You would not be alone if you didn’t know there was a difference between the .com and the .org versions of WordPress. They have the same mother, but like 2 siblings, are each their own individual. While they are both excellent blogging platforms, you don’t want to get these two confused! Understanding the difference can make the difference between making a profit or simply establishing a voice online.
WordPress.COM is a free blogging platform that allows you to create a professional blog with many design and technical options. You will receive a free subdomain that would look something like: www.MyWonderfulBlog.WordPress.com. If you have your own domain vs a subdomain, it would look like: www.MyWonderfulBlog.com).
You can buy your own domain name from many places including WP.COM, and the price can range anywhere from $4 to $50 and much more if you choose a ‘premium’ domain. Some domains sell for millions of dollars which is why some people make a living simply by buying domain names and then reselling them at a significant profit.
WordPress.com does offer the option of using your own domain name on their site. If you buy it directly from WP it will average in price from $18-$25/per year. Any reputable hosting company will offer you the option of purchasing your domain name from them, and it can be easier technically because you don’t have to “point” it to a different place. Understand, though, any domain name you purchase from anywhere can be “re-directed” it to any hosting company you choose, even WP.com.
(Confused yet? Try googling “understanding domains” to learn more. )
WordPress.com is an excellent place to start a personal blog or nonprofit site – just not the place you want to start if your purpose is to make an income. WP.com offers many beautiful and functional themes, plugins and perks. However, WP.com makes it very clear that they are there for individuals NOT SEEKING TO MAKE AN INCOME from their blog.
You cannot put ads or excessive promotions of any kind on a WP.com site unless you purchase one of their paid hosting options which are more costly than the other ways we will show you.
So- essentially, you cannot use WordPress.COM free if you want to make an income with your website.* (unless you purchase a premium package from them)
WordPress.ORG – Your best choice for starting an online income producing business!
WordPress.ORG offers you a wealth of free themes, plugins, tutorials, tools and basically the freedom to do whatever you want on your blog (that’s ethical, at least!). WP.org gives you everything WordPress.COM offers yet so much more.
Remember, although the software to build your blog is free at WP.org, but you will need to purchase hosting to place your blog on.(like HostGator or BlueHost). You can find basic quality hosting for under $15/month. There is no need to pay more than this to start with regardless of what some advertising will try to tell you!
Your Own ‘Self-Hosted Blog’
When you create your own blog with all the tools WordPress offers on your own hosting this is known as a “Self-Hosted WordPress Blog”. It has a little more of a learning curve and a small cost up front, but will cost you MUCH less in the long run and holds countless advantages. We believe from experience that you’ll save time and money if you start your site where you plan to stay – it’s never easy to move a site to a new hosting company, even when they say they’ll do it for you. You still have to unpack the boxes!
Warning: Below is a shameless plug for Hostgator, our personal web host and all time favorite!
We like Hostgator as a host because you can pay by the month if money is short right now, or you can really save if you pay by the year. Monthly payments is just one rare benefit you’ll find at HostGator. You will be able to install your WordPress blog virtually in minutes with their ‘One Click WP Installation’.
We also love Hostgator’s tech support, which is OUTSTANDING, and probably the most important perk to look for when you are a beginning blogger! Good customer support is important even if you aren’t a beginner, because when you have a problem, you want it fixed right, right?
Our 2nd Number One Choice:
Another good hosting company that has outstanding customer service very similar to HostGator is Blue Host. They don’t offer monthly payment plans last I looked, so you must purchase hosting by the year. Their prices are very competitive, but a yearly charge is still a chunk of change when you’re just starting out.
Purchase your hosting through one of our affiliate links* (below) and get the best price available, AND we’ll help you set up your new blog free of charge! Just email us your details and we’ll get you going!
*See our Disclosure Notice!>>