When starting your own site on the Net is looming in the horizon, you’re forced to make the decision – a crucial one – about whether to use a CMS or not. Obviously, you decided to go with one since you’re here now. Then, among the great range of CMS of all sizes and colours you pick WordPress (for the reasons known to you only) and sigh with relief.
Wait a sec, what kind of WordPress would you like to get? We’ve got wordpress.org and wordpress.com,’ – this is what you’d possibly hear in the CMS market if there was one.
Anyway, you’re faced with a choice. Again. And you don’t know for sure what is wordpress.org and how it is different from wordpress.com. Let us see, what are the two WordPress versions and which one you will have wrapped up and brought home.
To ease your desicion making, here’s a couple of questions to answer:
- Would you want your website to growing the future or would you be happy with it as is?
- Is your site going to be a personal one or professional portfolio?
- What is your experience of running websites?
- How much learning are you ready to do?
Now, take a look at the brief comparison of wordpress.org and wordpress.com in their most important aspects.
What’s do you look at in the supermarket when choosing between two similar products? The price! Dissapointment – both wordpress.org and wordress.com are free (however, a thing can be free in different ways, but let’s well on it a bit later).
This is a question specific to the Internet community. The thing is, wordpress.org is the site, where you can get your free copy of WordPress software. But to install it and have it available online, you need to pay for the hosting services, know the basics of FTP, MySQL database creation, take care of your site security and back up your data.
In case you go for a wordpress.com, you don’t have to worry about the hosting, security or back up. Everything is done for you at no cost and done well.
When it comes to the right of an owner, it’s a different story. WordPress.org provides you with a software, and then you’re its owner, you can modify it, use your domain name for the site and use it to your own taste.
With wordpress.com, you’re limited to some extend. You’re sharing a domain name ending in wordpress.com, and you have to adhere to the rules of your landlord (because you’re kind of using a rented space, but for free). Actually, you can stay away from wordpress.com part in the domain name, but this is paid. Moreover, this change will take away your SEO rankings. This is why it’s better to decide on this prior to starting a site.
As your auditory and knowledge would grow, you’ll certainly want to expand your website, for example – change the design or add new functionalities.
With wordpress.org you’re free to do whatever you like – and you get access to thousands of free and paid themes, templates, plugins an widgets. Thus, adding a forum, a gallery or even an ecommerce plugin is just the matter of time. You’ll also be able to modify the core code to customise your website, but make sure you know what you are doing.
WordPress.com has a number of themes to choose from (they are free and paid too), but you cannot upload new ones, as well as you cannot make any modifications apart from those allowed (like colour or header etc). Same goes to plugins – there are built-in plugins which add up to functionality, but nothing more than that can be added.
Your hosted wordpress.org website allows you to choose whether to show any ads or not. You can even start selling ads and make money on this.
WordPress.com, however, reserves the right to use the pages of your blog or a website to display their ads. Even if you don’t plan this. There’s a choice however- either you put up with this or pay around $30 to have the ads taken away from your site. But if you eventually decide to sell place for ads, it will be impossible unless your blog gets 25000+ monthly visitors.
So, the best choice is…
What do you say? Yes, it is you who has to make a decision. Commonly, though, wordpress.com is the home for small personal blogs and private sites, while wordpress.org software is better suited for professional websites, as it provides more possibilities.
Actually, you can start your way with wordpress.com and when you outgrow it, theres always a chance to switch to its software version.