When you are stepping in some thing new its very important to learn from experts because they can act as your best guide. Before starting a blog, one question hovers over your mind: Which platform should I choose for my blog?
Let us make things clear by focusing on the leader of the Content Management System: WordPress. There are many CMS platforms in the market. But, WordPress always have an edge over its competitors.
Here is the reason, why?
As of January 2015, WordPress was used by more than 23.3% of the top million websites. It is the most popular blogging system which is used by more than 60 Million Websites. On May 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little started WordPress with the aim of enhancing the typography of everyday writing. It started as a personal project. Now, it is an Open Source Project which engages different people all over the world.
It is a user-friendly platform and Users don’t need to have a technical background to understand the coding. It comes with ‘do-it-yourself’ instructions which make it easy to handle.
The most important question arises: Should you use WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
This question creates doubts in the mind of the newbie bloggers. In the beginning, they are not able to judge the difference between the Free Platform (WordPress.com) and Self Hosted Platform (WordPress.org).
On the first look, they deceive the beginner with the same dashboard. This is the reason why you need to learn the differentiation between the two platforms.
Which Blogging Platform is right for you?
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WordPress.com vs WordPress.org which is the right blogging platform for you. In this i will try to explain you the difference which revolves around Storage, Security, Backup, Own Domain Name, Control & Customisation, Advertisements etc.
Storage, Space & Security
WordPress.com blogs come with a limit of 3 GB of Space for uploading the files and images. You can’t upload the audio files in the free plan.
With the Premium plan, you can add additional storage space of 10 gigabytes. With the Business plan, you can have infinite storage.
It comes with the preloaded backup and Security option. So, you don’t need to worry about backing up and securing your data. It takes care on its own.
It runs on the servers of hosting providers which usually give unlimited space. The beginning plan starts in the range of $3-$5 per month for the first year.
They come with a different plan of shared hosting, virtual private or dedicated servers. Some of the providers provide free domain with hosting also.
You have to backup and secure the data by yourself. It is your responsibility of protecting the site from spammers and hackers. For this, you have the option of choosing a free plugin or a paid plugin.
It comes with this type of domain: your-site-name.wordpress.com. You also have the option of choosing custom domain which comes in the range of $18-$50 depending on which domain extension you want to buy.
With the custom domain, you have the option of choosing only specific top level domains. Here is the list of available extensions:
.Com, .Org, .Net, .Info, .Biz comes for $18. – .Co, .Me, .Mobi comes for $25 – .Tv comes for $50
With additional $8, you can protect your identity by hiding your contact information. If you want to add domain name which you have already registered it will cost you $13.
As the WordPress.org is an open source project you get the complete installation file to be installed on your own server on your own domain name.
With this you get a freedom to buy domain name from any Domain registrar, and point the domain to the wordpress.org installation. In this you get more freedom to work and modify things as per your need.
As there are numerous providers, you get the cheap prices at very competitive rates. For the first year, you can avail different coupons also and the same thing applies to your hosting also.
Unlike Free WordPress.com, you have the command over choosing various domain extension. For example, you can choose country specific domain with WordPress.org- Like ‘your-site-name.in’ (Site targeting Indian Users only)
Control and Customisation
Due to pre-loaded plug-ins, there is no need to install any plug-ins. You have the limitation of adding third party plug-ins or any premium themes. Without the business plan, you can’t think of making an e-commerce website.
Only basic customisation is allowed in the sites. You don’t have full control over the content also.
According to WordPress Terms of Services, Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.
There are limited themes to choose from. There is no chance of modifying the CSS or the PHP code of the theme. You don’t have access to File Transfer Protocol (FTP) also.
With the help of Jetpack Blog Subscription, you can only share your latest posts with your subscribers. It comes with a box in the sidebar with ‘Subscribe to Blog via Email’ headline. You cannot turn a strange visitor into a long term visitor with different placement of this form.
You must follow the Terms and Conditions for registering an account. In order to remove the ads, you have to pay an additional $30 per year.
Wordpres.org Blogs comes with advanced customisation. You have the liberty to upload and install custom themes and plug-ins. As you are the administrator of the blog, you have the right to include and delete any kind of content.
You can choose a lot of free and premium themes for WordPress.org blogs. By understanding the basic CSS styles, you can redesign the whole sites. With the help of FTP, you can easily transfer files to and from your web server.
Unlike WordPress.com, you have the option of choosing various lead generation tools. You can easily grab your visitor’s attention by providing them E-book, autoresponder series or any marketing email for a particular campaign.
You don’t need to register for the account. There is no need to pay an additional amount for removing the ads. There is no promotion on your site without your permission.
Blogs can sell the products of reputable merchants by creating original content with the intention of giving trusted affiliate links and sponsored posts.
You cannot include the third party advertising networks like Google AdSense, BuySellAds, and OpenX.
WordAds by WordPress allows for monetisation with the following conditions:
- Your site must have a minimum of thousand page views each month and You must have a custom domain for your blog.
- You can only place a maximum of two ads- The first ad can be placed at the bottom of the first page of the Homepage and second ad can be placed at the bottom of the posts page.
It is a wonderful platform for generating money from advertisements due to following reasons:
- You don’t have to share your income with anyone. You keep 100% of what you earn from your site.
- You can place your ads according to your preferences without any limits.
- Suppose your blog doesn’t get approval from the Google AdSense, you have the option to choose various advertising network.
Now you know which platform you can use as per your need, here is my recommendations to you. If you are a newbie and want just learn the WordPress it better to go with wordpress.com and you need not required to invest on it. I remember i started my first WordPress blog on DanishWadhwa.WordPress.com long time back in 2009.
If you are not sure about your blogging plans, try out free wordpress.com blogs. It won’t be a burden on you from the monetary side. After gaining confidence in your writings, you can shift from free wordpress.com to Self Hosted wordpress.org blogs.
If you are comfortable with the pre-installed designs and limited space, it is always better to have a free WordPress site. You just have to focus on your content without thinking about other components. Everything is done for you with strict rules and regulations.
If you are serious about blogging, you must shift towards self hosted wordpress.org sites. You can easily add videos and lots of images without worrying about the space issue. You can easily concentrate on maximising your earning potential by keeping all the returns with you.
If you are planning for branding the site, go for wordpress.org sites. You have the liberty to come up with pre-meditated designs. You have the option of giving a professional touch by having a customised email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You have the clear authority with lots of flexibility.
If you want to track the statistics of your site, use wordpress.org sites. With the help of Google Analytics, you can easily understand the interest of the audience by keeping the track of the time spent on the particular post or page. You can improve your website by analysing the exit pattern of the visitors.
Which blogging platform do you prefer?
Self Hosted WordPress.org OR Free WordPress.com! It will be great if you can share your views via comments to this post on which platform you guys will use for your next WordPress website.