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Every so often a client comes to me and says that they have a WordPress website and they’d like to work with me. Great! But, once we start to work together, it turns out that they have WordPress.com, not WordPress.org – and I don’t work in WordPress.com!
So what’s the difference?
WordPress.com is for self-hosted blogs
This may be a little bit of an arbitrary distinction, but to me, WordPress.com is for blogs – not websites. There are websites with blogs, and then there are just blogs. WordPress.com is better suited to less tech-savvy people who are interested in running a blog, with a lower lift design.
Now, I’m sure there are some decent WordPress.com themes. But one of the big differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, is that you cannot upload premium themes or plugins to WordPress.com. I achieve all of my higher-end design through using, you guessed it, premium themes (like Creativo and Divi), and plugins, like the frontend page builder WP Bakery.
If you’re interested in learning more about WP Bakery, check out my free Skillshare course “Customize Without Code”, which shows you how to use WP Bakery to build your very own, totally custom pages.
WordPress.org is for third-party hosted websites
When most people say they have a ‘WordPress website’, they’re referring to a website hosted by a third-party host (my recommendation is Siteground*) that runs on open-source WordPress software via WordPress.org.
And you care …because?
This option is far more robust. It gives you the ability to use premium themes and to utilize plugins. Plugins like the aforementioned WP Bakery make it easier for you to customize your website design and make it look amazing. Other plugins help you to create pop ups, run an online store, and to connect your newsletter service provider with ease – and so much more.
Here’s a video recap of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org courtesy of WP101.com:
If you’re going the WordPress route, my vote is overwhelmingly to set up hosting through Siteground, and to then launch a WordPress(.org) site through your Siteground dashboard.
If you do not want to deal with setting up hosting and running your own website maintenance, then I suggest you ditch WordPress altogether and opt for SquareSpace instead.
For more on the pros and cons of WordPress & SquareSpace, you can check out my blog post here.
Ready to build a website? You can get my DIY Website In A Weekend Guide here.
Overwhelmed by it all? I have an efficient streamlined process that I promise is the most affordable option out there without skimping on quality. Learn more about working with me here.