpress.com you can’t have your own domain, which isn’t true. You can either purchase one from the hosting platform or use your own.
However, there is a big downside to all that tutelage.
You can’t *clears throat*:
- Customize the PHP
- Customize themes or templates
- Upload plugins
- Fully optimize your SEO with a WordPress plugin
- Gutenberg vs Classic editor
This last one became a subject of many debates even before the official release. We also had small voting going on on our Facebook page to see which editor do our followers prefer. The result came out a 100% in support of the Classic Editor.
To read more about the Gutenberg editor, check out this article done by Kinsta (a managed WordPress hosting provider).
WordPress is also slow (The CMS running on the server requires more server resources than a traditional web page). And those uncustomizable plugins are also in constant need of updating.
To put it short, as worded nicely by The Balance Small Business: “You have very limited control of your content and it can be hard to download or export should you decide to switch to a self-hosted blogging platform. It is important to decide which is more important: price or flexibility.”
Here is where the main difference lies – .org is where you can download free software to install your own site. Knowing that creating a personal website will cost you an arm and a leg, this offer sounds blissful.
Moreover, as it is your own server, you get full control over the feel of the blog.
All you need is a domain and a web hosting.
You get to:
– use plugins and all the advanced features coming with them
– edit the theme
– customize and change the code
– add free, paid, custom apps
– use google analytics
– host a functioning online store
– create membership sites
And most importantly,
- Make money from it
The only couple downsides to using WordPress.org are:
- You do need a domain and a web hosting. The cost of those usually varies between $3-10 monthly per web hosting and about $15 for a domain name, however, as your blog gets more traffic the hosting cost will increase, though the site should be paying itself out by that time.
Also, important to note, that Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider has agreed to offer users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.
Other hostings to consider: MAMP, InMotion, 1&1 IONOS.
- No mother to take care of the updates and the backups. You and only you are responsible for keeping your blog running at it’s best capacity. However, clicking on the update button (literally one click) isn’t much work and backup-wise there are options to set up an automatic backup plugin.
- You’ll need to set up WordPress to be able to log into your WordPress dashboard. However, Bluehost, for instance, (see mentioned above) comes with everything preinstalled.
According to the website itself, the wordpress.com hosting service has 5 plans:
- Free – Very limited.
- Personal – $36 per year
- Premium – $99 per year
- Business – $299 per year
- VIP – starting at $5000 per month
Whereas the cost of WordPress.org depends on whatever you want to build.
A low-budget website will amount to about $45-50 a year as the ONLY cot you need to incur for your site is hosting.
|WP.org (Platform)||WP.com (Free)||WP.com (Premium)||WP.com (Business)|
|Cost||$46 – $100 / year||Free||$99 / year||$299 / year|
|Hosting Storage||Unlimited||3 GB||13 GB||Unlimited|
|Monetization Freedom||Yes||No||Yes (with rev/share)||Yes (with rev / share)|
|All SEO Features||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Full Theme Support||Yes||No||Limited||Yes|
|Full Plugin Support||Yes||No||No||Yes|
- the table is taken from the wpbeginner.com
As the company itself beautifully worded it: “It comes in two flavors: the fully hosted wordpress.com, and the self-hosted version, whose software is available for free at wordpress.org.”
If you are willing to keep the world’s finger on the pulse of your life – get the free version and let them handle the rest. Though, if you are willing to start an online business, run your ads and monetize your content, get your hands dirty and get the .org.
Still not sure which one to get?
Check out the support tables on WordPress official website.