This post may contain affiliate links.
If you want to start a website, you are likely to look into WordPress. It doesn’t look like it, but WordPress.com and WordPress.org are very different. Before starting a blog or website, you need to know what the differences are, in order for you to choose the correct platform. How are they different, and what do you need?
First, let’s take a look at WordPress.com.
It’s free and you can start blogging within minutes. They will host your website and do all the technical stuff for you, so you get to focus on creating content.
There is no need to buy a domain name or get a host server. Your domain name is a wordpress.com name. For example ourcreativemind.wordpress.com. If you don’t want this, you can upgrade to a personal plan.
There are a lot of free WordPress themes available. However, you’re not allowed to upload any other theme, purchased outside of WordPress. Buying a theme or creating your own theme is not an option unless you purchase the business WordPress packet, which is way more expensive than switching over to WordPress.org.
You can’t use plugins. The most popular plugin functions are automatically included on their site. Some of the build in features are contact forms, adding social media buttons to your post, creating backups, and their own version of Google analytics, called WordPress.com stats.
WordPress.com will show ads. Ads that are not yours on your website. You can’t decide where or what is shown, and you don’t get to see any profit! You are not allowed to sell adds on your website. If you upgrade to a personal plan you can remove the WordPress ads, but you can only use ads from WordPress ads, if you upgrade to a WordPress premium or business plan.
This means that if you don’t upgrade to a personal plan you have to allow WordPress to place their own and let them get all the profit.
You have to find a web host and buy a domain name to get up and running. WordPress can be downloaded and uploaded on your own server. Thankfully a lot of hosts will provide a one click WordPress activation option. Because you need to host your website and buy the domain name, this will costs you money.
Click here for more information on the one-click activation.
You can use any of the free WordPress themes or purchase any WordPress theme that you like. For example, if you are looking for a feminine theme, you can check Creativemarket. For my website, I purchased this Olsen theme.
Powered by Creative Market
You can upload any plugin. This means you can add plugins that allow you to add ads, to improve your seo, and to help you with spelling. Meaning the plugins that are very helpful if you blog for profit. Personally, I use Yoast, Adinserter and Google Analytics.
You are the boss of your website. You can place any ad you want, any affiliate link you want, and the profit is all yours!
It all depends on why you want to start a blog/website
So basically.. if you want to blog as a hobby, go ahead and use wordpress.com. You will be blogging within 5 minutes! There a lot of themes and you don’t have to worry about getting a host server or buying a domain name. All relevant plugin functionality is available.
If you do want to have more options on the design, plugins and are looking to grow your blog, start with WordPress.org. You will have to spend a bit of money but hosting is available for as little as $3,95 per month, and a domain name can be as cheap as you want it to be.
By choosing WordPress.org, you will have full control over your website, how you use it, how you monetize it, and what ads are displayed on your website. For me, this is the biggest reason to host my own site. Why would I want somebody else to control how my website is monetized?
How did you make the decision? Let me know in the comments!