For many newcomers to WordPress, there is sometimes confusion between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
These are similar and different things which can be said briefly like this:
- WordPress.com is a website platform that allows users to build a blog or website on the servers of WordPress.com. The website or blogs are almost free, but they are limited by using features. Besides, users can upgrade to have more features, but they have to pay the fee.
- WordPress.org is a free and open-source platform that gives the users run their websites or blogs on their own hosting servers. The source of WordPress.org has developed by hundreds of experts, mostly based on PHP and MySQL.
When speaking only WordPress (without .com or .org), the default is often to mention the open-source of WordPress.org.
And now we study the details of differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
Manage your data source of website and blog
WordPress.org is an open-source that allows you to create professional websites and blogs with a lot of functions, from simple to complexed sites.
The data of the websites or blogs run on your own servers. Thus, you can totally manage your data by setting up it, maintaining, upload or backup data.
However, you need to have a server or WordPress hosting to run your data of the website, which is suitable for WordPress codes running smoothly. And, you have to know about how to manage a server, VPS or at least a shared hosting.
By using WordPress.org, you are not worried to depend on anyone. If you want to move your websites from this server to another hosting company when you want to try better hosting services, all are free to do. You have all power to control your databases of sites.
Unlike WordPress.org, WordPress.com allows you to set up websites on its own servers and databases.
Although it is easy to start a WordPress website on WordPress.com, and you do not need to operate hosting, WordPress.com has the right to delete your data if they recognize your sites violating their rules.
Besides, WordPress.com will limit you to their services. When you want to upgrade more features, you have to pay to start opening limits. And, if you customize some details which need to go inside the codes, you cannot do it on WordPress.com.
It means you almost depends on the services of WordPress.com, and limit you in its game.
The fee to start & maintain the service
The source codes of WordPress.org is free of charge, you just come to its download page to save the platform.
As mentioned above, you need to have a server to store your websites or blogs. This hosting will cost you a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per month, depending on how big is your sites.
Here are the good suppliers for WordPress websites for you to check: Sectorlink.com that supplies the cloud hosting with US locations and Fastcomet.com that has the locations of servers around the world.
Besides, the second one will cost you, that is a domain for your website. But, a domain name is not much, just from 8.8USD per year, that is so good to have a good one. I recommend you to check and buy it at Namecheap, because I have a lot of experience to use at different domain providers, and Namecheap is my favorite one.
Other things of a WordPress website need your investment. They are premium themes and plugins. When starting a WP site, you can use a free theme and free plugins, but when your site develops with a lot of traffics and customers, and you want to make it look more different, it’s time to buy a premium theme and plugins suitable for your needs.Luckily, the premium WP themes and plugin are not expensive. From 20 USD to 100 USD is to give you a very professional theme and the same for a plugin. The best places where you can find good themes and plugins are themeforest.net (themes and plugins), www.elegantthemes.com (themes) and theme-junkie.com (themes).
The investment on a premium theme and plugins is strongly recommended when your website can give you a good income. In most cases, this fee is worth spending.
You only need to sign up for a free account to create a blog based on available templates. Although some templates are nice, there are not many themes to choose from. Thus, it is hard to find a suitable theme for some special services of your needs.
And, the limit of storage is also needed to notice. It allows you a maximum of 3GB of data storage. If your website focuses on photos, with free hosting, it’s not quickly full to save the data.
Thus, if you need more space to store your website or blog, you have to pay for extra services. For some people, these services are not cheap.
- Best for Personal Use is from $4 per month, billed yearly is 48USD.
- Best for Freelancers is from $8 per month, billed yearly is 96USD.
- Best for Small Businesses $25 per month, billed yearly is 300USD.
- Best for Online Stores (eCommerce) is $45 per month, billed yearly is 540USD.
The level of difficulty in using
To use WordPress.org to create a complete website is difficult for beginners, but also easy if you are an open-minded person who can search and learn online.
It is difficult because you need to know how to choose which host service is suitable for the WordPress website, how to buy a domain and connect it with hosting, install and customize a theme, setting up SEO plugin ….
But, it is easy as I mentioned because all information to start a WordPress website is available online, and it takes you time to read to have enough knowledge to manage your sites completely. Besides, many forums or Facebook groups of web developers welcome you to join to exchange knowledge and discuss what you meet during your time to develop your products.
WordPress.com is easy to use as a social network. With a free account, you are limited to basic features.
However, this is enough for beginners who just want to write as a hobby to kill your time, to share your feelings and ideas to the public. WordPress.com can an alternative network instead of writing on Facebook because it is simpler to organize and store contents than Facebook.
The ability to optimize contents for search engines
When creating a website, you will surely have your own purposes. Most people use it to serve their business needs, make money online, promote products or any services …
With commercial purposes, it means that you will want to achieve profit more or less. The first thing is that you need your site to come to the readers and customers to introduce your services, products to them; thus, the ability of search engine optimization of a website must be noticed to improve showing it on the Google.
And, WordPress.org has the best optimization ability. With its open-source, the level of customization is endless.
You can find all suitable applications to develop the website according to your needs, including SEO themes or plugins, landing page, email marketing support, banner ads,…
On the other hand, WordPress.com is much more difficult to do SEO or redesign the interface suitable for marketing or SEO.
Besides, the ads of WordPress will come; therefore, it is not good for your own business. And, when you want to remove their ads, you have to upgrade to a paid plan. But, this fee is not cheap. With this budget, you can develop or have someone make a completely beautiful WP website with all capacity to manage it.
Also, you cannot put your old ads until your site has from 25,000 page views per month, and you have to share the income with them.
Backup & security capabilities
When developing a website with WordPress.org platform, all information is your management. You can back up its data whenever you like to keep it safe from hackers.
There are many methods to attack a site; however, when some web pages have an easy password such as 123456789, your name, phone, birthdays…; when you download free themes, plugins from unreliable places; download and install untrust software…, they are easy to be hacked. Thus, you need to avoid these things at least to keep yours safe.
Most of the blogs on WordPress.com are safe because they have good teams to support security.
However, you need to notice the security of your email, username, and password to login into your account on WordPress.com. In some cases, you may be blocked to manage your blogs on WordPress.com when you lose username, password and admin email. When it happens, you do not have any data to upload to a new site.
Supports and guides to using WordPress
WordPress.org has a huge number of users creating a big community. With big or small errors, you can find a lot of guides and supports to solve these problems.
You can find any WordPress experts who are open-minded to share valuable skills, experiences to develop WP websites, themes, plugins, SEO right on WordPress.org, forums, or Facebook groups. You may learn a lot from them.
WordPress.com also has the support pages and teams on it. It is because WordPress.com is easy to use, it is hard to find the expert communities outside its site to support issues of WordPress.com blogs.
What can you take away from WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com are similar to manage at the dashboard. But, WordPress.com has more limits than WordPress.org.
When you want to choose an easy platform to start a blog for fun, starting with WordPress.com is a good choice. But, if you think you will earn money from your blog, or you want to build a website for your business, WordPress.org is the right one for you.
The two best things which I like are that WordPress.org can run smoothly and fast, which one of the important things is used to rank your content on Google, and you have all ability to manage and customize your sites with WordPress.org.
Which site will you choose to start: WordPress.org or WodPress.com?