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WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org, what’s the difference? With blogging such an essential part of running a small business, In the Moment Computing is often asked this important question. Read on while we explore the important differences between these two blogging tools in this WordPress blogging tutorial.

WordPress in a nutshell:

WordPress.com is an all-in-one online site for creating a blog online.

WordPress.org provides open source blogging software that you can use to set up your own blog.

If this doesn’t clarify it for you, read on for more information! The two options are very similar but there are some key differences, too.

Blogging Tutorial for WordPress

Credit: teamstickergiant

WordPress.com

WordPress.com provides a simple, free, way to start a blog online. It’s a website, where all you need to do is post your content. You won’t need to worry about what’s behind the scenes.

With WordPress.com, you can sign up and create a blog in minutes. No worrying about web hosting required. Basic blogs and templates are free. Your initial website will have the following URL: http://blogname.wordpress.com.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of using WordPress.com for setting up your blog:

WordPress.com Pros

  • Setup is easy!
  • Free hosting for your content.
  • Variety of designer themes available for free.
  • Great website ranking comes built in – you just focus on posting content.
  • Additional customization available (add your URL, changes template, colors, etc.) for a small charge.

WordPress.com Cons

  • No 3rd party plugins to customize your site.
  • No  affiliate links for generating revenue allowed.
  • Sometimes there are 3rd party ads on your site – pay $30 to remove them.
  • Custom design package allows limited changes.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is open-source software, meaning it’s freely available to the public. No money or subscription required. With WordPress.org, you will need a web host (like HostGator or GoDaddy) to host your site. That often costs a little bit of money each month. If you use WordPress.org, you will have a self-hosted WordPress blog.

WordPress.org Pros

  • Complete customization – the sky’s the limit.
  • Huge library of plugins available to customize your site (over 24K!).
  • No advertisements (unless you want them).
  • No restrictions on affiliate links.

WordPress.org Cons

  • Must pay for web hosting. (approx. $8-$20 per month)
  • Must pay for domain name.
  • Better for tech savvy people.
  • 3rd party plugins vary in quality & safety.
  • You’ll need to protect your data via backup.

Our Recommendations  

Wordpress Blogging Tutorial

Credit: Phil Oakley & WordPress

Our recommendation depends on you. When we work with a client to set up their blog or website, we evaluate their needs, budget and ability with computers.

WordPress.com websites are great for personal blogs and simple business sites. They are especially good for newbies. There’s customization: pretty themes and layout but not too much responsibility required.

WordPress.org (aka self-hosted WordPress sites) is what the “pros” use. If you’re very tech-savvy, or if you’re hiring a professional to design your blog/website, self-hosting + WordPress.org is the way to go.

If you’re still not sure which way to go, consider starting with WordPress.com. You can get a feel for WordPress, see if you like blogging or maintaining a website, without committing to anything. And it’s easy to migrate to a self-hosted website.

We hope this WordPress blogging tutorial is helpful for you! If you have any questions for In the Moment Computing, let us know in the comments.