If you run a WordPress site, do you own the .com version or the .org?
Do you know the difference between the two?
Did you even know that both of them exist?
There are many resources out there to explain the differences between the two platforms, but let’s go over them briefly.
Below, we will look at the reasons on why you should convert from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. But it is also wise to get a deeper level of understanding on the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
And you can also learn about know how much does a WordPress site cost to give you a better idea of the costs involved.
- Get a Custom Branded Domain
- Have Access to More Themes
- Have Access to More Plugins
- Ability to Customise the Code Yourself
- Own Your Real Estate
- Control Your Adverts
- Create An Online Store
- Gives You More Flexibility
1. Get a Custom Branded Domain
One of the main benefits is the fact that you will be able to have your own branded domain.
You can tell if a site is using the free version of WordPress.com or not just by looking at the domain.
Let’s say there is a dog grooming company out there that wants a website. And let’s call them “Fluffy Dog Groomer” (I don’t know, it’s the first thing that came into my head).
If “Fluffy Dog Groomer” has decided to go for the free WordPress.com site, their domain could be fluffyydoggroomer.wordpress.com.
The benefit is that this domain will be free. Happy days!
On the other hand, it’s not personal, it’s a bit of a mouthful, it’s long, and it’s not the most professional name for a website.
If they had gone for the .org version, got managed WordPress hosting and bought the domain themselves, their site would then be available at fluffydoggroomer.com (or any other TLDs they wish to have).
(FYI, the domain is available for anyone out there at the time of writing. And you’re welcome 🙂 )
You can go for the paid version of the .com and get your own custom domain (at around £30 a year).
But you still would not have the other benefits that come with .org as mentioned in this post.
2. Have Access to More Themes
One annoying thing for many .com users is the limited number of WordPress.com themes available…as you can’t upload them yourself, you can only use those selected by Automattic.
At the time of writing, there are around 194 free themes and 184 premium themes.
Granted, they will be well-built and well-designed. But you might want more options.
The number of themes might be enough for some. But with tens of thousands of themes out there for the .org users, you will never be short of options if you are looking for the best-looking themes.
If you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of themes, you could technically use a WordPress.com theme on a WordPress.org site, but it’s a little bit more complex than that.
3. Have Access to More Plugins
There is a plugin for everything. And with over 55,000 plugins in the repository alone, you can add simple but powerful functions to your site with ease.
But that’s mainly for the .org users.
Don’t get me wrong – the .com site will give you access to some trustworthy and reputable plugins.
But you are not able to use any 3rd party plugins.
4. Ability to Customise the Code Yourself
It might not be important to many of you. But just in case you want to customise your codes or have special scripts you want to implement, you will have that ability.
It could be something very minor, like having access to the CSS file to customise the styling of a button or even something like moving the post date in a different area.
You can access the CSS file on WordPress.com, but only if, yep you guessed it, you pay for the annual plan.
5. Own Your Real Estate
Did you know that you will not technically own your site and the content that is within it if you go with WordPress.com?
I have talked before about the importance of owning your site.
But this will only happen if you self-host via WordPress.org.
If you are going to create content, showcase your knowledge, display your talent and provide service to your market, wouldn’t you want to own your site?
6. Control Your Adverts
One aspect of your content that you will have no control over are adverts. The people at WordPress.com will have the right to display ads on your site.
If you want to remove them, you can either pay for this feature in a separate price plan, or you can go self-hosting, where you will have full control of what goes on your site.
If you want adverts, then you will be able to control what goes on there.
If you don’t want an advert, you will be able to remove it.
7. Create An Online Store
Another way to monetise your site is by setting up an online store. With WordPress.com, there are no e-commerce solutions that will allow you to do so.
WordPress.org has countless e-commerce plugins including the infamous WooCommerce, which will allow you to sell digital or physical goods with ease.
The only possible way to have an online store with your WordPress.com site is to use a 3rd party site and send your traffic there.
But that’s not the best experience for your customers.
8. Gives You More Flexibility
Since you will own your site, you will have full flexibility with what you want to do with it.
It’s not a surprise that WordPress.org will give you the ability to grow and scale your online brand.
If you want to go for specific managed WordPress hosting of your choice, you can do that.
If you need to get more bandwidth space than the 3GB that comes for free, you have a wealth of options to do that.
If you need to export your data to another service, you own your site so you can do that if you want.
If you are looking for a basic site with as limited customisation and maintenance as possible, then WordPress.com is perfect for you.
But this comes with many limitations, and that can come at a price in some cases.
But if you want to move up a level and maximise the potential of your site, there’s no doubt that you will need a self-hosted site (be it with WordPress or otherwise).
Yes, it requires more maintenance, time and effort to set up.
But in return, you get more freedom, flexibility, scalability and development access.
If you are currently with WordPress.com and are looking to convert to WordPress.org, Automattic has created a guide on how you can do that seamlessly.
If you are on .com, do you think moving to .org is something that would interest you?
If you prefer .com, please share why you prefer to stay there too.
I would love to know your thoughts, so feel free to share your comments below.
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