WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
WordPress is a blogging and content management software and yes, there are two types. WordPress.com is a blogging platform and your site would be hosted for free on the their servers.
With WordPress.org the software is still free, but your site is self-hosted with a paid hosting service such as HostGator for example.
This information is very important because you don’t want to spend weeks or months building a blog or website on the wrong platform for your purposes.
Both are free to use and in functionality, both platforms are very similar, but there are some very important differences.
Here are my top 5 reasons for choosing to use
Wordpress.org for your online business
- You own it. You can do anything you want with it (assuming it’s legal of course). With the .com version they own it. Your site is on their servers. They control what you can do with it and if they don’t like what you’ve done they can… take it down. Simple commercial activity can be considered spam. This means weeks, months or even years of work could suddenly disappear.
- You can upload themes. You can choose from hundreds of themes online that you can download and use for free. You can also purchase premium themes and even design your own themes. With the .com version you have to use one of their 70+ themes. You can modify the theme, but you can’t run a custom theme. This means that your blog will probably look like thousands of others using the same theme.
- You can upload plugins and widgets. These add functionality and can enhance the design of your site. The .org version provides unlimited flexibility and customization options. You have complete control over the look and feel of your site. You can even change the underlying PHP code if you know how.
- You can run ads on your site. In fact, there is no restrictions on monetization. With the .com version they don’t allow you to run ads on your site because they can run their own ads on it. You can’t really blame them for that though, it’s how they keep the service free.
- You can have your own domain name and domain email address. The standard domain name on the .com version looks like this: http://johndoe.wordpress.com. You can have your own domain name with the .com version, if you pay an upgrade fee. I think it’s $15 per year.
So the bottom line is if you just want to build a practice site, a hobby site that you don’t plan to monetize, or a special interest site on a topic that you just like to talk about then the .com version may work out ok for you. On the other hand if you are planning to build a business or become a serious blogger then I strongly recommend going with WordPress.org. For the best WordPress training online check out the WordPress Crash Course Videos link on the right hand side of this page.
P.S. If you choose the .org version it is just the type of software that you’ll be using. It does not mean you would have .org at the end of your domain name.