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What's the Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

June 11, 2018

 

Choosing a website building platform is one of the most important tasks my clients and I do when we start work on their website.  I talk to my clients about the different platforms to find one that is user-friendly if they want to edit their website themselves after the website is finished and published for viewing on the web. 

 

Often times this question about what the differences are between Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com pops up from clients who are aware that there are different website building platforms. 

 

In a nutshell, here are the differences:

 

WordPress.org lets you “own and operate” your site.

 

If you are designing and building your own site, you can download a copy of WordPress for free. 

 

You will be notified of any application updates which you must download yourself. 

 

Once you have downloaded WordPress to your computer, it can also be uploaded to a server if you have one. 

 

You are free to choose whatever domain you want and the word, WordPress, will not be part of your domain name when shown in a browser. 

 

You have control over the theme and how long you want your website to run. 

 

On WordPress.org, your site will have a better chance of being found on search engines.

 

On WordPress.com, your domain will look something like this: 

 

www.yourdomainname.WordPress.com. 

 

This means that WordPress owns your website and potentially can take it off the internet at any time.

 

There are several restrictions on WordPress.com. 

 

For example:

 

You won’t be able to install any plugin you like.

 

You will have a limited selection of themes/templates.

 

WordPress.com chooses and selects ads to show on your site.

 

The interface is much simplified from what you would have on WordPress.org.

 

WordPress.com does not offer eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.

 

You cannot build membership websites using WordPress.com

 

Also, when you build and design your website with WordPress.com, it can be taken down at any time by WordPress without your knowledge if they think it violates their terms of service.

 

I will be posting more blogs about website platforms to help you become more aware of the differences, functionality and features.

 

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