What I Learned at WordCamp 2017 by WordPress: “.COM vs. .ORG”

The above picture was the beautiful greeting we saw when we arrived at the conference 🙂

What I Learned at WordCamp 2017 by WordPress: .COM vs. .ORG

This post is way different than what I post and what this blog is designed for, but a lot of the readers here and in other blogging communities want to start their own blogging journey and they do not how or where to start. I am just sharing my experience thus far. Thank you to my subscribers for your support and understanding. This information is presented to with with the best intention to produce accurate information. Hope that if any of it does not sound correct you will let me know 🙂 Let’s begin.

WordPress and WordCamp 2017

WordCamp Sacramento was a two-day conference held by WordPress in Sacramento California. It is held in order to help those who use this platform with questions they may have with WordPress. This includes bloggers, graphic designers, web developers, as well as business owners. They had speakers who talked about various topics like the dashboard, themes, plugins, analytics, practical security framework, as well as legal considerations for both web developers and simple bloggers like myself. If this intro makes you feel overwhelmed you can just imagine how I felt! The first day was constructed amazingly to help beginners like myself navigate through WordPress. I learned oh so much!

*This post is not in any way meant to sway you to use WordPress, but I really wanted to share with you all some of the things that I learned in this two-day conference.

My biggest question before coming to WordCamp was: What is the difference between “.com, and .org.”

I am sure you guys have seen bloggers who make some sort of income blogging and wonder how they got started right? Well knowing the difference between the two may make a world of difference.

*Disclaimer: I am fairly new to blogging, but I use WordPress to write my blog. Maybe the information I am about to share will only apply to WordPress users, but you may find it helpful if you are trying to figure out what your next step is.

Some differences between .com & .org

WordPress .COM

There are two versions of WordPress. The first offer is your “.wordpress.com.” WordPress offers a free option that allows you to use their service for free. You can upgrade to Premium if you would like a little more extras or included themes or plugins. This option will allow you to create your blog and will read as “name.wordpress.com.” In this case “name” refers to what you call your blog. In my case mine reads “elenathinkslife.wordpress.com.” This option however has both benefits and limits depending on your goal.

Pros

  • It is free if you choose their basic options and allows you to connect to other WordPress users. This can allow you to find new bloggers and for them to find you!!
  • If you are just starting out it allows you to “test out the waters” before having to pay a lot for starting fees and self-hosting services.
  • They do most of the work for you in terms of setting up the website and even allow you to see your “Stats” which include: views, visitors, and comments, among other cool stats.
  • It is easy to use because it allows you to control your content from your laptop, computer, or phone.
  • When you choose the PREMIUM option you have to get your own domain and it comes with certain themes that you can easily apply to your blog.
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This an example of some of the features that come with the “Free” or “Premium” options.

Cons

  • com is categorized under (SAS) which means “Software as a service” and you DO NOT own your own site and therefore can limit your marketing options.
  • In essence your site is hosted by WordPress and therefore you do not own it entirely.
  • There are limited amount of themes and plugins you can use.
  • Since it is free and you do not own your site, then your content may be susceptible to fails that may lead to deletion of content or data. This may be especially true if you decide to move your site to a self-hosted site.
  • Only allows plugins that are already downloaded or included in the free option, so it does not allow user to add plugins that may lead to monetization or other promotional opportunities (Ads, sponsored links, etc.).

WordPress .ORG

Ok this one is important for bloggers out there that intend to “monetize” or make some sort of profit or income from blogging. This is where you need to be.

WP.org is an open software or open source computer software (OSS) which is available with license and provides the holder rights to own, share or distribute their software or content to others.

Pros

  • Like mentioned before, this option is OSS which allows you more freedom and ownership.
  • You can install anywhere with one-click install on most hosting sites
  • You own your site and the data
  • You can make backups to your content
  • Higher amount of control
  • Thousands of themes (Some free, some paid, and customizable options)
  • You have the freedom to create a website essentially from scratch with the help of a developer or by learning more on your own.
  • If you want to monetize your site you will be able to add the plugins and bells and whistles required to do just that.

Cons

  • You have to find a hosting service to host your blog. This may be costly to a beginner since most hosting sites charge a full years cost even when they provide you initially with a monthly cost
    • The whole “hosting” thing for me was so confusing because I did not know the difference between having a host and being hosted on a free site. This caused me to pay for things I did not need to pay for.
    • Some hosting sites include “GoDaddy,” “Bluehost,” “Siteground” and others. This post again is not a promotional post for any in particular so do your research before choosing!!!
  • You only own the site until your membership is over. So you must renew in order to continue to manage it.
  • If you are not that tech savvy this option might be more difficult because it requires you to do things on your own that you did not have to do when you had the free WP. This may include setting up your own layout and customizations.
  • If you have a free site now it may be very frustrating and confusing if you later try to switch to a self-hosted site. Make sure you back up all your content before doing so!

I wanted to provide a quick example to help some of you out there trying to get into blogging but feel completely lost like me. I started my blog initially with the intention of sometime in the future monetizing it. That being said I did not know the difference between the .com and the .org on WordPress. I ended up choosing the premium plan on WP and thought that this would be the same thing as having a hosting site that would work for my future goals. Sadly it was not. So now I must find a hosting site, like the ones I mentioned above to host my site.

It is like a very smart attendee of the conference said, “having a hosting site is like renting from a storage unit. You rent a space at their unit and that storage space becomes yours.”

Ex: 1… In that same way you can think of a barber or hairstylists who want to go into business. The WordPress.com option would be a barber or stylist who decides they want to rent a chair at an already established hair studio or barbershop. They cannot own the barbershop or even the name outside the window, so they are limited on what they can do and sometimes even earn. They only “rent” that chair and they share the name of the already established place.

Ex: 2… On the other hand, a person can buy a place or location, and as long as they keep up with payments they have the freedom to name that place as what they want (Domain): essentially making it their own. They can then customize the place (website, Blog) and they have more freedom with the monetizing part of it. This is the org.option on WordPress

*note: do not confuse the .coms and the .orgs for what people have in their domains because it is not always the same thing. Sometimes some bloggers have other endings like “.awesome”, or “.spot”, or something unique like that in their domains, but this is not always related to the hosting site. Example: When you find your hosting site they may have a WordPress availability with that plan, therefore you would no longer be “name.wordpress.com” You would simply be “your domain name.com,” on the browser, but you would be a WordPress “.org” user. The domain is not the same because you can practically name your site what ever you want! Hope that did not confuse you because trust me… I was so confused for a long time!

I do however want to say that using WordPress is amazing and I am glad that I was able to try it before finding a host that will use WordPress.org. Now wish me luck moving my content over!!!!

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments and hope this helped out a few.

-Elenathinkslife

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23 Responses to What I Learned at WordCamp 2017 by WordPress: “.COM vs. .ORG”

  1. mightymommy says:

    This was hard for me to understand too!!! Thanks for helping us understand it. It’s very easy to read.

  2. Roger says:

    Enjoyed this very much. I am a professional ecommerce specialist

  3. What a great post for every confused people out there include me!😂 To be honest I had no idea what I had before but I am working with a webdesigner who I fully trust organise everything for me. I know that I was .com but now I am self hosted at siteground.

  4. Saidah says:

    This is probably one of the more comprehensive comparisons of wordpress.COM verses wordpress.org that or that I have seen. There’s so much good information here. I absolutely prefer the WordPress platform over any other.

  5. Eva Phan says:

    I’ve been trying to make the switch to WordPress.org for the last few months and after reading this, I think it’s about time I do! Right now I’m just confused with all the different site hosts and everything — here’s to learning new things!

    • Eva, we are in the same situation!! I have been so scared of losing my content and subscribers if I switch but I think it is time as well. I would check out the bloggers you admire and ask them what hosting site they use. I’m sure it’s not a secret 🙂 thank you for reading and commenting

  6. Kristin says:

    WordPress can be so confusing! Especially to new bloggers. Thanks for sharing this helpful info!

  7. toastycritic says:

    I remember when I made the decision to move over and what I was going to do with it. So I completely understand where you were coming from not knowing all of the ins and outs and not really completely understand the difference between the .org and the .com in WordPress. Good luck on the move over, and just letting you know my transition was fairly easy. Thankfully, I hadn’t written a ton yet.

  8. Best wishes Elena .Have loads of fun and try new stuff.Blogging is amazing, the troubles are also stepping stones.

  9. dyonashares says:

    Wow, this is a very informative article. Indeed a great read especially for newbies and those who are still planning to go into blogging. -Anosa

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