So everyone’s telling you to use WordPress to start your blog or web site. But when you google it, you come to a confusing dilemma. There are two WordPress sites, and you’re not sure which you should use: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
Many articles have been written to provide detailed breakdowns on the differences between these two. Feel free to google them. The top results are very thorough and well researched. In this post, I’m going to be brief and share my personal experience and thoughts on this in plain English.
What Is WordPress?
Think of WordPress as your blogging software. It’s what will give you the tools to set up your blog and write your posts. But here’s the tricky part. There are two options.
This is widely considered the free version. And it does start free. But you’ll have to start paying if you want more options, like your own domain (if you want yourdomainname.com instead of yourdomainname.wordpress.com).
How Much Does WordPress.com Cost?
As of June 27, 2018, WordPress.com has the following tiers (with a free option that is displayed below this section):
So the range is $0 – 25 per month.
Why I don’t recommend WordPress.com
- For newbies: In the blogging community, many people start with .com but eventually migrate to .org after they start to take their blog more seriously. Why? Probably because…
- Limitations: If you’re on .com you’re limited on how you can monetize your blog, whether you can use Google Analytics (you can but…only if you do the Business plan), which plugins (no Yoast?!) you can install, and which themes you can use. This isn’t a big deal when you’re just starting out, but most bloggers I know eventually want to use plugins and themes that .com does not support. And this includes plugins I personally use and recommend.
If you want to blog completely recreationally, then WordPress.com may good for you. And if you change your mind later, you can always migrate. Though having done a few migrations, I can safely say blog migration is a huge pain in the you know what. You can pay a fee to have someone else migrate your blog. But either way, this is a headache I personally would opt to avoid up front. Just my two cents.
In fairness, many notable companies like The New York Times, Best Buy, and UPS use WordPress.com. Not sure how they’re managing without some of the plugins I love, but it must work for them.
This version actually is free. It’s open source in fact. However, you will have to secure (and pay for) your own hosting and domain. Does this sound scary? It’s really not. It sounds harder than it is. And I teach you how to do it in 10 minutes or less over on this page.
How Much Does WordPress.org Cost?
I already wrote a post breaking down how much it costs to run a blog on WordPress with domain and hosting factored in.
With domain and hosting, the cost is roughly $6 per month, though it depends on which companies you use.
Why I do recommend WordPress.org
Freedom: It’s simple. You can basically do anything you want with your blog on .org. You can use any plugin you want. Any theme you’d like. You can monetize without constraints (outside of whatever requirements the monetization platform has, of course – plus legal stuff…yada yada).
Blogger-Recommended: And for what it’s worth, almost all of my blog friends who use WordPress use the .org version. Why? Because I recommended it? No, they use it because other bloggers in the community recommend it all the time.
Plenty of Troubleshooting Help: And there are so many people who use .org, there are tons of tutorials and videos if you ever need help troubleshooting that are a short Google search away.
Community: And did I mention the WordCamps? Super affordable WordPress-focused conferences for technical and non-technical users alike. You an go and learn how to take your blog / site to the next level and meet others in the community. From my experience, these are geared towards .org users almost exclusively.
Summary: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Should You Use?
Hands down I recommend .org.
Many of the resources I recommend only work on .org.
Almost all of my blog friends use .org, and the freedom that comes with it is worth the extra set-up and maintenance in my humble opinion.
Want to Read More About This?
Thanks for reading! Hope you found this post comparing WordPress.com vs WordPress.org helpful. Questions? Leave them in a comment.
PS: Do you still have questions? Send them to me here, and I may answer in an upcoming post!
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