A guide to WordPress in 2021. Many bloggers and SEO experts ask us a question: what is WordPress, and what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Therefore, we are creating this guide post on what is WordPress? This blog post will teach you everything about the world’s most popular CMS called WordPress.
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
1. What is WordPress?
A guide to WordPress in 2021. WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging and website creation platform that started back in the year 2003. It allows non-technical people to create, start and manage a website without writing a single line of code. Most people who are interested in starting their own blog will hear the name WordPress while doing research on how to start a blog.
However, most people don’t understand what is the basic difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. They consider both platforms to be very similar. However, this is not the case. There is an enormous difference between both platforms and we’ll discuss it below in a few minutes.
First, let us understand a bit more about WordPress.
Millions of people on the internet use WordPress. According to a survey, over 19 million people use this platform to make a website or start their own blog. Also, 34% of the websites on the internet are made on WordPress.
This clearly proves that WordPress is the most popular website creation platform.
Not only small-scale startups and solopreneurs use this platform, but top companies and brands like TechCrunch, The Walt Disney Company, Mercedes-Benz, The White House, Etsy, and many more use WordPress for blogging. In fact, we have made our own website on WordPress.
One of the best things about WordPress is its flexibility and ease of use. You can use WordPress to make almost any kind of website, ranging from an e-commerce store to a blog, portfolio, membership site, business page, social network, online forum, and more. The possibilities are truly endless.
Now, if you’ve started researching WordPress, then you may be confused by the fact that there are actually two versions of WordPress. There’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org, both of which go back quite far in the history of blogging.
2. Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
A guide to WordPress in 2021. Now let us dive deep into our topic and understand what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a CMS or content management platform that allows you to create a blog or website. On the other hand, WordPress.org is a hosting service that allows you to start your website, blog, or store for free.
WordPress.org is nothing but a content management system (CMS) that’s open-source and self-hosted.
It’s 100% free, and you can install it on your own web host. Most people who talk about WordPress are always referring to the WordPress.org version, which is used by most people.
WordPress.org is also often referred to as self-hosted WordPress when reading through various blog posts on the internet including this one. One of the good things about this platform is that it offers a high level of customization and flexibility. Meaning: you can add tons of themes and plugins to this CMS version and make your website or blog look amazing.
We will talk more about themes and plugins below.
On the other hand, WordPress.com is a free hosting service provider that will allow you to start your website free of cost. You can use this service to start a blog, website, or online store 100% free. The only downside of the free version is that it comes with limited features and benefits.
With the free version of WordPress, you won’t be able to scale your website to the next level. Also, you won’t be able to add themes and premium plugins to the free version of WordPress.
In order to get a clear idea about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, it’s helpful to compare multiple aspects of the two. While there are tons of differences between the two platforms, there are also a lot of important and significant similarities as well.
In this guide, we will explain key similarities and differences between the two options. In this section, we’ll start by covering the cost to run a blog on each platform, the WordPress themes & WordPress plugins available to install, ease of use, and customization capabilities.
3. What’s the cost to run a WordPress.org blog vs using WordPress.com?
Well, this is the most debated question in the blogging community. Today, we will discuss this question in a very detailed and comprehensive manner.
We will begin with WordPres.org as it is the first and the most prominent choice of all the bloggers today. It is flexible, scalable, easy to use and it will help you in taking your blog to the level of awesomeness.
In order to start a blog or website or a store on WordPress.org, you’ll need a domain and hosting. We recommend you to buy Siteground hosting as it is one of the most popular WordPress hosting providers in the world which starts its basic plans from as low as $6 billed monthly. The yearly cost of starting a blog on WordPress.org would go up to $100 per year.
It’s actually cheaper than WordPress.com’s paid plans, which come with a very limited number of features and benefits. Apart from this, WordPress.com has less flexibility and scalability as compared to WordPress.org.
Additionally, when you are using WordPress.org, you’ll get access to tons of free themes and plugins which you can use that will help you take your website to the next level.
Now let us discuss the cost of starting a blog or a website on WordPress.com.
Starting a blog or a website on WordPress.com is free of cost. Yes, it is completely free. However, the free version comes with a sub-domain and you cannot have your own brandable domain name for your website or a blog. Also, the free version has very limited features as compared to the paid version.
With WordPress.com, you won’t be able to install paid and premium plugins and won’t be able to scale your website to the next level.
In our opinion, you should always go for a self-hosted blog with WordPress.org, provided that you want to take your blog and website seriously as a business.
4. Is it cheaper to go with WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
A guide to WordPress in 2021. A self-hosted blog on a hosting company like Siteground will always be cheaper than a normal blog with WordPress.com.
The only difference in the pricing structure is that with WordPress.com, everything is coming into one monthly fee. You can simply choose a plan that satisfies your need or pay an additional fee to get more features and upgrade to a premium plan.
With a self-hosted (WordPress.org) blog powered by a hosting company, you don’t have to spend any more than $100 yearly, your cost would solely incur for the domain and hosting. Your costs can stop right there, making it a far cheaper option to go with.
However, if you wish to install premium themes and plugins on your blog or website, your cost of starting a blog would go slightly up. But it will always be less than compared to starting a blog with WordPress.com.
Therefore, you could end up spending more money on starting a WordPress.org blog if you are not willing to learn how to set up themes, plugins, and many other things.
5. What is a WordPress theme?
Now here comes the most important aspect of every WordPress blog which is the WordPress theme. The theme is what reflects the entire look and feel of your WordPress website. And the best part about themes is that you don’t require writing a single line of code with them.
You just need to select a theme that goes with your business and install it on your WordPress dashboard and you are ready to go. WordPress offers tons of free themes to save your cost. Generatepress is the popular free WordPress theme and our personal recommendation for you.
On the other hand, WordPress.com offers some themes, but not as many as you can get through WordPress.org. Currently, WordPress.com offers 40+ free themes and 10+ plugins to add. However, beyond a certain limit, you cannot add themes and plugins to WordPress.com.
You can upgrade to the professional or premium account of WordPress.com if you want to install more plugins and themes.
Therefore, starting a self-hosted blog on WordPress.org is the best thing to do in 2021.
6. What is a WordPress plugin?
Now here comes the next important part of WordPress which is plugins. Themes will make your WordPress blog or website look appealing and plugins will enhance the functionality of your WordPress website. It will help you better optimize your site, improving its speed, making it more SEO friendly, and securing your website.
We use tons of WordPress plugins that help us in scaling our website to the level of awesomeness.
With WordPress.org, you can add as many free plugins as you want. You can also install the premium plugins by making monthly payments. On the other hand, with WordPress.com, you cannot add unlimited plugins to your site.
There is a restriction on the number of plugins you use with WordPress.com. That’s why it is best advised for you to start your self-hosted blog with WordPress.org and get things moving.
7. Ease of use between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
A guide to WordPress in 2021. Now here comes the most important to decide: Which is easier to use WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
In order to start a WordPress.org blog, first, you need to buy a domain and hosting provider which is a slightly complex process if you know nothing about domain or hosting. Whereas, starting a free blog and a website on WordPress.com is easier as you don’t need to buy a domain name and hosting.
WordPress.com may appeal to those that want a simple website with very little to no ongoing updates or maintenance.
When you run a self-hosted WordPress.org website, you get complete control over things like speed, optimization, security, backups, SEO, content, plugins, themes, and many other factors. This gives you a lot more autonomy in handling your website.
If you use WordPress.com, these things are more or less taken care of for you. You don’t have to worry about maintenance. However, this also means you don’t have the choice to control these aspects of your blog (which you’ll want to do if you intend to make money blogging in the long haul).
8. Is WordPress.org or WordPress.com better?
Of course, WordPress.org is always better than WordPress.com. It is more flexible, scalable, cheap, and dynamic as compared to WordPress.com. Today, millions of websites, including our own, have been built on the WordPress.org platform.
WordPress.org is best used for making business websites, blogs, or even e-commerce stores. Also, it does not restrict you to use a limited number of plugins, themes, and many other features. If you use WordPress.org, you will always have great control over your blog and website as compared to WordPress.com.
That’s why we always recommend our clients to start a blog or their business website on WordPress.org.
If you don’t want to take your blog or business website seriously, then you can think of starting a website on WordPress.com
Conclusion of A guide to WordPress in 2021:
Whether to go with WordPress.org or WordPress.com is the common question that comes to the mind of every person who wants to start a website or a blog today. Through this blog on A guide to WordPress in 2021, we have tried our best to cover every possible detail about this popular debate among bloggers, SEO experts, and web developers for the 21st century.
If you are still confused with WordPress.org or WordPress.com, then feel free to ask your doubts and questions in the comment section. We will be happy to assist you for sure.