WordPress is WordPress right? The small difference with a big effect. Before you start your first blog, you should understand the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I will help you to make the right decision for your blog project.
“I can’t install plugins!”
“My backend looks different than shown in the tutorial!”
“Where can I find the settings shown?”
These and similar questions point to a WordPress installation at WordPress.com. Beginning bloggers don’t understand the difference between WordPres.com and WordPress.org. You start blogging and only later realize something is different.
What are the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
The fundamental difference between the two WordPress offerings is not clear at first glance. It’s worth taking a closer look. WordPress is one free open source software used to create websites, blogs and apps. The software and its extensions (themes and plugins) are available for download on WordPress.org. The website in German translation is available at https://de.wordpress.org/. Behind WordPress.org is a large community of enthusiastic bloggers.
On WordPress.com, the Software including a service offered. The developers of WordPress founded the company Automatic, which offers services related to blogging with WordPress on WordPress.com.
WordPress.com – Service – Blog Hosting
WordPress.com offers four different WordPress hosting plans.
Tariffs WordPress.com (February 2018)
Current tariffs and services: https://de.wordpress.com/pricing/
Free plan at WordPress.com
For a beginner blogger, it’s tempting to start a blog with no financial commitments. What do these free offers look like? In general, all providers place advertising on the blog for free, over which the blogger has no influence. The provider retains the revenue from advertising as payment for the service provided.
The free WordPress.com plan does not include your own domain and therefore no own email address. The blog is on a subdomain: yoursite.wordpress.com. This is not a problem for a purely private blog. This is unprofessional for business and ambitious projects.
The data is held by Automatic in the USA. The web space is limited to 3 GB. With many pictures in the blog, it can get tight. (e.g. STRATO offers 25 GB in the smallest tariff, all-inclusive 50 GB)
The functionality of WordPress is very limited and cannot be expanded independently.
The disadvantages at a glance:
- no own domain
- no own e-mail address
- 3 GB web space
- The range of functions is very limited and cannot be expanded independently
- no newsletter
- no Google Analytics
- no FTP access
- no affiliate links possible (do not earn money with the blog)
- the blog may be closed without warning
- limited number of themes (select offer)
- do not install any additional plugins
- no podcast
- no video
The free offer also has advantages. The blogger gets a “carefree all-round package” and doesn’t have to worry about anything, maintenance is included. Thanks to the already installed website, the blog can be created quickly without much effort.
The advantages at a glance:
- already installed website
- a blog can be created quickly without much effort
- Maintenance, including updates
- almost no prior knowledge
The CMS software WordPress is provided on WordPress.org. The site provides downloads and information for bloggers and developers.
- free download of the CMS software WordPress
- Download plugins
- Download themes
- WordPress Community Support Forums (German, English)
The blogger is responsible for:
- Webspace at the host of your choice (offer with database)
Free Hosted WordPress:
- costs money
- takes time
- requires technical understanding
Switching from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress
A switch to freely hosted WordPress is generally possible. Many bloggers who have opted for a free blog at WordPress.com only notice the limitations after some time. The longer they blog, the more demanding they become. There are two ways to get more leeway: upgrade to a higher plan at WordPres.com or choose a different host.
Switching from a free to a paid plan means moving to a different domain. That can cost time and nerves, depending on how big the blog has become.
WordPress hosting tariffs compared
A tariff with a database that supports WordPress is important for hosting a WordPress blog. It is worth comparing the offers of different hosting providers. The differences are in the details. It is helpful to write down the minimum requirements beforehand and to compare them with the range of functions offered. All tariffs have one thing in common, they offer their own domain: yourwebsite.de and thus your own e-mail address. Paid hosting does not display ads.
Starter tariffs for freely hosted WordPress are available from €4 per month. (Prices as of February 2018). The tariff includes at least one own domain. Some hosters have recently started offering WordPress hosting, including updates and maintenance (managed hosting). An all-round carefree package, similar to what WordPress.com offers in the business tariff.
In December 2018, the magazine t3n presented hosters who offer WordPress hosting: WordPress hosting: 12 providers at a glance.
WordPress.com versus WordPress.org
You can only make the right choice for your blog project if you know the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. What are your requirements for your planned blog project? Are you ready to take care of your blog and learn new skills?
Simple and straightforward, WordPress.com offers an easy way to get started with blogging. The functionality of WordPress is limited and can only be expanded by switching to a higher tariff. The free plan is ideal for short-term personal projects, such as vacation trips or weddings. The free offer from WordPress.com is unsuitable for a company, since it does not have its own domain and therefore does not have its own e-mail address. Don’t forget the advertising.
Free hosted WordPress offers more possibilities. Thanks to the freedom of design, almost any idea can be implemented. With self-hosted WordPress, the blogger has full control over the data and website, and can make changes as they please. This requires initiative and basic knowledge and brings with it responsibility. This also takes time for maintenance and care to keep the WordPress installation up to date. The necessary knowledge can be gradually acquired.
The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? On WordPress.com, the Software including a service offered. The WordPress software is available for download on WordPress.com. You are responsible for everything else yourself.
For me, only a freely hosted WordPress comes into question. From my own experience, I know that over time the demands that cannot be met with the free offer from WordPress.com increase.