WordPress is the top blogging site on the internet and has almost 60 million users! In fact, you are currently reading a blog hosted on wordpress open source CMS right now!
WordPress is a unique (and free) open source CMS (content management system) that is used by millions as an application to publish their blog. WordPress utilizes PHP and MySQL and can be altered depending on which WordPress you use.
One of the biggest confusion for newbies is the difference between ‘two types‘ of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org . When it comes to setting up your blog site you need to carefully examine the features of each of these before you continue as they have striking differences.
The basic difference between WordPress.com and WordPress self hosted solution (downloadable from WordPress.org) is that your blog will be hosted on the servers provided by WordPress (an organization started and run by Matt and wordpress is free) and you can enjoy all of the preset templates, easy to use control panel, and efficient blogging tools as you create your own site. Below is a list of the main pro’s and con’s for WordPress.com:
- Free and easy to set up with tutorials and guides available.
- WordPress automatically backs up your blogs, updates itself, guards against spam, and has a secure login.
- You host on WordPress servers which is much easier since you don’t have to maintain it.
- WordPress uses hundreds of servers so your blog will likely never go down.
- You can get additional traffic from various features on WordPress such as ‘blogs of the day’ and more.
- You can’t install plugins (plugins are an EXTREMELY useful tool and add limitless customization and personalization).
- You have to pay a significant amount of money for a ‘premium’ account.
- Your domain name will be a sub-domain, so the URL will look something like : <subdomain>.wordpress.com , which may not suit you if you are planning to start the blog for official / professional intent.
- And yeah, you cannot have ads on the site, not even Google Adsense.
The downloadable WordPress package from WordPress.org is for people who are a bit more technically savvy and have their own means of hosting. It is generally used by people who want a successful site and plan on using ads, and a lot of customization instead of the standard blog. Take a look at the pros and cons below:
- You are able to download Plugins! These are an incredibly useful feature as they can literally have ANY function!
- Limitless customization opportunities with downloadable themes, ability to completely create your own theme, and plugins that can add buttons, forums, and even customize each page.
- You can use your own domain and rid yourself of the annoying ‘WordPress.com’ brand.
- You have to host your site yourself which generally cost anywhere between $5-$12 a month or more.
- You have to back up your blog and manage all of it yourself without the aide of WordPress
- If you have a high traffic site then your private server might not be enough to handle it and will crash.
- If you have no skill with computers and applications like WordPress you will likely mismanage your blog and it will fail.
As you can see there are significant differences between both WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Each one maintains strong positive features but you, as the user, need to identify your specific needs and choose one wisely. Whichever you decide will limit your blog in certain ways which could be good or bad.