Once you decide to create a blog, many questions begin to pop into your mind. One of these questions is “which blogging platform to use”. There are many blogging platforms available such as WordPress (WordPress.com and WordPress.org), Blogger (BlogSpot), Tumblr, Ghost, etc. Choosing the right platform can be very difficult. I have previously written a post which compares WordPress and BlogSpot (Blogger). In this post, I shall be comparing WordPress.com and WordPress.org (self-hosted wordPress). Bear in mind that the purpose of this post is to show you the Pros and Cons of WordPress.com and WordPress.org which will eventually help you make a decision on which one of the platforms best suites you.
MUST READ: Why You Need To Start Blogging Today
Understanding the WordPress Platform
WordPress was initially started as blogging software in the year 2003 but now, it has evolved into a full-fledged content management system (CMS). As a CMS, WordPress can now be used to create any website of your choice. WordPress is the most popular platform today for blog and website creation/ WordPress is an open source project released under the GPLV2 license.
WordPress was founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. It is based on PHP and MySQL and is powered by a parent company called Automattic. WordPress has two variants which are WordPress.com and WordPress.org which I shall discuss later on. WordPress is made up of two major parts: Themes (which handles the appearance of a blog/website) and Plugins (which handles the functionality of the blog/website).
Other interesting to know about WordPress includes:
- 27% of the blogs/websites in the world are powered by WordPress.
- Most of the popular websites in the world are powered by WordPress.
- WordPress platform can be a source of income for individuals and companies.
- WordPress has a support forum where users can get help from.
- You can do a search engine friendly migration of your existing blog from Blogger.com or WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog.
- WordPress has an APP for the two popular mobile platforms (iOS and Android).
- Apart from blogs, WordPress can also be used to create other types of websites.
- WordPress can be installed locally on your computer to learn, test or develop anything on WordPress.
- Automattic powers WordPress.com, VaultPress, Jetpack, VideoPress, WordPress VIP, Gravatar, and many others.
- GeekBado is powered by WordPress!.
Let’s go back to WordPress.com and WordPress.org
WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Like I said before, there are two variants of WordPress. They are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is the free WordPress platform while WordPress.org is the self-hosted WordPress platform. If you are blogging for fun, or as a means of hosting a personal journal, you can use WordPress.com, as it is free and quite easy to manage. If you are blogging to promote your business or to make money, it is best to use WordPress.org (self-hosted) as it is more professional.
Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Here, I will show you the difference between these two variants of WordPress. This will help you understand which of these WordPress platform will be best for you.
Let’s have a look!
MUST READ: Free blogs vs Self-hosted blogs or platform
WordPress.com (Free Platform)
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform where anyone can create a blog for free. WordPress.com is powered by Automattic. When you create a blog on WordPress.com, you will get a free web address like “name.wordpress.com” (where name is the “name” of your blog). Your blog will be hosted for free on WordPress server. WordPress.com is free because your blog is hosted on WordPress server for free and you also get a free web address.
Although, WordPress.com is free, there are still some paid add-ons available for those that need them. You can also buy custom domain name for your blog.
Free things also come with their own hassle and WordPress.com is not left out. When using WordPress.com, you will encounter many limitations in terms of managing your blog. The two main limitations of WordPress.com is that:
- You cannot install third party plugins.
- You have limited theme choices.
The good part is that WordPress.com blogs are very easy to manage as WordPress team will be in charge of managing your blog’s architecture and backup.
When to use WordPress.com
- WordPress.com is best for running a personal blog.
- It is good for beginners who want to learn wordpress and will later move to WordPress.org.
- It is good for companies that need a web-space for announcement and does not need design and branding.
- It is also good for individuals that do not want all the troubles of a self-hosted blog.
- For individuals who do not want to make huge amount of money from their blog.
When not to use WordPress.com
- com is not recommended for individuals that want to make real money from their blog.
- Individuals that want to create a blog for affiliate marketing purposes.
- Companies using a content marketing blog as their marketing channel.
- Individuals desiring total control over their website (FTP, custom code, custom plugins, etc)
- Individuals wishing to use ad networks like Adsense or infolinks.
Here is the Official TOS page for using WordPress.com blogs. It will give you all the information you need regarding fair usage and the full TOS of WordPress.
WordPress.org (Self-hosted Platform)
WordPress.org is a complete blogging tool for individuals who want to make real money with their blog, promote their business, or for any other use such as creating a social network, forum, e-commerce site, business website, education portal, wiki, etc.
In order to use WordPress.org, you need to download a copy of WordPress software from the official download page and install it on your own hosting server. WordPress.org is the most used platform in the world. There are many web hosting companies available for hosting your WordPress.org blog.
Advantages of WordPress.org
- org has no limitations. You are only limited by your own abilities.
- org gives you total control over your blog.
- You can create custom themes and plugins
- You can install third party themes and plugins.
- Monetize your blog anyhow you choose.
The chart below shows the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org:
I hope this article has helped you understand what WordPress is as well as the differences between WordPress.org (self-hosted) and WordPress.com.
I also hope the information I have shared here has helped you to decide which blog platform you should use for your blog/website.
If you have any questions or doubts regarding WordPress, feel free to ask me via the comments section below.
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