For you confused souls (like myself at first), what follows should shed some light on this dilemma and identify which one of the two types of WordPress suits your needs better.
For starters, WordPress is a good open source blog publishing application that is powered by a general-purpose scripting language and a relational database management system, PHP and MySQL. In english, a great central location to publish & store content so your audience can follow what’s going on in your world.
There are two forms of WordPress: First, the self hosted WordPress.org which requires your own hosting package to operate, and the free WordPress.com which does not require any hosting on your part. Both offer a powerful content management system which allows users to build websites and blogs, yet there are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to each platform.
Here’s the breakdown…
- The primary advantage of using WordPress.com is it’s cost– FREE! And it’s running on multiple, maybe hundreds, of servers which gives you peace of mind that your website will be up and running with minimal downtime.
- This option is also very easy to setup and does not require extreme technical knowledge. Just pick a theme, select some widgets, add your content and start publishing.
- Because of its simplicity & ease of operation, these blogs are not fully customizable, but do have a lot of themes to choose from. If you want the ability to edit CSS, you would need to upgrade to a self-hosted wordpress.org blog.
- If you are looking to monetize your blog by selling ads, you are not going to make money here as you’re not allowed to sell ads. You may even have to put up with unwanted wordpress ads showing up that could potentially be detrimental to the integrity of your website.
- You need to provide your own web hosting, meaning it may require you to pay a small amount to acquire a hosting site. If it’s not a good one, your site can potentially go down if there’s a huge spike in traffic. Check out HostGator for reliable hosting.
- Using this form requires technical knowledge such as FTP to transfer files, minor HTML & CSS, etc. If that last sentence makes your head spin, you are probably better off starting with wordpress.com OR let the professionals at BluRose do all the dirty work for you.
- Offers a complete control and flexibility of content, meaning you can upload themes, edit themes that exist, plugins, advertising and most of all maintain the integrity of your company brand.
- LAST & MOST IMPORTANT – Search Engine Optimization! You want your content to generate traffic to your domain, not to the wordpress.com domain. Blogs are extremely effective tools for generating traffic & building a solid foundation of search optimized content. If you have a business or think your blog may be valuable in the future, don’t even think about wordpress.com. Get yourself a wordpress.org blog and you’ll thank yourself (or us!) later.
Depending on your objective and long-term goals, you should select something that will specifically suit your needs, objectives, knowledge, budget and commitment.