The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org can be very confusing. Let’s take a brief look at them.
WordPress.com is free and easy to set up. You do not have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server. Your address will be “somename.wordpress.com” or you can map it so it reads “somename.com” for a small fee.
On the plus side, WordPress.com provides web hosting, unlimited database storage, automatic software upgrades, community support forums, and more for free.
On the negative side, WordPress.com will not allow you to fully customize your site. You cannot upload plugins, you cannot run a custom theme, and you cannot place advertisements on your blog. What you get is a free blog, which may be exactly what you are looking for.
WordPress.org must be installed on your own server, e.g. GoDaddy, 1&1, Lunarpages, etc or a third party provider. Though it does require more expertise, you have more control and more options. You can install themes and plugins, run advertisements, edit the database and even modify the PHP source code.
The software can be downloaded for free, but again it must be hosted on a web server before it will work. Web servers are usually not free. They run about $60 per year.
If you already have a web server, and a web site, you can install it on your web server and view it as www.umpquawebdesign.com/blog, for example.
If, on the other hand, you want a different domain name, you will need to purchase the domain name and purchase the hosting – unless your current host allows for more than one domain name.
If your needs are few, WordPress.com may be the way to go. If your needs are more complex, WordPress.org may be a better choice.
Think of WordPress.com like an apartment rental and WordPress.org like owning a home. The landlord takes care of the maintenance of the building and grounds. When you own your own home, you are responsible for maintaining the building and grounds yourself.
If you need assistance getting started with WordPress, contact www.solowebsolutions.com and we would be happy to assist you.