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WordPress.com and WordPress.org, the difference you should know

WordPress is the most used CMS for websites and blogs on the internet, powering more than 67 million websites worldwide. Recent statistics show that WordPress is used by 18.6% of all the websites, and its  market share in CMS is 58.2%, impressive isn’t it?

If you’re starting a blog, this is probably the most common question you ask yourself (along with many of 100,000 users that a starting a WordPress blog each day). So, WordPress.com or WordPress.org, what’s the difference?  In this post, we will try to see the main differences between having a blog hosted on WordPress.com or managing a self-hosted website using WordPress open source software.

Basics

First, let’s define some basic information: WordPress.com is a service that hosts WordPress blogs on their website, in a form of a subdomain, while WordPress.org is a community that provides WordPress software, which you have to install on your own host and use to power your website.

Blog address

This probably is the most visible difference between a blog on WordPress.com and a self hosted blog. Although you can upgrade and buy your own domain for an average price of $18 for a Wordrpess.com blog, very few people do this, and most of the wordpress.com users use only the free version.  The regular URL of a wordrpess.com blog looks like this: username.wordpress.com. On the opposite side, a self hosted blog has its own hosting and its own domain name, which is usually more professional.

Hosting

If you create your blog on wordpress.com, it will be hosted on wordpress servers and you will have on average 3GB of storing space. On the other hand, on a self hosted wordpress blog, this storage space can be much larger, depending on your own needs.

Installation

With a blog on wordpress.com, you do not have to bother about installation, since everything is already installed by wordrpess. You just sign up and you are ready to publish your posts. On a self hosted wordpress blog, you will first need to install the wordpress software. It is available for Free on WordPress.org, you simply download it and install it on your host, it should take you around 5 min to install WordPress if you’re used with such installations (but many hosting providers offer one-click WordPress installation to make your life easier).

Customization

Running a blog on wordpress.com gives you very few options for customization. In the free mode, you can only choose from 265 Free WordPress Themes and around 45 widgets available in the free version. On the other hand, with a self hosted blog, you can install any theme from thousands of Premium WordPress Themes available on the Internet, and choose from more than 25,000 WordPress plugins that will turn your blog into anything you wish (in terms of visual appearance and functionality).

SEO

WordPress.com blogs are SEO optimized by default, however only some basic features are included. If you need more advanced optimization features like: XML sitemaps, custom meta titles, microdata format, Google Analytics, etc. you should opt for a self hosted website powered by dedicated WordPress plugins and Templates.

The bottom line

If you want more flexibility and more control over your blog, you should definitely create a self hosted wordpress blog. In the same time, a wordpress.com blog is more suitable for beginners and for people who do not have high requirements over their blog appearance and customization. It is best for people who only want to publish their content online.

So, which one do you choose? Let us know by leaving your comments!

2 RESPONSES TO WordPress.com and WordPress.org, the difference you should know
Madison July 7, 2013 Reply

I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own personal blog and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thank you!

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