WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
– What is the difference which is better? As an open source platform, WordPress is often considered to be a free website builder, but in fact, building and maintaining a successful WordPress website can add up to a large monthly fee.
To counteract that, WordPress offers a free version of its popular website builder, called WordPress.com, which is basically a very limited version of WordPress.
So which of those should you choose for your next web project?
The history of WordPress
When Matt Mullenweg first launched WordPress about 15 years ago, he had this utopian vision that the internet is a free zone where everyone can post whatever they want, for free. WordPress was rapidly gaining popularity as a blogging platform, and it was actually free.
But over time, WordPress websites started to require a lot of resources, so in 2005 they decided to open it up for external hosting by creating two main divisions:
The wordpress.com , which is a free hosting server for WordPress blogs.
wordpress.org , which is the current WordPress platform.
While the WordPress.org platform is freely available on the web, it requires a web server to function. So WordPress.com is a hosting server and it is just one of the many hosting providers that you can use to host your site (like Bluehost or SiteGround ), except it is free.
The trap with free WordPress.com hosting:WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
Considering what I just told you, you may be thinking, wait, why should I pay for external hosting when I can get it on WordPress.com for free ??
Well here’s the kicker. WordPress.com only allows you to use a very basic version of the WordPress platform.
Although updated regularly, WordPress.com is still the same blogging platform it used to be. You can use it to publish blog posts, but that’s it ..
To use the full-featured version of WordPress, you will need a paid hosting account and again, this could be driven by updated plans from WordPress.com or any third-party hosting provider.
The Features You Won’t Get With Free WordPress.com Hosting
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com , Install plugins and themes
One of the best features of WordPress.org is its smart architecture, which allows you to easily install external code packages and use them to extend the functionality and visibility of the website.
These include designing the templates ( Free or paid) and the pluggins, either free or paid, developed by the open source community.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, cannot allow free sites to add external plugins or themes, because that would introduce a vulnerability to their servers and increase costs, making it impossible for them to offer the service for free.
The only plugins you can use with WordPress.com free hosting are the ones freely published by Automatic, the WordPress operator, i.e Jetpack suite and Akismet anti-spam.
EDIT CODE: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
Unlike most website builders, WordPress.org allows you to access and edit your site’s code , so you can customize those parts of WordPress that are not your ally.
You also have access to cPanel , which includes a variety of advanced tools like staging, backups, chronological jobs, databases, and redirects, to name a few.
With free WordPress.com hosting, you can’t do all of that. This means that you will have to use the default settings, and these are extremely limited.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
WORDPRESS.COM BRANDING AND ADS
Websites require a domain name for users to access them. Usually with private or shared hosting, you can buy a domain of your choice and use it for your site.
But with free WordPress.com hosting, you will always have the WordPress.com suffix at the end of the URL.
Also, you probably won’t notice it if you’re using Chrome’s AdBlock extension, but try browsing incognito and you’ll quickly see the difference.
WordPress.com’s free hosted websites are full of externally generated ads that make the websites appear suspicious in the eyes of visitors. If the website is for a business entity, that could seriously damage its reputation and public image.
What will you get with WordPress.com?
QUICK AND EASY ONE-CLICK SETUP
With the WordPress.com, you need not have to set up a hosting account, connect a domain, or buy and download themes and plugins externally. Everything is done for you in a single, easy-to-use control panel.
WordPress.com’s daily backup service works with Automattic so you don’t have to do it yourself. If something goes wrong and you need to restore your site, WordPress.com will have a ready-to-use backup. Mind you, this type of service is not unusual and most hosting providers also offer it as part of their hosting plans.
UPTIME, PERFORMANCE & SECURITY
WordPress.com takes the pain out of keeping your site safe.
Also, because they have servers pretty much everywhere, it is highly unlikely that you will have to deal with downtime or performance issues, and that’s a huge plus, especially for inexperienced users.
If you manage more than one WordPress.com blog, you will be able to edit all of them from a single dashboard with the same login credentials .
This time-saving feature is currently not available with WordPress.org unless you are using a multi-site installation, which is too complex to cover in this article.
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