Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two flavors of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. While each of these platforms allows you to create a website that may include a blog and static pages, there are some critical differences to comprehend between the two.

The best analogy which I can use to help you understand the difference is that of housing choices.

WordPress.com is a landlord

Imagine that you own a very large house and you choose to rent out rooms in this house. For the safety of your residents you need to limit the types of permissible tenant activity. While it might be acceptable for a tenant to have a well-behaved pet dog or cat, it may not be acceptable for a tenant to have dog that bites or a poisonous snake as a pet.

WordPress.com must control what is allowed into their home.

Establishing a controlled environment is (in this example) done to protect — because either a bad dog or a poisonous snake may get loose and cause injury to tenants. This is exactly the type of limitation that WordPress.com places upon blogs and websites it hosts.

Let’s extend this analogy just a bit further. Perhaps you don’t want to rent and prefer to own a home. However, you don’t wish to bear the cost of design, and time selecting finishes, you may purchase a new home from a volume home builder. You get a new home, but much of the difficulty has been removed and you get to go straight to the pleasure of enjoying your new residence. On WordPress.com this is like paying for your own domain, and selecting one of the approved themes and moving in, arranging the furniture (your web content) to suit you.

Control your own space

Conversely, if you choose to build your own house you might like to select your architect, your builder, and your interior designer so that you may create a home that is most well-suited for you. In this case, you must specify exactly how many bedrooms and bathrooms are to be built, whether you want brick or lap siding, etc. The cost of a custom built home is more than a volume builder’s new home, just as a full-custom website is more costly than the earlier example of WordPress.com.

WordPress.com offers a handy table outlining the differences between the two flavors of WordPress which we have reproduced below (click the table to view the original, including links on WordPress.com.)

Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress help for either flavor of WordPress

Don’t be overly concerned regarding the WordPress.org notations about “getting your hands dirty” by digging deep into code, that’s why we’re here. We do the heavy lifting or in this case the arranging of electrons to help you gain the home most well suited for you.

WordPress Video Tutorial: Creating and Using WordPress Menus

Watch our video tutorial creating WordPress menus

Creating WordPress Menus Screen Grab
If you are using a mobile device or reading via email, click on the image to view the video tutorial on YouTube. If you are reading on a device and want to watch the video in this page, scroll down.

WordPress has many awesome reasons to love the platform. We think it’s the ultimate CMS (content management system) that works for just about any website.

WordPress is flexible, extensible, customizable and nimble. And it allows you to set up many menus and navigation items in addition to pages and posts.

Creating WordPress Menus

In our basic video tutorial you will learn how to:

  • Define a menu
  • Add pages to the menu
  • Create sub-items or child menu items
  • Use blog categories as menu items
  • Use external links as menu items
  • How to edit navigation labels
  • How to edit navigation label attributes.

If you are a person who prefers written directions, WordPress.org has a straightforward written tutorial about creating WordPress menus. If you would rather learn by seeing, we’ve embedded our video below.

Don’t Let Your Website Turn Into a Vegetable When WordPress Upgrades

Pumpkin or Coach-Which is your website theme

Will a WordPress upgrade turn your theme into a pumpkin?

Remember the old tale of Cinderella? Her Godmother equipped her with a beautiful gown, glass slippers, footmen and a gleaming gold coach to carry her to the ball that would change her life—if she got home before the final strike of the clock. She didn’t quite make it, fleeing the ball, the arms of her prince and loosing her slipper in the process. Not only that, but her coach transformed to it’s original form: a pumpkin.

You could be like Cinderella if you use a free WordPress website theme that will turn into a vegetable when the WordPress platform updates.

Free = you get what you pay for

There are many sources where you can get a free theme to which you add your content, colors, logo, and images. But you don’t own the theme—or in the parlance of Cinderella—you don’t own the coach that takes you to the ball—and you could be left with squash. That is if the developers of your site’s free theme didn’t code it in accordance with the WordPress platform’s codex.

WordPress is updating it’s platform on an ongoing basis. If your free coach, ummm, theme, is not coded as it ought to be you’ll be left sitting in a mess when WordPress upgrades.

If you’re ready for an upgrade, we’re ready to carry you to the ball, in a coach you own, which won’t “squash” out on you at midnight.

Photo credit: flickr user Sam Howzit creative commons attribution license