The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

If you’re relatively new to WordPress, one of the most confusing things can be the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

This course is on getting started with the full function WordPress.org program. But. in this video, we’ll take a quick look at the differences between these two related but distinctively different versions of WordPress and talk about when you should consider using one versus the other.

This course will be using WordPress.org.

(Audio Only – See Transcript Below)

Go at your own pace through the video series, but the sooner you go through them and practice yourself, the better!

Transcript

The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

If you’re relatively new to WordPress, one of the most confusing things is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

In this video, we’ll take a quick look at the difference between these two related but distinctively different versions of WordPress.

WordPress.org

WordPress is a free, open-source software package that enables you to create a full-featured website that can be managed using just a web browser. WordPress is available for download from WordPress.org. Anyone can download WordPress for free, but it must be installed on a web server in order to work. You’ll need a web hosting provider, which can cost anywhere from 5 to 30 dollars a month, and many web hosts include simple tools to install WordPress on your web server with just a single click.

Once WordPress is installed, you’ll have complete control over your entire WordPress-powered website, including the ability to install custom themes and plugins to add new features to your site, or even modify the underlying CSS and PHP files to create a completely custom site. If you plan to customize your site by installing a premium theme or a plugin, or you want to ensure you’ll have the most flexibility down the road, you’ll want to use the self-hosted version of WordPress, available for download from WordPress.org.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a free, hosted version of WordPress that enables you to build a simple blog or website in just a couple of minutes. During the signup process, you’ll choose a name for your site, which will then automatically include dot-wordpress-dot-com at the end of your site’s web address. You can purchase an upgrade, which will enable you to use your own domain name without this “wordpress.com” portion.

After you select a name for your site and finish the signup process, you’ll choose from a set of preselected themes, which control the look and feel of your blog or website. Again, you can purchase an upgrade which will allow you to customize the design of your site but you won’t be able to install premium themes from third party theme companies.

There are a number of other upgrades available for purchase, including video hosting, space upgrades, removing ads that are shown by default, and more. And should you ever decide to transfer your site from the fully hosted WordPress.com service to a self-hosted WordPress.org installation, you can even have the WordPress engineers handle the entire move for you for a small fee. WordPress.com also includes the ability to collect feedback from your readers through polls or ratings on your posts. You can also enable a mobile theme, which will ensure that your site is optimized for display on mobile devices.

While there are many features that are great for beginners, keep in mind that with the fully hosted WordPress.com service, you are limited in which themes you can install to a preselected, but large, set of themes and plugins. At this time you cannot run an ecommerce solution or monetize your site through ads, or customize the underlying files that power your site.

So if you’re looking for a free, easy way to get started with a basic blog or very simple website, WordPress.com includes free hosting, automatic upgrades, and a number of built-in features that will help you create a site in just a few minutes.

This Course Will Use WordPress.org

But if you prefer complete control over your site’s content and presentation, and you’d like to take advantage of custom themes and plugins to help make your site even more unique, you’ll be much better served by the self-hosted version of WordPress, available from WordPress.org.

So, hopefully this helps clear up some of the confusion about the differences between the two versions of WordPress and you’re now able to decide which one best serves your needs as you build your blog or website.

WordPress.com screenshot
WordPress.com
WordPress.org Screenshot
WordPress.org
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