So you’ve chosen WordPress to create your website. This is a good decision as WordPress is an excellent site builder and one of the top content management systems (CMS). However, for your website to be accessible online, you need to have a domain name and a web host. Without these two things, there will be no way for people to access your site and no place for you to store your website’s files.
However, WordPress is a little different. After many of his readers displayed confusion over the differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, Jake from webhostingprof cleared things up by comparing both versions of WordPress to make things more black and white.
There are two different versions of WordPress. These are WordPress.org and WordPress.com. With WordPress.com, you get a free domain and a website, and you don’t need a web host. WordPress.org, by contrast, requires that you use a web host like Green Geeks.
It might seem simpler to go with WordPress.com because you don’t need to take the extra step of finding a web hosting provider, but there are some downsides.
This article will highlight the differences between the two versions of WordPress to help you figure out which version is best for your needs.
What is WordPress.com
WordPress.com is similar to sites like Tumblr and Typepad. Rather than having a site with your own domain, you get a free site on a subdomain. Essentially, this means that to access your site, people will have to type in something like “yourname.wordpress.com.” Consequently, you don’t need a domain or web host. You just create an account and start creating your site.
This sounds ideal, but the free version is very limited in what it offers. Wordpress.com provides you with only a small selection of themes and plugins, even if you upgrade to the premium package. Additionally, it can be challenging to grow a business or have a popular site when you use a subdomain.
What is WordPress.org
WordPress.org is an informational website where you get all the information you need about WordPress and download the latest software releases. When you want to create a website with WordPress, you start by going to WordPress.org and downloading the WordPress software and then take it to any web host. This is called a self-hosted WordPress site.
Benefits of Having a Self-Hosted WordPress Site
Create a Site For your Business
When your site is self-hosted, you have the ability to monetize it. You can run ads from your choice of ad networks, and you can install plugins to sell affiliate products, build your own courses and even turn your site into a full-fledged eCommerce store.
By contrast, Wordpress.com has certain advertising and monetization restrictions limiting how you can make money from your site. For example, you can only use WordPress’s integrated advertising platform. However, using this advertising platform is based on your site receiving a certain level of traffic.
Therefore, if you want a business website, you need to self-host your WordPress site.
Customize Your Site to Your Needs
You have a vision, and you want to make it a reality. This is best done with a self-hosted WordPress site as Wordpress.com offers only a limited plugin and theme selection. Furthermore, you can only make certain customizations.
When you self-host your WordPress site, you get access to all the WordPress plugins and themes. You also have access to an extensive library of free plugins and themes in addition to premium plugins and themes that you can purchase.
Optimize Your Site’s Performance
Self-hosting your WordPress site means you can choose a web host that will optimize your site’s performance. This means ensuring there’s no downtime and fast page loading speeds. Furthermore, self-hosted sites usually perform better in search engine rankings than sites that exist as a larger site’s subdomain.
While you can build a WordPress website without hosting, it severely limits your ability to customize and control your site. For this reason, we recommend that you choose the self-hosted WordPress option.