WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

When working with our clients one of the most common questions that is brought up is the difference between the two major flavors of WordPress. It’s not uncommon for us to have a client that sends us pricing information from WordPress.com when really we meant to have them setup a WordPress.org setup. This is why we offer a free product consultation with each website project.

So we decided to answer this age old question once and for all, what are the key differences between a WordPress.com and WordPress.org website; and why do we choose the WordPress.org setup over the WordPress.com platform.

WordPress.org Overview

WordPress itself started as and still is an open source platform. It is developed by a not for profit organization. Their team of coders are always looking for ways to add additional features to the platform to make beautiful and stunning websites.

In order to have a wordpress.org implementation you require a few additional factors:

Domain Name
This is the address that your website visitors will type in to find your site, this is the same as required by WordPress.com however, does need to be mentioned. If you don’t have a domain name you won’t be able share your website online.

Hosting Account
This is the account that your physical files are stored on, providers such as GoDaddy, Bluehost and Hostgator, to name a few, offer these services. They may be a standard shared hosting package, or a specialized Managed WordPress package where they optimize the hosting account specifically for a WordPress.org install.

SSL Certificate (Optional but recommended)
These days it’s recommended to have an SSL certificate installed on your website. This used to only be required for businesses collecting payments online; however, today it also factors into your search engine ranking. Having a secured website builds reputability online, which search engines take into account when placing your website.

One of the main advantages to having WordPress.org is that you can access the core files of the website, you are able to upload an unlimited amount of files (pending space on your hosting is available), you can install as many plugins as you wish and easily incorporate your preferred theme. All for the cost of your hosting and domain name.

Overall for a wordpress.com implementation you will spend anywhere from $200-400/year depending on your hosting, domain and SSL providers pricing.

WordPress.com Overview

WordPress.com (otherwise known as Automattic Inc.) is a service like a Managed WordPress solution, they offer the hosting, option to purchase a custom domain branded to your business.

WordPress.com differs because you do not have the full access to all files and resources on the WordPress platform because they are centrally controlled by the plan you select through them. Depending on your plan that you select you will have access to specific features, normally all of these features are available through a WordPress.org implementation.

WordPress.com offers a variety of plans for building websites:

Blogger Plan: $4/month
This plan for bloggers that just want the wordpress.com branding removed and only need to use the service to create a blog, you have access to a free one year .blog domain name, email support, access to install free themes from the WordPress repository, basic design customizations through the theme options and pre-set colour schemes and 6GB of Storage Space.

Personal Plan: $6/month
This plan gives you all of the features of Blogger plus a few extra:
– Free domain name for one year, rather than just the .blog domain
– Email and Live Chat Support

Premium Plan: $10/month
This plan gives you all of the features of Blogger and Personal plus the following:
– Access to Premium Themes through their repository
– Advanced design customization, extended colour schemes, background designs and complete control over customized CSS styling
– 13GB of Storage Space
– Advanced social media
– Simple payments
– Ability to monetize your website through advertising

Business Plan: $33/month
This is the best plan from WordPress.com for small business, you gain access to all of the above features plus:
– Unlimited storage
– SEO tools
– Ability to upload plugins to your website
– Ability to upload themes to your website
– Google analytics integration

Finally, there is one more plan offered by WordPress.com called their eCommerce plan, this plan is designed for online stores to sell products and services through their website, the cost is $59/month. In this plan you get the features of the plans above plus:
–  Accept payments is 60+ countries
– Integrations with top shipping carriers
– Unlimited products of services
– eCommerce marketing tools
– Premium customizable starter themes

In short, if you want the most control over your website, without paying a premium for it; your best route is to go with a self-hosted wordpress.org instance. We ourselves use and recommend this to all of our clients to prevent any access issues well designing and developing websites.

Need some help deciding on the best products for your business? Leave your questions below and we will answer with what we think is the best option for your business. Or book a complimentary consult call with #teamDrakeCo and get the process moving forward with your next project.


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