When I first started my blog, it was all a bit overwhelming. What’s self-hosted? What’s a platform? What’s a domain name? I knew that I wanted a professional website, but didn’t know where to begin. After lots of research, I decided to begin a blog that used WordPress. But then I learned there was WordPress.COM and WordPress.ORG and that they were definitely not the same thing. Confused too? Here’s the difference between the two.
Cost: FREE! You can pay extra for plugins (the things that make your blog look cool and run smoothly – like social media icons, popups, and Google Analytics). Your domain name will be yourname.wordpress.com. You are able to purchase your own domain name for a fee so it would be yourname.com.
Who This is For: It’s good for people who are considering blogging as a hobby and don’t plan on monetizing their website.
Pros: It doesn’t cost anything.
Cons: It’s very limited in themes and customization options. It says “Powered by WordPress.com” on the bottom of the site which makes it look less professional.
Cost: This is a paid self-hosted blogging platform. In order to use WordPress.org, you need to have a host. (Read more about blog hosting in this post.)
Who This is For: People who want to monetize their blog, make a customized website, or want a professional looking website.
Pros: It can be customized completely. You have access to the CSS Stylesheets and can edit the HTML code. You have access to hundreds of free themes and thousands of plugins. It looks professional.
Cons: It costs money. It can take time to understand how the backend of the site works.
Which Do I Recommend?
Unless you’re blogging as an online diary for your eyes only, I strongly recommend that you start a self-hosted blog using WordPress.org. To learn how, check out my post How to Start a Blog for Income.