WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

by: Binary Star Digital

So you’ve decided you want to get a website and you’ve decided to go with WordPress, but now you’re being presented with two options; WordPress.org and WordPress.com. What’s the difference and which platform should you choose for your website?

If you search for WordPress the two options come up and #1 and #2 and if you are new to WordPress the difference is not very clear. 

WordPress.Org

Despite their names and to some extent their interface, these are two very different platforms. WordPress.org is a free, open source Content Management System (CMS) and needs to be installed on a web server in order to be used. It is what powers 30% of the web and what your trusty website developers, including Binary Star Digital; use to build quality, customised website for clients.

Here are the main benefits:

  • It’s 100% free  and open source
  • Whatever you build, you own. Your data is your own and not bound to a specific company
  • It’s completely customisable via plugins and custom build themes
  • You can install Google Analytics and track your metrics
  • You can create an e-commerce store and accept payments directly through your site
  • It’s an easy to use backend for ongoing site edits

Here are the main cons:

  • It needs to be hosted and this will incur a fee. This means you need to find a trusted web provider to manage all your file and store them securely whilst ensuring you have fast speeds to meet your traffic needs
  • The site needs to be manually updated, both in terms of any plugins you use and the overarching WordPress CMS updates
  • The site needs to be backed up

Comparatively to other CMS choices, WordPress.org is one of the best choices out there for developing and delivering a high quality website at a low cost – you just need to find the right developer to understand your needs.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is based on the WordPress.org software. It’s perfect for people who are just dipping their toes into the word of blogging or who want to use this as a personal outlet for a hobby.  The basic version is free but there are paid options if you want more space or to get around some of the limitations to features.

Here are the main benefits:

  • It’s 100% free up to 3GB of space
  • The website is hosted and backed up by WordPress themselves. This means you done have to worry about anything technically as it will all be taken care of.

Here are the main cons:

  • WordPress will place adds all over your website if you choose the free version
  • You can’t use plugins or custom themes. Free plans only allow the basic JetPack options unless you upgrade to a Business plan
  • You are restricted to the WordPress analytics and can’t add in a Google Analytics tracker
  • You can only place your site under a subdomain i.e. www.wordpress.com/mysite

If you want to upgrade to a Business or VIP plan, you can look at the package options but you will be paying an excess to have some of these limitations removed and will still be tied to WordPress.com’s terms. Ultimately if you are looking for freedom, flexibility and customisation for your website, we would strongly recommend choosing the WordPress.org option along with a developer that you trust.

Ready to get started? Binary Star Digital can create custom built websites using the WordPress.org platform that perfectly match your brand and business goals. We can organise fast hosting, secure backups and detailed site analytics. Give us a call today to find out more.