WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
WordPress is the world’s most popular publishing platform. It makes it easy for anyone to have a website. It comes in two flavours: you can simply sign up on WordPress.com or you can set up your own site using WordPress.org. But which version is right for you? Here are some comparisons to help you decide.
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So what’s the difference?
It’s kinda like renting versus owning your home.
When you rent, you aren’t responsible for any of the maintenance or repairs of your home. However, you can’t make any renovations or major remodeling either.
As an owner, you have the option of renovating by knocking down walls or adding new fixtures. You are responsible for your home’s maintenance.
Are updates automatic?
Choosing a site with WordPress.com means you don’t have to worry about updates. It’s done automatically for you. Setting up a WordPress.org site will require a bit of extra dedication on your part to keep on top of those updates.
Are security and backups included?
Your site crashing without a proper backup is a hard lesson to learn. With a WordPress.com site there’s no need to worry. It’s all taken care of for you. With WordPress.org on the other hand, setting up backups is your job. There are many plugins out there that do a great job of this. I personally use VaultPress.
Can I install my own plugins?
Although WordPress.com has dozens of built-in plugins, installing your own isn’t possible. So if you want to customize your site without restrictions, WordPress.org is the way to go. But make sure your plugins come from reputable and well-rated authors!
* Depending on the plan you signup for on WordPress.com, you can now upload your own plugins. However it’s still a no for free and lower priced plans.
Can I install my own theme?
WordPress.com has an impressive selection of themes. Each was carefully selected based on their design and features. Some are free, some are premium. On a WordPress.org sites, you can choose from almost any theme out there. But as with plugins, not all themes are created equal so make sure you go with a reputable theme seller.
* Depending on the plan you signup for on WordPress.com, you can now upload your own themes. However it’s still a no for free and lower priced plans.
Can I use my own custom domain?
When you register a site with WordPress.com your default domain will look something like yourgroovysite.wordpress.com. Upgrading to a premium account allows you to register your own domain (yourgroovysite.com). With a WordPress.org site, registering your own domain* is a must in order to get your site up and running.
Is hosting included?
Whichever version of WordPress you choose, just like the furniture in your home, your site will need somewhere to live. Once again, WordPress.com has you covered. Just create your account and you’re set. If you’re going the WordPress.org route, you’ll need your own hosting package* you’ll need your own host so your WordPress files and database have somewhere to live.
- You don’t need to be tech-savvy.
- No need to worry about signing up for a domain and hosting.
- Need help? They’ve got your back with their amazing customer support.
- Full rein over your site and its files.
- Go crazy installing any plugin you want (but not too crazy).
- Get the exact look you want for your site with the choice of any theme.
Pst! Make sure it’s from a reputable site.
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