Did you know there are two types of WordPress? It’s often asked which is the best version to use and what are the advantages of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
When you make the decision to create your own website or blog using WordPress, you must decide which is best for your purposes. Both types are provided by the same people, the guys at Automattic (and by the way, they are also responsible for a number of other well known online services – not just WordPress.)
Firstly Devon Web Designers offer site setup using WordPress.org. The reason is that we can only recommend WordPress.com sites for people wanting to write freely about a topic of interest – and that can be a business topic. But if you want a commercial site of any kind – something that directly sells or markets a product or service – it has to be a self hosted site. WordPress.com sites (and the WordPress.com community) tend to focus on free information only with no commercial activity occurring on the page.
The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
|WordPress.com – Centrally Hosted||WordPress.org – Self Hosted|
|Hosting||Hosted by WordPress.com and free as long as you run the site as a sub-domain of WordPress.com.||You must arrange your own hosting, cheap hosting is best when you first start, which will between $5 and $30 per month, depending on the type and quality of host you choose.|
|WordPress Software||Free and installed for you by WordPress.com||Free, but you have to install it yourself on your hosting account.|
|Domain Name||You don’t need one as you can have a sub-domain of WordPress.com such as you.wordpress.com for your website. If you prefer to avoid the sub-domain, you can buy a domain and still have it hosted for around $15 per year at WordPress.com||You need your own domain to run a self-hosted WordPress site. But you can be master of your own destiny.|
|Site Maintenance||This is done by WordPress.com – they do all backups as well as plugin and WordPress upgrades.||You have to do backups and WordPress & plugin upgrades yourself – of course, you can pay a third party to do it for you. Our deluxe hosting service performs these tasks for example, for our clients.|
|Plugins||Limited plugins – you are only able to use those approved or provided by WordPress.com||Major reason to use self-hosted WordPress. There are thousands of plugins available to enhance your site, both free and premium. And you can have your own developed if you need something that doesn’t already exist.|
|Themes||WordPress.com provides a large number of themes (over 100) for you to choose from.||With WordPress.org you have access to some of the best and most exciting themes and frameworks around, such as Thesis and Genesis.|
|E-Commerce||Not possible – well you can add a PayPal button so people can donate to you because they enjoyed your writing so much.||You can run a small shop via one of a number of e-commerce plugins available for self hosted sites. Or you can use Paypal or similar to sell your digital products like ebooks or courses or memberships.|
|Monetisation||Although you can use a WordPress.com site as your business website and to describe your products and services, you can’t use it to sell items or to sell advertising. Nor technically, can you use it to drive traffic to an affiliate site elsewhere.||You can do what you like with a WordPress.org site – sell your products, be an affiliate, sell advertising. It’s up to you and if you want to use WordPress commercially, this is really the only choice.|
|Search Engine Optimisation||You can’t do much to impact your SEO other than to write hundreds of posts on your topic and make sure other sites link back to you.||The world is your oyster when it comes to SEO on a self-hosted WordPress site. There is so much you can control on the site itself, especially if you choose the right theme or framework.|
|Use LiveFyre Commenting?||Not possible||You can add LiveFyre commenting to your site. Livefyre will help your site gain more comments over time.|
|Independence||None. WordPress.com will even show ads occasionally so as to generate revenue – which is fair enough as you are not paying. And if you violate their conditions, your site may be suspended.||Total – but with independence comes responsibility.|