What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

When you want to get into blogging you will automatically stumble over WordPress. It is a free software product that quickly became the most popular blogging tool on the Internet. So far so good, but there is one point of confusion, because you can find two versions  .com and .org and you may wonder what is the difference between WordPress.com  and WordPress.org?

 

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

WordPress is an Open Source software meaning it’s free for anyone to use and modify to meet their personal needs (in this case, to create blogs). But there are two versions of Wordpress. WordPress.com used this core software but provides the hosting for you, for example like Blogger. However since they do the hosting for you for free , it does have limitations.

Alternatively, WordPress.org provides the software to create your blog, but does not host your blog on the Internet for you. You need to find and pay a separate hosting provider to obtain a domain name and host your blog online. By using WordPress.org with a paid hosting service you have the most freedom of what you can do with it.

Here are in all briefness the pros and cons for both

WordPress.com

Pros: 

  • free hosting
  • spam protection included (Akismet)
  • automatic backups
  • automatic updates
  • choose from 210+ themes
  • included social media ready
  • mobile apps
  • integrated stats

Cons:

  • clumpy domain name, like nameofyourblog.wordpress.com
  • third party adds (option to remove them for $30/year)
  • limited control over chosen theme’s design
  • storage is limited
  • number of plugins is limited
  • no monetization, you cannot place ads of any kind

 

WordPress.org

Pros:

  • virtually unlimited number of themes across the web
  • unlimited customization
  • approx. 20,000 plugins
  • can chose your own website name
  • depending on your hosting package almost unlimited space
  • absolute freedom about how you monetize your site/blog

Cons:

  • requires some technical knowledge
  • need to pay for hosting and domain name
  • need to take care of updates, back-up, spam, viruses yourself
  • absolute freedom can be confusing

 

Consider these pros and cons carefully before you choose. For absolute beginners it may make sense to start with WordPress.com if you are not sure whether blogging is something you would want to keep up. On the other hand knowing you are spending money on the hosting of your blog may give you the needed incentive to stick with it.

 

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