Every potential blogger faces the WordPress blogging platforms dilemma. Which one to use? Is it WordPress.org or WordPress.com. And what on earth is the difference between the two?
For a new blogger WordPress blogging platforms can prove quite confusing. From doing a bit of research a potential new blogger learns that a large number of bloggers set up their blogs on one of the most popular blogging platforms – WordPress. She also learns that WordPress popularity is due to its ease of set up and ease of use.
Sounds straight forward, right? Wrong!
Right from the start the blogoshpere throws a novice a curve ball by offering 2 blogging platforms of the same name to confuse the newbie. On the outside the only difference between the two platforms are the extensions (.com and .org): So which to choose? WordPress.org or WordPress.com.
To add to the confusion, WordPress.com (a hosted blogging platform) presents itself as a “free” alternative.
The WordPress.org blogging platform (a self hosted platform), although free to use, requires that the new blogger invests a small amount of money to a third party (to set up web hosting and to purchase a domain name) in order to be able to set up their WordPress blog.
Often,the inexperienced blogger will opt into the WordPress.com option. Unfortunately, that is a big mistake for many reasons, as you will see below.
The reason I make the above statement is because you definitely want to set up a self hosted platform for your blog. A self hosted platform means that YOU own your blog and that YOU are the master of its destiny.
In the previous chapter of How To Start A Blog tutorial I discussed the various hosted and self hosted blogging platforms. There, I also discuss the advantages of having a self hosted blog. Please make sure to read it if you have not done so yet.
Even before you will examine the differences between the two WordPress blogging platforms, as an experienced blogger I can stop your confusion right here. If blogging will be a part of your online business, for you there will be no such thing as WordPress.or or WordPress.com. It can only be WordPress.org.
But in all fairness let me show you why I make such a strong statement and let’s go through the comparison of WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I think that we are done, you will agree.
WordPress.org or WordPress.com Blogging Platforms: Comparison
Let’s briefly compare the two WordPress blogging platforms side by side for a quick overview. Some of the most important differences, including the initial cost, are listed on the image below. The most disturbing differences are highlighted.
Image1. Differences Between WordPress.com And WordPress.org
To help you choose between WordPress.org or WordPress.com and to make the selection process easier and less confusing I’ll go over the two blogging platforms.
Both of them are WordPress platforms but one is hosted and “so-called free” (WordPress.com) and the other is self-hosted (non-hosted) and requires a small hosting fee to run (WordPress.org).
If you examine the comparison between the two blogging platforms, it will become obvious to you that setting up the self-hosted alternative, WordPress.org is a no brainer even if you have to pay the hosting fee.
- Self-hosting fee – from $3.95 per month (affiliate link)
- Domain Name Registry – under $10.00 per year (affiliate link)
WordPress.org or WordPress.com Platforms: Major Differences
►WordPress.org is open source software. It is completely free to use, without any strings attached.
►WordPress.com is a commercial entity and therefore it is in their best interest to make money off you. The free installation is only a lure.
►When you set up a WordPress.org blog, you are free to use it in anyway you want to. There are no restrictions on it’s use.
►On the other hand WordPress.com imposes all kinds of restriction on your blog.
►You own the blog you set up on the WordPress.org platform to do whatever you want to do with it.
►You Do Not own your WordPress.com blog. This is a very serious problem because at the whim of WordPress.com organization, you may lose your blog.
But let me give you an example from real life to help you make the choice between WordPress.or or WordPress.com even simpler.
A few years ago a lot of bloggers who used the hosted Blogger.com platform (similar to WordPress.com) lost their blogs without even a decent explanation of why. These bloggers not only lost their blogs but they also lost the income they made with their blogs.
Like WordPress.com, Blogger.com is a hosted platform and blogs on this platform were not owned by the people who blogged on this platform. Because Blogger.com had the control of their blog, they were able to pull a rug from under the bloggers without even a blink.
Since then, most serious bloggers use self-hosted platforms in order to have a complete control and ownership of their self hosted blogs.
From here on, in How To Start A Blog guide and subsequent WordPress tutorials there will be no more discussion about a choice between WordPress.org or WordPress.com. The guide will only explain how to install and setup a self-hosted blog using the WordPress.org platform. As well, any blogging tips on this site will only pertain to self-hosted WordPress blogs.
In summary, when you are establishing a blog that represents your online business you have to be in complete control of it. WordPress.org blogging platform will allow you to do so.
Next Tutorial: What Is Domain Name – How To Register it