WordPress is the most popular content publishing platform in the world, powering millions of websites. But if you are new to WordPress, it can be challenging to navigate your way through it. For example, are you aware of the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
There is a subtle but sure difference between the two, and being aware of it can make a big difference in the end. To put it in a few words, WordPress.com is a fully hosted service, whereas WordPress.org is a self-hosted service. We are going to see more on each of them now.
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com, owned by Automattic, is a commercial entity that offers a fully-hosted service. It means you don’t have to buy a hosting plan from a web host, download WordPress onto the web server, or manage the server. Instead, it offers what is called ‘managed hosting’ in hosting parlance.
Your main focus will be creating quality content, and everything else will be taken care of by WordPress.com. Automattic was started by the folks who developed WordPress initially, and it has its own team of developers, support engineers, and designers who work for the company full-time.
WordPress.com is a great option for freelancers and professionals. In fact, almost everyone can use WordPress.com to develop a great-looking, functional website. WordPress.com also offers many excellent themes and plugins, and there are even plans where you can install custom plugins.
Please be aware that you can publish your website for free on WordPress.com, but if you want a better website, you can go for a paid upgrade. The paid upgrade offers more useful features, such as a custom domain name, the freedom to change the look, feel, and utility of different parts of your website, and more.
If you have a query, you can address it on the WordPress.com forums. You can get started with WordPress.com by registering with the website and agreeing to their terms and conditions like you would with other commercial enterprises.
The biggest benefit of using WordPress.com to host your website is that it allows you to focus on creating great content.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is a non-profit organization run by the WordPress Foundation They call it the ‘real WordPress’ or self-hosted WordPress. Anyone can contribute to its code, and as software, it is 100% free to use.
WordPress.org offers only self-hosting i.e., you have to get a web server on your own and then install the WordPress software on that server. Installing plugins, and themes, taking backups of the website, and performing other maintenance tasks are also on you. If you are unhappy with the custom themes offered (including paid ones), you can build on your theme with PHP and CSS.
There is no dedicated support on WordPress.org though you can ask for tips from the WordPress.org forums. Finally, unlike managed hosting with WordPress.com, you don’t have to register with WordPress.org before downloading the WordPress software.
Building your website with self-hosting can be a rewarding experience, but only if you have the technical knowledge and are willing to publish content on your own. The good news is many hosting service providers give you the option of a one-click WordPress installation.
If you want complete control over your code and like to tinker with the website’s functionalities, then you should consider WordPress.org.
The question now is, which service should you go with, Managed hosting from WordPress.com or self-hosting with WordPress.org? It all depends on what level of functionality you are looking for. If you want to make extensive changes to your WordPress website, then self-hosting is a better option.
But if you want to dedicate more resources to running the business Vs. managing and running a website, then WordPress.com is for you. If you want to know more about these options, feel free to contact us, and we can discuss how we can get the best website for you.