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blogging platform dilemma

Blogging Platforms Dilemma: WordPress.org Or WordPress.com

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

WordPress.or or WordPress.com comparison

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.

WordPress.org or WordPress.com Platforms: Major Differences

1.
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.

2.
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.

3.
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.

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6 Responses to Blogging Platforms Dilemma: WordPress.org Or WordPress.com

  1. The Great Gordino April 11, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    Hi Dita,
    This is a great post, as it covers something which may seem common knowledge to many, but might be hugely beneficial to newcomers. I remember making this sort of discovery myself, and your post does a good job of summing it up!
    Cheers,
    Gordon
    The Great Gordino recently posted…Self Improvement – Get The Funk Out!My Profile

    • Dita Irvine April 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Hey Gord,

      I wrote this because in our Facebook group there was a confusion about wordpress.org and wordpress.com. Many newbies make this mistake. So if we can help them right at the beginning then it saves them a lot of time and aggravation later on when they want to move from .com to .org

      Take care,

      Dita

  2. Adrienne April 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Wow Dita!

    You really did a great job with this and the infographic really says it all but you also pointed that out in the post too.

    I’ve never created a WordPress.com blog. I went straight from Blogger to a self hosted WordPress blog and just skipped all the rest. Once I understood that I needed this because of my business and my brand it was a no brainer for me. There is no way that someone else is going to have control over my content. I even stuck with a free theme for about the first year but eventually got smart and purchased Thesis.

    I think it depends on what the individual wants but hopefully they can figure it out after reading this..

    Great job!

    ~Adrienne

    • Dita Irvine April 10, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      Hey Adrienne,

      That is funny, I started the same way as you. Blogger first until I got the hang of it and then right into WP to have my own blog and control over it as well.

      Take care

      Dita

  3. Glenn Shepherd April 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Hey Dita,

    I think this is an essential post for beginners. It can be so easy for a beginner to opt for the ‘wrong’ option. That’s not to say that wordpress.com doesn’t have its place, but for the serious blogger who’s using their blog as a main, if not central, part of their business, then to install the WordPress platform on your own server is really the only way to go.

    If my memory serves, I think that this is one of the mistakes that Dean Holland made in the beginning and he found that he had to start from scratch. Bottom line: if you want control, then self-hosted it must be.

    I like like the way that you make a comparison between the two, showing the details of both. This will be helpful to many, I’m sure
    Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Challenge Updates and When Things Go Wrong…My Profile

  4. Tim Bonner April 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi Dita

    I agree that the self-hosted WordPress is the way to go, even if it seems daunting to begin with.

    I’ve heard of horror stories where people’s blogs hosted by WordPress just disappear overnight because WordPress decided the content was not to their liking. The content was about social media so I’ve no idea why!

    Whilst the WordPress-hosted version looks good and cheap at the beginning, when your blog starts to grow, that is when the charges start to pile up.

    I would always encourage someone to go down the self-hosted route rather than with WordPress.
    Tim Bonner recently posted…Please Help! I Have WordPress Comments OverloadMy Profile