The question remember us of movie of two strong superheroes face each other right? This articles has no different from that movie. The only different is our superheroes are one, wordpress!
This is the common question from our client when they still novice about wordpress, “How do we know if we use wordpress.com or wordpress.org site?” and “What is the different of both wordpress.com and wordpress.org?”. Then ususally we start a long explanation about wordpress and the different of both wordpress (dot) com and wordpress (dot) org. So, we decide it’s very important to write an article about the different of both wordpress. I hope it will be helpful article for all novice wordpress outside there.
SO FIRST OF ALL WHAT IS WORDPRESS?
If you know about blogging, you will understand that usually we write a post in our blog then push the publish button in it, and voila! your blog automatically launch an articles automatically. Long before today, web designer need to write all the codes manually to launch an articles, but now you have a system to launch it automatically easily with few steps. That system is called “Content Management System”.
WordPress is one of many content management system (cms) that we use to blog. It’s a system that’s great to write posts, upload images, and overall write your message for the world to see. But, different than other CMS in the world, wordpress has 2 different version of it.
WordPress has 2 different ways of sharing the content management system with us. Using (dot) com and (dot) org. Yeah, interesting but this is why things get so confusing.
The simplest way to explain it is a (dot)com works as a free platform, so you just need to sign up and use it. And then, (dot)org version works just as the system and that you need to self-host (so there are costs involved with it), basically it like a software in your computer, you need to install it on your own. So which one is better? Keep reading…
WHAT IS WORDPRESS.COM?
WordPress.com is a free platform, you register they give you a URL that will look yoururl.wordpress.com and you can start writing your content and publishing your posts from that very second. It’s also free (and in no costs involved). They are great f you are just starting out and want to dip your toes in all this blogging world before making an investment. However, there are a couple of downsides with them.
- You can’t install new theme : For your information, wordpress works with themes to change the look of your blog. In wordpress (dot) com, you still have a couple of themes available as options, but you can’t upload your own theme. You need to upgrade and cost money to upload your own theme.
- You can’t customize it as much as you can customize a .org: This is for me the worst. If you want to change colors, layouts, fonts and overall infuse your blog with your personality you can’t do it with .com WordPress. Still want to customize it? Once again, you need to pay for it.
- You don’t have your own URL: Wordpress (dot) com will give you a sub-domain like yourname.wordpress.com, but not a domain you want. So it force you to stick with their .wordpress.com at the end of your blog name. Once again, you need to pay if insist to put your own domain there.
- Their paid upgrades are not worth it: There, I said it. WordPress.com has a couple of paid upgrades that help you add a bit more of personality to your site but that are completely confusing and difficult to understand. They are also super limited and don’t give you the same freedom that the WordPress.org gives. One of the upgrades, for example, is to have your own URL (so you don’t end up with the wordpress.com at the end of your name) but you still don’t get the customization and the upload your own theme part wich is not cool at all.
WHAT IS WORDPRESS.ORG?
WordPress.org is a content management system that works like the backbone of your blog and where you write all your content, upload the themes you like to use and make all the design tweaks. You can consider it the backstage of your blog. WordPress.org however, has a cost involved with it since you only can get it if you have a self-hosted site. Meaning that you need to go to a hosting provider like Bluehost, purchase your own domain name (think of it like your street address) and your own hosting (think of it like the apartment where you store everything). Once you have that you can download WordPress.org through them. The great thing is that with the .org version you can:
- Upload your own custom themes: All the beautiful themes you see for sale at marketplaces like Etsy? Yes, you can buy and upload them (with the .com you can’t)
- You have your own Url: Woohoo!
- You can tweak and customize them as much as you want: Seriously the sky is the limit
- They have better SEO: Meaning that you get found easily in places such as Google, with means more eyes o your content.
- Plugins: You can download all the plugins that you want. Plugins are precoded packages that help you with things that you wouldn’t normally know how to code yourself. They can stop the spam comments fro filling your inbox, track your visits, adding that little pin it button to your images and a ton more of cool stuff.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE WORDPRESS.COM OR WORDPRESS.ORG
But lets’ say that you’ve been blogging for a while and you are not sure which one of the both systems you are using. There are 2 very easy ways to know if you are using WordPress.com or WordPress.org
- Are you paying a hosting?: Remember that WordPress.org needs to be on a self-hosted site meaning that you need to be working with a hosting provider like Bluehost, which means you are paying a monthly or yearly fee (like you would with rent) If you are paying a hosting provider there are big chances that you are working with WordPress.org
- When you log into your Dashboard, what’s the URL you see on top?: This is one of my favorite ways to double check if you are with WordPress.org or with WordPress.com if you login into your dashboard (where you go to write the posts) check the URL, is it yoururl.com or is it yoururl.wordpress.com if it’s the first one you have a self-hosted site if it’s the second one then you are with wordpress.com
Which one do you prefer? WordPress.com VS WordPress.org?