WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com – Which Is Better?
Surely you’ve heard of WordPress before – but did you know that there are actually two different types of WordPress sites
Depending on your needs and skill level, you could either sign up for a hosted wordpress.com account, or download WordPress from wordpress.org and host it on your own webspace.
Confused yet? Worry not, we’re here to break it down for you:
For a very long time, wordpress.com only offered free basic WordPress websites. The way it worked was that you would sign up for a free WordPress account, create your new site or blog using one of the limited themes offered, and be able to access it via yoursitename.wordpress.com. For obvious reasons, this option wasn’t suitable for professional website design purposes; however, it worked brilliantly for hobby bloggers and those who just wanted a website for personal use.
These days, wordpress.com has expanded their offerings to include a few different plans for those looking to take their WordPress site beyond the basics. Depending on which tier of service you opt for, you can have a custom domain name, support, premium themes, additional storage space, SEO and monetisation tools, and various integrations.
Now wordpress.com is akin to a one-stop shop for building a website and is an excellent option for someone wanting to build their own website and have access to support as needed.
We recommend wordpress.com if:
- This is your first time building a website
- You’re on a small budget and/or don’t want to hire a website designer
- You’re looking to start a personal blog or website, or already have one with a small audience
- You’re looking to build a professional website yourself and would rather pay a bit extra to have add-ons, additional features, and support included in one place
For maximum flexibility, you can download the software script from wordpress.org and install it on your web host. WordPress is extremely easy to set up and once it’s installed, you can download any number of themes and plugins to customise your website. For this to work, you’ll need to have signed up and paid for a web host and a domain name (unlike wordpress.com, which includes these in its paid plans).
While you do need to have a bit of knowledge to make this work (or hire someone who does), it’s well worth the effort because it will give you far more options in the long run. Simply put, a self-hosted WordPress site gives you seemingly infinite possibilities for customisation. Plus, you won’t have to go through the trouble of cancelling your wordpress.com plan and moving to a new web host if you ever want to stop using WordPress and switch to another CMS.
We recommend wordpress.org if:
- You have ample experience with website design
- Or… you’re willing to hire someone who offers web design services, to install and maintain your WordPress website
- You already pay for a web host and/or domain name
- Your website is for a business or other professional service
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