All websites that TJ Webs works on are created with WordPress. WordPress does offer a method for creating a free website. While there are other free website options, we will limit our discussion in this article to what we know – WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform out there. And over the years, it has become the go-to solution for non-blog websites as well. The data doesn’t lie.
There are two sides to “WordPress,” and they can be quite confusing for someone not familiar with the topic.
WordPress.com is an online platform where you can go, sign up, and create your website/blog all in one place. All you need to do is register for a free account, choose your subdomain (example: yourwebsite.wordpress.com), pick a free theme and start adding your content.
WordPress.org is an open source software. To launch a website with it, you need to first download the software, and then install it on your own web server (or a web server you’re renting from a third-party like SiteGround).
What are the main differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?
1. You get a full domain on WordPress.org but only a sub-domain on WordPress.com
Sub-domain is a part of larger domain. For example, my site domain name is StartBloggingOnline.com. If my sub-domain is MyFreeBlog, then my full domain name will be MyFreeBlog.StartBloggingOnline.com.
When you go and sign up on WordPress.com you’ll get a domain name like: YourNewBlog.WordPress.com. But when you go with self-hosted WordPress, you’ll have your own domain name like: YourNewBlog.com
On the downside, your blog address will cost you around $10 per year. It’s not much, but still some money.
2. WordPress.com has more limitations than WordPress.org
WordPress.com has around 100 free themes to choose from, WordPress.org (self-hosted) has around 1500 free themes to choose from. The same goes with plugins and different add-ons. In short, you’ll have some limits which doesn’t allow you to really customize your blog.
You won’t be able to add different plugins and themes that can make your blog look “cool” and unique.
Your blog will also be limited in size. If you go too heavy on posting images and videos, you might need to sign up as their premium customer which costs $99/year.
3. You don’t own the content on WordPress.com
Yup, you heard it right. You don’t own the content nor the blog you’re posting on. WordPress owns it, thus they can shut it down whenever they want to. And that’s the main reason it’s free.
On a self-hosted WordPress, you’ll own your content and you can even sell it as a website/blog without any permissions. You can place ads and even monetize your blog – you can’t do that on a free WordPress platform.
4. People take you more seriously on WordPress.org
Don’t get me wrong. WordPress.com is perfect for classroom blogs or blogs that won’t be used more than 2 months.
But when you want to be a serious blogger (individually or for company), you need to have your own domain name and own hosting.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com – a more in-depth take
|Offers free hosting, but limits your website space to 3GB.||Doesn’t come with free hosting. You’ll have to look for a host yourself, and pay for it separately.|
|Gives you a free subdomain. Something like YOURSITE.wordpress.com. If you want a custom domain, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.||You need to get a custom domain on your own (additional costs apply).|
|You get basic security and backups handled for you.||There’s some level of security from your web host, but for the most part, you need to secure your website yourself (through third-party WordPress plugins). Same goes for backups – those you need to enable via plugins as well (one of the best ways to do so is with the “Personal” plan of the Jetpack plugin).|
|Everything about the technical performance of your website is handled by the team behind WordPress.com. If something doesn’t work at some point, you can’t do anything but wait for the team to fix the issue.||You get to choose the plugins and the performance settings of your website. It requires some work, but you are in full control of what happens on your site.|
|Offers a limited number of themes for you to choose from. It comes with limited customization options as well.||Lets you take and install any theme you want, and also do all the customization you want. You can also create your own themes if you know your way around PHP source code.|
|Doesn’t allow you to use any third-party plugins. You only get a narrow range of pre-built features. You can’t add extra features to your site that aren’t already provided by the default WordPress.com environment.||WordPress.org offers you the freedom to install any free or premium plugin you want. This is vital if you want to customize your site to the point where it fits your needs hand-in-glove.|
|You can’t have your own ads on your site. However, WordPress.com displays *their* ads on your site – that’s the price you pay for having the platform for free.||You can have as many ads and as many forms of monetization as you like (also, choose any ad service you want). The good news is that you keep 100% of your earnings.|
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – What’s your choice?
If you are serious about blogging, you want to do it long-term and/or earn some money then get yourself a self-hosted WordPress blog.
If you have no intentions to blog more than a few months, then set up a limited free blog on WordPress.com.
At TJ-WEBS, our goal is to provide awesome & affordable web design to individuals, small businesses and non-profits. We love the little guys, the newbies, the novices… the up-and-comers, the mom and pops and the have nots. We believe beautiful websites can be affordable and accessible to everyone. From basic blogs to full blown e-Commerce sites, we offer affordable websites to all.
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