WordPress is one of the most preferred blogging platforms out there. Not only is it good for general blogging, but many well-known and highly visited websites use WordPress for their business as well. What makes WordPress so great?!?! It’s EXTREMELY user-friendly. To make matters even better, WordPress comes in two different forms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Dotcom is great for entrepreneurs and small businesses who have little to no budget for a website, but recognizes the importance of having an online presence . A site hosted by WordPress.com is absolutely FREE. But what is free doesn’t always mean the best. There are some drawbacks to having your site through dotcom.
File storage is LIMITED to 3GB. If you plan on posting a lot of blogs and a lot of images, I would consider the other option.
WordPress.com doesn’t allow advertisements. Have you ever heard of those who make money online by being an affiliate? You cannot be an affiliate with WordPress.com because it does not allow for advertisements of any sort. For example, I absolutely love AN Hosting. They have an affiliate program that would allow me to earn a commission off of every sale I make for them. To do this, I could post a link or an advertisement on my sidebar that would link a potential buyer to their website. Another example would be if I wanted to help promote a client’s business by selling advertising space on my website. This is something I wouldn’t be able to do using WordPress.com. On the other hand, WordPress.com is able to place their own advertisements on your website.
You cannot have your own domain name. This right here is a HUGE drawback if you have a brand that you’re trying to build and position as a strong and reliable source in the community. There is nothing more touching than seeing www.yoursitename.com, as oppose to www.yoursitename.wordpress.com. Having your own domain will not only help in strengthening your brand, but it will also help with optimizing the search engines in locating your business’ website.
To put it simply, dotorg will offer you everything that dotcom cannot; having your own domain name is required, you will be able to post advertisements, and storage options are unlimited. In addition, dotorg offers more flexibility in how you design your site. You can have a regular website that includes information on your business, with a page dedicated to your blog.
To have a website powered by WordPress.org, you would need to have some sort of design experience because your site requires hosting service. Sites using dotcom is powered and hosted by WordPress, hence why your options and capabilities are limited. When your site is self-hosted, the sky is the limit to what you can do. I like to compare it to renting versus owning a home. If I rent a home, I’m not able to modify the house as I see fit for my family; however, if I owned the home, I have the option of remodeling my kitchen, finishing the basement, and building a deck and a guest room to the rear of the house. Self-hosting requires you to own your own domain and have unlimited storage space.
Now, I know you’re probably wondering since WordPress.com is free, how much does WordPress.org costs. Well, it’s certainly not free, but it will not drain your life savings either. To self-host your website that is powered by WordPress.org, you would first need to register your domain name (www.yoursitename.com). The most popular domain registration company is GoDaddy. To register a domain, it costs approximately $11 per year, per domain name. Not a bad cost to own your own dotcom.
Once your domain is registered, you would then need to find a hosting company to host your website files. GoDaddy now offers hosting service. I’ve heard of many people using BlueHost and GatorHost. Many hosting companies also offers domain registration as well. I personally use AN Hosting. I initially chose them because they had a great sale going on at the time. I soon discovered that their support team is EXTREMELY helpful and knowledgeable. I was a newbie 5 years ago and the support team at AN Hosting was more than willing to answer any questions I had at the time, no matter how simple the question may have been to them. Based on the information I’ve found around the internet, hosting service with unlimited storage space and unlimited email accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org) can cost approximately $7o per year. To sum it up, 1 domain name and an unlimited amount of storage and email accounts would cost about $81 per year or $6.75 a month. Not bad, considering that our society could spend that daily buying lunch and lattes.
Once you have your domain name and hosting service secured, now is where the bulk of your website development budget will come into play. You would need to hire someone to design the website for you. The great thing about having a site powered by WordPress.org is the level of customization that is allowed. There are numerous amounts of free web templates that a person could use. The downfall to this is that your site could easily look like someone else’s site, as the templates are available for anyone to use. The other alternative would be to hire a web designer that specializes in working with WordPress to build a custom website for you that would fit your needs and your overall brand. When my second business, PKC Marketing, was offering web design services for new entrepreneurs and small business owners who had small budgets, our starting rate for a basic web design was $500. This rate could possibly increase depending on a client’s design needs. I’ve seen a rate as high as $5000 because of how intricate and detailed the site needed to be for the client, as well as the expertise level of the designer.
Now that you know the difference, you may be wondering which one is best. Well, that answer relies on your needs. If you’re interested in testing your blogging skills or if blogging is your new hobby, I would recommend for you to stick with WordPress.com; there is no cost or commitment. However, if you’re in business and interested in making a profit off of your talent or skill, WordPress.org should be the way for you to go, hands down. Having your own domain and a coordinating email address promotes a consistent brand. Besides, you appear to be more serious and credible when your website is www.yoursitename.com and your email address is email@example.com, as oppose to it being firstname.lastname@example.org. By showing that you are committed and willing to make personal sacrifices to invest in yourself and your business shows your willingness to invest in others.
I hope this post helps those curious and intrigued minds. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment/message below.