Thinking of creating your own WordPress website? You’ve heard people talk about it, you know many blogs and sites use it, but are you wondering what the difference is between wordpress.com (which is free) vs. wordpress.org (which has costs). Isn’t it a no-brainer to use the free version?
Brought to you by the same folks who created WordPress (Automattic), WordPress.com is a free hosting platform that makes it very easy for anyone – including you – to publish online.
If you have a blog hosted on WordPress.com, most of the technical stuff is taken care of, such as setting up and backing up your site, updating the software when new versions are released, blocking spam, and keeping it secure.
Although website developer’s charge a fee to set up a wordpress.com site, it can be maintained for free since there is no monthly charge for hosting the site. You could set one up yourself. In a wordpress.com site you may not own the domain name. So if you are developing traffic to this site over time, you don’t really own it. You would have the word “wordpress” in your site name and there might be spammy ads displayed on your site that you have no control over. There is an option to own the domain name and remove the “wordpress” -i.e. to go from supersite.wordpress.com to supersite.com – you can pay $18 year for domain name registration. Here is the link to upgrade to this custom domain http://store.wordpress.com/premium-upgrades/custom-domains/
A wordpress.com site is fine if you want a simple blog or a “calling card” site, find a theme that you like just the way it is, and do not need any special functionality other than what is provided for free by wordpress.com. Note that it is $30 a year to have WordPress.com not place random ads on your site. So there are a few fees in the “free” wordpress.com option that make it appealing for a simple site.
WordPress.org users have a similar (often better) WordPress look, but have “self-hosted” sites and pay a fee (generally $10-15 a month) to a web host, such as Bluehost, WPEngine or Siteground to keep it up and running. Note that this is separate from having a domain name, often through GoDaddy.com or other domain name provider.
WordPress.org users can upload custom themes, expand functionality using a myriad of plugins, run their own advertisements, sells products through ecommerce, and modify the PHP code that powers their sites. While a self-hosted site requires more technical knowledge to set up and run, you have complete control over and are able to grow with your site. PLUS YOU OWN IT. For me, being able to install my favorite Search Engine Optimization plugin, or any of the other 16,000 (and counting) plugins that are available for WordPress.org is a huge reason I use this option.
If you are interested in creating a wordpress.org site, check my Resources, Tips and Tutorials page for more info on how to get started creating your own website or contact me and we can talk about your business and which options might work best for you.