Most of the newbies to blogging have heard of WordPress. They have heard that the WordPress is the most popular blogging platform – being used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015 and totally more than 60 million websites are run at WordPress. But WordPress has two versions, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. And what newbies are mostly confused in is that the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In this article, I’ll explain WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org and also in brief we’ll figure out what can be the best for you as a blogger or as a business website owner.
WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org
If you’ve just thought to create a blog or want to expand business with a website, this article can be very helpful in making more accurate decision as whom to go with, WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
WordPress.com — Hosted
WordPress.com is like a house that you’ve taken on rent. A rented house does not require any construction because it’s already built. All you have to do is pay rent and live there.
WordPress.com provides users services like, Web hosting, domain registration, themes and plugins all at one place. WordPress.com users don’t need to worry for updating their WordPress version, themes, plugins etc. WordPress.com does everything for you.
WordPress.org — Self-Hosted
Unlike WordPress.com, WordPress.org is like an empty space that you have bought and now you can build house yourself on that empty place.
For using WordPress.org, you need to download the latest version of WordPress from the official website. Buy web hosting from any web hosting provider, a domain name from anywhere you want, host the WordPress on the hosting you bought and finally map the domain name with your web hosting. In the self-hosted version of WordPress you need to take of care of everything yourself. You need to update to the latest Wordpress version, update all the installed themes, update plugins etc.
WordPress.com And WordPress.org — Free & Premium Services
As of now you know WordPress.com does everything for you but, at a price. Although they also provide a free plan with limited resources and features but their paid plans include extended features.
WordPress.org is open-source and free. You don’t need to pay a single penny for downloading WordPress archive.
Domain With WordPress.com & WordPress.org
WordPress.com free plan gives a free domain name with a sub domain. An example of the free domain would be “myblog.wordpress.com”. To have your own custom domain name, user will have to upgrade to a Premium or Business plan.
Domain can be purchased from WordPress.com itself but in case you don’t find desired domain extensions, then you can register your domain anywhere else and map it with your WordPress.com site or blog.
WordPress.com free plan provides 3GB of space for uploading content. 3GB space may be enough for a starter. But if the user needs more space then he can upgrade to Premium or Business Plan. Premium plan currently costs $99 per year that provides 13GB of space and Business Plan currently costs $299 that grants unlimited space to upload content.
WordPress.org is hosted on the space that you purchase from any web hosting companies and depending on the company and their plans, hosting space differ. For example, TheITstuff.com is hosted on GoDaddy so the space that TheITstuff has is provided by the GoDaddy.
WordPress.com does not provide access to the internal files through FTP. So user can only upload content like, videos, images and documents using Media upload (feature provided by WordPress.com).
Whereas If you’re using self-hosted version WordPress.org then you’ve access to internal files & folders. For, example you can add code to the website, edit themes, upload your own themes and plugins etc.
With WordPress.com, there is a collection of free and premium themes. But, with Free & Premium plan you won’t be able to use premium themes. Only a Business Plan subscriber will be able to use 50+ Premium themes. One very important thing, even as a Premium & Business plan subscriber you won’t be able to upload your own themes. If you purchased themes from third-party services then you can’t use those themes on your WordPress.com website or blog.
WordPress.org, self-hosted version has the ability to get you access to use free as well as premium themes. Beside the WordPress themes there are tons of free & premium themes available in the market. You can have themes from third-party developers specific to your website or blog. Because with WordPress.org you have FTP access, user can upload their own themes purchased or downloaded from other web developers websites.
Plugins are to extend features. Each plugin you install adds a new feature to your website. If you’re using WordPress.com then you have access to the most popular plugins — Google Integration, Akismet (for blocking spam comments), Site stats, Galleries and carousal slideshows and more. Unfortunately, WordPress.com does not let you upload any third-party plugins. You can only use those plugins that WordPress.com provides and one more very important thing, NO plugins for a free plan. To use any WordPress provided plugin you must subscribe to the paid plan.
With WordPress.org, you have access to the tons of free plugins. You can easily install any plugin that you like from the plugin store. There are multiple plugins for a feature and you can choose one depending on the rating and number of downloads. If you’re using WordPress.org you will never be dissatisfied in terms of extending features through plugins. In case you have a plugin that is not available in the market or some developers provide it at a price then you can simply purchase that plugin and upload it using an FTP client. It will be installed to your website.
This was all about the main features comparison between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. If I missed something that I should have mentioned then please inform me in the comments below. Now that we better understand WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org, let’s decide which one can be best for you.
What Is Best For You? WordPress.com or WordPress.org
The first question comes in mind after understanding WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org is that what is best or better for you. First of all don’t think it’s too hard to decide. There are couple of things that you should keep in mind before making decision. First, do you want the service to manage everything for you, secondly do you want to manage everything yourself. Managing everything means updating WordPress, Installing themes and plugins, modifying code and a lot more. If you want that the service should do everything itself and you don’t want to mess up with hosting and domain plans from other services then the best for you to go with is WordPress.com.
This is not very complex process to host your own WordPress. If you want to host WordPress by purchasing web hosting and domain from third-party services, manage everything yourself, want tons of features and plugins, and thousands of themes as alternatives then WordPress.org is the best choice for you. You have the full freedom to what you want to add into your website and what you want to remove from your website or blog when you choose WordPress.org.
I always recommend hosting WordPress on your own web hosting space. It’s really fun and you get tons of free plugins to extend features. It just takes some time to get familiar with and understand how things work and then you find it best whether you’re a blogger or a business website owner.
Did We Miss Something Important ?
These were some detailed important points that you need to know to clear understanding for both the WordPress versions. If you think that we missed something important to mention then please share it with us in the comments below. We will be happy to include your points, if necessary.