If you’re like most people interested in creating a blog, you must have come across the WordPress platform. It’s practically one of the most talked about blogging platforms among bloggers.
You’ve probably even considered how you could create a blog on WordPress for your own personal or business use.
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But, did you know that there are two WordPress platforms? They are WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
You may not have known this, and that’s why you are one of the lucky ones who have the opportunity to learn the difference between the two platforms before you mistakenly start your blog on the wrong WordPress platform.
In this post, I will discuss the main differences between the two platforms and hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision about which platform you would like to use to create your blog.
I am using WordPress.org because of all the flexibility and freedom this platform allows. However, I know of other bloggers who use WordPress.com because they find it easier to maneuver. In any case, I will give you the pros and cons of both so that you have a better understanding of each before you dive in and start blogging.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is a web software that you can use to create awesome blogs, websites or apps. It is completely free to use and has tons and tons of functionality.
1. This platform is free and it’s very easy to use, even for beginners.
2.You can upload or choose themes of your choice.
3.You own all data that you input into WordPress.org.
4.You can make money from WordPress.org in any way that you choose (legally). That includes through ads, selling digital or physical products, selling services and more.
5. You can upload or install plugins.
6. You will have a professional looking dot com or dot org domain name. It will look like this ‘mynewblog.com’
7. There is tons and tons of information about WordPress.org online. Therefore, you can learn just about anything about WordPress.org!
1. Although the platform is free, you need a great web hosting provider to have your blog accessible to users on the internet. This costs anywhere between $3-$10 monthly. I recommend Siteground web hosting which costs $3.95 monthly for the start-up plan.
2. You are responsible for getting rid of spam comments on your blog. You can use a great plugin called Akismet to handle this for you. Here is a video tutorial of setting up Akismet.
3. You need to constantly update your plugins in WordPress.org. The best part of that is that it super easy to update plugins. This requires a simple click on the ‘Update’ button.
4. You have to make sure to backup your blog in case anything bad happens to your blog. I update my blog through my web hosting provider. This requires me to hit a ‘backup’ button and wait a few hours as it does its thing!
What is wordpress.com?
WordPress.com is a commercial site where you can host your blog or website for free, but with some major limitations. Almost all aspects of wordpress.com is managed for you, therefore all you need to do on your part is sign up, choose your blog name and design your site with templates provided by WordPress.com. If you ever feel the need to grow your blog, then you will need to pay for upgrades. Those upgrades cost:
Personal: $2.99 monthly (billed yearly): Almost as limited as the free version of WordPress.com
Premium: $8.25 monthly (billed yearly): A little more freedom, but still limited
Small Business: $24.92 monthly (billed yearly). This plan is the equivalent of wordpress.org which is free!
Therefore, if you want to create a blog in WordPress for business purposes, I would not recommend using the Wordpres.com platform.
1. Your site is regularly backed up for you by WordPress.com
2. This platform is free for up to 3GB. After your free plan – which is mainly something you should look into if you want a blog for purely personal reasons. However, if you choose to upgrade to their business package and receive all the features that are free on WordPress.org, then you pay $299.04 yearly.
3. It’s a great place to start out, especially if you don’t want to make a commitment to blogging for profit.
What You Should Know Before Creating Your WordPress Blog
1. In order to enjoy all the great features that you can freely enjoy with WordPress.org, you will need to pay $299.04 yearly for wordpress.com’s small business plan 🙁
2. WordPress.com has four different plans ranging from free, $35.88 yearly, $99 yearly and $299.04 yearly. All those plans except the most expensive plan are limited in terms of being able to choose your own theme, having your own choice of monetization, having your own branding, having the ability to track your blog traffic with google analytics. This means that if you want to own your blog, you need to pay $299.04 yearly, otherwise, you’re basically renting your blog from WordPress.com. The downside of that is that WordPress.com can decide to shut down your blog quite easily if they feel like you are ‘violating’ their policies.
3. Depending on your plan, your blog domain name will look like this ‘mynewblog.wordpress.com’. This is called a subdomain and this is what you will get unless you upgrade.
4. You will have ads running on your blog that you do not profit from. If you don not want your users/blog visitors to see those ads, then , you need to pay WordPress.com a fee of $29.97yearly.
5. Although WordPress.com is free to run their ads on your blog, you cannot run your own ads unless your blog is receiving 25,000 or more page views monthly.
6. You cannot use plugins on your WordPress.com blog.
7. There are very limited options for custom themes. Therefore, your blog might look very generic.
Many people believe that WordPress.com is better because it’s free and thus perceived to be cheaper. However, if you do the math, its actually a lot more expensive than WordPress.org
For wordpress.org the only money that you HAVE to spend is on web hosting. That costs roughly $3.95 per month paid annually, which is $47.40 for your first year. After this, it may go up if your blog traffic grows and you need a plan that supports more than the basic plan can. At any rate, this will only cost you $95.40 for your second year of blogging. Plus, if your blog grows to the point where you need to upgrade your hosting package, that is an indication that your income from your blog has also grown and so you can comfortably afford this from your blogging income.
The best part is that you can monetize however you want to. You can make your blog look exactly how you want it to look and you have complete freedom.
With WordPress.com though, in order to get this sort of freedom, you need to pay $299.04 for their ‘small business’ plan. Otherwise, you’re stuck with a blog that you have little to no freedom with.
The choice of where you want to create your blog is up to you, since only you can decide which platform will work for your specific situation.
I recommend WordPress.org because it is a platform that you can grow with as a blogger and potential small business owner. You have so much more functionality and space to be creative on this platform.
I use and love WordPress.org and I would never change it for any other platform.
How To Create A Blog In WordPress For Less Than $5 Monthly!
If you want to create a blog in WordPress.org for your endeavors, have a look at my step by step guide for beginners to set up your own blog on WordPress.org.
Do you have any questions on how to create a blog in WordPress for your small business or personal needs?
Fell free to reach out to me in the comments below and I will gladly help in any way that I can!
P.S, If you’re currently using a wordpress.com blog and you want to migrate to a wordpress.org (self-hosted), Siteground has step by step guide on how to do this. You can find it here.