Free WordPress.com vs Self-hosted WordPress.org: Which Platform To Use ?
The purpose of this guide is to compare WordPress.org vs WordPress.com and to simplify that decision for every beginner.
I will let you in on the pros and cons of the two and by the end of this post you will be able to take the best decision for your blog.
But before we go into details about the pros and cons of WordPress org vs WordPress com, let’s take a moment to know what WordPress is.
What is WordPress?:
WordPress is a Content Management System and it has evolved in the last 10 years to become one of the most popular platforms for creating blogs and websites (in fact it is the most popular).
The first version of WordPress was released in 2003, as an open source project licensed under GPLV2. WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL. Founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little (the Automattic team).
WordPress makes it possible for anybody to design a website without actually having any coding experience.
Selecting which blog platform to use depends on the type of blog you want and what you wish to do with your blog.
If you are blogging for fun or as a means of hosting personal journal, you can go ahead and use WordPress.com or any other free blogging platforms out there (e.g blogger, Tumblr etc) because they are free and easy to manage.
If you intend to make money as a blogger or to promote your business or your client’s business, it is best to go with the self-hosted WordPress.org platform because it has a more professional look and you can do anything you wish with your site.
• Easy and free to use (most hosting companies offer one click installation)
• You own your data. Your website name (domain name) can be anything you want it to be. Your site will not be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing anything illegal). You are in full control of your site.
• You can change the look of your site by uploading custom themes. Modify theme files if needed.
• You have the option to upload and use plugins (both free and premium plugins). Plugins extend the functionality of your WordPress site. There is a WordPress plugin for almost everything.
• You can make money from your site by placing your choice of ads (ads relating to your content)
• Custom Analytics and Tracking
• You need a good web hosting account and this will cost you somewhere around $3 – $10 per month (as your site grows, your hosting cost will also increase) at this point you will be making enough money to cover the cost.
• You are responsible for backup, but thanks to numerus plugins out there that can do this for you automatically.
• You are responsible for updates. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to do this, upgrading requires 1 click
• You are responsible to stop SPAM, but with the help of plugins like Akismet you won’t have to worry about this (Akismet comes built-in with WordPress.org, you just have to make sure it is activated).
• They make regular backup of your site so you won’t have to worry about that
• Its free for up to 3GB of space. Additional space will cost you some money ($19.95/year for 5GB or $289.97/year for 100GB)
• They place ads on your site without your permission. If you don’t want ads on your site, you can pay them $29.97 per year to keep your site ad-free (they gave it to you free for a reason).
• You are not allowed to sell ads on your site unless you receive at least 25,000 page views per month. Once you are able to get at least 25,000 page views per month, you can apply to try their feature called Ad control. The approval process doesn’t cost you anything, but you will have to share whatever you make as revenue 50/50 with them.
• More and more restrictions. you are unable to use plugins. If you want to use plugin, then you have to move to their VIP program which starts at $3750 per month. *Seriously?*
• You cannot use custom themes. You have to be stuck with their choice of themes which is being used on numerus websites. But they do offer a design upgrade which should really be called CSS upgrade for $30 per year. Meaning you can change the color of your site, but you can’t add something really custom if you want to.
• You cannot use custom analytics software because you cannot add custom code. Which means you will be restricted to their analytics.
• They will change your theme without your permission if the founder doesn’t like the theme developer (it happens).
• They can delete your site at any time if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
DON’T BUILD A PERMANENT STRUCTURE ON A RENTED SPACE
• Even if you pay for their upgrade, you still have to tell others that your site is powered on WordPress.com