Last Updated on May 4, 2020 by ellduclos
The Differences Between WordPress .COM + WordPress .ORG (Which One is Better for Your Blog)
One question that comes up often and can sometimes be confusing to those who are starting a blog is knowing if they should start on WordPress .COM or WordPress .ORG
Which is better? Which allows you to do more? Which allows you to monetize? Etc.
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So here’s a little background about my experience: When I first started my blog I started on wordpress .COM. I eventually started hearing about all the cool plug ins that you should use to help grow your blog like email list builders and other cool things like YOAST SEO which is a plug in that helps grow your SEO. (SEO is search engine optimization which determines how high you rank on google. The better your SEO is, the higher you rank, resulting in more blog views)
Well, I quickly found out that I couldn’t use plugins on WordPress .COM unless I switched to the business plan which is EXPENSIVE. That’s when I did some research and found out about Self hosting and using WordPress .ORG I quickly realized I could save money and STILL get to use plug ins by switching to self hosting and using wordpress .ORG
So what’s self hosting? It’s when you have access to the servers, where your website files are being stored. Your “self host” is essentially hosting your site for you so you can access these files etc.
I quickly researched self hosts and decided on SITE GROUND because they have free site transfers so they were able to transfer my .com site over to their servers so I didn’t lose any of my posts. The only thing I lost were some photos, and I needed to use a different theme.
Their packages start at only $3.95 a month which is incredibly cheap compared to the business plan on wordpress .com
Now let me get into specifics:
This would benefit someone who wants to start blogging as a hobby and doesn’t really plan on monetizing their blog. If you are just doing it for fun and don’t plan on focusing on blogging as a career choice, this would be suitable for you.
Basic Themes (limited custom themes) / No Coding Required
They do have a free plan that gives you the basic themes. You won’t be able to customize these themes much at all. Since it’s a free and limited, you won’t have the ability to use coding to customize your theme or make your overall appearance better. It’s extremely limited.
Free version = No monetization (Follow Their Rules)
You also can’t monetize (make money) the way you may want to. WordPress .COM only allows you to use their ad program (adwords) and I believe you need to be a business plan ($299 a year) in order to use it, or have a crazy amount of blog views a month via premium. It’s against wordpress terms to monetize on their free version. On wordpress .com they also have rules you MUST follow. Be sure to check them out. If you are self hosted there are NO RULES.
Domain Name isn’t Custom
If you are using free wordpress .com your domain will be (yourblog .wordpress .com instead of yourblog .com) This can look unprofessional. Many brands won’t take you seriously if your url isn’t YOURS.
WordPress Owns Your Content
If you are using wordpress .com technically wordpress owns your content too. They have a right over it because they are a hosted platform – not a self-hosted platform.
SELF HOSTED WORDPRESS .ORG
This is the best option for those who want to turn their blog into a biz, and make money blogging! OR even if you want more control over your blog and grow your blog (even without making money) it’s still an amazing route to go with your blog.
Monetization – NO RULES
Self hosting allows you to monetize your blog anyway you want! From google adsense, to affiliate links and more! You can even create your own shop using plug ins! Your options are limitless. You don’t have rules like you would on wordpress .com
You Get a Custom Domain
This is great because it will be yourblog .com which is way more professional and clean. You can get your domain name with your self host (site ground) when you sign up! OR you can purchase it via something like NameCheap and have it re directed and pointed toward your servers.
Your site is 100% customizable. And even then, little coding is required. WordPress has so many tutorials out there that can walk you through all you need to know!
You Own Your Content
YESSS. It’s yours! NOT WordPress’s. You own it. YOUR SELF-HOSTED, Be proud!
PLUG – INS
This is one of my favorite things about self hosting. You get custom plug ins that make creating and growing your site EVEN better.
In order to use Plugins on wordpress .com you have to pay about $299 a year..compared to $48 a year self hosting… That’s a no brainer!
Have a theme you want to upload and install? Self hosting let’s you do that! If you aren’t self hosting …sorry no custom themes.
Choosing A Self Host:
I went with Site Ground and I have loved them 100% since the beginning.
They helped transfer my site for me. All I had to do was sign up through their website – I chose the basic plan in the beginning ($3.95 a month $48 for the year) I didn’t get the site scanner because there are free plug ins that will do the job just as well. BUT I did purchase the domain privacy so my address wasn’t shown to the public.
Once I signed up, I messaged their LIVE CHAT. I let them know that I wanted to transfer my blog from wordpress .com over to their servers. They went into my account and did it all for me. I already previously had a domain name that I purchased so they ended up pointing my domain name to their servers for me as well.
They helped to make the transfer extremely easy! They also installed wordpress .org onto my site ground account. In order to log in to my new wordpress .org account, I would go to “MY ACCOUNTS” and then I would click the green login to admin panel, this would bring me to my wordpress login! Easy peasy! DONE.
Site Ground has yet to give me any down time. My site is ALWAYS up. Compared to other self hosts, their support team is unbeatable!
SO ALL IN ALL
If you are planning on turning your blog into a biz I would recommend you move to self hosted immediately because it will be the best option for your blog!
If you don’t plan on monetizing and plan on just using your blog for a hobby, wordpress .com will work just fine.
BUT if you are looking to have a more customizable site, self – hosting is the way to go!
Hope this helps you decide on which one is best for your blogging needs! You can also check out this post on how to start a blog & what to do before you launch!
Until Next Time,