Differences Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
I was recently asked by a blogging friend at ThoughtsnLifeBlog to write about my experience in WordPress and what are the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com? In creating blogs, one name is synonymous in the field. WordPress is the heavyweight in website development.
According to w3techs.com, they reported there is 32.3% of all the worlds’ websites running this CMS engine. (https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all)
There are actually two versions of WordPress, the .com and the .org with one being a colossal heavyweight.
So let’s start with the possibly less known version. And there’s a reason for that.
Fundamentally, it’s a generic WordPress environment with nothing seeming that unfamiliar, but upon digging, you will soon notice some differences.
Let’s go through some points…#1 It’s hands off and very easy to use
This version does not give much chance of getting your hands dirty. With that, means also less chance of breaking it.
Visually, it also comes with a cleaner interface, which is another sign of the lighter version.
#2 Promoting is predominantly internal via the app.
This has one cool feature that isn’t available on the big brother and that is the built-in blog feed. This allows the creation of a small community where your feeds and others can be viewed synchronously.
#3 The cost is good until you want more.
Initially it’s totally free, but it has their own ads inserted on your pages. It is simply a sub domain of https://www.wordpress.com, which means your website address has ‘.wordpress.com’ on the end of it. I have one called https://everythingspleasant.wordpress.com, but after paying, it now shows up as, https://everythingspleasant.com/.
If you don’t mind the free address then okay, but it would look a little unprofessional if you were a business. There are purchasing options available.#4 Advanced plugins are available, but at a cost.
Plugins are a great aspect as they expand the site’s capabilities. The only downfall here is the plugins present are a select list of around 200. On the big brother version, it’s in the thousands.
This also is the same for themes.
And overall for https://www.wordpress.com
Now, considering the traffic to the posts comes from the internal field it means people won’t see your theme or plugins as the blog feed has a standard layout. It also makes purchasing the dot-com purely cosmetic.
One major flaw with that feed is the ability to click likes on posts EVEN without viewing them. The point of that baffles me as it shows no content to like.
A cost that’s better spent on the org instead.
We have here the much larger bigger brother. With functionality being so much more advanced. It has as much control as you possibly need.
Let’s go through the main aspects…#1 The plugins and themes are so much more
The depth of plugins at our disposal means we are so spoilt for choice. The power we can introduce in SEO, ecommerce, bookings and calendars and of course customization.
One plugin I would not be without is called Elementor. This has changed the way text and media appear, not just on your computer, but the mobile too. But, with that comes the risk of being the kid in the candy store. We need to keep to standards (https://www.suniwebdesigns.com/best-web-design-practices/)
I can single-handedly tweak pages and elements dependent on desktop, table and mobiles.#2 the cost comes with risk
You pay for the domain and hosting and the WordPress website is free.
Initially at least it’s free, but as with most things there are premium themes and plugins available.
And there comes the risk.
Most of the items that have a high installation rate, in theory, creates trustworthy themes and plugins to use. As previously said there are so many which all aren’t going to work.
The rule here is to stay with the higher votes.
Apart from the plugins and themes, risk is also present with purchasing your domain. Simply checking for reviews online can help in choosing a good company. You need to find a creditable domain service.
For myself I use Siteground who have an exceptional record in support and speed of your site.
#3 Warning, you can break it easier than org
I have used it for many years and I have many stories of it falling over.
Backups are a prerequisite.
Most times were in the early days where it was more able of failing. These days it’s incredibly more stable with fixes and edits via the cPanel. This is the engine of the site.
Any tweaks in there should be done with extreme caution.
Depending on the domain company, they should offer support, which is a better way to go. The best way to compare cPanel is against a car engine. If you don’t know then you would ask for a mechanic.
It’s a learning experience.
Comparing the Differences Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, what’s my preference?
Well, I have both and for different reasons.
#1 My https://www.wordpress.org site is a simple blog with the option of seeing other blogs and chatting freely. It feels like a community. It does seem to be easier in connecting with others.
#2 The larger https://www.wordpress.com sites I use are for my web design business (https://www.suniwebdesigns.com) and my android apps development (https://www.nigelsapps.com). Both I would say could not work on the org site.
From a web designers perspective, to market those sites and promote with the intent of looking professional would truly not work on the dot.com version.