A very common question we see regarding WordPress is "What is the difference between WordPress.org, and WordPress.com?"
Here at WPOwl, our service provides uses the self hosted (WordPress.org) script, rather than WordPress.com, so let's take a look at the differences between what we offer here at WPOwl, and what WordPress.com offer.
Before we get to that though, it's important to understand what the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com are, as there's a distinct difference.
What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
The main difference between the two is simple - WordPress.org is the home of the WordPress content management system, the most popular content management system in use today - not only that, it's open source too!
WordPress.org doesn't also provide downloads of the content management system itself, it also provides a large searchable repository of WordPress plugins and themes, which are all completely free to download and use!
WordPress.com on the other hand, is a hosted WordPress platform - they are similar to WPOwl in some ways - we provide website hosting specifically tailored to run the WordPress CMS, we provide the hosting, just like they do, however, apart from that, the similarities are few and far between.
WPOwl vs WordPress.com
Whilst WordPress.com are a WordPress hosting company, there are many restrictions on what you can and can't do. Below is just a selection of the features/differences between WordPress.com and wpowl.co.uk hosted WordPress packages.
- Themes - WordPress.com offers a small selection of themes which can be used with their packages, the more expensive packages also allow a small selection of premium themes, however you are unable to go and choose any theme you like from (for example, Themeforest) a theme website, or have a developer create one for you.
At WPOwl, there are no restrictions whatsoever on what WordPress theme you use - you can download any of the thousands of free themes directly from the WordPress dashboard, you can purchase a premium theme and install it with no restriction, or you can even have a completely custom built WordPress theme - we believe the choice should be yours.
- Plugins - Plugins at WordPress.com are much the same, the lower plans offer some pre-selected plugins which you can use, but the freedom just isn't there to pick and choose exactly what you want, unless you use their VIP package, which comes in at an eye watering $5000 per month!
Again, like with themes, WPOwl's Managed WordPress hosting allows you to choose any plugins you like - whether that's from the WordPress.org plugin repository, a premium plugin, or of course a custom coded plugin - we also don't place any limit on the number of plugins you can install, after all, it's your website!
- Monetisation - If you run an ecommerce store, unfortunately WordPress.com don't offer any sort of functionality to support this, so would be ruled out straight away, they also go one step further and don't allow you to place advertising on your website (such as Google Adsense), if you wish to place ads on your website when hosted by WordPress.com you'll need to use their ad program, which in turn shares your ad revenue with them!
At WPOwl, we believe that everyone has the right to run their website however they like, as long as it's legal. If that means you want to serve your own ads, that's completely fine with us! Not only that, because we allow any WordPress plugin you like, you can set up an online store in minutes - ecommerce is fully supported.
- Analytics - You guessed it, over at WordPress.com you have a choice - no analytics at all, or their analytics service, unless you want to pay for the privilege.
We believe that you should have the choice, and whilst we recommend and fully support Google Analytics, you're free to use any analytics service you wish - who are we to tell you otherwise?!
- Security - The WPOwl team, and our automated systems will take care of your website's security for you, this means you have more time to concentrate on things like writing content for your website, or providing value to your visitors.
On the other hand, WordPress.com place the responsibility of security firmly in your hands, with some websites being suspended or even deleted if they breach their terms of service, even unwittingly (e.g through being hacked or similar).
- Pricing - Whilst WordPress.com does offer a free service, it is extremely restrictive, if you wish to use your own domain name you need to upgrade and pay an annual fee, if you'd like access to Google Analytics, you guessed it, an even bigger annual fee.
If we were to pick the closest package on WordPress.com to what we offer, it would sit at somewhere between $300 - $500/year, compared to our pricing of under £120 per year - but remember, we place no restrictions, and provide a vast range of additional services included in our pricing!
- WPOwl place no restrictions on themes, plugins, ads, analytics, or monetisation methods
- WordPress.com restrict the plugins and themes which you can install, and charge money for you to use simple free features such as Google Analytics
- Your site - your rules (at least at WPOwl!) We let you run your website how you wish, as long as it's all above board and legal, how you run your website is your call, we don't impose rules, restrictions and hidden charges.
- Our pricing is comparatively much, much lower than WordPress.com - in fact, over the course of a year, you'll spend around 1/3 at WPOwl vs WordPress.com, meaning more money in your pocket.
The differences don't end there, and there are too many to list - WordPress.com may be a potential choice if you're looking for a small, free blog that you don't wish to make money from, but if you're looking to use the true potential of WordPress then using the WordPress.org self hosted option here at WPOwl is the right choice.