What is wordpress.com and wordpress.org?
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What is WordPress? WordPress is an online, open source tool for creating websites. It’s a content management system (or CMS) that’s used by blogs, news networks, e-commerce sites, and more. WordPress is an open source software that has a worldwide community of developers.
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a commercial site that provides the service of hosting and maintaining sites that run WordPress. Although the WordPress software itself is free, WordPress.com takes care of the steps of installing and maintaining your site. They handle backups, security updates, and upgrades. It’s free to get started with a site on WordPress.com, but most of the key features of the WordPress software are not available unless you upgrade.
Earning Money with a WordPress.com Site
There are limitations on how you can monetize your blog. If you’d like to use your WordPress.com to earn money using ads from external ad networks, you will need to use WordAds. If you have a Premium or Business plan, you’re automatically eligible to use the WordAds program. If you have a Free or Personal plan, you must apply for the program and meet specific criteria for traffic and content. Some of the ad revenue will go to WordPress.com and you will not have the flexibility to place ads where you want within your content. If you’d like to use Google AdSense, you will need to upgrade to a Business plan.
Also, WordPress.com places their own ads on your site unless you upgrade to the Personal plan or higher.
Choosing a Theme for WordPress.com
Themes designed by Albemarle PR or any other third-party designer, will not work on Free, Personal, or Premium WordPress.com accounts. You must have a WordPress.com Business account to upload third-party templates. Some templates in their library are coded to include the option to make basic color and font changes. However, if you want a completely custom look, you must upgrade to the Business plan.
Ownership of your WordPress.com Site
WordPress.com can close down your site if they feel you’ve violated their terms. You do not have full control of your site.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is where you can download the free WordPress software so you can use it on your own hosting account. Most popular hosting companies offer a 1-click installation option for WordPress.
Pick Your Own Hosting Company
One advantage with self-hosting is that you can shop around for exactly what you need. Most of our clients only need to purchase basic hosting packages and a domain. You can get started with a self-hosted WordPress site for $3.95/month. You can learn more about why we recommend SiteGround here. We use SiteGround for our business site and template hosting.
Maintaining a WordPress.org Site
By self-hosting your WordPress site, you can install any theme and plugins that you would like. With this extra freedom, though, you must learn how to create content backups, complete security updates, and run WordPress and theme updates. I would also recommend that you learn how to access your FTP files. Having a WordPress site requires that you login and maintain your site on a regular basis.