WordPress – Dot Com or Dot Org?

A few days ago, we shared an article about resolving a new blogger’s dilemma around choosing between WordPress and Blogger. The article clearly detailed the differences between WordPress (dot org version) and Blogger, because in greater number of cases, people perceive the self-hosted version of WordPress as the more complex one, requiring greater personal investment.

Today, we are going to talk about the difference between two versions of WordPress – the dot com version and the dot org version.

If you have been trying to figure out differences yourself, you might have already discovered that wordpress dot com is an quick and easy way to get started with your blog, where WordPress provides you with all the basic features of the great content management system, with hosting, backups and thousands of free themes to help you get started. They even have paid plans so you can buy your own domain name or use premium themes that are not available as part of the free plans.

But don’t be fooled. WordPress dot com is a world apart from the self-hosted version of WordPress and offers limited functionality and features. The reason we are sharing this information with you, is to make our newly launched website, the one-stop shop for all your content management and content marketing requirements. So let’s get started.

Who’s hosting?

The first major difference between the two platforms, is who is hosting your website. When you visit WordPress dot org, you can download WordPress for free. After that, in order to get started, you need to purchase a hosting plan from your provider of choice, and perhaps you will also need a domain name. If you are not interested in paying for your own hosting or to pay for a domain name, by all means, head over to WordPress dot com and get started.

Limited Modification Ability

One of the biggest differences is that WordPress dot org does not allow you to modify the PHP code behind your website. The self-hosted version offers you much greater flexibility and options to upload your own theme and custom theme or premium themes that you can purchase from a variety of sources. If you have it in you, you can also use the WordPress Codex along with knowledge of CSS, PHP and HTML to create your own custom theme and design.

Cost

When you purchase your own domain name and hosting, there is obviously a cost associated with it. There are a number of plans that are available, depending on the scale at which you want to deploy your wordpress website. If you are expecting a lot of visitors, you might want to have a premium plan that will provide for greater bandwidth, increase customisation and security.

Documentation

While WordPress dot com is relatively much easier to use, the WordPress dot org version has a extensive documentation available via WordPress Codex to help you manage your site or make improvements. Today, the WordPress powers more than a quarter of all websites online. This is a huge number, considering millions of websites get created everyday, and WordPress is proving itself to be the preferred platform. The open-source community supporting WordPress is huge and it is a quick of getting help when you need it.

Maintenance

When you sign up on WordPress dot com, you do not have to worry about maintenance. However, when you are on a self-hosted site, maintenance is your headache. You need to continually improve it to match standards of developing websites, keep it secure and backed up, or pay for premium services that will help you manage these functions.

If you would rather not deal with anything technical, and do not have the time to commit to ongoingn maintenance and development, it is advisable to stay away from the self-hosted version.

However, if you do choose to maintain your own website, your responsibilities could include:

  • Installing and setting up your WordPress site
  • Setting up your server for VPS and hosting
  • Updating your WordPress and theme versions when new versions roll out
  • Regularly updating your plugins
  • Preventing intruders from hacking or spamming your website
  • Backing up the entire site in case it breaks down and resolving problems in case they arise

Considering the above pros and cons, you would be able to take an informed decision about what you are planning to do with your website, how much time you have and which option you would like to choose.

Be sure to visit the Tips and Tricks section of our website for more help on how to manage your blog better.

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