OK so you would like to start a new website and you heard of WordPress but when you do a search you see results for WordPress.com and WordPress.org and it leaves you wondering what is the difference? Well to start it all depends on what you plan on doing. lets take a look at the two:
- They host WordPress for you so you do not need hosting.
- Within minutes you can signup for a blog site and be up and running.
- They have a large selection of themes to select from.
- They have some pre-installed plugins already available.
- You can use your own domain name “Domain Mapping” Business or Premium Plan required
- Maintenance is handled by them.
- You are not able to install your own plugins
- You are not able to install your own themes
- You are not able to modify the base WordPress code
- Does not provide email service for your own domain name ex. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- You are able to install your own plugins
- You are able to install your own themes
- If you have the knowledge you can modify the base WordPress code (not recommended but possible)
- Your own domain name and email accounts for your domain ex. (email@example.com)
- You have complete control of your site and your site data.
- With enough knowledge you can convert your WordPress site to WordPress Multisite
- You need a hosting account to install WordPress.
- Needs a little bit of knowledge to install, navigate and maintain WordPress
- You maintain your site (Plugins, themes & core updates)
The above are just some of the basic differences between the two. Now you might be wondering why would I host WordPress myself. Well the true is that a lot of people that started off with WordPress.com realized that when they wanted to do certain things that they were limited and eventually had to go through the process of converting to a self hosted WordPress version. Having complete control over your site and site data is the key point and this is where a self hosted WordPress site comes in.
WordPress.org is where you can go to download a latest copy of WordPress to install on your hosting account. Majority of hosting companies these days have auto installers in their Cpanel that will make it easier for you to simply click and install WordPress for you. Although these auto installers make it easier for you some installers also install additional plugins and make additional config changes.
So yes you could use the simple installer but it is always good to know how to install WordPress from scratch using just the WordPress installer.
Currently there are millions of people using both options WordPress.com and WordPress.org “self hosted version” but when it comes to those that are serious about their sites or companies they all are using the self hosted WordPress version to achieve their goals.