Deciding Between Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com
The essential difference between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org is the 'flexibility' of your blog.
With Wordpress.com, setup is quick and easy. There are really no costs...unless you decide to by your own domain name and point it to your Wordpress blog (Yourblogname.com). You will not be able to use templates outside the few dozen they currently offer. Most importantly, you WILL NOT be able to monetize the site using Adsense or selling ad space.
With Wordpress.org, setup requires some technical knowledge and you will have to find someone like Godaddy.com to provide hosting services for your blog...for a fee. However, you will be able to do many things with your blog that you see on other high traffic blogs and monetize your blog by using Adsense or selling ad space.
We've chosen Wordpress.com because, though we are an online business, we decided our blog was informational and a marketing device. Selling ads or otherwise monetizing the blog is not on our roadmap. If likewise, you are using the blog exclusively as a fun thing to do, for informational purposes or another non-commercial reason...then Wordpress.com is probably a great place to start.
- It’s free and much easier to setup
- Everything is taken care of: setup, upgrades, backups, security, etc
- Your blog is on hundreds of servers, so it’s highly unlikely it will go down due to traffic
- Your posts are backed up automatically
- You get extra traffic from their 'tags' feature and Blof of the Day
- You can find like-minded bloggers using tag and friend surfer
- Your login is secure (SSL) so no one can get into your account if you use wifi
- We provide 70+ themes (and adding more every day) which you can modify and edit the CSS, but you cannot run a custom theme*
- You can’t hack the PHP code behind your blog*
Ability to upload themes
- Ability to upload plugins
- Great community
- Complete control to change code if you’re technically minded
- You need a good web host, which generally costs $7-12 a month, or thousands of dollars per month for a high traffic site
- Requires more technical knowledge to set up and run
- You’re responsible for stopping spam
- You have to handle backups
- You must upgrade the software manually when a new version comes out ( with WordPress 2.7+ there is now an auto-updating mechansim )
- If you get a huge spike in traffic (like Digg or Slashdot) you site will probably go down unless you have a robust hosting setup
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