WordPress.com or WordPress.org and why?

I have never really thought it mattered to me as I have had a blog for a couple yeas but have never really consistently published stuff.   So I used the cheaper alternative of using WordPress.org (or a self hosted site) because I have had the server and storage space for some other projects I work on.  It works well for me and I appreciate being able to have full control of the site and can make any changes as necessary.

However, after publishing my first assignment for Blogging101, I realized that there are a few differences between the two depending on what you are looking for.  Specifically for this course I realized that my posts might not get as much attention as others since they don’t show up in the WordPress.com Reader under the Blogging101 tag and there is not an easy Follow button at the top of my site.  Thinking about that a little more I realized that by having my own Self hosted site I really would miss out on the community part of my WordPress experience.

I decided to do some more digging on finding the differences and see if there was anything out there that could help bridge the gap but I couldn’t find anything.  In my searching thought I found a couple of useful articles:

I won’t go into details as each article does a good job breaking down the questions you should ask yourself to help you figure out which is right for you.

With that information I was left to ponder the question that I had never really thought about before.  Which platform is better for me now?  Ultimately, I decided to buy a new domain name called StillThinking.me, which will be the blog I use going forward for the time being.  Don’t get me wrong, I will miss having more control over my site by using plugins and other customization.  The nice thing is that no matter which you choose WordPress.com or WordPress.org you can easily import/export to either if you change your mind down the road.

So what platform are you using?  Have you have moved from one platform to the other?  What do you feel is the pros/cons of each?

4 thoughts on “WordPress.com or WordPress.org and why?”

  1. This was a question I spent a lot of time thinking about but in reality I’m not confident enough in my techy skills to be self hosted. Plus, after doing a few different courses and the amount I use the Reader, I really appreciate the community aspect. So for now and I imagine for the foreseeable future I’ll stick with .com because it gives me all the functionality I need with all the support I could possibly want.

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    1. Completely agree and so far I am still happy with the switch to WordPress.com. However, I have been trying to figure out a Theme and do miss being able to customize it myself, without having to pay for it.

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  2. You asked me why — here are my main reasons:

    – More customizable. Can change things to be exactly the way I like them.
    – The following and reader things that you mention are now fixable, you just talk to wordpress and they make sure that’s all good to go.
    – Analytics. WordPress.com, when someone comes to your site from Google, just says “unknown search term.” With WordPress.org, you can install Google Analytics and find out those searches.
    – I have free hosting for various reasons, so why not?

    The only thing I’m a little disappointed about is the automatic emails when posts go out. There are plugins you can get, but they don’t look as nice. Then again, you can customize them, so I’ll see what I can do.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback! I still really miss the customization and analytics that I don’t have in .com today. That is good to hear that some of the follow/reader stuff are fixable today. However, the one thing I would miss still is how Tagging works in the Reader for .com sites. If you are a .org site people that follow or subscribe to you can read it in the WordPress reader but for others, they won’t find you in the Reader by searching for tags that you might choose. Unless that has been fixed but I looked a while back and I think that is still the case.

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