WEB DESIGN & WEB DEVELOPMENT
WordPress.com and WordPress.org: Which is Better for Your Business?
If you google “WordPress,” the first two selections that come up are links to WordPress.com and WordPress.org. This can be confusing. In general, we tend to think that “.com” is used by businesses like Amazon and Apple, whereas “.org” is used by non-profit organizations like NPR or Wikipedia. This is generally accurate, but when it comes to deciding which WordPress to use, it doesn’t mean that businesses should automatically use WordPress.com and nonprofits should use WordPress.org. Let’s try to understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and look at the pros and cons of each.
WordPress.org is also known as “the real WordPress.” One major highlight for this software is that it’s completely free. You only need a domain name and web hosting service to use it. Think of it as website-building software you put on your own self-hosted site.
By using WordPress.org, you have complete control of your website. You can customize however you wish and design it to fit your needs. Some of its many benefits include:
- Adding WordPress plugins to your website
- Using templates or build from the ground up
- Own all the data and the website
- Can make money from your site, run ads, etc.
- Use Google Analytics and other SEO tools
- Create an e-commerce store, accept payments, ships products directly from the site
- Create memberships and premium vs. free content levels
There’s a reason why WordPress.org is the world’s top website-building software, but there are a few cons to consider when trying to figure out if you should use it or not. They are as follow:
- You need web hosting, which usually costs $3-10 a month, but grows as the website traffic increase. However, as website traffic increases, so does income, which would cover this increased cost.
- You have to update the site yourself, but you typically can do it easily on the platform.
- You have to back up the site frequently.
It can be a little hard to determine the exact yearly cost of WordPress.org. It can be as little as
$4 per month, but it will depend on the type of site you build and whether you have features like memberships or an e-commerce store. You may also elect to use premium templates and plug-ins over free ones.
For the vast majority of users, it’s usually better to use a WordPress.org site to begin with.
WordPresss.com is a hosting service created by the same founders as WordPress.org. It consists of five different plans:
- Free (limited features)
- Personal – $36 annually
- Premium – $99 annually
- Business – $299 annually
- VIP – starting price of $5,000 a month
The free platform is an excellent choice for personal bloggers or those with very basic website needs. Pros include:
- Up to 3 GB of free storage
- High storage capacities (personal: 6GB, premium: 13GB, business: unlimited)
- WordPress does your updates and backups for you
There are many restrictions on WordPress.com. For example, you can customize your own themes, but you can’t run your own advertisements. When it comes to website design, it’s just not flexible enough. More cons include:
- After you go over the 3GB of storage, you have to switch to a paid plan
- WordPress places ads and banners on free sites
- Cannot upload plugins
- You can’t use tracking tools
- No e-commerce features or payment portals
- Cannot build memberships sites
The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Whether you’re a nonprofit, small businesses, or a blogger, WordPress.org is hands-down the best option for website hosting. At the end of the day, it’s like comparing the differences between renting and owning a home. With one, you have very limited freedom to do what you want, but with the other, you’re free to do anything and everything you want.
No matter what you decide, you will need a professional website if you want to grow your audience and succeed, and Zen Den Web Design can help you do just that. Our experts are skilled in both non-profit web design in San Francisco and small business website design in San Francisco. So, connect with us to see how we can help your organization reach its full potential.