What’s the difference between a .com and a .org? With WordPress, it’s frikkin ENORMOUS.
It’s so big, I am using this alarmingly large cat as a visual metaphor. That is the size of the enormity of the difference.
This is a huge deal if you are going to be using your website for anything other than making snarky comments about what people are wearing at your local shopping mall or your outrage at how the season finale of American Idol went down. If you have any serious designs on using a website for either your personal brand presence online or an actual business that earns you income, you simply cannot use WordPress.Com.
WordPress.Com is Like Renting Your Underwear
The simple answer is this: WordPress.COM is like RENTING YOUR UNDERWEAR.. and WordPress.Org is like OWNING it.
Hint: You do not want to rent your underwear. You do not want your underwear to be owned by someone else, or have the chance of being repossessed.
It’s your underwear.
A place for your most precious valuables.
That is how you should relate to your website – a valuable part of you that you wouldn’t want being handled by strangers or a third party.
I’m all for getting things for free — that’s why I provide so much good info on this site. But there are some things you should pay for. Hosting is the underwear of the web. Even if you are on a budget – you buy some Hanes or Fruit of the Looms. You don’t borrow your friends and you certainly don’t hope to get a pair for free.
Your Website Should Be Owned By You, Not a Big Platform
WordPress.Com can be free, but in the long run it will cost you more. So let’s get into the techie type details.
WordPress.Com is a big website domain..a BIIIIG one, like Google or Yahoo. When you go to WordPress.Com you can sign up for your own website, just like you can go to Gmail and get an email account.
If you use WordPress.Com you don’t pay anything — and the site is hosted on WordPress.Com. i.e. hosting = “lives”, it lives on WordPress.Com.
Do you own WordPress.Com?
Essentially WordPress.Com is what’s known as “free hosting”. And I strongly discourage that, because while everyone loves free stuff, the price is that you don’t own it. It’s like trying to get customer service from Facebook or Google — you can’t get it, because they provide a free service and so your stake in it is ZERO.
So you are basically renting a space on WordPress.Com, which looks pretty lame when you are trying to establish yourself as a legitimate online business. (i.e. when was the last time you bought something from a site that was at “whatever.wordpress.com?”
WordPress.Com does allow you to pay for extras – such as turning off ads (ads!) and getting your own url (domain, like whatever.com).
But at the end of the day the site is still hosted on WordPress.Com.
On top of that, with WordPress.Com, you are extremely limited with what you can do with your website. It’s kind of like living with your parents (almost as uncomfortable as renting your underwear).
Even if you pay extra to get more support, with WordPress.Com:
- You can’t upload custom themes (you can only use WordPress.Com) which pretty much limits you from making a serious website of any kind
- You can’t upload custom plugins (again, no membership sites, good looking opt in forms, social media share buttons, etc.)
- Limited storage space
- No FTP Access to your files (geeky, but important)
You don’t want anyone restricting your content or functionality. That’s why I also do not recommend free platforms like Blogger.Com. Over there, not only are things limited, but the biggest issue with a free platform is that you don’t own it, meaning the owner can mess with your content or even take down your site.
How To Set Up Your Own WordPress.Org Site in 5 Minutes
WordPress.Org is a SOFTWARE that basically lets you build your own website on your own host that you have total control over for very little. This site is a WordPress.Org built site, and believe it or not so is TechCrunch, Variety, and many other highly respected high traffic sites.
The appeal of WordPress.Com and Blogger is the ease of setting up a site – you just fill in your email and presto there it is – but the cost on the back end is too high.
You can learn to set up your own WordPress.Org site and install any number of high quality amazing themes that will make it look like a real site developed by a professional coder and designer. And the process only takes about 5 minutes.
To learn how to set up your own WordPress.Org site, click here.