WordPress is a common word on the lips of most bloggers. Why? Most of them probably started blogging using WordPress. What many don’t understand, especially upcoming bloggers, is that there is a huge difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
But before delving into the differences between these two sites, it is important to understand what WordPress is.
WordPress is a blogging tool that can be used by virtually anyone. You can opt to use the free version or paid versions of the tool.
So, what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
It has to with who hosts and owns your blog. With WordPress.com, it is the company that both hosts and owns your blog. With WordPress.org, you host and own your site, but you download and install software from WordPress.
WordPress.com is an online blogging platform. To use it, all you need to do is set up and account and begin writing.
You do not have to pay any money to start using this tool. Another pro of using WordPress.com is that you can customize your site using the various themes that are available. You also don’t need to worry about managing the site since that is taken care of by the hosting company.
On the downside, you do not own your blog; it is the company’s for as long as it exists. The words WordPress.com will always appear in links to your blog, which is not ideal. If you ever want to move your content to another website, say one whose domain name you own, you might encounter some challenges.
Moreover, you cannot change the code of blogs that are hosted by WordPress.com. What this means is that you cannot improve or add new features to your site, which is very limiting. You also cannot upload plugins or themes other than those that are provided by the company.
Being hosted on WordPress.com is also bad for search engine optimization. This is because Google and other search engines do not consider free sites to be authoritative sites, which is why they are likely to rank them lowly.
There is no denying that there are many disadvantages of using the free version of WordPress. However, it is ideal for those who are only starting to blog. It is also great for blogs with little traffic, or those whose owners do not wish to pay for hosting services.
However, you can upgrade to paid versions of WordPress, such as the premium level. This allows you more flexibility in designing your blog and also gives you access to more features.
With WordPress.org, you own and host your blog, but you still make use of WordPress blogging software. This allows you a lot of freedom in managing your blog, but does require some additional effort on your part.
You get to choose your own host, such as Bluehost and can modify the code of your blog to suit your purposes. You can use whatever theme you want, from whichever source. You can also upgrade and include any features you deem necessary to your blog.
Additionally, when you use a paid host, you can scale up or down the size of the hosting plan you are on. This is particularly important for websites that have heavy traffic.
Owning your blog also places it on the good books of search engines. Such blogs and sites are considered to be authoritative sources by Google, which is great for search engine optimization.
Contrary to popular belief, hosting your own blog does not necessarily have to be expensive. In fact, considering the endless benefits you gain from owning a domain name, the money you spend on hosting your site is really not that much.
You should consider using WordPress.org if you have a fully- fledged blog that enjoys heavy traffic. The tool is also great for the growth of websites. As such, if you are ambitious about your blog, you might as well start blogging using WordPress.org.
Although there are glaring differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, these two have unique benefits to offer bloggers. You should only settle on one after careful WordPress comparison and weighing the pros and cons of each. Pick whichever best serves your purposes and you will not regret it.