I started blogging since March 2012 using a free account in WordPress.com. Writing became a helpful distraction at the time. Soon, I was overwhelmed by a number of people liking, commenting, following, and even contacting me through my site. In less than a year, I got more than 3000 blog followers which I initially did not expect. I felt very much appreciated that I continued blogging more.
However, I had a terrible blogging nightmare few months ago which scared me of losing all my posts and interaction with my dear followers. For a week, my site was stagnant and I felt a part of me became sick. Next to reading, blogging became essential to me that the thought of ripping it away made me feel very uncomfortable. After waiting an eternity for WordPress to reply to my feedback, I decided to take the matter in my own hands.
First, I googled my situation and was surprised to find that the same thing was happening to a lot of bloggers worldwide. Some even experienced it five times. A little relieved that I was not alone in my dilemma, I started looking for tips on how to move forward. After a few hours of dedicated searching and reading, I came up with this question:
Shall I move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
Just like most of you, I also didn’t know the difference between the two. Good thing there were a lot of search results explaining both. Turned out WordPress comes in two flavors: an open source software with thousands of free themes and plug-ins easy to modify; and a commercial account with free hosting, but limited freedom. They have a lot of differences and to help you understand better, I would compare the two using photos by wpmu.org, a helpful tutorial site for WordPress users.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
On Freedom and Limitation
WordPress.com is a free account so some options are limited. For example, you can only use themes provided by WordPress.com and you cannot modify them unless you purchase the Custom Design option. Same goes with the custom plug-ins. Moreover, the storage space is only small if you want to post a lot of photos and videos – a mere 3GB. On the other hand, WordPress.org boasts to have thousands of editable themes and if you want, you can create one for your own. There are also a lot of custom plug-ins you can choose, too. More importantly, you can add and edit files via ftp and make your site cleaner without ads.
Hosting is free in WordPress.com whereas to use the open source software of WordPress.org, you will need a web hosting site and a domain. Hosting can cost you $5+ per month, and domain $10/year. A bit pricey compared to the free WordPress.com account, but let’s compare the two if you want to avail the add-ons or upgrades.
On Maintenance and Development
WordPress.com takes care of everything- from WordPress upgrades to plug-in and theme updates. WordPress.org, on the other hand, requires the blogger’s attention whenever there will be software updates so the site will not be susceptible to spammers and hackers. If you do not wish to study on more technical aspect of blogging, then WordPress.com will be good for you.
On Certain Scenario
There are a lot of factors to consider before one can be able to decide which to use. WPMU.ORG has listed some cases which can help to choose where you want to host your site.
After considering all of the things mentioned above, I finally decided to move out from my free WordPress.com site to a self-hosted one using WordPress.org. Being able to choose was a huge step for me, but it would be the first among the many in my journey to make Impressions of a Princess a better home for me and my followers.
For those who requested for me to write in detail what and how I went through the entire process, please stay tuned for Part 2!