WordPress.com versus WordPress.org: Which one should I use?
If you have ever read any of WebScripto’s blog posts, you would have noticed that we prefer WordPress as the go-to web platform of choice. You would also have noticed the reasons why we prefer WordPress. Answering that question normally ends up in a WordPress.com versus WordPress.org discussion.
A question we do get asked often, is which WordPress platform to use. This gets asked, because as soon as a person researches WordPress as an option for a website platform for the first time, he/ she finds both WordPress.com and WordPress.org in the search results.
In today’s article, we will consider the differences between the two WordPress platforms and the pro’s and con’s of each. To the right of this article I have included a helpful comparison between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is not related to WordPress.org and can be seen as a proprietary blog hosting service provider. It is thus providing the server on which the blog, website, portfolio or online store will be hosted. It also provides a default domain (www.wordpress.com) to which your website domain will be added as a subdomain (www.mywebsite.wordpress.com). Although WordPress.com uses the WordPress software at its core, there are several limitations to WordPress.com.
WordPress.com has several limitations, such as very limited available themes and plugins. You cannot use custom themes on WordPress.com. Plugins which is one of the best WordPress features, cannot be installed on WordPress.com
Lastly you cannot use ad platforms such as Google Adsense on your WordPress.com website. You are only allowed to use WordPress.com’s advertising platforms which must be paid for.
WordPress.com offers 4 different packages (plans):
Personal Plan: $4 (per month, billed yearly)
Premium Plan: $8 (per month, billed yearly)
Business Plan: $25 (per month, billed yearly)
For further reading on the various plans you can visit this page.
What is WordPress.org?
The answer is very simple. It is everything that WordPress.com is not. With WordPress.org you have access to all the themes and plugins available and you are in no way restricted by having access to add-ons developed by Automattic, the owners of WordPress.com. With WordPress.org, you simply install the WordPress software on your hosting server and enjoy all the freedom you need in developing and designing your own unique website.
I trust that the brief overview of these two WordPress options will enable you to decide which platform you need and when one option may be preferable over the other.
As always, please feel free to add a comment, share your view or ask any question you may have.