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Today, we’ll discuss which is the best CMS in this WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison article. So, let’s get started!
WordPress is the best CMS there is! Most of the sites on the internet today that you know and love are powered by WordPress and one of its greatest advantages is the use of templates and themes for websites. These make it extremely easy even for novices, to set up a WordPress blog or a website in no time.
In fact, it is basically three steps;
- Find a WordPress theme that best represents your brand.
- Create high-quality content.
- Go live.
However, it is not commonly known that there are two different kinds of WordPress. There is WordPress.com and WordPress.org, with each serving a different function. Thus, if you are in the midst of the WordPress.com vs WordPress.org debate, then this blog post will help you figure out the key differences between each.
B. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Key Takeaway
1. WordPress.com Is Hosted By WordPress, WordPress.org Is Self Hosted
There is a difference between Web hosting and WordPress hosting. Depending on your needs, having a WordPress.com hosted site may not be a bad idea. Using WordPress.com will get your site up and running really fast and you will not have to worry about many of the decisions involved with getting a self-hosted site. Fewer worries about hosting fees, as hosting is free.
Using the WordPress.org route means you will have to find your own host. You will also have to pay for a hosting plan and do the heavy lifting when it comes to installing the program. You will also have to deal with the web server as well as maintaining your WordPress site once it goes live.
However, in the long run, having a self-hosted WordPress site will garner you more revenue as it gives you the freedom to customize your site as per your needs and requirements.
2. With WordPress.org And Self-Hosting You Will Have A Domain Name, While You Will Use A Sub-domain When You Use WordPress.com
Domain names are easy to remember URLs that we type in, in order to get to a specific website. www.WordPress.com is an example of a domain name.
A sub-domain is usually tacked on to the main domain. As such, when you are using a sub-domain you can always see what the main domain name for that site is.mysite.WordPress.com is an example of a sub-domain. You can get an upgrade on your plan on WordPress.com, so you can use your own domain, but that would mean that WordPress.com is no longer free.
3. WordPress.org Gives Your Brand More Clout As People See Domain Names As More Legitimate Versus WordPress.com’s Sub-Domain.
When readers see a site that is a sub-domain, it makes them question the site’s legitimacy, longevity, and credibility. This may hurt your brand in the end, as you may be losing viewers without even knowing it. Would you believe an “important” email from a company that still uses free email services such as Google rather than an email address under their own domain name?
On the other hand, websites that use a domain name and not a sub-domain, give the readers a sense of commitment, credibility, and legitimacy with regards to the site’s content. If they trust the site, that means they are more likely to stay on it and more likely to recommend it to their network.
4. You Own All Of The Content And Files On WordPress.org, You Do Not Own Content On WordPress.com.
On WordPress.com you have much less control over your content. In fact, if WordPress.com deems your content or site in violation of the terms of service, they may delete it with no notice to you. This is one of the reasons you can get the service for free. This means all your hard work and intellectual property is not in fact yours. They also have the right to add whatever ads they see fit. This may not always happen, however it is possible and it may.
WordPress.org uses hosting and as such, the only usage policy you have to worry about is the one legislating the use of the server. Other than that all content is yours to do with as you deem fit. This also protects you, as you will not one day find all your hard work down the drain or that there are random ads on your site that you feel are not in line with the brand you are building unless your site got hacked.
5. You can do much more on WordPress.org than on WordPress.com
As stated above, on WordPress.com you do not own the content on your site or blog. This also means you will have limitations as to what you can and cannot do with it. WordPress.com offers free themes for you to use, but these are limited.
On the other hand, WordPress.org has over 10 times more themes than WordPress.com does. So you have much more freedom around what your site will look like.
WordPress.org gives you full access to all the files on your website or blog. Thus, you can easily customize and change what you like at will. If you are proficient at coding, you can even delve under the hood and change the coding of a theme or template to better suit your needs.
WordPress.com does not allow the use of plugins. This means that you are missing key functionalities that would make your blog easier to use and better for your readers. WordPress.org, on the other hand, lets you use WordPress plugins as you choose.
However, the choice of which plugin to use, may in part depend on the server you are hosted on. Thus, when you are shopping around for a hosting company, make sure to choose a web hosting plan that matches your needs.
6. WordPress.com takes a shorter time to setup than WordPress.org
WordPress.com is super easy to set up and is guided. They go as far as to give you the choices of themes you may use, which will best showcase your work. The setup and going live takes 5 minutes max. You don’t have to deal with hosting concerns and that also helps in reducing the time needed to set everything up.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, leaves everything at your doorstep.
You have to download and install the software. You have to find and host your finished website. This takes time. To get a bare-bones website up and running, assuming you have already taken care of the hosting concerns can take maybe 15 minutes.If you choose HostGator as your hosting provider then here is a simple and quick guide on how you can buy a domain, hosting and install WordPress on HostGator .
7. Monetization of your WordPress.org site is faster and easier than on a WordPress.com site.
Monetizing one’s site means putting up ad on your site or blog and thereby make money off it. This is crucial for those looking to making a living from their blog. WordPress.org lets you do that when you set up. With WordPress.com, on the other hand, you have to “earn” the right to monetize your site by having at least 25000 page views a month. This can be difficult for those starting out.
WordPress.org lets you choose what ads are on your site as well as where they are placed. WordPress.com does not. They will choose what ads go where, as they have full ownership of the content on your blog or website. These ads may not always be in line with your vision for your site.