The most common problem that strikes into any newbies mind who want to start a blog is – Which blogging platform should I invest on?
Like you even I was driven into the sleek road of uncertainty… But after years of experience I’m here to recommend the beginners about the most flexible and time-worthy blogging platform. And the only place I find such flexibility is WordPress. There is a reason why 74.6 million people depend on WordPress… And more surprisingly 37 million websites are hosted on WordPress.com.
WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular and most talked about CMS platform today.
How many times did you research about starting a blog and bumped with a tagline — Start with WordPress Installation. One to many, right? The experts behind the keyboard are right because anything perfect for blogging is WordPress itself.
After the initiation of WordPress as a blogging platform in 2003, it has been constantly evolving to form a large community of its own. Millions of WordPress lovers across the world are contributing the community. The open source software is rapidly developing and has become the number one choice among all CMS platforms. When you are obvious to select WordPress for your website, there can be another confusion to select a right WordPress platform.
Because WordPress offers two different platforms as WordPress.org and WordPress.com with different features of each, you must consider what they are made for before you choose any one of them.
WordPress.org and WordPress.com are designed for the different purposes. The process of site development on these platforms is also different. The cost and your control over the site vary largely. Your freedom to the complete website database and modifications need much of your time and effort whereas there are some limitations if you want WordPress itself to update your website.
The main difference between these two platforms is who is hosting the website. If you choose WordPress.org, you should pay a hosting company to house your website. Similarly, you must purchase a domain name too. But, if you choose WordPress.com, it’s free for all and forever. Your website is auto hosted under WordPress.com and it itself gives you a domain name as well. So, for the purpose of hosting and domain registration, you need to invest money with WordPress.org which is not required with WordPress.com.
Because you yourself host your website with a hosting company of your choice, WordPress.org is called a self-hosted platform. In contrary, WordPress itself hosts your website free of cost in WordPress.com, it is called a free platform.
Besides these, there are various grounds of difference between these two platforms, which are described below in the points:
Hosting and expenses
With WordPress.com, hosting is free so that you save hosting expenses. Along with no-cost quality hosting, it provides automatic security backups, software updates, and some free plugins. If you are happy with the level of your free-hosted website’s performance, it’s free forever. But If you want to upgrade your website for a specific purpose, there is an option of upgrading it by paying.
With WordPress.org, you must find a hosting company on your own and pay for its service. It adds to the domain registration fee. In total, you must budget monthly for hosting services and annually domain registration fee. In this way, it is costlier than WordPress.com. However, it provides you full control over a website and the software which is not possible with WordPress.com.
Theme and plugin Support
WordPress.com doesn’t give you the full freedom and support of themes and plugins. It restricts you to use any custom themes and plugins. There are limited number of themes and plugins available in WordPress.com which you can use. But you cannot upload any other custom themes and plugins with this platform.
On the other hand, WordPress.org provides you the full theme and plugin support. You can use any theme and plugin you like or even you can build your own. The freedom to use any theme or plugin adds functionality to your website and you can develop it for multiple purposes.
Maintenance and updates
Since WordPress.com itself hosts your website, you don’t need to worry about your website’s maintenance and updates. It automatically keeps your website up to date and secure. You don’t have to follow WordPress news for upgrading your site each time a new version is released. Similarly keeping your website free from the spam and hackers is also their responsibility.
Self-hosted Site with WordPress.org requires your constant efforts for keeping it lively and strong. You must regularly update your themes and plugins, upgrade your WordPress version each time a new version is launched and protect it from the hackers and spams. It is your own responsibility to take care of your website in case it breaks or there is any problem with the server.
With WordPress.com, you have almost no control over your website. There are some terms and conditions under which you must develop your website. You are limited to certain basics of WordPress but can’t have a complete control over your website. You must pay for all kinds of upgrades like removing ads to theme replacement.
Unlike WordPress.com, WordPress.org ensures your full control over the website. You can enjoy the ultimate level of website flexibility here. You can upload any theme or plugin you like, add custom ads, edit all the files, database, and everything else.
Money making prospects
There is zero level of money making prospects with WordPress.com as your site platform. Since you have no access over the core website software, there is no chance of making your site an eCommerce site. It doesn’t allow ads, has limited space and many other restrictions that obstruct you from making money via your website.
With WordPress.org, you have enough prospects of earning money. You have total control over your website, ability to use eCommerce themes and plugins, upload ads etc. that help you earn money. You can use a professional domain name, use a premium theme and a premium plugin to promote your website. In this way, you can build a complete commercial/ eCommerce website in this platform and earn money.
Which is appropriate for you- WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
There is nothing with absolute perfection in it. Everything has both pros and cons. We must choose them on our need basis. So if you are going to start a simple personal blog, don’t have more technical skills and can’t give much time, you must go for WordPress.com. You get everything done by WordPress itself for you like maintenance, updates, and protection of your website.
But if you want to do something more with WordPress, you should choose WordPress.org. It is an appropriate platform for you if want to set an eCommerce site and earn money through it, establish a brand of your own, need more space for your content with a capacity to work around WordPress (skill and time).
Whatever platform you use, make the best use of it! Get your goals achieved and feel free to share your experiences with us! Leave your comments below.