If you’re into website building, you’ve probably heard of WordPress, the most popular content management system (CMS). But did you know that there are two different versions of WordPress?
WordPress.com and WordPress.org are similar in many ways. But they have some essential differences that are important to understand.
WordPress.com is a website builder and hosting platform owned and operated by Automattic.
One of the main benefits of WordPress.com is that it’s completely free to use, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan for extra features.
WordPress.com will handle all the technical aspects of hosting and maintaining your site. You can create a website or blog using a variety of templates and tools.
If you want to create a simple blog or website and don’t want to worry about technical details, WordPress.com is a good choice. It’s easy to use and has a range of pricing options to choose from.
But, WordPress.com also has some limitations.
You have limited control over the design and functionality of your site. Moreover, you’re limited to using the themes and plugins provided by WordPress.com.
Additionally, you don’t have access to the code, so you can’t make customizations or modifications to your site.
Meanwhile, WordPress.org is an open-source software project that provides a CMS for designing websites.
You’ll need to buy your domain name and hosting, but in return, you can customize your site.
With WordPress.org, you can download and install the software on your web server and then use it to build and manage your website or blog.
If you want complete control over your site and the ability to customize it, WordPress.org is the way to go. It’s an excellent option for those who want a more powerful and flexible website.
Comparison of WordPress.com and WordPress.org
|Domain name||Subdomain or custom domain is for sale||Custom domain required|
|Design and functionality||Limited options||Full control|
|Maintenance and updates||Taken care of by WordPress.com||User responsibility|
|Plugins and extensions||Limited options||Full access to the plugin repository|
|Advertising||Can display ads||No ads|
|Monetization options||Limited||Full control|
|Traffic analytics||Limited||Full access to log files|
|Cost||Free or paid plans are available||The user pays for hosting and domain|
|Ideal use case||Quick and easy setup, limited customization||For advanced users, complete control, and customization|
Pros and Cons of Using WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a hosted platform for creating websites, which means it takes care of hosting, security, and maintenance for users.
- WordPress.com takes care of hosting, security, and maintenance
- Access to an extensive library of themes and templates
- Built-in support for SEO and social media integration
- Option to buy a custom domain name
- Available in many languages
- Limited design and functionality control, including custom plugins and code restrictions.
- Limited storage and bandwidth on free and lower-tier paid plans
- Some features, such as selling products or running a membership site, are only available on higher-priced plans.
- It may not be suitable for high-traffic or resource-intensive sites.
- Limited access to log files and other technical details.
Pros and Cons of Using WordPress.org
WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform for creating websites. Users are responsible for finding a hosting provider and installing the WordPress software on their server.
- A wide range of themes and templates are available
- Ability to customize the site with custom code and CSS
- Full access to log files and other technical details
- No limits on storage or bandwidth
- It requires setup and maintenance on a self-hosted server. This includes finding a hosting provider and installing WordPress software.
- User responsibility for security and maintenance, including regular updates and backups
- It may need a certain level of technical expertise to set up and customize the site.
- It can be more time-consuming and expensive to set up and maintain than a hosted platform like WordPress.com.
Which Is Better for Blogging?
If you’re starting as a blogger and don’t plan on monetizing your site yet, then the free WordPress.com is for you.
However, we advise adopting the self-hosted WordPress.org to make money from your website.
Which Is Better for E-commerce?
If you run an online business that sells goods or services, your best bet is to use a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
While WordPress.com has an e-commerce package, you need more control over the design and functionality of your e-commerce site.
Can I Move From WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
If you’re using WordPress.com, you’ll have limited customization and monetization options. Hence, switching to WordPress.org gives you complete control over your website and opens up possibilities.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for moving your website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org:
- You’ll need to choose a hosting provider. There are many options, but some popular ones include Bluehost, SiteGround, and GoDaddy.
- If you still don’t have a domain name, now is the time to buy one. You can do this through your hosting provider or a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
- Export your content from WordPress.com: In your WordPress.com dashboard, go to Tools > Export and export your content as an XML file.
- You’ll need to install WordPress on your hosting account. Most hosting providers offer a one-click installation option through tools like Softaculous.
- Once you’ve installed WordPress, log in to your dashboard and go to Tools > Import. Select the WordPress option and import the XML file you exported from WordPress.com.
- Now, it’s time to choose a theme for your new WordPress.org website. There are thousands of free and premium themes to choose from.
- Customize your website. You can use plugins to add new features, edit your website’s layout, and more.
- To ensure you don’t lose any traffic, you’ll need to redirect your old WordPress.com website to your new WordPress.org website. You can do this by contacting WordPress.com support and asking them to set up a permanent redirect.
Knowing the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org can help you set up your website on the right platform.
We hope this post has helped you decide which of these two versions of WordPress suits you best. Please leave us a note about which one you are using and why.