One of the biggest difficulties most new webmasters have is distinguishing between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. They are two websites that look similar but what they offer has nothing to do with each other.
But first… what exactly is WordPress, why do you even need it?
WordPress is one of the most popular website building platforms on the Internet. It’s even used by famous companies, such as: CNN, Forbes, Sony, Ebay and others.
The reason why WordPress is so popular is because you can quickly build a good looking website without any coding knowledge. Furthermore, WordPress is a completely free platform maintained by thousands of volunteers spread world-wide. These volunteers are constantly working on improving WordPress.
The only thing you need to have is a web-host, which later I will explain how to get. Once you have a web-host, they will provide some space in one of their many servers where you can install WordPress and start working on it.
Now why do we have two different websites basically promoting the same platform? Let’s go more in detail…
Why two different WordPress websites?
If you go to WordPress.com you will quickly realize that they allow to build a free blog using this platform. However, nothing is truly free without a catch 🙂
The fact is if you get a free WordPress blog, you will be able to use the platform. However, you aren’t capable of using all of its options, including the most powerful ones. For instance, you won’t be able to use plugins.
What are plugins?
Plugins are basically applications that you can install over a WordPress website giving it additional and very useful functions. A few examples of plugins:
- Akismet a plugin that allows you to block comment spam. Honestly, comment spam is very annoying. As soon as you make a new website you will immediately start receiving tones and tones of comments automatically generated by machines. This plugin spare you a lot of time, since you don’t need to delete each one manually.
- Jetpack another one that provides tones of different functions. You can add nice little social media icons. This way people can share your website on Facebook, Twitter, Google + with their friends. You also have another function, which allows you to create a nice looking contact form. At this point, you probably don’t understand exactly what this means but later you will see why Jetpack is amazing.
- UpdraftPlus let’s you quickly and automatically backup all the files from your website. This way you won’t need to do it manually.
Only a few examples… I would say WordPress without plugins isn’t really WordPress at all!
Besides, with free WordPress you won’t be able to select any theme you want for your website. A theme is a design for a website. For this reason, you are stuck with a limited selection of designs for a website.
The other fact is you aren’t able to have a domain name that is originally yours for example:
You are pretty much stuck with that last extension, which doesn’t look professional. You certainly don’t see Youtube.wordpress.com or Ebay.wordpress.com do you? Well, it just doesn’t look good.
What about WordPress?
In WordPress.org you will find the full version of WordPress without any of the previous restrictions. However, the catch is you will need a web-host where you can install the full version of WordPress.
For this reason, if you want to make a professional website you will need to pay a small fee to one of the many web-host companies on the Internet.
Honestly, you will rarely need to go to WordPress.com. Once you get a web-host, you can directly install WordPress through their Cpanel options. The only reason you probably want to go to WordPress.com is to see the different themes they have available.