Unless you haven’t read my post on the rookie mistakes that I’ve done when I started blogging, then you probably know that if there was anything that I wish I knew earlier, it was the fact that there are actually two kinds of WordPress. And if I knew it earlier, I’d totally go for the wordpress.org anytime.
I mean, the only disappointment that I got when I started this blog, it was the fact that I upgraded my blog into personal plan on wordpress.com.
Because of this, I had to spend extra in one-year period solely for blogging. And I couldn’t blame anyone but myself. I mean, I’m not really tech-savvy, and I had to do everything all by myself. Too broke to hire an assistant whatever, yet I had to pay extra because of my own mistakes.
But because of the stupid mistakes that I’ve done earlier, now I want to share with you who thinks about starting your own blog with absolutely zero knowledge of WordPress.
The Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to WordPress, but I’m currently running 2 blogs on WordPress.org while I also had an experience using WordPress.com on Personal Plan for quite some time. However, starting a WordPress blog is really not difficult if only you know the basic.
If you ask me the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, I couldn’t really explain it in such an advanced tech term. And that’s exactly why I put ‘WordPress for Dummies’ in the title.
To make it sound more simple for all you dummies, so if you blog on WordPress.com, WordPress is actually the hosting for your website. While on WordPress.org, you host your own blog through a hosting service provider.
Imagine if your blog were a house.
WordPress.com is like your landlord, and you rent a space where you can live with comfort but there are some restrictions along the way. Or to put it even easier, if you watch The Big Bang Theory, I suppose you could imagine being a Leonard to a Sheldon. You live in the apartment, but then you can’t sit on Sheldon’s spot. The only difference is, to upgrade the flexibility here on WordPress.com, you can pay extra to get more facilities. I mean, it’s almost impossible to bribe a Sheldon so yeah… 😛
As for WordPress.org, it means basically you own your own blog. You’re fully responsible for how it runs, or what’s in there. Yes, you need to pay extra for the down payment. But along the way, you can do whatever you want there. You can choose your own design etc. It’s your call!
From there, I hope you could get slightly about what makes WordPress.com different from WordPress.org, because on the next section I’ll go deeper to both platforms.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Now you understand what makes one different from another, then why people choose one over another? Let me try to explain in this section.
WordPress.com offers a free service, to begin with. And for exactly the same reason, WordPress.com could be a good start for those who think about starting their own blog for their hobby. Maybe you want some kind of digital journal for you to write about your daily life. Or maybe you’re too broke to invest for a blog but you want to have a platform to show your creativity and capabilities on some particular issues. Then this one is a place for you! 🙂
But then pretty much like human being in general, once you start to do something and you see people earning something out of it, you may want to earn something out of your blog too. Believe me, there are not only one or two blog posts talking about how to earn $1000++ through blogging. There are millions of it.
And unless you don’t need money to get through life, then I could guarantee that you may start thinking about how to monetize your blog too once you start it. That’s what happened to me, despite the fact that I was blogging for fun since the early 2000s. It took me so long to finally want to monetize it but still… By the end of the day, the idea of extra cash is quite tempting.
And once you reach that phase, you’ll start considering about this WordPress.com and WordPress.org. What would be better for you?
As I mentioned before, WordPress.org enables you to do anything out of it. That includes monetizing your blog. But so does WordPress.com. What’s the difference then?
WordPress.com users vs WordPress.org users
Since I’ve used both platforms, my take will be this: WordPress.com is suitable for those who are probably not that tech-savvy. Those who don’t want to get bothered to spend money for assisting them to build a website, those simple-minded bloggers who have got their basic knowledge in terms of blogging.
I once spoke to a fellow blogger who used WordPress.com and the reason why she doesn’t choose to go self-hosted on WordPress.org is that she’s quite happy with the Premium Plan offers for the life of her blog. She’s got everything she wants through the plan, and that’s why she sticks to WordPress.com.
However, for those bloggers who are quite hands on about what they do, WordPress.org may be the answer. Not everyone has time to check what plugin works best for their blog, or how to change the HTML or whatever. But if you’re the kind of person who may have no clue about what those things are but passionately curious, like me, then maybe WordPress.org is worth a try.
Remember, WordPress.org means you’re self-hosted. You own your home, the blog belongs to you. When something wrong happens, say if you put the wrong code on HTML, the blame is on you. The last thing you could do when this happens is to contact your hosting provider for their assistance. And that’s why choosing the right one for you is important.
The Reason Why I Choose .org Over .com (That May Apply to You Too!)
Of course, the main reason why I decided to migrate to self-hosted is pretty much because of lack of research done when I created this blog for the first time. Hahaha. 😀
But despite everything, I had an option to upgrade to Premium Plan instead of migrating to .org then why I chose the latter instead? Here’s why?
Migrating to WordPress.org is more affordable than upgrading to Premium Plan on WordPress.com
First thing first, I’m Indonesian. It’s by nature that I’m so price-sensitive. $1 USD that could mean nothing for you means everything to me, because here I can actually spend it for a quite decent lunch.
When I decided to migrate to WordPress.org, I was on WordPress.com Personal Plan as I paid $35 USD for a year plan. I’ve paid through PayPal and it was quite expensive for my budget.
When I checked out the price for self-hosted, there are a lot of options that are definitely lower than $35 USD. It took me 9 months to finally migrate it to self-hosted because I calculated the money that I spent on Personal Plan. Even after I finally decided to migrate, my consideration doesn’t stop because like I said, I’m not tech-savvy and I wasn’t sure how to transfer all the data that I’ve got on WordPress.com if I went self-hosted.
I actually consulted almost all local service providers to check whether there’s any provider who could do it for me. The first one is the provider I’ve been using for my Indonesian blog, but they cannot assist to transfer the data. That, until I found Dewaweb who could do it for me.
If you’re in the same situation as I was when I decided to migrate to self-hosted, I heard international hosting provider like Siteground could also assist you to transfer the data from your WordPress.com.
For the annual plan for self-hosting on Dewaweb, I spent around $40 USD but it was simply because I rebranded my blog from Ransel Ungu into The BeauTraveler. It could have been less than that if I didn’t have to keep both domains www.thebeautraveler.com and www.ransel-ungu.com.
As for Premium Plan on WordPress.com, I had to spend at least $95 USD for the annual plan. And it’s too expensive for me!
The limited options of templates on WordPress.com and how expensive it is to purchase the premum theme!
The reason why I know WordPress.org is all that I need was that I was so frustrated with WordPress.com’s theme options. Frankly speaking, all the free themes on WordPress.com are so ugly. And their premium templates are so expensive, I checked out their premium theme options and even the standard-looking premium theme costs around $29. It’s almost impossible to find anything less than that.
Yes, business plan on WordPress.com will enable you to get an access to all premium themes. But then in order to get that, you need to pay $300 USD for the annual plan. I don’t even have $100 in my budget for my blog, let alone that much.
However, before I migrated, I was already blogging on self-hosted WordPress for my Indonesian blog and I know that WordPress.org has so many decent themes that we could install for free. So that’s what I go to. I’m still using the free themes, but since it’s highly customizable, it still gives me the look that I want for my blog. 😀
I’ve learned a thing or two from migrating my blog from WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Yup, since I was on Personal Plan before migrating to self-hosted, there are some things that I still had to do on my own in the process. Sure, my hosting provider assisted me to transfer all my old blog posts, but going self-hosted means you are your own boss and worker. That, if you’re as broke as I am for not having enough money to hire anyone!
What I had to do on my own after having my blog posts all set on WordPress.org is to transfer my old domain. And since I’ve already got some followers through WordPress readers too, I had to transfer it by installing JetPack plugin on my WordPress.org. It wasn’t really that hard once you grasped the steps.
The good thing about being very hands on about what you’ve got is that you’ve actually gained knowledge from what you’re doing. 🙂
Monetizing your blog is totally possible!
Not gonna lie to you, the only thing that motivates me the most about migrating is the ability to monetize my blog. It’s not easy, but totally doable especially when you’re running your blog on self-hosted WordPress.
Before I migrated, my Indonesian blog was already approved for Google Adsense so I only had to paste the HTML code on my blog. That, I couldn’t do to my Personal Plan WordPress.com as monetizing my blog in any way is not allowed for Personal Plan.
I didn’t earn much through Adsense, but my income through Adsense has increased quite significantly once I have it here. Why? Because I’m currently using Adsense with IDR instead of USD income, and frankly speaking the income wasn’t worth the hard work I put into my blog when I only relied on my Indonesian readers. Apparently, we could gain more money if we got some impression from international readers.
And that’s exactly why that worked quite well on this blog, since my contents are in English and most of my readers are from outside Indonesia. 🙂
Not only that, with what I’ve got now, the good representation of my blog as well as not-so-bad content that I write on, I’ve got a few offerings for collaboration, as well as content placement here as well. That’s a good start indeed when I really want to earn something out of my blog.
So yeah, those are the things that I could share with you based on my experience of using both WordPress.com and WordPress.org platforms. I know it’s quite hard to follow everything technical tutorial when it comes to blogging, but I hope this will help you to decide what’s the best option for you out there so you don’t have to spend extra like I did earlier when I started this blog.