If you are considering using WordPress for your next website or blog, you should know whether you want to use WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that people all over the world use to power their blogs and websites. WordPress launched in 2003 and since then has grown to be a dominating force on the web. WordPress was used by more than 22.0% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013! [Source]
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
So what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? The simple answer is that WordPress.com sites are easier to setup but don’t offer as many features or flexibility as a WordPress.org site. WordPress.com sites are hosted, which means that they live on WordPress’s own servers. Backup and security is taken care of by WordPress. WordPress.org sites are self-hosted, which means that you’ll need to find a host and perform backups and security yourself. Read more about choosing the right host here.
Here are the key differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org according to WordPress:
Focus on your beautiful content, and let WordPress handle the rest.
Get your hands dirty, and host your website yourself.
|Premium hosting, security, and backups are included. You can even upgrade to a custom domain, like YourGroovyDomain.com.||You’ll need to find a host, and perform backups and maintenance yourself. WordPress offers VaultPress for security and backups.|
|Choose from hundreds of beautiful themes. Make it your own with Custom Design.||Install custom themes. Build your own with PHP and CSS.|
|Integrate your site with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social networks.||Install a plugin, like Jetpack, to enable sharing functionality on your site.|
|Popular features like sharing, stats, comments, and polls are included. There’s no need to install plugins.||Install plugins to extend your site’s functionality.|
|Personal support and the WordPress.com forums are always available.||Visit the WordPress.org support forums for assistance.|
|You must register for an account on WordPress.com and abide by our Terms of Service.||No registration with WordPress.org is required.|
If you want a site that’s quick and simple and you don’t care for lots of customization, WordPress.com might be the right choice for you. If you are willing to put a little more work into your site to get exactly what you want, WordPress.org is probably a good fit.