Even though WordPress is gaining popularity among business owners, there is still confusion between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. There is a difference, and I hope this brief article clears it up.
WordPress.com, Hosting platform
WordPress.com is the hosting platform that runs the WordPress software (found on WordPress.org). Yes, Automattic is the development team behind WordPress.org and are also the ones running the hosting platform at WordPress.com.
All you have to do is to sign up for an account to run your blog. There are no web hosting or maintenance charges. Wordpress.com handles the maintenance and upgrades of the WordPress software, themes and plugins.
To us your own domain name (yourbusiness.com) instead of the free subdomain (yourbusiness.wordpress.com), you will have to pay an upgrade fee to enable domain mapping. There are also charges to enable CSS coding edits to customize existing themes.
While the aforementioned upgrades are available, WordPress.com places significant restrictions on theme customization and plugin installations. You cannot install custom themes or add useful PHP/Jquery coding to extend your website’s function. Since they are managing millions of websites for free, it makes sense to restrict some features for security purposes.
If you want complete control over your site, use WordPress self-hosted.
WordPress.org, Opensource WordPress software
WordPress.org is the home to the opensource and free WordPress software.
You can download the WordPress software for use on your own web host. By running WordPress on your own host, you have complete control over theme customization, plugin use and custom codes. With complete control comes the responsibility to maintain and upgrade your software. This is a simple process with WordPress. Your WordPress self-hosted will automatically inform you whenever a new version is available. And the upgrade process is as simple as clicking the upgrade button.
Read this article by WordPress for more differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Companies like Ebay, Yahoo, Samsung, CNN and Wall Street Journal use WordPress (as a CMS, Content Management System) to run their website. I will share more about using WordPress as a CMS in the future.
Image by bioxid (flickr)