So you’ve decided to move ahead with building a website with WordPress. But now you’re faced with a choice:
Choosing the wrong version can not only prevent you from achieving your business or personal goals, but also cost you time and money. Who knew that three little letters would make such a big difference?
The truth is that both of these sites are maintained and managed by WordPress itself, the company behind the content management service that powers one third of the internet. But the way they approach how that content is managed, is what makes all the difference in choosing one over the other.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org as well as which one you should choose depending on what you’re looking to create.
WordPress.com: A Hosted, Managed Variety of WordPress
WordPress.com is essentially WordPress’ answer to the many different “website builder” programs and systems out there, like Wix and Squarespace. Unlike those website building platforms, you can start for free with WordPress.com, so you don’t need to pay extra for things like web hosting account setup and management. It’s all handled through the WordPress.com central platform.
Why Would You Want to Use WordPress.com?
You’d want to use WordPress.com if you’re looking for a platform that’s more managed and intuitive. However, in exchange for this management, you give up a lot of the freedom to customize and expand on your site. For example, in order to use custom CSS (cascading style sheets) to change the design of your site, or Google Analytics in order to learn more about your website visitors, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid WordPress.com plan.
Higher tiered WordPress.com plans give you more freedom to expand upon and customize your site. WordPress.com plans beyond the free version start out at $4 per month, while the ability to use custom themes and plugins can be had with a Business Plan, which costs $25/month. If you want to add ecommerce functionality, the price goes up to $45/month.
As you might imagine, these costs can add up quickly, which leads many people to seek out lower cost alternatives, including the highly-popular WordPress.org option.
WordPress.org: A Self-Hosted, Customizable Variety of WordPress
WordPress.org is a bit of a misnomer, since apart from the name itself, WordPress is installed, managed and customized entirely by you. Most hosting companies have a way to easily install WordPress through their control panel, so you can install the core files in just a few clicks, even if you don’t have any technical experience.
Installing WordPress on your own hosting account is generally very simple and straightforward, however unlike with WordPress.com, after this point, you’re on your own. That means although WordPress itself walks you through the basics a little, things like advanced theme customization, plugin configuration and so on are up to you. Fortunately, many theme developers and plugin authors understand this and will provide you with some basic support or instructions on how to get up and running, even if you’re not an expert.
Why Would You Want to Use WordPress.org?
Simply put, for the sheer freedom and expandability you can enjoy. Customize your theme your way, add in custom stylesheets, include e-commerce functionality and more without needing to pay more every month. You’ll still need to pay for a separate hosting account, but generally speaking, the only real restrictions are your disk space and bandwidth in terms of what you can create with WordPress.org.
Even many people who started with WordPress.com eventually moved to a self-hosted variety of WordPress because of the greater freedom and flexibility it gives them. Over time, you’re more likely to save money with the self-hosted version of WordPress, particularly if you’re going to be running an ecommerce store or a business website.
The trade-off is that it might seem like “you’re on your own” when it comes to getting fully up and running, however there are plenty of excellent WordPress video tutorials and walkthroughs out there that can teach you how to do nearly anything.
What if I Don’t Have Time or Need Help Maintaining or Managing My Self-Hosted WordPress Installation?
Oftentimes, even with plenty of video tutorials and help from plugin authors or theme creators, sometimes you just get “stuck” with your self hosted WordPress installation. Perhaps despite your best efforts, something just isn’t working the way you had hoped it would, or maybe there’s a conflict between WordPress and the plugin you want to install. You feel lost and aren’t sure where to turn. What happens then?
If you need help setting up or maintaining WordPress or you need something specifically developed for your WordPress site, get in touch with us at WPDandy. Our diligent, professional programmers can help update your WordPress installation, plugins and themes, customize your WordPress site, or make changes for you, all for one affordable monthly fee.
We invite you to learn more and see for yourself why working with WordPress.org on your own hosting account is a smart option to give yourself unlimited creativity, flexibility and functionality with WordPress. By using a self hosted WordPress installation as well as the proficient WordPress experts at WPDandy, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from achieving your business, personal or professional goals using WordPress.
WPDandy Makes it Easy to See Your Vision Come to Life
See your vision come to life and talk one on one with your personal programmer: a developer who understands your goals and reasons for using WordPress and who is available to help you customize and update all aspects of your site in a way that won’t break the bank or drain your budget. Contact us today to learn more and we’ll show you how simple it can be to exchange messages, files and more with your personal developer to get your site done the way you want.
See for yourself why WPDandy is the fastest growing WordPress maintenance and management service by contacting us today!