If you’re relatively new to WordPress, you may have been confused by the difference between wordoress.com and wordpress.org. If so, you’re not alone. In this video, we’ll take a quick look at the differences between these two related but distinctively different versions of WordPress.
As you probably know by now, WordPress is a free, open-source software package that enables you to create a full-featured website that can be managed using just a web browser. WordPress is available for download from wordpress.org. Anyone can download WordPress for free, but it must be installed on a web server in order to work. You’ll need a web hosting provider, which can cost anywhere from $5 to $30 a month, and many web hosts include simple tools to install WordPress on your web server with just a single click.
Once WordPress is installed, you’ll have complete control over your entire WordPress powered website, including the ability to install custom themes and plugins to add new features to your site or even modify the underlying CSS and PHP files to create a completely custom site. If you plan to customize your site by installing a premium theme or a plug-in or you wanna ensure that you’ll have the most flexibility down the road, you’ll wanna use the self-hosted version of WordPress available for download from wordpress.org.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a free, hosted version of WordPress that enables you to build a simple blog or website in just a couple of minutes. During the signup process, you’ll choose a name for your site, which will then automatically include .wordpress.com at the end of your site’s web address. You can purchase an upgrade, which will enable you to use your own domain name without this wordpress.com portion. After you select a name for your site and finish the signup process, you’ll choose from a set of pre-selected themes, which control the look and feel of your blog or website.
Again, you can purchase an upgrade, which will allow you to customize the design of your site, but you won’t be able to install premium themes from third-party theme companies. There are a number of other upgrades available for purchase, including video hosting, space upgrades, removing ads that are shown by default, and more. And, should you ever decide to transfer your site from the fully hosted wordpress.com service to a self-hosted wordpress.org installation, you can even have the WordPress engineers handle the entire move for you for a small fee. WordPress.com also includes the ability to collect feedback from your readers through poles or ratings on your posts. You can also enable a mobile theme, which will ensure that your site is optimized for display on mobile devices.
While there are many built-in features that are great for beginners, keep in mind that with the fully hosted wordpress.com service, you can’t install premium themes or plug-ins from third parties, monetize your site through ads, or customize the underlying files that power your site. So, if you’re looking for a free, easy way to get started with a basic blog or a very simple website, wordpress.com includes free hosting, automatic upgrades, and a number of built-in features that will help you create a site in just a few minutes. But, if you prefer complete control over your site’s content and presentation and you’d like to take advantage of custom themes and plug-ins to help make your site even more unique, you’ll be much better served by the self-hosted version of WordPress available from wordpress.org.
So, hopefully, this helps clear up some of the confusion about the differences between the two versions of WordPress and you’re now able to decide which one best serves your needs as you build your blog or website. Thanks for watching.
CSS: Cascading Style Sheets. It is a coding language for specifying how a web page is presented. It allows web developers to create formatting and layout for a website independently of its content.
Domains: Domains are the unique, human-readable Internet addresses of websites. They are made up of three parts: a top-level domain (sometimes called an extension or domain suffix), a domain name (or IP address), and an optional subdomain.
Elements of a Domain. Moz, https://moz.com/learn/seo/domain.
The combination of only the domain name and top-level domain is known as a “root domain.” The “http://” is part of a page’s URL but not its domain name and is known as the “protocol.”
Mobile Responsive Theme: Mobile responsive themes will automatically optimize your website for all devices. This means that no matter what type of device (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone) your website is viewed on, it will look amazing.
Web Hosting: A service that allows you to publish your website to a web server (specially configured computer). This makes your site available on the Internet for the world to see.
WordPress.com: Version of WordPress that includes free web hosting, backup, and maintenance. Users can set up a new site quickly and easily on this platform, though it lacks some of the powerful features of the self-hosted version.
WordPress.org: Self-hosted version of WordPress in which the site owner is responsible for installing, configuring, maintaining, and backing up the site. Though the software platform is still free, the site owner is responsible for paying for web hosting and domain registration fees. This version of WordPress is more versatile and contains more features than WordPress.com.