I recently spoke at a WordCamp and my thoughts have strayed to all the WordCamps and conferences that I have attended or spoke at. And typically, a lot of the times, I hear the same questions over and over. One of the most asked: What is differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
In my experience, the speaker will give their spiel on “WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org”. But often, when they began to explain it, confusion begins to grow. Most times is still isn’t clear to a lot of the beginners.
Now I will admit I am one that has used the same line for a long time. All us WordPress peeps do. But over a year ago, I realized that no matter how you explained it, that title is what screwed everything up, causing the confusion.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
So, I took upon myself to change it.
WordPress.org a self-hosted WordPress site
Sure, that leaves a questions to follow, but the explanation then makes much more sense.
WordPress.com – a platform where you can build your blog or website for free. Your site then resides on WordPress.com.
Self-hosted – you take the free software from WordPress.org (that is the only time you should mention the .org site) and install it on your own hosting service, such as WPEngine, Bluehost, InMotion, or God forbid, GoDaddy. You will then have to pay a monthly hosting fee.
The rest of the comparisons can then follow naturally.
I believe the biggest confusion when you mention WordPress.org, is that they believe that their site will then be on WordPress.org. NO, NO, NO. Just like all the themes, plugins and widgets there, you are simply grabbing and putting them on your own site and host. I had the experience of a colleague who had discussed moving her site to WordPress with her current webmaster. And he insisted that her site would sit on WordPress.org. Yikes!
So let’s settle this confusion once and for all, and say it like it is. Got it?