Yes, they are two different things. WordPress.com is the easy-peasy platform that a lot of people start with for their casual blogging.
This is fine if that’s all you want to do with it, but let’s say you want to start freelancing or grow your business or simply change the look of your blog in ways wordpress.com won’t let you. Well, that probably means you’re ready for an upgrade.
I’m currently finishing up the process of doing this now. I know, I know. I put it off for WAY too long. I’m not going to get into how to do this today because ain’t nobody got time for that and there are lots of guides on that already that you can find here, here, and here.
I will say that it’s not always as easy as the guides would like you to think. I’ll post an update on the trouble I ran into and how you might avoid it later but for now, here are a few reasons why you might consider switching:
1) Helps You Monetize Your Business
So you’re all excited to start selling your super awesome product or your virtual services when you run into a wall. You either can’t set up your virtual store through wordpress.com or you can’t use the sales funnel plugins that everyone is talking about.
This is a huge roadblock and probably the number one reason why most people switch to wordpress.org.
You can set up an online store, you can set up a membership site, use affiliate links, fully optimize and automate your sales funnel. And because WordPress is so popular, most of these tools integrate very well with WordPress and allows for a more seamless execution.
There are just so many cool things you can do when you decide to hang out with the big boys. You can set up an online store, you can set up a membership site, use affiliate links, fully optimize and automate your sales funnel.
And because WordPress is so popular, most of these tools integrate very well with WordPress and allows for a more seamless execution. There are just so many cool things you can do when you decide to hang out with the big boys.
2) More Plugin Options
This is related to number one but it goes beyond monetization. Maybe you want to improve your SEO and bring in more readers to your food blog and the idea of monetization doesn’t excite you yet. That’s fine!
There’s a reason you’d want to switch too and that’s the awesome plugins you have access to like Yoast SEO, Akisment spam filtering, W3 Total Cache to speed up your website loading times, Broken Link Checker to notify you of broken links, Limit Login Attempts to increase security from hackers, an Editorial Calendar…
Hopefully you’re getting the point. There are so many plugin options no matter what you actually want to achieve with your site. If you find yourself asking “what if I could do ___?,” chances are, there’s already a few plugins that solve your problem with star ratings and reviews to help you narrow down the options.
3) More Design Optimizations Through Thousands of Themes (or Coding)
So you’re probably thinking that WordPress.com seems like it has a lot of themes and that’s true. However, there are literally thousands of WordPress.org themes to choose from.
If you’re like me this can be a bit intimidating, but the best typically rise to the top so you can search WordPress.org and look at the star ratings, Google for premium WordPress themes, or ask other people in your industry and WordPress developers what they like to use.
One thing to note is you want to do an honest evaluation of your programming skills and your interest. If you don’t find joy in spending hours behind the backend of your website, you probably want to choose a user-friendly and popular theme like Divi or hire a programmer or WordPress VA.
Many of the people you’d consider hiring have their favorite themes and are wizards at 1 or 2 options so all you have to do is search google for something along the lines of “Divi theme help” or “Genesis WordPress Developer.”
4) You Own It
The thing about wordpress.com is that you don’t really own your website. It’s like how you don’t own your Facebook or Twitter page, either. At any time, you can get shut down and chances are, unless you have a massive amount of followers that will go to battle for you (through the comments section), you probably won’t even here why it happened or talk to someone to get the issue resolved.
Check out the Terms of Service for wordpress.com
“Automattic has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Automattic’s sole discretion, …(iii)terminate or deny access to and use of WordPress.com to any individual or entity for any reason. Automattic will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.”
If the thought of losing your website and all your followers gives you night sweats, consider what you’re risking.
5) It’s Free! (Kind of…)
You can’t beat free, right? Sure, you’ll have to pay for web hosting, but you can get that for as low as $4-20 a month, depending on the host and any special they’re running.
You might also want to purchase a premium theme for more options and a more professional look, but that’s up to you. WordPress.org itself is free and you decide what extras you want to pay for.
6) There’s a lot of Resources and Help Out There for WordPress.org help.
If you think all this is great but you aren’t sure how to start or you don’t think you actually want to devote a lot of time designing your website, as I mentioned above, there are a lot of people out there who can help you.
Just search for it on Google and you’ll find a whole slew of folks lining up to help you out.
Did You Find This Helpful? Leave Me a Comment Below.
Well, I hope that cleared up some questions you had on why you might want to switch over to WordPress.org. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Also, make sure you don’t miss Part 2 next week on what went wrong for me when I mad eth switch. You want to know this! It’ll save you hours and hours of frustration and calls to support. Stay tuned!