This is one of the questions that I get asked the most. How do I know if I have a WordPress.org or a WordPress.com site? How do I know if I’m self-hosted? that question is followed closely by What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? So instead of answering each question individually I thought it will be more helpful to write a post about the differences between both platforms (a WordPress.com VS WordPress.org type of post) after all, is an issue that a lot of people struggle with.
WordPress.com VS WordPress.org
So first of all what is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system that we use to blog. It’s a system that’s great to write posts, upload images, and overall write your message for the world to see.
WordPress has 2 different ways of sharing the content management system with us, and here is where things get confusing.
They have a .com version that works as a free platform and a .org version that works just as the system and that you need to self-host (so there are costs involved with it). So which one s better? Keep reading for the WordPress.com VS WordPress.org
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a free platform, you register they give you a URL that will look yoururl.wordpress.com and you can start writing your content and publishing your posts from that very second. It’s also free (and in no costs involved). They are great f you are just starting out and want to dip your toes in all this blogging world before making an investment. However, there are a couple of downsides with them.
- You can’t pick your own theme: They have a couple of themes available and you can’t upload your own. Wich takes me to the next point.
- You can’t customize it as much as you can customize a .org: This is for me the worst. If you want to change colors, layouts, fonts and overall infuse your blog with your personality you can’t do it with .com WordPress.
- You don’t have your own URL: So you need to stick with their .wordpress.com at the end of your name
- Their paid upgrades are not worth it: There, I said it. WordPress.com has a couple of paid upgrades that help you add a bit more of personality to your site but that are completely confusing and difficult to understand. They are also super limited and don’t give you the same freedom that the WordPress.org gives. One of the upgrades, for example, is to have your own URL (so you don’t end up with the wordpress.com at the end of your name) but you still don’t get the customization and the upload your own theme part wich is not cool at all.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is a content management system that works like the backbone of your blog and where you write all your content, upload the themes you like to use and make all the design tweaks. You can consider it the backstage of your blog. WordPress.org however, has a cost involved with it since you only can get it if you have a self-hosted site. Meaning that you need to go to a hosting provider like Bluehost, purchase your own domain name (think of it like your street address) and your own hosting (think of it like the apartment where you store everything). Once you have that you can download WordPress.org through them. The great thing is that with the .org version you can:
- Upload your own custom themes: All the beautiful themes you see for sale at marketplaces like Etsy? Yes, you can buy and upload them (with the .com you can’t)
- You have your own Url: Woohoo!
- You can tweak and customize them as much as you want: Seriously the sky is the limit
- They have better SEO: Meaning that you get found easily in places such as Google, with means more eyes o your content.
- Plugins: You can download all the plugins that you want. Plugins are precoded packages that help you with things that you wouldn’t normally know how to code yourself. They can stop the spam comments fro filling your inbox, track your visits, adding that little pin it button to your images and a ton more of cool stuff.
How to know if you have WordPress.com or WordPress.org
But lets’ say that you’ve been blogging for a while and you are not sure which one of the both systems you are using. There are 2 very easy ways to know if you are using WordPress.com or WordPress.org
- Are you paying a hosting?: Remember that WordPress.org needs to be on a self-hosted site meaning that you need to be working with a hosting provider like Bluehost, which means you are paying a monthly or yearly fee (like you would with rent) If you are paying a hosting provider there are big chances that you are working with WordPress.org
- When you log into your Dashboard, what’s the URL you see on top?: This is one of my favorite ways to double check if you are with WordPress.org or with WordPress.com if you login into your dashboard (where you go to write the posts) check the URL, is it yoururl.com or is it yoururl.wordpress.com if it’s the first one you have a self-hosted site if it’s the second one then you are with wordpress.com
Which one do you prefer? WordPress.com VS WordPress.org?