In this article, you’ll learn that there are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org; the differences between these two platforms; which platform we recommend using.
The differences between the two platforms
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You now know what WordPress is and what it can do for you, and you’ve heard all about open source, let’s dive into something a little more complex.
What we haven’t talked about yet, is that there are two different versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In this post, we’ll dive into the differences between these two platforms and we’ll discuss their pros and cons.
In short, WordPress.com is a site where you can create an account and, like that, create your own site or blog.
WordPress.org allows you to download the WordPress software so you can install it on your own site.
While the latter seems more complicated, we also think it has many advantages. But first, let’s explore the main differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org in more detail.
Difference 1: Hosting and domain
The primary difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s hosting your website.
WordPress.com takes the responsibility of all the hosting for you, while with WordPress.org, you take responsibility for where you host your own website.
This suggests that if you use WordPress.org, you need to pay for your web hosting and domain registration, while WordPress.com is free for up to 3 GB of storage size.
However, if you use WordPress.com, you will have ads on your site and you can’t have a custom domain. Your domain will be limited to one of the available subdomains like .home.blog or .wordpress.com. There are paid plans available, however. These premium plans remove ads and allow you to choose your own domain, for example.
If you use WordPress.org, you own your website and data yourself, whereas if you use WordPress.com, you don’t fully. If you want and need absolute freedom, we think you should go for WordPress.org.
Difference 2: Monetization
If monetizing your site is important to you, the better option here is WordPress.org.
WordPress.com’s free version doesn’t allow you to sell ads on your site. If you need to display an advertisement, you require to get a Premium or Business plan. And even with these plans, you’ll give part of your revenue with WordPress, through a platform called WordAds. But, you can monetize your website for free by using WordPress.org.
Difference 3: Maintenance
Some people see as a con of WordPress.org is that you have to do all the maintenance yourself. You have to take care of updates, backups, and security yourself.
However, that further means you own the freedom to decide how often you want to do backups and updates, and what kind of protection measures you want to take.
You don’t need to worry about this if you use WordPress.com, this is automatically taken care of.
Overview of the differences
Okay, so we’ve discussed the main differences. However, there are more differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. We’ve created an overview of the differences:
Example: Renting vs. owning a house
This may be a lot to get into, so let’s attempt to address this a little easier to explain.
You could view using WordPress.com as renting a house: you have restricted power and control over what you can and cannot do. But, maintenance is taken the responsibility for you.
On the other hand, WordPress.org is like having a house. You have full control and you can do anything you want with it, but you also have to maintain the house yourself.
My advice: use WordPress.org
So, if you desire to gain the most out of your website, but also don’t care about getting your hands messy, we’d advise using WordPress.org.
This decision has much better customization choices, and you can install any theme, plugin, and do exactly about anything with your site.
The next step is focus on how to use WordPress.org. Don’t worry, we’ll talk you through every step of setting up a WordPress website. We promise: everyone can do this.
The main advantages of using WordPress.com are that it’s free to use and that you don’t have to take care of updates, security, and maintenance yourself.
However, you have to have a paid plan to remove ads, choose your own domain, have more than 3 GB of storage space, install custom themes and plugins, and advertise on your site. Also, you don’t fully own your site and data.
I recommend you to use WordPress.org because this platform gives you absolute freedom.