WordPress offers two versions of its product: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The following is a brief comparison of these two different products.
WordPress.org provides free open-source software that you can download to build your site. However, it's completely up to you how you wish to manage your website and find hosting for it.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, handles just about everything for you, but its features are much more limited than the free code you can download at WordPress.org.
The Hosting Guy WordPress sites use a customized version of WordPress.org code and provides everything you need. If you're hosting your WordPress website at The Hosting Guy, you do not need any additional software from WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
Another big difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is where your website is hosted:
WordPress.com — is the official hosting site of WordPress. If you want WordPress to host your site, you can purchase a plan through WordPress.com. You are then limited by the features it offers.
WordPress.org — offers you free WordPress downloads and tutorials. At WordPress.org, you can download your own version of WordPress and host it at any company you like. This allows you unlimited customization options, however, it's up to you to manage the website.
When you purchase a plan, you're paying WordPress.com to host your website. There are different plans with different levels of service. For example, the lowest plan displays WordPress.com advertisements on your site and offers limited storage. All plans except the highest display WordPress.com branding on your site. The highest level plan removes advertisements, branding, and offers additional services such as 'SEO Tools', technical support, and the ability to upload your own custom themes and plugins. However, there are no plans that allow direct access to modify the code that runs your website.
Email hosting is also not available through WordPress.com, so you'd need to purchase an email hosting plan at another company.
The good thing about WordPress.com is that it manages your site's updates, backups, and security. You don't need to worry about maintenance.
If you want full control over your site, you can download the WordPress files from WordPress.org. You can then choose any company you like to host your website.
WordPress.org also offers a large selection of tutorials and manuals to help you build your website.
Although WordPress.org code is fully customizable, it's completely up to you to keep your site up to date and secure. You're also fully responsible for backing up your site and finding a company to host it.
The following chart below describes the major differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org:
If you're running a very simple website that you do not plan to monetize and don't mind WordPress.com branding and advertisements, WordPress.com is a good choice. WordPress.com also handles all the maintenance so it's a very simple but limited solution.
If you plan to grow your site over time, customize it, or make money from it, then WordPress.org is a better choice. But keep in mind that you are responsible for keeping your site up to date and secure.
Make things simple though, choose from one of our Managed WordPress plans, and not only get the customization and flexibility of building from the WordPress.org framework, and the ease of use and managed services of WordPress.com, without all the limitations.
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