Discover Blogging: Episode 7 | WordPress.Com Vs WordPress.Org

In episode 6: WordPress, I briefly touched upon this point. WordPress comes in two flavors: WordPress.org (What is normally referred as WordPress) and WordPress.com. You will see any of the logos in the picture above when you explore the world of WordPress blogging. It’s important to understand what they are. The first picture in blue is WordPress.com’s logo and the second one in black & white is WordPress.org’s.

WordPress: The blogging software

WordPress as an application software in itself is free and open source. It is installed on a web-server. It can be used to develop web-sites without the need of coding them from scratch. WordPress was based on an earlier blogging platform b2/cafelog which was Free and available under GPL (General Public Licence) and was developed and released as its fork by its founder developers Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in year 2003 (fork means a branch of existing free software developed further with a different identity).

WordPress.org

WordPress was released under GPL (General Public Licence) from Free Software Foundation. Further development and maintenance of software is taken care by the community driven project WordPress.org.

The WordPress software (from WordPress.org) is self-hosted and you are responsible for maintenance activities like hosting, backup, security, etc. You choose your website host and install the WordPress software, which you can download from the official website www.wordpress.org. Because of the popularity of WordPress, there are a lot of hosting companies which offer WordPress pre-installed so that you don’t have to.

If you go ahead with this option, you will need to familiarise yourself with many technicalities. I feel though it’s not too complex and doesn’t require any specialised knowledge as such but you will end up investing a lot of time.

You can explore and get it all done. As I said it’s time consuming but an additional word of warning: if anything goes wrong with your published web-site, you are on your own (and in worst case, you may need to hire somebody). If you run into any issue, there is support forum for WordPress.org users which is supported by the community of contributing volunteers, many of them rich in experience and expertise.

WordPress.com

Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, started his own company Automattic which runs WordPress.com. It takes away the pain of managing the website away from the publishers. WordPress.com is fully hosted, meaning you don’t involve with any of the technical stuff and focus on your content. It takes care of the technical stuff behind running your website/ blog so that you can pay attention to more important things: your content, manage social media, etc.

Which is a better choice?

There are certain advantages unique to both of them. It may be tricky to choose one over the other. I will discuss them in the next post (Episode 8: Get started with WordPress.com). In the meanwhile, I can add a word for the absolute beginner though. S/he should go ahead with WordPress.com and get to the point where s/he can understand the need of a self-hosted version of her/his WordPress blog though I did exactly the opposite of the advice and now understand its essence.

✧ Disclaimer: My blog posts include reviews of products and tools helpful for bloggers and have affiliate links. In this post, it is WordPress.com. I have used and tested them before writing a review here. I earn commission if you buy a paid version using them. Rest assured, it doesn’t cost you extra and you pay the same price and helps me to fund the costs and time spent on my blog and site. Thanks for using them.

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