Today, blogging has become a profession for many. However, most professional bloggers start out as hobbyist bloggers. And while the blogging journey varies for different people, there are several stages of the journey when a blogger thinks of shifting from their existing blogging platform to a new one. WordPress is a popular name for blogging across the internet. But, what many bloggers don’t know is that there are two versions of the platform: a self-hosted one and a hosted one. While the former is available in the form of WordPress.org, the latter one is available in the form of WordPress.com. How are both different and when should either of them be used? Let us find out the differences:
Domain Name & Ownership Of Content:- The .com version provides a subdomain for your blog for free whereas the .org version requires you to buy a domain name for your blog. Additionally, the content on a .com blog is not owned by the user but the content on the latter is fully owned by the user.
Scope Of Customization:- The source code of the .com version cannot be modified while the source code of the .org version can be modified, thereby giving immense scope for customization for a blog built on the latter. Moreover, there exist a wide range of WordPress Plugins (15000+) available for the .org version and there are only 15-20 plugins available for use for the blogs on the .com version. (and that too only for premium members).
Design Choices:- There is a large variety of themes (ie 1500 +) available for the .org version while there are only a few themes (200 to be exact) available for the .com version. Therefore, bloggers on the former version enjoy more design choices.
Monetization:- A blog built on the .com version can be monetized only if it receives 25,000 page views per month and the income obtained thereafter must be split with them. However, in the case of a blog built on the .org version, you can begin employing suitable advertisements anytime.
Pricing:- The basic version of .com is free of cost. And premium membership offering 13 GB storage space costs, e-mail support and some customization costs 99$. On the other hand, the .org version is free to install and setup.
Storage Space:- The storage space offered by the .com version is 3 GB for free. And the .org version offers unlimited storage space.
Maintenance:- A blog created on the .com version is maintained by the company Automatic. On the other hand, a blog created on the .org version needs to be maintained by the blogger himself.
Which One Should You Use?
Now, let us come to the important question. Which one should be used by a blogger? Considering the easy deployment of ads and the control and flexibility which WordPress.org offers, it is an ideal choice for bloggers who want to make money out of blogging. Whereas the .com version is ideal for hobbyist bloggers who don’t want to worry about site maintenance.