One of the most common discussions I have with newbie bloggers is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Most didn’t even realize there was a difference and clumped everything into one bucket. But there is! So when I’m asked “Which one should I use?”, I usually respond with “What do you want to do with your blog?”
There are a laundry list of differences, but to save you from being bored, I’m going to cut right to the key differences that I have found are the most important to those who I have spoke to.
The three biggest differences:
WordPress.com is a free open source website that is shared my many people.
WordPress.org is a self hosted website where you are responsible for the fees to maintain it
You’ve heard the saying “you get what you paid for”, and maybe the “free version is exactly what you need right now, however with WordPress.com, there are limitations. With WordPress.com, you cannot upload plugins or themes. You are also not permitted to run Google Adwords on your blog or any ads at all for that matter.
So this overlaps #2 above just a little, but to go a tad more in depth…with WordPress.com, you are not able to get creative with the way that you want your blog to look. With the .org version, you can add a variety of plugins, change the theme or even create your own theme. However, with that also comes responsibilities. Instead of knowing that WordPress will correct any issues when you’re using .com, with .org it is up to you to find a solution, take care of hosting your site, updating your plug ins, and backing up your site.
In my opinion…
If your desire to start a blog is to gain followers and have it grow into something where it can possibly generate some income for you, then I would definitely just jump right in to WordPress.org. I know all of the maintenance may sound overwhelming but the rewards of having the freedom to create whatever you want to create, trumps that fear in my book. WordPress.org is the winner by a landslide in my book.
But what if you want all of the benefits but the maintenance part is still overwhelming? Simple! Just hire someone to help you out! You don’t have to know everything about it…just how to post your thoughts for starters. Outsource the parts you don’t know to help get you started.
What is your experience of using WordPress.org and WordPress.com? Let us know in the comments below.