WordPress.com Versus WordPress.org: Which WordPress Version is Best for Me?

Click here to enlargeIf you’re brand new to WordPress, a theme provides a template for your site’s design, and will shape your site’s aesthetics and core functionality. You can extend this functionality by installing plugins for specific purposes.
Most plugins are developed to perform a very specific, specialist function. And, with literally thousands of plugins to choose from, there are solutions for almost every functionality imaginable.
WordPress.com users don’t have this luxury.
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Most website owners don’t take website security and maintenance seriously enough.
Take email marketing, for example. Off the top of my head, there are loads of plugins for adding really sophisticated functionality for email marketing specialists – OptinMonster, Bloom, Ninja Popups to name just a few.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

With WordPress.org, you can install as many themes and plugins as you want on your website – both free and premium ones. If you have the skills, you can modify them or build your own, too.
Right then; we’ve looked at how WordPress.com compares to WordPress.org in five key performance areas.

Hosting

Why is WordPress.org so versatile? For that, we have to talk about plugins again.
With such heavy restrictions – and we’ll get to more soon! – WordPress.com isn’t looking quite so good, is it?
Winner: WordPress.com
The restrictions of using WordPress.com continue thick and fast.
On one end of the spectrum there’s low-cost shared hosting services like BlueHost and HostGator, with prices starting from per month. On the other, there’s managed WordPress hosting services, which offer you better support, security, and speed, but prices start in the region of per month – Pagely and WP Engine are great examples of managed WordPress hosts. Hosts aren’t created equally, so think carefully before going for the cheapest option: low-cost hosting can slow your site down and result in excessive downtime.
Let’s say I wanted to start blogging cupcake baking tips. Which of these domains looks better?
freedom

Freedom and Control

freedom

WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

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So what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? And more importantly, which version should you be using?
WordPress.org gives you complete control over your content, and that means you can install useful plugins and third-party services that help grow your business and make you more money.
You can also run an eCommerce store on WordPress.com, but it will require you upgrading to a 9 a year Business plan. With WordPress.org, it’s as easy as installing the free WooCommerce plugin.
Winner: WordPress.com
That’s not to say you have to go it alone. There are some fantastic WordPress plugins and services to offer you the protection you need – iThemes Security Pro is a great all in one security plugin; Sucuri will protect your site from malware; and VaultPress will allow you to restore your website should something go wrong (VaultPress is actually ran by WordPress.com owner, Automattic).
Want a few ideas of how you can make money from a WordPress website?
There’s also been a number of dedicated security and maintenance services hitting the market. These services offer full protection for a WordPress.org website, including security, updates, maintenance, and backups – Maintainn, WP Site Care, and The WP Butler are all great examples of these services.
If you’re looking to build a fully-fledged business, there’s only one winner: WordPress.org.
WordPress.com users are also unable to install custom plugins. Automattic does bundle a good amount of functionality with each WordPress.com install, though. For example, social sharing buttons are automatically included, so you won’t need to install a custom plugin for this.
Now, my favorite thing about using WordPress.org is the huge variety of themes and plugins available.
WordPress Comparison
Without doubt, the main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is hosting — more specifically, the way your site is hosted.
In fairness, Automattic does a solid job of understanding its users’ needs, so most of the functionality a hobbyist blogger will need is included straight-out-the-box. Personally, I’d prefer to install my own plugins, but WordPress.com users won’t miss out completely.

Posted by WordPress Guru