At a glance, the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com are obvious. But for many hoping to get started with WordPress, the differences may not stand out nearly as much. To be perfectly clear,thetwowebsitesarerunby the same team of designers, web developers and back-end programmers. But when it comes down to it, the key differences between the two sites come down to customization and functionality.
In a nutshell, one site offers you limited customization resources, and the other offers a host of plugins and other tools to fully customize your blog. Users who are relatively new to the WordPress experience may have troublepinpointingthese differences. Strangely enough, WordPress doesn’t seem to go out of its way to make the differences clear.
For starters, let’s talk about WordPress.com. This version of WordPress is free, but it only offers mild customization. For instance, you are only able to forward a domain name to the site, but it does not provide any website hosting. Additionally, though there are a small number of built-in plugins and themes that will boost a WordPress.com blog, they can only be customized to a small degree.
The upsides to using WordPress.com are many. For starters, it’s free, easy to set up, and allblogposts are backed up automatically. Probably the most exciting feature is that updates and security patches are managed automatically, since they are hosted on WordPress’ own servers.WordPress.org on the other hand, offers a powerful publishing platform for websites and blogs. The magic of this WP version is in its ability to be installed on your own web host. The WordPress.org platform is the same flexible, stable platform as that on WordPress.com, but it’s hosted by the user, rather than WordPress, allowing for more flexibility while also requiring more manual interaction and manipulation. It also has access to an exhaustive plugin library with thousands of plugins and third-party applications to fully customize your site. Additionally, you can upload fully-customized themes from your own computer or server.However, there are a few downsides to using WordPress.org. For example, you must provide not only a custom domain but also provide your own hosting. Lower-tiered web hosting can run you as little as $7 a month, while hosting for highly-trafficked websites can cost substantially more. Additionally, you must handle all of your own backup tasks, and you are responsible for manually updating the WordPress software as new versions become available.
Generally I would say that WordPress.com is comparable to Blogger.com in that it is easy for non-tech-savvy people to set up and use. The platform is powerful and good-looking, but also simple to manage. For those who are interested in building a whole website around their blog, and/or those who just enjoy the coding challenge, WordPress.org is a terrific solution.