Wordpress.COM vs. Wordpress.ORG
We get this question quite often and it's understandable. Why would there be two different Wordpress's out there? You likely didn't realize there were two. Well, here's a quick rundown on the differences...
Wordpress.COM is a hosting platform that is built on Wordpress and has pre-defined themes and plugins to choose from.
- You cannot customize your themes or plugins and you cannot add custom themes or plugins that do not already exist in the Wordpress.COM repository. Bottom line, Wordpress.COM is great for people who just want to get a simple site up and running without caring too much about functionality or design. It's good if you just want to start forcing yourself to write content - you can just dive in and start publishing your blog posts, for example.
- Your site is automatically hosted on Wordpress.COM and you get a free URL (something like yoursite.wordpress.com), but you can pay to use your own URL (e.g. yoursite.com).
- Depending on your plan, you'll have ads on your site that are out of your control
- You cannot add Google Analytics to track your visitors and usage (you have to use their built-in tracking)
Now, let's compare to the "real Wordpress" aka Wordpress.ORG...
Wordpress.ORG is known as "the real Wordpress" - when people talk about Wordpress being the best open-sourced website platform, etc. etc., this is what they are referring to.
- You need to purchase a domain and web hosting - popular services for this are GoDaddy (not the best option), BlueHost (decent option) and WP Engine (absolute best option we've used in 10+ years of experience)
- It might sound scary (or annoying) to have to get your own domain and web hosting, but it's very simple and ultimately is much better for your business because you have full control over your site. If you decide you want to pick up and move your site somewhere else, you can take all of your files and database with you versus having someone else control your content.
- Once you have your domain and hosting, you need to install Wordpress - WP Engine does this automatically for you and almost all web hosts have a very simple few-click option to get this installed (you can also typically just ask your web host nicely and they'll install Wordpress for you)
- Once Wordpress is installed, you can add any themes you want (e.g. Conversion Cats), you can also add any plugins you'd like to as well, such as plugins to increase your page load speed, add SEO fields so you can optimize your site for Google, sell anything you want, etc. etc. Bottom line, you have nearly endless possibilities
Bottom line, Wordpress.ORG is a better option if you want more control over your site and if you want to use a custom theme, such as Conversion Cats.
What if I have a Wordpress.COM site? If you have an existing site on Wordpress.COM and want to use Conversion Cats, then all you need to do is buy a domain and a hosting account (again, we recommend WP Engine - and if you already own a domain, you don't need to purchase another). Once you get your hosting plan, you can send us your Wordpress.COM admin login and your hosting login and we can help you migrate your current content to your new hosting plan and create a staging site (basically a duplicate of your existing site) so you can get started with Conversion Cats.
You can read more advantages vs. disadvantages in a great article here as well. We hope this helps!