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WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

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WordPress.org is where we get the open source blogging software that is freely available to anyone to download. The software must be downloaded and installed onto a computer.

WordPress.com is the online counterpart, much like blogger.com. You cannot add plugins etc. like you can do with an independent wordpress installation downloaded from wordpress.org. It’s a web site that provides blogs hosted free of charge. The software on WordPress.com is very similar but not exactly the same software you can download from WordPress.org. It is a multi-user version of WordPress that allows many thousands of blogs to be hosted on a single web server. The free blog hosting does not come with the ability to upload plugins or themes.

WordPress.org Pros [Standalone Software]

  • Ability to upload themes
  • Ability to upload plugins
  • Great community
  • Complete control to change code if you’re technically minded

WordPress.org Cons

  • You need a good web host, which generally costs $7-12 a month
  • Requires more technical knowledge to set up and run
  • You’re responsible for stopping spam
  • You have to handle backups
  • You must upgrade the software manually when a new version comes out
  • If you get a huge spike in traffic (like Digg or Slashdot) you site will probably go down

WordPress.com Pros [The Website]

  • It’s free and much easier
  • Everything is taken care of: setup, upgrades, backups, security, etc
  • Your blog is on dozens of servers, so it’s highly unlikely it will go down due to traffic
  • Your posts are backed up hourly
  • You get extra traffic from blogs of the day and tags
  • You can find like-minded bloggers using tag and friend surfer
  • Your login is secure (SSL) so no one can get into your account if you use wifi

WordPress.com Cons

  • Limited customization of themes (though we’re adding more every day)
  • You can’t hack the code behind your blog
  • Cannot add plugins
 
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