Are you confused when it comes choosing between using WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Some people think they are the same thing with a different domain suffix, but that could not be further from the truth. WordPress.com is hosted blog software, while WordPress.org is self-hosted blog software. People need to analyze both before decide which one is right for them. In this post we’ll give you everything you need to know to make your decision.
Lets get started…
The Benefits of Using WordPress.com (Hosted)
First of all, WordPress.com is free to use. WordPress.com provides the software and the hosting for a blog, so people do not have to pay anything.
Easy to use
While people are drawn to WordPress.com because it is free, they often stay because it is so easy to use. People can create their WordPress.com blog in a matter of minutes. They simply need to select one of the available themes and then upload it. Then, they can start posting their blog posts. They do not need to have any coding experience to get started. They just need to point and click.
No Coding Required
It is also incredibly easy to change themes so people can make changes as often as they want without having to worry about a lack of coding experience holding them back.
Network of Other Bloggers
People also like the fact that they can get free traffic with WordPress.com. WordPress.com features different blogs that are a part of the network, and being a featured blog can bring in a great deal of traffic. Of course, not every blog will be featured, so users need to make sure their posts are exceptional so they stand out.
No Host Maintenence Headaches
Additionally, users do not have to worry about any of the headaches that come with hosting. They don’t have to concern themselves with up and down time, and they don’t have to worry about security vulnerabilities or site maintenance. This makes the experience stress free for users.
While there are lots of benefits, WordPress.com comes with some weaknesses as well.
The Weakensses of Using WordPress.com (Hosted)
Lacks Full Search Optimization
The lack of optimization options is the biggest drawback for WordPress.com users. People can’t upload customized themes and they can’t customize their sites with plugins. Users simply do not have much control. That is the sacrifice they make for free hosting.
On a Subdomain
Users also have a subdomain on the end of their domain names unless they register a domain name with WordPress. People have to pay a yearly fee to keep a registered domain name. The fee is well worth it, though, since it provides users with a professional looking domain name.
WordPress.com also comes with limited storage. The free plan only offers 3 GB of storage. That is fine for people who blog as a hobby, but serious business owners will likely outgrow that space.
Difficult to Monetize
Finally, it’s difficult to monetize the traffic with ads on WordPress.com. People must have at least 25,000 page views a month before they can sell ad space on their blog. Those who meet the criteria have to split the ad revenue. That means it is very difficult to make good money off ads on WordPress.com.
Now let’s take a look at WordPress.org…
The Benefits of Using WordPress.org (Self Hosted)
WordPress.org provides people with a lot of control. Users can upload customized themes. They can also install a free theme or purchase a pre-made theme from a designer.
Thousands of Plugins
WordPress.org users can also use plugins. There are thousands of plugins available for WordPress.org users, and they can do all kinds of things. Users can install a plugin like Yoast to improve the site’s SEO and generate site maps, or the AWeber Web Form plugin to collect email addresses. People can also use plugins to create contact pages, automatically publish posts to social networks and more. There are even plugins available to create membership sites. Best of all, developers constantly create new plugins, so the options are constantly expanding.
Can be Monetized
Finally, people can sell ad space and do other things to monetize the blog on WordPress.org. This can turn the blog into a money making machine.
The Weaknesses of Using WordPress.org (Self-Hosted)
Requires a Web Host
People who use WordPress.org have to sign up with a hosting company and pay a monthly fee. They also have to purchase a domain name and renew that name every year. These costs can add up over time.
Requires Technical Know How
On top of that, people need to have some technical knowledge to get the most out of WordPress.org. They need to know how to use an FTP client to upload files and images. Those who do not know how to use an FTP client will have to hire someone. This will add to the costs associated with the blog.
Must Be Ready to Handle Security Breaches
Security is another issue. People who use WordPress.com do not have to worry about security, since WordPress handles everything. Those who host their own blogs have to watch out for hackers, though. Fortunately, there are security measures site owners can take to lessen the chances of a breech. First, of course, people need to use strong passwords for their sites. Then, they can install a plugin like Limit Login Attempts. The plugin will only let people attempt to log into the control panel so many times. Also, users need to make sure they update WordPress every time a new update is released. If they fail to update the software, hackers may be able to find a way into the site. Those who take these precautions will not have many security issues. Still, security issues are always a possibility with a self-hosted site.
The Bottom Line
WordPress.com is a good option for people who are just blogging as a hobby or maintain a personal blog. They can have some fun without having to spend money or put much time into the process. The stress is low and the result is good.
However, people who are using their blog for a business should consider getting a WordPress.org blog. It gives users more control than they could get from WordPress.com and the plugins make it more functional and professional.
In the end, it is really a matter of personal preference and what you need from your blog. Both are solid options, so people need to choose the one that meets their needs.