Five months ago, when I was planning to start my own blog, I asked a number of people which is the best platform to start with and there was only one answer, WordPress.
WordPress is always the preferred option for any kind of website such as blog, small businesses or even eCommerce websites because it is very easy to set up and extremely reliable & flexible.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the web. It is a free & open source blogging tool and CMS that is based on PHP and MySQL.
The first version was released on 27 May, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg as a basic blog engine.
The latest version is 3.3.1 which was released on January 3,2012.
Now if you’re new into blogging, don’t give any second thoughts and choose the wordpress as the first option. But WordPress is also of two types and there is always a confusion between these 2 types of wordpress platforms and which one is best suited for your goals.
WordPress.com is the safest options to start with as it is free and very easy to set up.
It is like setting up an account on Facebook or Gmail and you can start blogging right away. You don’t even need to buy your own domain name and your domain name will be provided by wordpress itself like yourname.wordpress.com.
If you want to have your own domain name such as www.youngblah.com, you will have to pay extra $17 every year to wordpress for that.
With wordpress.com, you will also get free 3GB of storage space to store your content and images. But always remember, because they store your content, they own your content.
WordPress.com is hosted by Automattic.
Now talking about the advertising, you can’t put ads on your wordpress blog.
AdSense, Chitika, TextLinkAds, Yahoo, & all other third-party advertising are not allowed at WordPress.com. If you would like to run ads on your blog and earn money through your blog, you can apply for WordAds.
For using WordAds, your monthly pageviews should be more than 25,000(approx.) and it should meet the guidelines of the WordAds Advertising Program.
The ads you normally see on any wordpress.com blog are by Automattic to support wordpress.com for free. If you would like to remove those ads from your blog, you will have to pay $30 per year.
WordPress.com also offers many theme options and your blog is visible on Google search too but as comparison to wordpress.org, it is not effective that much.
So to conclude, WordPress.com is great for hobbyists if you just want to start a simple blog or practice blogging before moving to WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is that version of WordPress where your blog or web site is hosted on your own server through a hosting company such as HostGator(Affliate Link).
WordPress.org just provides you a blogging software or Content Manangement System(CMS). Your have your own domain name of the blog or web site such as www.youngblah.com and it is hosted on your own server through a hosting company such as HostGator.
Both domain name and server will cost you money. You can buy domain name at Godaddy or dynadot.com(my preferred option) starting from $3 per year.
Server charges will cost you around $150 per year with HostGator.
And that’s it, you are ready to go.
Using WordPress.com is like working in a company, you follow their rules, orders and can’t change anything there. But using WordPress.org is like being an entrepreneur, you have total control over all the things.
In wordpress.org, there are large number of awesome free and premium themes available to choose from.
Check: 11 Free Premiun WordPress Magazine Themes
You can even customize these themes if you have technical knowledge and there are also vast number of plugins available to automate everything if you’re not much tech savvy. These plugins add depth of functionality to your blog. Think of any function and I’m sure there is wordpress plugin for that.
Check: Top 15 Must Have Plugins for your new WordPress Blog
WordPress.org also provides great SEO. If you use the right theme with right SEO plugins, you sure can rise to the top of Google search rankings.
And the best part of WordPress.org is that you can make money with your blog or website. You can use anything from Adsense to affiliate promotions.
Many blogs make thousands of dollars every month using combination of Adsense and Affilate links.
You can even sell products from your blog or website.
If you have any plans of making money from your blog, then WordPress.org is the option for you.
Many people around the world are making thousands of dollars ever month doing full time blogging.
You may require a little more technical knowledge in WordPress.org than wordpress.com but still it is very simple to use once you master the admin panel. And in wordpress.org, you will be your own boss. You will own the content and the name of your website.
It is possible that you can move your website from wordpress.com to wordpress.org later but why to invest so much time on wordpress.com when you can build a online brand on wordpress.org with such a small investment.