If you didn’t already know there are TWO versions of WordPress … well, know you do!
The developers of WordPress had a genius idea one day of naming both of their applications “WordPress” — and it has caused chaos in the blogging and website world ever since.
In general, WordPress is a system to store and organize all of your website and blog content. Pretty great.
What’s NOT GREAT is that the two versions — with the same name — are very different and offer different things.
It’s also very easy to make the mistake of going with the one you DO NOT WANT since the only visible difference is one ends in “.com” and the other ends with “.org”.
For bloggers who want to blog for free as a hobby (they do offer a paid version with extras as well), you can set up a blog on WordPress (.com).
This version of WordPress hosts/stores all of your content for free on their website (at WordPress.com). But there’s a “price to pay” even if it’s not money.
Significant drawbacks to blogging on WP (.com)
- You don’t actually own or control your content/blog posts with that version of WordPress.
- They can take it down or delete your stuff at any time they please.
- You’ll have to abide by all of their rules in order to blog there.
- You’ll also have their ads plastered around your blog — which they’ll profit from.
- You have to purchase one of their hosting plans in order to have a custom domain name for your blog (without having WordPress added to the end of your name).
Successful bloggers often mention WordPress as the best foundation on which to build your blog (and I agree) — but they’re recommending WordPress.org — NOT WordPress.com which hosts your blog on their site.
So, what’s the best version of WordPress?
If you’re wanting to start a serious blog which can earn you money, you’ll definitely want to go with the free software that’s called WordPress — which can be downloaded at WordPress.org.
While the software itself is free for everyone to use for content management, you’ll need to set up an account with a hosting company which has a monthly fee.
A hosting company is like a storage facility; you rent a bit of their space so all of the fancy technical coding that makes up your blog or website has a protected place to live.
Like any storage facility, you’ll pay them a monthly fee to keep your stuff safe, but the stuff completely belongs to you.
**And that is why we go with “self-hosted” WordPress.org rather than the other WordPress that hosts your blog for you.
You are able to choose your host and rent the space you need.
Everything you put in that storage (your precious blogging content) belongs only to you. No other company can get to it, delete it, or call the shots on what you can do with it, or the various ways you can monetize it.
So, clearly — even if you have to make a small investment in your early blogging business — it’s best to have total control and say over your own blog and content.
WordPress (.org) offers an amazing array of customizing functions for almost any blog or online business. It’s truly the cream of the crop when it comes to content management.
There are hundreds of plugins (little software applications) which are compatible with WordPress and can add incredible functionality and extra special touches to a blog.
As far as monetizing your blog with ads that YOU profit from … WordPress.org software gives you the total freedom to do that as well.
I hope this has shed some light on the extremely confusing fact that some dufus developers chose the unoriginal route of calling two very different products by the same name!