WordPress.com Versus WordPress.org

Nile

· ·Wordpress Hosting

WordPress.com Versus WordPress.org

WordPress.com versus WordPress.org - sounds like a boxing match between twins, right? It’s less like a boxing match, and more like 2 very similar tools that offer a lot of opportunities for website owners across the world.

So, what’s the difference between these two? Why is there so much confusion between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Honestly, it’s probably the fact that both have the same name, and offer a lot of similar features. However, in this article, you’ll learn a little history about WordPress, what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and which one may work best for your needs.

What is WordPress?


WordPress is known as a CMS (Content Management System), which allows the end-user an easier way to design and manage a website. WordPress has been around since 2003, and was co-founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.

The idea behind WordPress, is to “democratize publishing”, in order to make it more accessible to people, so they can share their ideas however they want, whenever they want, and using a software that is fast to set up, and easy to use. The idea was to make it as easy as writing an email, which a lot of users, in the early Internet days, already had decent experience.

Since those days, WordPress has evolved, and has become so popular that it powers 39.5% of all websites online.

But how did they get there, you might wonder? Well, in order to do this, WordPress had to tackle a couple issues. Most of their users were Do-it-Yourself people, or DIYers, on a small budget or no budget. Additionally, there were users with little to no experience or confidence in handling code, so giving them the software would mean that they have problems installing WordPress. So, the developers and community members of WordPress had to turn to developing options for people using self-hosted and hosted web hosting, which tackled the problem of the user-experience and even the user’s budget.

To explain:

Self-hosted WordPress web hosting is where the end-user can completely manage their own website, that they purchased web space and a domain, at a web host. A website needs web space to exist, so there are companies, much like here at Verpex, that offer affordable web space. As for a domain, it is a personalized link, to help make your website more memorable and easier to find.

Hosted WordPress web hosting is where the end-user can sign up and manage their website, but often the web host manages the software and only offers specific features. In a lot of cases, there is little to no cost. Some features can be unlocked if they are purchased.

Now that you know these terms, here’s how they relate to WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

What is WordPress.com?


What is WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a hosted WordPress web hosting solution that uses a modified form of the original WordPress software. This is designed so you shouldn’t have to learn or use code, or possibly break your site. This solution is also like a managed WordPress host solution where you don’t have to worry about security, and the site is already optimized to help with things like website speed.

You, the end-user, only need to sign up, and they give you a free WordPress site, that you can start blogging or creating content on right away. The drawback with the free version is that you cannot make money with it. In order to make money, like selling items or services, or making money using ads, you have to pay for an upgraded hosted web package. Additionally, with the free package, you don’t get a domain. You have to pay for one, or upgrade to a paid package.

Now, WordPress.com does offer larger hosted solutions for ecommerce, and larger websites, but again, a lot of those services are more limited than self-hosted.

In the free version of WordPress.com, you are limited on options for your site’s design (the theme), and are limited to dynamic features that WordPress.com allows, which is Jetpack. The Jetpack plugin offers more for security, speed, social sharing, and your blog comments. Additionally, support is very limited, and if your website violates their terms of service, they can remove your site, without even letting you know. This is a policy that most free hosted solutions, including Google Blogger (Blogspot) has.

However, the beauty of this solution is that if you’re just starting out, you can learn how to use WordPress, before investing in self-hosted WordPress hosting, or upgrading your WordPress.com package.

What is WordPress.org?


What is WordPress.org

WordPress.org is known as the self-hosted version of WordPress. This is the original version and you can download WordPress for free. This software is built by mostly volunteers, as WordPress is an Open Source community. This means that the community also helps answer questions in their support forums, and has put a lot of resources together to help each other.

Once you download WordPress, you can purchase your own web hosting and domain, and then install WordPress. However, a lot of web hosts offer a quick installation option, where you just fill in a couple blanks, and then click a button to install WordPress in seconds. For those who aren’t really much of a code geek, this quick install solution is a lifesaver.

Wordpress quick install softaculous

With the self-hosted WordPress.org option, you have oodles of options available to you, like WordPress themes, and plugins, that can help you create any type of website you desire.

WordPress themes are like what makeup is on a face. It is the design of your website. Themes bring the front of your site to life, and are what your website visitors see. You can either choose a free theme in the WordPress theme directory, buy one that is already pre-made and for sale, or hire a web designer to help design an aesthetically pleasing website.

WordPress plugins give extra functionality to your website that the default WordPress platform doesn’t have. For example, there are plugins to add a shop cart or form to your website. There are others that help you optimize your site for speed, or for search engines, or social sharing to social network sites. There are thousands of free plugins in the WordPress plugin directory.

About Making Money with WordPress


With all the theme and plugin options out there, to help make you any type of website you want to create, you can even make money using WordPress! Cool, right?

You can sell tangible or digital items, make money from ad clicks or sponsored content, or you can even sell your own services. Also, you can even use your self-hosted WordPress website to run community or charitable organizations, showcase your shop or restaurant, or to just have a presence for your business.

Is WordPress.com or WordPress.org better for website owners, and why?


Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are excellent solutions for website owners, but self-hosted WordPress.org with the right web hosting, can offer a lot of flexibility for any user.

If you don’t want to fool around with code at all, then WordPress.com is probably best for you. You will be limited on what you can do, but for those who like to play it safe and really don’t need much, this may be more ideal. If you want to build a large site, using WordPress.com, you will have to upgrade and pay money. And still, even with an upgraded package, you are still limited on what you can do.

Now, if you don’t need anything customized, you can avoid coding while using self-hosted WordPress. In this case, again, you’ll reap the rewards of how many options are available, especially with using plugins to allow you to do whatever you want with your website.

In Summary


If you’re new to WordPress, you may want to sign up for a WordPress.com account, just to play around and get the hang of using WordPress. Once you have, you can either upgrade or set up self-hosted WordPress on a web host that you trust. If you want to jump in with both feet, and just buy your own web hosting, and use self-hosted WordPress, you can play while building your website or hire someone to help you, whether it’s helping you learn how to use your site or even designing it.

The great thing is, that no matter what, when you’re using WordPress, you can use it however you want, and spread the word about whatever you wish. Good luck, and happy WordPress-ing!

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Choose WordPress Hosting?

WordPress is so popular because it allows people to create websites with total customization. With hundreds of apps available for one-click installations, creating something that’s eye-catching and unique is much easier with a CMS like WordPress .

Is WordPress Free?

All you need to do to use WordPress is to invest in a web hosting plan since the software itself is free.

Can I Use WordPress Hosting Without a WordPress Site?

Generally, no. The servers will be optimized to WordPress websites only, and those choosing a managed service will have to build their site using the platform.

Who Should Use WordPress Hosting?

First of all - people using CMS WordPress

Nile
About the Author
Nile Flores

Nile Flores is a long time professional blogger, as well as WordPress website designer and developer from the St. Louis Metro East. Nile blogs at Blondish.net, where she’s passionate about helping website owners, whether they’re small business owners or bloggers. She teaches about Blogging, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design, and WordPress. Additionally, Nile loves to speak at WordCamps (WordPress conferences) across the United States. When Nile isn’t knee-deep in coding, she’s a proud mom of a college student, and enjoys oil painting, cigar smoking, nail art design, and practicing traditional Okinawan kempo karate.

View all posts by Nile Flores
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