If you are unaware, WordPress offers two ‘flavors’ or types of WordPress systems and here is the difference between the two –
WordPress.com sites are great for hobbyists in my personal opinion. You may start a blog/website without spending a single cent on your website. With that being said the WordPress.com free version has it’s limitations such as your domain will include ‘wordpress.com’ and you have a storage limit of 3GB before needing to upgrade.
You are able to upgrade to a paid version of WordPress.com which removes the ‘wordpress.com’ from your URL and apply your own domain and some other features. This type of WordPress is more limiting as you aren’t able to install any plugin you find on the WordPress.org/plugins directory. However, WordPress.com has plugin like features for you to add to your site.
- Totally free, no hosting costs required
- WordPress.com maintains the server environment for you
- Additional traffic may get directed to your blog from WordPress.com if they feature one of your posts
- Quick to setup and paid options are available
- UPDATED: WordPress.com business accounts can install any third party plugins / themes.
Also known as ‘self-hosted’ WordPress, this type of WordPress allows you to download the WordPress files and host it on your own hosting environment (You are responsible for maintaining your WordPress website).
The only costs for WordPress.org is your hosting and domain registration costs. The more traffic your site gets, the better hosting package you will need to get and possibly a developer to setup your site if you aren’t capable of doing it yourself.
- Allowed to install any plugins, themes and/or customize them
- Freedom to create the site that you want
- You own your data
- You manage your own site and are required to maintain the upkeep of your server/site
Overall, WordPress.org sites are a lot more customizable and you may achieve a lot more with it. Our site is a self-hosted WordPress site!
Depending on your ‘use-case’ WordPress.com may work for you or your business. However, we prefer the self hosted WordPress since we do quite a bit of customization to our client sites and gives us more flexibility.