WordPress in a nutshell
Book Marketing & PR, Wordpress/ Author Websites

In a nutshell: The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress – we all know it’s THE system to use for your author website. (You don’t? You need to read this post yo!) But have you ever wondered what the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is, and which one is right for you?

It can be confusing wrapping your head around the two.
Here are some of the major ways in which they differ, in a nutshell:


  • With WordPress.com, your website is sitting on a server managed by the team who created WordPress, so you don’t have to deal with setting it up or running it.
  • The basic features are free, you pay for additional features
  • .com does NOT support the uploading of all plugins (add-ons which allow you to fully customize the site). You can only use the ones that are allowed by WP, which can be limiting.
  • Since WP manage your domain and hosting, your URL will have .wordpress in it. For example  http://laurapepperwu.wordpress.com. This can look a little unprofessional and makes your URL a lot longer than it needs be.

WordPress.org (self-hosted)

  • .Org requires you to set-up and run your own server. A cost is involved, typically $10/ year for a domain and between $50- $200/ year for hosting depending on your traffic.
  • You have your own URL without the .wordpress in it. (e.g. http://30daybooks.com is a wordpress site, but it doesn’t have wordpress in the URL.) (p.s. You can pay an extra fee on wordpress.com to have your custom domain.)
  • You have the ability to upload a wide variety of themes
  • The ability to upload plugins which allow you to fully customize your site pretty much anyway you want it
  • Since you host the site, you have full control over the site. Modify to your heart’s content!

Essentially, WordPress.com is easier (and free) to get started, but it can’t be customized and modified as much, and as such it might cost more in the long run if you want some of the added features (http://en.wordpress.com/products/). In addition, you’ll have wordpress.com in your URL which ain’t ideal. WordPress (self-hosted) is slightly harder and more expensive to get started, but offers greater flexibility and control and will scale with you no matter how big your needs get.

Both .org & .com are great systems to use for your author websites, and which one you choose depends on your needs and desires. I started with .com for the first 6 months and soon found that it was too limiting and transferred to .org. It was annoying because all the backlinks to http://laurapepperwu.wordpress.com still exist and I still get a lot of traffic there even though I no longer update it. However it was a free and easy way to get started with blogging without worrying about cost.

How about you? Are you using either WordPress? Does it suit your needs?

pssstt…. Looking for a new author website? We have just released Authorlicious, a WordPress theme built *just* for indie and self-published authors! Find out more here…