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WordPress.Com Vs WordPress.Org. What’s The Difference?

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WordPress.com vs WordPress.org? As a business owner, if you’re looking to build your own website, you’ve probably encountered this dilemma a time or two. Often times, this is a confusion for many people, and the answer requires extensive explanation.

In this article, we’re going to look at the differences between the two and cover the pros and cons of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. So you can make the most conscious decision about the future of your website.

Before we dive into the details we have a number of top-selling premium WordPress themes on Envato Market (ThemeForest) which we highly recommend. 

The Best Selling WordPress Themes in the Envato Market (ThemeForest)

Now let’s take a closer look at the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress.com is a commercial website that allows you to host your own websites for free. It runs on the open-source platform created by Matt Mullenweg and his company Automattic.

When you host your website on WordPress.com, it’s technically a subdomain. This means that your website address will look like this: yourwebsite.wordpress.com. You can also upgrade to a paid version to use a custom domain to remove the wordpress.com portion.

If you choose WordPress.com, your website will be regularly updated and protected from spam without you having to worry about it. All you have to do is sign up and choose a name for your site, choose from different themes, add your content and hit publish.

WordPress.org, on the other hand, started in 2003 when Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little decided to develop a better and improved version of the blog software called b2 / cafelog. It is licensed under the GPL, which means it can be used, modified, and redistributed free of charge.

With WordPress.org, you have the freedom to download the software and use it to create a website that is entirely yours. Unlike WordPress.com, where you don’t have to worry about hosting. With WordPress.org, you need to choose a hosting provider to host your website with and do all of the backend maintenance.

You also have complete control over the WordPress software and your site. It comes with extensive documentation and provides access to a community forum where you can get help from experienced users. There are also other ways to get involved, such as Contributions to WordPress core code, mobile apps, translations, and accessibility.

In short, both of these are possible options to consider when launching a website. And because of this, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. To help you make your decision, let’s take a look at both platforms and compare their pros and cons.

Why WordPress.com ??

On the face of it, WordPress.com is an attractive option, especially for those intimidated by the technical aspects of owning and running a website. You can get a website up and running so quickly you only have one name for it. Serious.

All technical aspects of a website are taken care of for you. This means that you don’t have to worry about updates, regular backups in the event of problems, and you automatically receive anti-spam protection and a high level of security.

If you choose WordPress.com, you don’t have to worry about finding a reliable hosting company. No need to weigh the pros and cons of hosting providers and determine the best downtime. All of this is done for you.

That’s the good news when it comes to WordPress.com.

Important WordPress.com cons

As appealing as WordPress.com may be, it has limitations on its use that, for the most part, break a huge deal. Let’s examine the cons of using WordPress.com.

Domain name

As mentioned earlier, when you log into WordPress.com, your website address is yoursite.wordpress.com. You have the option to purchase a domain name directly from WordPress.com which rewards you with $18/year for choosing a .com, .net, or .org extension. Other extensions like .me or .co cost $25 per year.

If you’ve already bought a domain elsewhere, you can still use it with WordPress.com. This way, you can pay your domain registrar an additional $18/year for the annual domain renewal.

Design options

If you are thinking of building your own website, you probably have an idea of ​​what you want it to look like. Perhaps you’ve even picked out a theme that you really like with a design that really intrigues you.

Fortunately, WordPress.com has several hundred themes for you to choose from. Some of these themes are free and some are paid for. Aside from a few small tweaks like uploading your own header photo, minor color adjustments, and a limited selection of Google fonts, there’s little you can do with a free website theme.

If you want more control over your design options, such as the ability to incorporate any Google fonts or unlimited color schemes; You must upgrade to an award plan that is billed annually.

However, this option does not allow you to create a fully custom layout with additional functionality that can be achieved by accessing the theme’s PHP code. This essentially means that even if you pick one of their paid themes, which range from $ 39 to $ 150 +, your website is likely to look like many others.

Editing wordpress design
Editing wordpress design

Features are added to WordPress.com Premium plans (but you don’t have full control yet).

How do I choose a third-party theme from a marketplace like ThemeForest? Unfortunately, no matter how much you like them, you can’t use them with WordPress.com, even if you choose the premium plan mentioned above.

Additional functions

Any website owner will tell you that the most important thing is building your email list. And this is all the more true for a small business owner. However, inserting an email registration form to collect email addresses is not possible on WordPress.com. Best case scenario: You need to create a link to your registration form off-site, which can affect your registration rates in the long run.

Speaking of email, if you don’t sign in to Google Apps, you can’t have a custom email address for your domain.

If you rely on videos or pictures, it’s important to mention that your website is limited in size as well. You only get 3GB of storage with a free plan. If you need more storage, you need to choose either the Premium plan with 13GB for $8.25/month or the Business plan with unlimited storage for $24.92/month.

They don’t own your content

If you choose WordPress.com, there is one thing you need to keep in mind besides the point above.

Your website is not really yours. WordPress.com owns your website, and if you violate their Terms of Use, they may shut down your website without notice. If you’re one of those people who don’t take the time to read the Terms of Use, you can break their Terms of Use by accidentally breaking the Terms and Conditions.

Simply including an affiliate link in one of your posts and shutting may cause your website to be shutdown.

Occasionally, if you don’t sign up for a paid plan, WordPress.com may serve third-party ads on your site without your permission or control of those ads.

It’s worth noting that at no point will you be able to enter your own code for ads like Google AdSense.

Now that we’ve covered WordPress.com, let’s take a look at WordPress.org.

Why WordPress.org ??

WordPress.org is almost the exact opposite when it comes to pros and cons. With WordPress.org you have complete control over your website. 

Domain names

If you are using WordPress.org, your website address may be yourwebsite.com, to begin with. In this case, you have several domain name extensions to choose from, e.g. .biz, .info and even newer extensions like .site, .club, .online etc.

The price of the domain ranges from $15 to $100, depending on the extension you choose. However, if you do choose a .com, you can expect to have to spend $15 a year on your domain name. The codebase for WordPress.org is also free to use. Most hosts offer easy installation options.

Design options

At WordPress.org, your design options are only limited by your imagination. From hiring a designer/developer to creating a fully custom website for you; Choose from thousands of themes from the WordPress.org theme directory to purchasing a premium theme with tons of customization options from Envato Market. the sky is the limit.

Choosing WordPress.org also means you can still expand your website by installing one of the many plugins available.

Think of plugins as little modules that allow you to add extra functionality to your website without having to code it yourself. You can use plugins to personalize your website: from adding nice social media buttons to photo galleries and sliders

Additional functions

There is another benefit to purchasing a WordPress.org hosting package. In most cases, you can have unlimited email addresses associated with your website and the best part is that they are available at no extra charge.

When integrating your email sign-up form to grow your email list, you usually have to copy and paste a bit of code into your sidebar or use the right plugin, which takes just a few clicks to set up.

You are in control

The nice thing about using WordPress.org is the fact that you own your content, your website, and everything else related to it. That means no one can close your website, and you’re not limited to using affiliate links for products that really interest you.

You can also monetize your website using different advertising networks like Google AdSense, selling your products, or a combination of both.

Later on, if you want to sell your website, you can too.

WordPress.org puts you in control. Are there any downsides to using WordPress.org? Let’s take a look.

Disadvantages of WordPress.org

WordPress.org is a self-hosted solution, which means you are responsible for purchasing your own domain name and hosting plan. Most hosting providers have the ability to install WordPress with one click, which makes setting up your website relatively easy.

The downside, however, is that you are responsible for the upkeep. In short, you need to regularly secure and update your WordPress website and take appropriate security precautions.

In case something goes wrong and you don’t know how to fix it, you need to hire a WordPress developer to help you solve your problem.

The ultimate difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

While the technical aspects of maintaining a website can seem scary, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

characteristicsWordPress.orgWordPress.com
Full control over your websiteYesNo
The ability to upload custom designs and pluginsYesNo
No technical maintenanceNoYes
The possibility of setting up an online shopYesNo
The ability to upload your own videos and audio contentYesNo
The ability to scale your website as your business growsYesNo

There are two things in particular that you should be aware of.

The first is knowing with WordPress.org that you are in complete control of your website.

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