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WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

what’s the main difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?
how do i know which one i should use?

those are probably the top two common questions i hear when bloggers are considering moving from blogspot over to wordpress. with my party over hair blog, i started on the blogspot platform for a few months to really get the feel and hang of blogging before moving over to my own self-hosted wordpress blog. since i was already familiar with using wordpress.org for my clients, i didn’t get the transition any thought. i knew the capabilities that one could get from self-hosting their wordpress blogs, so i was on it.

not everyone is like me though, definitely not my clients.. and especially not a lot of new bloggers. i was constantly getting questions about what the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org was so i figured i would just go over some of the differences.

wordpress.org is for the blogger who…

+ wants full theme support. this means you can use custom and commercial themes, as well as all other free themes. with full theme support you can modify and customize anything that you’d like on your site. sounds great, right? the only thing about this is it requires you to pay a yearly domain and hosting fee. i’d highly recommend bluehost which offers web hosting for as low as $4 a month.

+ would like to turn their blog up a notch by installing plugins. you can upload any free, paid or custom plugins that you want. last week i posted five great plugins you’ll need to get you started.

+ wants to make that money. with wordpress.org you are allowed monetization freedom which just means not only can you sell as many ads as you want on your website, you can also use any ad service you want.

+ needs to track their analytics via Google or any other stat tracker you decide to use.

+ wants to have control of everything. when you self-host your blog you are now responsible for things such as keeping your site updated, regularly backed up and controlling spam.

wordpress.com is for the blogger who…

+ is just starting out and doesn’t want to deal with the responsibility of self-hosting just yet. wordpress.com blogs are free for up to 3GB of storage space. your blog will display text ads to logged-out users.

+ is fine using free themes for their blog. because you’re not self-hosting your site, you’re limited to free themes that exist in the WordPress theme directly. you are also unable to modify the CSS or PHP within the theme. just remember your blog address will be yourblog.wordpress.com until you decide you want hosting.

+ doesn’t need to use plugins at the current moment because they rather get more familiar with how wordpress works. unlike with wordpress.org, you aren’t allow to upload any free, paid or custom plugins.

+ isn’t trying to make money on their blog. not just yet at least. you aren’t allowed to sell ads on your site unless you receive 25,000 pageviews a month in which case you have to apply to try a feature called ad control.

+ doesn’t want to worry about maintaining their site. with wordpress.com you have staff that automatically take care of all site maintenance including updates, backups, optimization and more.

+ wants to get a little extra traffic on their blog. from time to time wordpress.com may feature your post in their blog of the day section on their network, which should help bring in extra traffic to your blog.

so which one is right for you?

both wordpress.com and wordpress.org are great options for bloggers. if you’re just getting into this blogging life, i would recommend using wordpress.com so you can get familiar with the backend and just learning the in’s and out’s of wordpress. if you’re an OG blogger (you’ve been blogging for at least six months), i would definitely recommend using wordpress.org. you’ll have more freedom over your backend, you can stay on top of all your statistics and if you wanted to you could even make mon-ay. so talk to me..

which wordpress do you use? do you like it?

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