If you’re looking at getting a new website set up to introduce yourself or your business to the world, then you have likely started researching a number of options available.
One of the most popular ways to build a unique website is WordPress. According to the company’s own statistics, WordPress is the backbone behind 30% of the websites on the internet today. That’s a pretty strong number when you consider all of the different website creation tools available today.
Even for those that choose WordPress, there are different options on how to get a website started, and knowing the difference between those options is important for making the right choice.
The Main Difference Between WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org
The big difference when considering WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who will be hosting the website. This may seem minor to some, but it may be the biggest decision you make when starting your blog, company website, or personal portfolio site.
On WordPress.com, the hosting is done for you. There is no software to download or install. Plus, best of all, the base plan is free. Of course, there are paid options that you can include in your website package like custom domain names.
When you choose WordPress.org, you are essentially choosing to take many of the hosting aspects into your own hands. Using WordPress.org, you download the WordPress software to install on your own server or server space that you have leased through any one of the many different hosting providers online.
Now that you understand the main difference, how do you decide which is right for you and where you hope to grow your website? In the battle of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org, who comes out on top?
Who Should Choose WordPress.com?
People who are looking for the simplest, plug-and-play solution will be immediately attracted to WordPress.com. The hosting is done, the WordPress software is already available, and some basic themes are free to use.
Essentially, with WordPress.com, even beginner website creators could have a website available online incredibly quickly.
Of course, some people want more than just the basics. WordPress.com also offers a lot of options and customization for users to take advantage of. There are various pricing levels above the free level that offer increasing levels of customizations, access to additional themes, the ability to install plugins, and more.
WordPress.com is meant to be an easy way to build an online presence while also offering customization features for those who need them. The pricing model is simple to understand and makes it easy for users to choose the level that meets their needs.
Of course, some people may not find all of their needs met by the WordPress.com services.
Who Should Choose WordPress.org?
In contrast to the previous solution, WordPress.org requires a little bit more effort to get a site up and running. Using WordPress.org, users download the WordPress software for installation onto their own server or a third-party server that will host the website.
One of the main advantages of going this route is customizability. Once the WordPress software is installed onto a server, you have complete control. Install themes from around the web, make use of plugins that help take your website to the next level, and choose the right domain name provider to help you get your unique brand out there.
For those who want to put in some additional effort, WordPress.org is a great solution to gain access to the powerful software that’s behind a large portion of the websites online today.
There is also the issue of cost. WordPress.org offers the WordPress software for free to download. Users who have their own server or who rent affordable server space from a third party will often save money in the long run over users who choose the paid plans from WordPress.com.
On WordPress.org, there are some hosting providers mentioned. All of these providers offer easy solutions to install WordPress and are as close to the “plug and play” solution that WordPress.com offers. However, because of this simplicity, users may not notice as much of a pricing difference when compared with operating their own server.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org – The Final Verdict
So, should you choose WordPress.com or WordPress.org? There is no clear answer that can be applied to every unique user.
Ultimately, the right choice comes down to your personal expectations, experience, and budget. Beginners who want to be up and running right away will likely find a more friendly experience from WordPress.com.
On the other side of that are more experienced users who demand customization options at an affordable price. Those users will be much more satisfied with downloading software from WordPress.org and getting their own hands dirty to do a lot of the technical work.
Both options are great and designed for different users. All you have to ask yourself is: Which user are you?