It is often confusing for beginners when they learn of how easy WordPress is to use, want nothing more than to get their blog up and running, only to find out there are actually two WordPress software versions: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. What are the differences between the two? Which one is better? Which one should I use? All of these questions are easy to answer, simply view the infograph and read below in full detail, the pros and cons to using WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
If the above infograph convinced you to use WordPress.org for your website, then also be sure to use this blog’s step-by-step guide to learn how to use WordPress.org to make your own website.
Here is a breakdown of pros and cons to using WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
- Free for up to 3GB of space. If you use more than 3GB of space you will have to upgrade to 13GB for $99/year or unlimited for $299/year.
- Maintenance (backups, updates, etc) is all taken care of for you by Automattic.
- Can start off with a free website and then migrate to a paid one once you start getting traffic.
- You cannot use plugins. Plugins are an extremely important feature with WordPress.org, but with WordPress.com you are limited to the nearly two dozen ‘built-in’ plugins. You can sign up for the WordPress Enterprise upgrade for a ridiculous $500/month, which will then allow you to have access to nearly 100 optional plugins.
- Free websites may have ads placed on them, the only way to get rid of these ads is to apply and get accepted for ‘WordAds’ or pay $30 for an ad-free upgrade.
- You can not host your own ads on your website unless you have, at least, moderate traffic. You can then apply for ‘WordAds’ which splits ad revenue with Automattic 50/50.
- You are bound by their Terms of Service.
- The default domain comes with a ‘wordpress.com’ in the URL (yourwebsite.wordpress.com), though you can pay the $18 / year for the upgrade to get rid of this annoyance.
- Custom themes are not allowed, you can only use the free or premium themes on WordPress.com.
- Complete theme control, including customization of themes.
- Access to tens of thousands of free and premium plugins.
- You are in full control of your website and don’t have to worry about your site being closed down because you violated the Terms of Service (just don’t do anything illegal).
- You have the freedom to monetize to your hearts content and don’t have to split the ad revenue with anyone.
- Maintenance is not taken care of for you. You are responsible for updates and backups.
- You need to find your own hosting which (for low traffic websites) is roughly $40~ a year, as your website grows in traffic your hosting costs will as well.
- You need to purchase your own domain name ($10 – $15 / year).
So Which Should I Use? WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
This all depends on what kind of website you are planning on building. If you want to create a professional and money making website, then WordPress.org is probably your best bet since you won’t have to worry about an unprofessional looking URL (yourwebsite.wordpress.com), can customize and add plugins to your liking and can monetize without restrictions or splitting the revenue.
If you want to create nothing more than a casual blog that you won’t be spending a lot of time on, then WordPress.com is your best bet, especially since you can perform minor upgrades (like a custom domain) down the road.
If you plan on going with WordPress.org, you can go with GreenGeeks as your webhost and you will get a free domain name for life (which the majority of other web hosts do not offer) and the hosting itself is only $3.96 a month, with a one-click install script for WordPress.
Hopefully you liked the organized info and I hope this page helped answer your question about which WordPress you should choose, if it didn’t or if you have any questions that this page did not answer, then please head over to the contact page and ask me anything (and don’t worry, I respond to all emails ).