Starting a website comes with very contradicting emotions. The first emotion is excitement, because you’re finally going to get your idea or business onto the web. If it’s something you’re really passionate about it’s even more exciting. But the next emotion that is going to follow is intimidation, because you have so many options and you don’t really know what makes them unique.
But you might find yourself stumbling when you are given a choice between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, because they operate on different levels. This is why you should keeping reading. In a few moments it will make much more sense.
Consider this a basic testing site, because whatever domain name you choose, it’s going to be a subdomain to wordpress.com. What does this mean? It means WordPress.com is the host and server, which substantially limits your ability to customize the site. All you will be able to do is choose a free theme and install it. Any other functions, like changing the fonts, installing plugins, and generally optimizing the site for a stronger SEO presence aren’t available.
Now, if you want a free site that will take you 5 minutes to setup without any real maintenance, this is the option for you. Given that you can only change the content, it’s the only area you’ll have to maintain. However, there is a premium option that will unlock certain features. It’s a very affordable package at $8.25 per month, but it still won’t come close to your options over at WordPress.org. Another thing you’ll have to make peace with is the ad space WordPress.com incorporates on your site.
This is the option you want to take if you are truly serious about setting up a site that could potentially change the face of the internet. Unlike WordPress.com, there are virtually no limits as to what you can tweak according to your taste. The reason why you can make all these changes is because you are hosting the site, and the CMS platform (WordPress) gets installed in a space that you control. However, the cost of the domain and server falls on you.
While you have limited themes to choose from on WordPress.com, there aren’t any limits on WordPress.org. But that’s only the start of it, so to put it all in perspective, here are some of the features you can expect to get with WordPress.org.
Total Control Over Themes and Plugins
Although there are a lot of great free WordPress themes, they only get you so far. It’s ultimately the premium themes that take your site to the next level where it’s really competitive. At the same time you want to be able to utilize crucial tools for search engine optimization. Plugins are a must for any site, and they control a big part of user engagement. Just having so much control over the theme and the plugins already puts you in a very strong position.
Security, Speed and Dominance
Given that WordPress.org is running on your server, you can purchase some influential space for the site. It’s also crucial that things like the loading speed be as fast as it possibly can be, because research shows that users can lose interest within 3 seconds. This is something you want control over, which brings up the issue of dominance.
There’s a constant competition to come up with something fresh and exciting, but you’re not gonna get there with a free theme and some nice articles. You have to be a in a position to utilize everything the internet gives you, such as pictures and videos, icons that make it easy to share the pages on social media and responsive themes for mobile devices. When you put these elements in your arsenal, your site will be a dominant force.
Then of course there’s the question of security measures. While WordPress.com is a perfectly safe domain to tap into, won’t you feel better knowing you’ve got extra measures in place? Once again, being the host gives you control of how safe your site is.
The Marketing and Income Possibilities
With WordPress.org you can turn your site into a money making machine, and there aren’t any ads displayed. Your space is yours alone, and choose which ads go where. Using a website to generate an extra income, for example running an ecommerce site, is a very lucrative idea that many people are exploring.
Some Benefits of using WordPress.com
In all fairness, there are some individuals who are going to appreciate how the WordPress.com sub-domain functions, because it doesn’t require any maintenance from you. There are also some extra traffic possibilities if WordPress features your blog. In terms of making money through it, you can only request selling ad space after attracting about 25 000 page views a month, so it’s not impossible. And of course, it’s free in its most basic form.
It’s Your Choice
Once you understand how both these options work, it’s much easier to make a decision. If you want to keep things simple, fun and low key, then try out WordPress.com and see how it works for you. But if you want to really leave some good first impressions, it’s recommended to go with a self-hosting WordPress site.