It’s time for a new series of articles in the category “WordPress for Beginners”. I got the idea for this article because even readers of my book, which I also treat this subject, yet it is not entirely clear: Choose WordPress.com or WordPress.org? And what exactly are the differences between these two?
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
I actually thought that this issue was a piece of cake, but for beginners is of course not the case at all. Because when you go deeper you first in WordPress you will encounter both websites. And you soon find out that yet not exactly the same, although there also are many similarities between the two systems. Where you need as a beginner choose? Below I put the differences, advantages and disadvantages of both solutions for you at a glance.
What is WordPress.com
WordPress.com is in fact one super large WordPress site, where many millions of users their own site easily maintained. WordPress.com thus makes use of the proprietary software. Because you with many, many users on a single system works it was decided to give you as a user does not complete freedom. Because then it would be a mess within a day. The WordPress.com environment is hereby appointed tight, but also has some limitations.
The advantages and disadvantages of WordPress.com
A basic account at WordPress.com is free. Your website which gives it the following domain: http://toptut.wordpress.com. Want to use your own domain name? You can, but there are indeed charges. You can choose WordPress.com to use the functionality that is offered for free or for a fee. It is not possible for you to add functions (by means of plug-ins).
The same applies to the use of themes for determining the look of your site. Again, the options are limited, although they have increased it. For example, there are now also permitted commercial themes that regularly offer additional functionality.
The limited possibilities show strength. You create an account, choose a theme and you can start immediately! Nothing no hassle with installing WordPress, backup or update the software. That’s all done for you, even with the free account. With WordPress.com you really start in an hour your website.
And what is WordPress.org then?
On WordPress.org you can download the WordPress software. Then install it with a provider of your choice. This link the WordPress software directly to your domain name. Because you have to send the software to your provider by means FTP and your WordPress install, this is more difficult than starting at WordPress.com. A WordPress manual as Kickstart WordPress imposes you everything in great detail.
The advantages and disadvantages of WordPress.org
Use the WordPress.org software then you get maximum flexibility. You can choose from thousands of themes, or create a custom (to).
The same applies to the use of plugins. The WordPress shop on this website for example, is entirely built using a WordPress plugin. On WordPress.com is something impossible, because you can not add plugins here itself.
Conversely, you should take into account not just costs for the hosting (provider where you accommodate your website), but also with a cost / time to manage your website.. Backing up and updating the software simply cost you a certain amount of time. Either you pay it off course.
On WordPress.com you can not do so much wrong, you make it not too soon broken. Due to the higher degree of flexibility, you run that risk with private (WordPress.org) installation faster. So you have a higher level of knowledge necessary or external help to prevent you happens.
On which you choose WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
That question is not very easy to answer, because every situation is different. But as you have read above, the flexibility prevail. I would for my own websites no longer want to work with WordPress.com now, but if you’re just starting … why not? Ask yourself so thoroughly what purpose you have in mind exactly. If you only want to blog without fuss? Then WordPress.com is a very decent and simple solution. But you want more than that? I would choose quickly for its own installation by means WordPress.org. Your moderately in your site? therefore choose the solution WordPress.org.