WordPress Website: The Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
When you first started your website, you might not have even realized all of the different options that were out there. You likely chose your current platform because of the price and ease of use. Now, you’re wondering, did I make the wrong choice? Should I switch to WordPress.org? There are several differences between the WordPress website platforms and hopefully, the following will help you get the answers you’re looking for. And of course, if you have any other questions, you can comment after this post.
While the title specifically says this is about WordPress, you can also lump Blogger (and any other site builder you might be using) in with WordPress.com as well. Why? Because these are not self-hosted sites.
What does that even mean?
WordPress Website Hosting
Self-hosting means that you are in complete control and that you own everything you are putting out through your site.
When you’re using wordpress.com (or those other platforms) this means that you are using an online service to house (or host) your site. There’s nothing wrong with this, but as you start to grow, you’re going to want more options and you’re likely going to get frustrated because these sites are limited in what you can do with them.
With WordPress.com, you are also not technically the owner of your content. They are. And while there can be weird instances that come up when you are selling products or services on your site (that aren’t necessarily common), the thing that you should realize is that you are not ultimately in control.
When you build your website on the WordPress.org platform, you are using their platform to build the site, but you need somewhere to house all of your files. This is where WordPress hosting comes in. By purchasing a hosting account to house your website, you own your content.
WordPress Website Pricing
Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org cost money when it comes to setting up a professional website.
WordPress.com also appeals to those in the beginning stages because they seem to provide a lot of support and offer a lot of options to assist you when it comes to using their software. But, beware, they are also going to charge you for that help.
And they’re going to charge more to do something very simple if you just had the knowledge and tools to do it.
On top of that, when you start to grow you are going to want more storage space, more theme options, to get rid of ads… even purchasing your domain name through them runs you about $8 more a year than purchasing it elsewhere. That might not seem like much, but all of these things add up over time.
They get you by giving you free access to start, but then charge premium rates once you start wanting to make your site more personalized to your needs.
With WordPress.org, you get access to the platform for free, but it takes a little more knowledge to get everything set up and ready to go so you can once again find yourself in that oh, so familiar dashboard.
You also need to purchase a domain (which you might already) and a hosting package.
Related Post: How to Choose and Buy a Domain
The difference is, you are buying an independent home for your site. This is where your files are stored and the behind-the-scenes magic happens. And this is where WordPress.org gets installed so that you can then log into your Dashboard (just like before), only now your options are basically limitless as to what you can do with your site.
Related Post: How to Know Which Hosting Package to Purchase
Obviously this is by no means exhaustive. The key things you should realize are that with WordPress.com you do not own (or even necessarily control) your content and you will pay more than you need to in order to expand your options. The good news is, even if you already have a WordPress.com site, you can move your site to WordPress.org if that it the right choice for you.
Related post: How to Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
Wondering if it’s time for you to make the switch? What questions do you have? Comment below.
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Author: Julie Daq
I'm Julie Daq, the leading lady at The Business Builder's Blog as well as Island Business Design. I love to create, share, and implement business strategies for upcoming and current entrepreneurs. When I'm not at home glued to my laptop, I can be found sailing around the San Juan Islands with my sailor, kayaking with orcas, or eating french fries at my favorite Tuesday night hangout.