When people think of WordPress, they usually think of a “blog”. Although WordPress is one of the world’s largest blogging platforms, it is also a complete content management system and a great way to build many different types of websites. The debate arrises when deciding which version of WordPress to use: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org?
WordPress.com is also known as the “free” WordPress, which appeals to so many new users. However, we have to remember that nothing is really “free” and WordPress still makes substantial profit from upgrades and addon fees. There are some advantages to using WordPress.com. For beginners, it is the easiest way to get started. The user can pick from a list of different themes provided by WordPress.com, and the hosting is basically free. Although this may sound promising for bloggers on a limited budget, there are some disadvantages as well. With WordPress.com, you are limited to the themes provided by them which may not be what you’re looking for, especially when competing with original themes created by designers. Also, you cannot install plug-ins on the free WordPress hosting, which limits your site functionality. WordPress can also choose to display ads on your site, unless you upgrade to their Ads free hosting for $30/year. Lastly, and what many consider to be of huge importance, you cannot use your own domain without paying a fee. If you sign up with WordPress.com, your domain name will be a sub domain to their own. For example, if your domain name was exampleblog.com then your domain with WordPress.com would be: exampleblog.WordPress.com. To have your domain separate from WordPress.com, you will need to pay another $18/year fee.
Regardless of their cons, many still choose to use WordPress.com because of the simplicity of having a website without worrying about finding a host and still getting a great option to get a website online quickly and economically with limited control.
Although WordPress.com may be great for a simple blog, websites for businesses, e-commerce, or growing sites need more flexibility and control which is why self-hosted WordPress.org is a better option.
There are many advantages to using WordPress.org vs. the free WordPress.com. WordPress.org, or self-hosting WordPress, allows the user to have complete control over their site, including installing any WordPress theme and plug-ins. You also have complete control over ads, meaning you can choose not to have any displayed on your site or you can place your own banners, affiliate links, adsense, etc. and even get paid by companies directly for these promotions. The cost of hosting with WordPress.org is considered by some to be a disadvantage, however it can be more cost effective than the WordPress.com upgrades if you find a reasonably priced hosting provider.
When looking for a hosting provider, new buyers want to make sure they are getting the most for their money while still receiving reliable and quality service. One of the most popular and trusted hosting companies on the market today is Bluehost. They are one of the oldest web hosting companies in the business and the largest brand name for WordPress hosting, being recommended by WordPress.org since 2005. They also offer a one-click WordPress install directly through their cPanel, so there is no knowledge of FTP required and installation is as easy as a mouse click. For as low as $4.95/month, they offer unlimited domain hosting, unlimited emails, and many more services and addons. You can also upload any WordPress theme, so your options are not limited to the small assortment of themes provided by WordPress.com. You can find any custom-made theme to match your style and vision from sites like: MojoMarketplace, TemplateMonster, ThemeForest, etc.
So what’s better, WordPress.org or WordPress.com? Although they both have their pros and cons, it’s hard to say which service is better. There are many different WordPress options and self-hosting to choose from, but ultimately it is up to the user to decide which is better for their needs, as every website is unique.