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I get asked this question from time to time…  “what is the difference between

wordpress.com and wordpress.org?”  Well they are both wordpress software, however the biggest difference is that wordpress.com is the solution hosted on WordPress’ servers (for free), and wordpress.org hosts the software files you can download so you can host the software on your own server.  WordPress.org also has a thriving community where wordpress users can exchange ideas and get help to some of the problems they may be experiencing.

“So great!  Why would I want to pass up free hosting?” you might say.  Well, a big thing to take into consideration is that wordpress.com offers limited functionality than hosting the software on your own server.  There is also the case that if you are selling a product or service and you are using your blog to do it (like affiliate marketing), then you would be violating wordpress.com’s terms of service, and at any time, your blog could be shut down.  There is nothing like having your lively hood taken away overnight.  I once had a client ask me about this very question as she had her blog hosted on wordpress.com and was wanting to use it to promote her business.  I told her that it wasn’t a good idea and that she should invest the $10/month to host her own website using the wordpress software from wordpress.org.  I told her that it may be a while before wordpress.com shuts her site down, but for $10/month, I think it’s worth the piece of mind.  That’s like what, 2 1/2 lattes a month?  If you have your Internet business strategy set up properly, you would be making much much more than  $10/month  anyway.

So are there times when it makes sense to use wordpress.com instead of wordpress.org?  I have make a list of when you would want to use either one.  In fact, I use them both for specific purposes as pieces to an overall puzzle.

Use wordpress.com when you want to…

  • start out with a new blog to build your brand awareness.   It’s easier to rank your new blog postings in wordpress.com
  • take advantage of the traffic from the wordpress.com community.  You really have to know what you are doing, and be willing to participate by commenting on other’s blogs and making sure you really tag your posts well.
  • create a simple blog and aren’t interested in using it to promote anything or use it as a tool to directly generate revenue.

Use wordpress.org when you want to….

  • build a website that actively markets your products and services
  • build a website that sells your products and services
  • build a website that you want to create into an asset or turn into an authority site
  • build a website that requires more customization and requires the use of additional wordpress plugins
  • build a website that promotes firearms, tobacco, or porn

One nice thing however is that you can migrate your wordpress.com blog over to your own hosted wordpress.org solution without a huge amount of effort.  Because of the limited functionality that you have on wordpress.com, you won’t have to worry about things not working when you make the transfer.

Want to know more about WordPress?  How to build a site in WordPress and how to optimize your WordPress blog?  Sign up for these webinars using the link below!

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