WordPress.com VS WordPress.org: Which Should I Use?
To make the right choice, simply follow our essential guide…
The Major Differences Between the Two WordPress Builders
There are a large number of key differences between the pair of WordPress builders. Some are crucial factors when considered against the type of website you would like to build and can affect the success of the site.
One of the major differences between the two? How they work. WordPress.com is a hosted service where you would need to setup an account to start creating a site. It is also very easy to setup a quick website, with sites being made in under five minutes.
The other WordPress, WordPress.org, requires a user to download and install the WordPress software. This also requires the user to have their own hosting. Usually it is quite easy to setup as most hosting services such as GoDaddy, HostGator and SiteGround have a quick and easy one-click installation. You can, of course, set up the installation yourself, if you are comfortable with this.
Other key differences include the fact that WordPress.org allows you to add your own plugins as well as upload your own themes for your site. This is ideal if you would like to customise your site to a specific theme. Users can also access all the back-end code on their site with WordPress.org.
WordPress.com does not allow any of this, although various plans may offer more features.
Which WordPress is Free?
From the section above you can probably guess which WordPress costs absolutely nothing.
WordPress.com is the free WordPress and web builder, although depending on which features you may want it may have some cost.
Both WordPress builders need hosting, but they each host sites in different ways. Uniquely, WordPress.com hosts your site/sites whether they’re published or not. This means sites will be published without an extra cost.
On WordPress.org, a user will need to find their own hosting for their site/sites. Hosting can cost anywhere between £2 and can reach hundreds of pounds for different features. Generally the price of the package depends on how much the company offers for that price.
If you have a WordPress.com site, you can still manage your site yourself and transfer your site to new hosting and WordPress.org.
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One of the most appealing parts of WordPress.com is that for most users it is free. Accounts on WordPress.com come with free hosting, sub-domain name, themes and some other features.
Another great reason to use WordPress.com is that it is easy to use. Straight from signing up and making your site, you can start to post and add content right away.
Paid upgrades are also cheap compared to other sites. Generally these paid plans cost no more than $25, which equates to around £19/£20.
One of the most difficult aspects of WordPress.com, a large drawback, is that a user is never fully in control of their own website. A perfect example of this is that a users sub-domain, would have the .wordpress in the domain name.
A user is also limited to a number of free themes and if they want a certain theme on their site, they may need to pay for it.
Plugins also can’t be used on this WordPress.com site. This means a user can’t use Google Analytics unless they upgrade their plan to the platinum WordPress.com plan. You also need to upgrade your plan if you don’t want the WordPress.com ads on your site.
The main advantage of WordPress.org is that the user of the install has full control of their site and the content on their site. Users can also use their custom domain names which they can purchase of domain providers.
For instance if you owned a shop in your city and you sell technology, you may want your site to have a remember-able domain that represents your business. So you may for instance want the domain name ‘shoptechbelfast.com’.
Users also have the opportunity to use free plugins such as WooCommerce, which also allow users to offer E-Commerce on their website. On WordPress.org users can create any type of website. This includes membership sites, a social media type site or even a site that can provide videos for everyone around the world.
One of the biggest cons of WordPress.org is the cost. You will need to first buy a suitable domain name for your site. It can cost anywhere between £2, all the way up to thousands of pounds for a single domain. Premium domains cost a lot more as they are regarded as more sought after domains.
Hosting is another expensive part of WordPress.org and will cost a user at-least a few hundred pounds a year. Generally you will be looking at a plan costing around a thousand or more, as they are usually more ideal for websites, as they offer more visits, bandwidth and other features.
Which WordPress is Better?
Generally both WordPress site builders are brilliant web building tools, but for different scenarios.
For a website such as a personal blog, or a small website for a business to advertise themselves, WordPress.com is a great fit. This is due to the site costing very little for additional key feature you may need for your site. If you don’t need these features? It’ll be free, making it ideal for a blog site.
This means that the WordPress.org is more suited for other styles and types of website.
How Do I Start a WordPress.com Site?
Starting a new site may be a challenge if you haven’t tackled this before. It can, for example, be difficult to have a sense for how it will perform. That’s where WordPress.com really helps you out. As we’ve shown, WordPress.com hosts your site for you so you don’t need to find hosting yourself.
To start a WordPress.com site all you need to do is go to the website and click on a plan to get yourself started. Once you have clicked on a plan, you can then pick a theme for your website. This can be a free theme or a premium theme.
Then, once you have chosen a theme it is time to start builder your website.
How Do I Start a WordPress.org Site?
Starting a WordPress.org site is much more difficult than a WordPress.com site. First of all, you will need to download the WordPress install (a small download). This download will allow you to set up your WordPress site.
With this completed WordPress can’t, however, publish a site online as you will need hosting for your site. Hosting can be cheap or every expensive depending on what your site will need. If you aren’t an expert in WordPress, setting it up can be quite difficult.
Summary: the Right Choice for You?
Overall both WordPress builders are great tools, however they each bring their own pros and cons.
Taking the time to understand the differences can make a big difference to the success of your new ‘DIY’ website.
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