Friday Fun – WP.com vs. WP.org

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: This week’s question comes from reader Kernan Manion, MD. He writes, “I would like to hear your thoughts about choice of WP.com vs. WP.org and hosting on a web-host. Did you go through a thought process of pros and cons or was it primarily expediency?”

Lee Laughlin CU 7-13Lee Laughlin: At the time we started this blog, the leading free platforms were Blogger and WordPress. WordPress was definitely the way to go if we wanted to put a forth a professional image. Early on, we wanted the focus to be the words, not the technology. Although we knew each other, we weren’t really sure where this was going to go when we started, so we tried to keep the financial investment to a minimum.  As we’ve progressed, there really hasn’t been a reason to change from wp.com to wp.org. Before we discussed this post, I wrote a blog post about moving my personal blog from wp.org to wp.com.  Given our time constraints as a group, wp.com works well for us. We chip in for a few bells and whistles and stick with our original mission of letting the words be the focus. There are other platforms out there and everyone needs to make the choice that works for their situation, but we’re happy where we are.

SuddenlyJamie AvatarJamie Wallace: WordPress offers a good side-by-side comparison of their .com vs. .org offerings, and since I definitely fall into Lee’s words-not-technology category, I defer to them as the experts. That said, all the other websites I’ve launched (including the one for my marketing business) are built on WordPress.org (the self-hosted option). In retrospect, however, now that I know you can have a custom domain for a small annual fee, I might have chosen to go with a WordPress-hosted option. After all, they provide all the important security and back-up features that I worry about screwing up with my self-hosted sites. If you’re a beginner with not a lot of technology expertise, I’d say to stick with WordPress.com. They keep things simple, safe, and relatively stress-free.

hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus: Julianne Holmes has a WordPress.org site that I need to get launched. J.A. Hennrikus has a WordPress.com site. For my day job, I have a WordPress.org site that uses a couple of great plug-ins. For me, it is that flexibility that makes .org valuable. There is a learning curve, but it is doable. I have also heard that you can monetize .org sites more easily, which is worth thinking about.

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon: Well, I just learned a lot about wordpress.com vs wordpress.org by reading this post! I’m not that technically savvy so I just haven’t paid attention to what we use here.  I’m in the process of redoing my life coaching website and I just emailed the web designer I’m working with to ask if I’m going to have a wordpress.com or wordpress.org site. You’d think I’d know this but I don’t. My blog page (www.dianemackinnon.com/blog) is currently a WordPress site, but I have my own domain name and soon, my entire website will be a WordPress site. I think that means it’s probably a wordpress.org site. I’ll find out for sure soon!

10 thoughts on “Friday Fun – WP.com vs. WP.org

  1. I have 2 x .com WordPress sites and have thought about changing to to .org a few times. At present, the .com sites suit me better. Jamie, thank you for the link to the WordPress comparison. Plenty of food for thought!

  2. Such a timely post. I actually have both a wp.com and a wp.org site that somewhat mirror each other. I like the WP.com community and the tools that come with it (the reader, the repress and reblog options, etc), and I’ve found a tool that allows me to syndicate my wp.org content to wp.com without too much fuss and bother, so it’s a best of both worlds solution for me. Then WP.com proved to me why I went with a wp.org self-hosted option. A friend had advertised his band’s upcoming gig dates on a site that WP has decided is a sketchy affiliate marketer. When I unwittingly linked to the band’s page on that site, WP.com suspended my account without warning. If not for my wp.org site, I would have been dead in the water until I worked out the problem with wp.com support 4 hours later. So there’s that. With a self-hosted option, the only terms of service you have to abide by are your own. On someone else’s platform, you’re giving up a lot of self-determination to someone else’s gang of jack-booted thought police. (Actually, they were quite nice about it, but come on, not even a warning?)

    • Thanks for sharing your story. “Renting” space vs. “owning” it is definitely an important consideration.

  3. I am new to WordPress after being a blogger.com girl for nine years. I am in the learning stages of WordPress but eager to find out more. As an author you can not ever know too much! Thank you for posting this because I know I will need this info later on down the line.

  4. I have had a WP.org site which we used for promo and the potential to monetize. I have several personal WP.com sites and tho they frustrate me when they change the format I still think they are superior in what they offer. Great article btw

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