If you know me, you will have heard me say that I love WordPress. It is a great open source platform to run a website (and currently 23% of the websites on the Internet use it!)
But when I’m talking about WordPress, I’m actually talking about installing WordPress from WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. What is the difference?
WordPress.com is the commercial side that actually uses the programming of WordPress.org. They just made it a bit easier so you can set up a website without getting into any programming aspects whatsoever.
(Just so you know. WordPress.org’s 5 minute install isn’t that hard if you follow the directions! And most hosting providers have 1-click installs that do the work for you).
Even though WordPress.com may be easier to use at first, there are limitations. In the long wrong, you will want to use the program you can download from WordPress.org for your business. Here is why:
Limitations on Plugins
Plugins are these cool little “mini programs” that help your WordPress website do many different things. There is a plugin for eCommerce, a plugin for mailing forms, a plugin for almost anything you can think of! Unfortunately WordPress.com offers a limited amount of plugins you can use.
Limitations on Themes
Themes are the beautiful (or not so beautiful) designs that go on your WordPress website. There are thousands upon thousands of themes you can choose from (or you can hire a company like Endless Range Marketing that can make a custom theme for you). Unless you go with WordPress.com. They have a limited amount of themes you can use.
Lacking SEO Features
Getting on search engines is important for any business. WordPress.com does lack certain SEO features, unless you happen to buy an upgraded theme that has them. If you go with installing WordPress from WordPress.org, you could use a plugin such as SEO Yoast (a very powerful SEO plugin!)
Costs Extra for CSS Access
You may not want CSS access to your website if you don’t know what CSS is (it is a type of programming language for websites). However if you want to make changes to a theme (could be as simple as changing the color of the text), and hire a programmer to do it, you will have to upgrade on WordPress.com.
You Can’t Sell What You Haven’t Made
According to the TOS of WordPress.com, you can’t use their service to selling anything that you didn’t make yourself. This may not be the best option for some business websites!
Ultimately, the learning curve between WordPress itself and WordPress.com isn’t that big. If you are going to go with WordPress, then at least take the time to install it from your hosting company or do the 5 minute install yourself.
Any questions about WordPress.org vs WordPress.com? Leave them below and we will answer them!