Undoubtedly, these two blogging platforms look much alike. At first glance, the only difference you can spot is what comes after the dot, right? However, there is a lot more going on underneath the surface. And you need to know all about it before you make a choice - WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
Believe it or not, this choice will have a huge impact on your online business and its chances for success.
So, let's make sure that you'll make the right one!
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure here.
WordPress.com Or WordPress.org - Why Does It Matter?
As I already mentioned, they look and sound pretty similar.
Therefore, to confuse one with the other is a common blogging mistake every second newbie blogger make.
That being said, you can't afford to make that mistake.
Not if your goal is to turn your website into a source of a full-time income and make money online for a living.
Now, let's start with the biggest and most important difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
To sum up, what pulls these two miles away from each other is the way your blog will be hosted.
In my opinion, you'll gain a better understanding if we take a look at both of them separately.
Above all, WordPress.org is the real deal for the bloggers who would like to see their websites going somewhere business-wise.
Choosing this option means that you'll have a self-hosted blog. Likewise, once you decide on a hosting service and you have your own domain name, you'll use WordPress.org for free.
For instance, let's say that BlueHost is your choice of a web hosting company. I mean, why wouldn't it be considering it's a really good hosting provider that will also give you a domain name for free?
So, once you sign up for BlueHost, you'll have access to WordPress.org thanks to the 1-Click Install feature.
Benefits Of Using WordPress.org
Quite frankly, they are so many!
But let's focus on the ones that can really influence your site as a business:
- A full-control over your website - having a self-hosted blog will put you in a position of being the Big Boss. For all intents and purposes, no force in the world would be able to take your blog away from you.
- Access to all sorts of plugins (free and paid) - you'll be able to use any plugin you consider necessary for your business.
- Tons of customization options - your website, your choice of outlook and design! Meaning, whether you'll go for a free theme or a premium theme, that's up to you.
- Google Analytics is a go - keeping track of your blog's data is crucial for a variety of reasons.
- Possibility to create different types of businesses - online store or a membership site - again, the choice is yours.
- Get paid for running ads - having WordPress.org will assure that you're the sole benefactor of displaying ads on your blog.
- Make money - creating and selling your own products is not a bad choice, is it? And WordPress.org will let you do that!
Disadvantages Of Using WordPress.org
Honestly, there isn't a lot to say here:
- You'll have to pay for hosting - the price will depend on your choice of a hosting provider.
Firstly, if you go for BlueHost, you'll be paying like 3 bucks a month and you'll receive a domain name for free.
Secondly, BigScoots is definitely worthy of consideration as well. This company won't give you a free domain name, but it has other hosting advantages that you'll find attractive.
Lastly, if you become a member of Wealthy Affiliate, what you'll get is a professional blogging training and hosting services, both for FREE!
Now, let's continue the discussion of which blogging platform - WordPress.com or WordPress.org, is better by looking at the first one.
By all means, you need to know that not every type of WordPress.com is free to use.
On the contrary, the platform offers 5 different hosting plans and 4 of them will cost you.
For the purpose of this article, though, we won't talk about them.
Benefits Of Using WordPress.com
- Free of charge - but only until you reach 3 GB of space. Once you're there, you'll have no choice but to upgrade to a paid plan.
- No need to update or back up your site - the platform will take care of that for you.
Disadvantages Of Using WordPress.com
Basically, everything else!
- Prepare For A Subdomain - meaning, you'll have WordPress.com displayed after your domain name.
- Forget About Uploading Plugins - the free version of WordPress doesn't allow that.
- No premium website themes either - you can only choose from the free ones you'll be provided with. And that selection is very limited.
- Ads will be forced on your site - and the worst part is that you won't be the one to earn from having them.
- You can't monetize with ads yourself - it sucks, I know, but that's the way it is!
- Say goodbye to Google Analytics - to be more accurate, you won't be able to say hello.
- There is no option for you to create a membership site or to deal with e-commerce - not possible, not at all.
WordPress.com Or WordPress.org - Which One Is Better For You?
Actually, it's quite simple:
If what you're looking for is to build an online business, the one choice you have is WordPress.org.
Because let's face it - WordPress.com will never let you do that.
As a result, you can use the free version only if a hobby blog is good enough for you.
For instance, it will be fine if what you need is your personal online space to get your thoughts out.
However, to make sure that even a hobby blog can get monetized at some point, don't think twice - WordPress.org all the way!
Well, WordPress.com or WordPress.org - at this point, you should already know what your choice is going to be.
Keep in mind, even if you begin with WordPress.com, you can always move your website to the paid version.
That being said, save yourself some time and get it right from the start!
OK, if there is something you would like to ask or say about this post, that's what the comment section is for!
Feel free to use it and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.