WordPress.COM or WordPress.ORG?
Last Updated on June 26th, 2020
WordPress is the one of the world’s most popular website Content Management Systems (CMS), and it comes in two distinct forms: .COM or .ORG. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Although they’re both part of the same happy, if not a little inbred, family, they serve different purposes. And if you’re looking to maximise your SEO and you’re after a unique, highly customisable web design, it’s important you choose the correct one.
WordPress.COM (https://wordpress.com) serves as both a domain registrar and webhost allowing you to launch a website with the WordPress CMS software with minimal fuss and in double-quick time. You can create a free domain (not advised), or secure a domain name and hosting for $129.00 per year (at time of writing).
A free WordPress domain (and website) will look something like this:
Notice, the inclusion of the tag .wordpress in the domain name. Technically, your name is a subdomain on the WordPress domain. Besides that it’s free, this doesn’t really serve you. For one, Google does not take free sites seriously and for good reason. They’re a dime a dozen; sites open and close fast … and therefore, free blogs are considered unstable, a flight-risk. Plus, it doesn’t smack of professionalism.
As mentioned, securing your domain name sans the .wordpress tag is an option at $129.00 a year, but a site with WordPress.COM is limited in its web design customisation and SEO potential. While further services are provided at various prices, when all is said and done, you could end up paying a small fortune for a site that remains SEO-limited. (Plus, ccTLDs1 such as .com.au are not supported by WordPress.COM.)
WordPress.ORG (https://wordpress.org) provides the website software free of charge, but you have to procure a domain name and webhost. With WordPress’s popularity, most webhosts offer a relatively easy installation process. The cost of a domain name is often in the region of $7 to $17 a year, and shared webhosting can cost anything between $3 and $12 a month (usually a payment for a 12- to 36-month contract is required upfront, but it typically includes your domain name for the first year free). You’ll have to shop around a little, but a great place to start is with WhoIsHostingThis—which compares different web hosts and includes heaps of user reviews.
While WordPress.COM is quick, easy and simple, WordPress.ORG allows you to maximise your website’s customisation and fulfil your SEO potential. The core distinctive is in one word: plugins. Like apps for mobiles, WordPress.ORG utilises plugins to offer customisation and SEO that is not possible with its sister platform, WordPress.COM.
WordPress.ORG has an incredible support forum to assist in trouble-shooting and coupled with the support your web host offers, you’re in good hands.
So, which one is better? WordPress.COM or WordPress.ORG? For customisation and SEO purposes, WordPress.ORG is the way to go.
1 A ccTLD refers to a country code top-level domain such as .com.au whereas a gTLD refers to a generic top-level domain such as .com or .org.