So you’re wanting to start your own blog / website? Cool! And you’re wanting to use WordPress? Great choice! But which WordPress should you use? Start a website on WordPress.com or with WordPress.org? This article aims to clarify the difference between using WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress is an open source, free content management system created primarily with MySQL and PHP. It’s actually the most popular blogging platform on the entire internet!
The difference is fairly straightforward. With WordPress.com you can create a blog or website very quickly and customize many elements of the website. With WordPress.com you can use a free WordPress subdomain such as “example.wordpress.com” for example and there is the option of purchasing a domain directly from WordPress such as “example.com” but still keeping the same control panel etc. WordPress.com takes care of all of the technical stuff and all you have to worry about is the content. So WordPress.com is a great way to get started quickly.
WordPress.com does have some limitations however. Such as the inability to install plugins to achieve bespoke functionality more easily. WordPress.com also doesn’t allow you to build your own themes and plugins with PHP and CSS to achieve a more tailored design for your website or blog.
With WordPress.org you have more freedom but it may be more difficult to get started. For one, you’ll have to find a host for your website, do your own maintenance and possibly use additional tools to ensure the security of your website. Additionally with a WordPress.org installation, you can use your own advertisements through services such as Google Adsense, whereas with WordPress.com (even with your own domain name) you cannot make use of advertisements.
So the bottom line is, if you want a simple, free solution and you don’t plan on monetising your content, a WordPress.com website will be your best bet, if you’re wanting to go the extra mile, monetise your content, create a website more tailored to your requirements, manage your own data and you don’t mind spending money in the process, a WordPress.org website will be the better choice.