About 30% of all websites on the Internet run on WordPress and roughly 500 new ones appear every day. People launching those today need to make a choice between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. Their main difference is that one is fully hosted while the other requires you to find a host yourself. However, there are some other factors that you have to consider in order to choose the best ‘brand of WordPress’ for your website.
WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org: Pros and Cons
WordPress.com is a subscription service that seems like a great deal because it a variation of an ‘all included’ deal. Simply put, it’s a fully hosted publishing platform that provides:
- Collection of themes
- Integration features with social media
- Basic important features including polls, comments, sharing buttons, and stats
- Personal support
That seems like a fantastic deal before you realize one major con that outweighs all pros of this service for many people. WordPress.com isn’t flexible. Yes, you don’t need to spend time looking for a host, choosing plugins, and developing a custom theme. But by saving that time you give up all the personalization and customization opportunities you should have when you create a website with WordPress.
WordPress.org on the other hand only gives you a free website building platform (the same one you get with WordPress.com). However, by investing more time and effort into building your page through it you get:
- You choose your own hosting, which means you can pick one with greater stability, performance, additional security features, better bandwidth terms, and/or lower cost.
- You also have access to a huge library of WordPress themes but can also have one developed personally for you or adapt one to make your website truly unique.
- You can integrate your website with any platform however you like by using existing plugins or having one created specifically to meet your needs.
- You get to choose from thousands of plugins that enable you to customize your website and make it unique and highly functional.
- You can find support at numerous WordPress forums and get some tech assistance from freelancers or your web hosting provider.
All in all, the biggest difference between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org is flexibility of website customization. However, there is also the matter of cost involved. With WordPress.com you get an account that will cost you $4, $8, or $25 a month depending on the package you choose. There is also a free deal, but it comes with built-in ads and domain name of WordPress.com, which will look highly unprofessional.
The packages vary in the level of website customization available to you and number of services included. Basically, the only option truly good enough for businesses is the most expansive plan that will cost you $25 a month.
WordPress.org is a completely free building platform. However, the total costs of setting up a website with it will include all those nifty customization features you want as well as the price of your hosting. This means that the cost of your WordPress.org website is also flexible and you can save some money by choosing free plugins and themes, finding a cheaper host, etc.
WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org: Which Is Best?
WordPress is the best website building platform by default and both .com and .org variations are good in their own rights. Choose depending on the amount of time and work you want to invest into setting up and managing your website. Your need for customization will be the most important factor when making this decision.