There was a time when having your own website was exclusive for those who could afford the large investment of making it. In other times – not so distant – to have a website it was necessary to hire a programmer or know how to program. The world of the internet began as exclusive for those who studied it and had the knowledge to create within this space.
Currently, there are multiple tools that allow us to create our own site. At the same time, there are many tutorials that serve as a guide to have a fantastic website. In the first instance, there are steps that cannot be skipped, such as choosing the name, obtaining a web domain (it is even possible to obtain domains at no cost ), hiring a hosting service, etc. But there are other steps that can be easily skipped: with WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system, known as CMS, which offers the possibility of creating any type of website. It has multiple design templates (themes) that you can customize. At the same time, it has plugins, which are applications that allow us to customize the site to our liking.
The ability to choose a preset layout and add plugins to increase the number of actions that can be performed on the site, makes WordPress the CSM of choice for beginners. They do not need deep technical knowledge to use it, since it is intuitive to use.
Now, there are two options for using WordPress: wordpress.com and wordpress.org
WordPress.com is an online service that does not need any download. To use it, you must register on the web and start creating your own website. As it is an online service (software as a service), you do not need to hire a hosting since the website you create is hosted on the wordpress servers.
If we talk about money, we can determine that WordPress.com is a free service. However, the free plan has several limitations that may be detrimental in the future: you cannot use your own domain (the wordpress subdomain will always be there) or the restriction of disk space. At the same time, there will be ads on your site that you will not be able to charge.
WordPress.org must be downloaded and then installed on a website. The download is free, so there is no monetary cost. However, when it comes to time and knowledge, it involves an installation process. At the same time, it is necessary to contract a domain and a hosting service.
The freedom it grants is that, after the installation process, you can customize it as it suits you best according to your needs. Being open source, the customizations you can make are endless.
Let’s get to the important thing, what is the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?
Let’s see it in detail:
# 1 Price
As we mentioned earlier, WordPress.com is free. However, being free has important limitations if you want to scale your site. Luckily, there are plans to increase the possibilities of the web. On the contrary, WordPress.org can be downloaded for free and has no limitations for its customization. But, it is necessary that you hire a hosting service and that you acquire a domain.
# 2 Personalization
WordPress.com has several limitations for its customization. It all depends on the plan you hire. If you choose one that allows you to modify the code, you can do what you like with the design and the plugins. As for WordPress.org, customization has no barriers. Since you can touch the code, your knowledge is the only thing that can limit the actions you take.
# 3 Monetization
WordPress.com, in free format, includes ads that you cannot charge (since the site is WordPress). If you want to monetize it in some way (like with Double Click or AdSense ), you must purchase a paid plan. As in WordPress.org you can make the modifications you want, monitoring it will be easy.
# 4 Installation
This is one of the main disadvantages of WordPress.org. So far, everything we had been talking about was positive. However, the installation subtracts a bit of points. As you need to install the software on a website, hire a hosting service and acquire a domain, the creation process is a little longer than in WordPress.com, where you only have to register.
# 5 Maintenance
WordPress.com is an online service, so maintenance is in charge of them. Instead, with WordPress.org, the maintenance is done by you. You must be attentive in case there are new updates, to install them on your site.
As you can see, each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Everything will depend on your needs. Before choosing one, you should analyze what you need for your site and if at any time you want to expand it. Based on this, you must decide how much time and money you are willing to invest.