I know that WordPress has quite a buzz these days, but perhaps you didn’t know there are TWO WordPresses. Huh?
There is WordPress.org and then there’s WordPress.com. Let’s go over the basic differences…
WordPress.org provides free blogging software. You can install themes and plugins, run advertisements, edit the database, and modify the source code. While the software is free, it must be installed on a web server and there is usually a monthly hosting fee. You have to purchase your domain name, i.e., angelswithus.org. You are fully responsible for the management of your WordPress.org website – but you also own your site. WordPress.org allows for greater flexibility and functionality through plugins, and the ability to customize code.
With WordPress.com you do not have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server. When you sign up for a WordPress.com blog, you get a free domain name like “spirit.wordpress.com” (or, for a fee, you can have a domain name without the “wordpress.” portion). You can choose a free theme, but your choices are limited and only basic design customization is allowed; you cannot upload a custom theme. You do not control the software or the database, you cannot upload plugins, and you cannot change the code (again, for a fee you can get some options here). For no charge, WordPress.com provides web hosting, 3GB of database storage, backups, automatic software upgrades, community support forums, etc. Not to mention WordPress.com advertising and banners (ugh — and not professional).
There is much information on the Web about the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. You can check out the WordPress.com site for the finer details distinguishing WordPress.org and WordPress.com. And, you can review the various WordPress.com plans and pricing at WordPress.com.
How to choose which WordPress solution is best for you?
Here are some points to think about when deciding on a WordPress solution:
- What’s the purpose of your blog website?
- How technically inclined are you or do you want to become so that you can use the more advanced, and fun, features of WordPress.org?
- How much time do you have/want to spend on learning this stuff?
- Will you use the software frequently enough to retain what you’ve learned in order to effectively manage your own site as well as to grow your knowledge to enhance your website?
- What are the features you want included in your site and which solution will be able to provide them?
WordPress.com is great if you are looking to keep an online journal or for small clubs and the like. I say if you’re interested in a business site, at some point in the future you will end up with a WordPress.org website. Save yourself the fuss, hassle, and perhaps even money to make the change later on and opt for WordPress.org straight from the gecko!