I am new to the blogging journey and I have had my share of research and analysis in the WordPress.com and WordPress.org sites. I had to read quite some articles to understand the difference between the two and decide on the best approach to run my blog. There are a ton of articles about this topic in the internet, however, I am writing this with a view to help new bloggers, who is searching the internet for the answers . I am writing this post based on my learnings and please note that, there are could be many more features , which I haven’t come across so far.
Lets get started.
Major difference I felt between the two:
WordPress.com – whilst it allow users to create personal blogs and business blogs, it has limitations when the blog owner wants to monetize the blog or add additional features.
WordPress.com sites cannot contain ads added by the site owner. WordPress.com will run their own ads, but as a site owner, we cannot avail that option, as WordPress rules do not allow them. with the Business plan of WordPress it is possible to run ads, but the business plan is quite expensive for a small blogger/first time blogger.
What other benefits does WordPress.com provides?
WordPress.com sites are self-hosted, meaning they don’t require any hosting support to host the site/your blog. They have the capability built-in with every blog or website you create with them. WordPress also creates a ‘yourblogname.WordPress.com’ domain when you opt in to create a new blog or site with them.
To create any new website, we need primarily these things:
A domain name for your new site, so that its uniquely identifiable in the internet.
A host server, that will server as a launch pad for your website, so that your users can access your site.
A Database or storage area to hold all the contents of your website-like images and text.
There are still some nice-to-have features, like providing rich fonts, providing different themes or design templates for the website, web site security etc.
In WordPress sites, all those requirements of running a website successfully are taken care behind the scenes by WordPress for you.
So how WordPress.org is beneficial?
Control of your site and complete ownership.
By having a hosted site, you do not risk loosing your site. You can decide what features your site needs to have and plan accordingly.
Flexibility and ability to monetize your blog/website.
I found this benefit when I tried to add an affiliate widget in my WordPress blog. I learnt that WordPress.com sites do not support having any affiliate links on your site.If they find your site to be having those, they might take down your site anytime. Without a premium or business plan, the user is limited from using SEO or analytics plugins also. BUT with WordPress.org sites, we get to select what plugins we need and also flexibility to use them.
What are the tough nuts with WordPress.org sites?
Getting a host and a domain for your site.
Installing WordPress on your site.
Configuring themes and fonts.
WordPress.org sites needs a hosting server and a domain. They cannot run on their own. You have many options for both. Some companies offer both Domain and Hosting. You can purchase individually also.
NameCheap and GoDaddy are some sites that offer domain purchases. HostGator, BlueHost, iPage, SiteGround are some of the hosting companies that I came across when searching for the hosting options.
The site WPBBeginner has a great article about the different hosting companies and their comparison also. I recommend you to bookmark their site for any references to WordPress related articles. PS: I am not in any way involved with them.
They also have a very good tutorial about migrating your WordPress.com site to WordPress.org site.Please check it out if you already have a WordPress.com blog and looking for migration.
Otherwise WordPress Installation can be done once the site is hosted and the hosting company will most likely offer you support for it.
Once WordPress installation is completed, you are good to start with your blog. However, I had to take care of few things:
A way to edit my page and posts visually without typing code. For this I used the siteorigin. css editor plugin. Check them out here
A variety of fonts gallery, so that I can choose and set fonts for my posts.
I installed Easy Google Fonts plugins for the same.
A rich editor to have various formatting options- I used tinyMCE plugin.
Without additional plugins like above, it is hard to design the posts as per our wish.
Once you are through with the above, you are in a good state to invest your efforts on your blog, write a multitude of posts and plan for the monetization. Good luck!