WordPress is the application software enabling you to create and manage your blog or website. It is freely available under GPL license and can be downloaded from the official web-site www.wordpress.org. You can upload the software to a host of your choice and manage it yourself. It requires some technical knowledge. Using it this way is generally referred to as WordPress.Org flavor and is not owned and run by any company. I have discussed about it in the article: Start a WordPress Blog?
And what we refer WordPress.Com flavor is the web publishing website owned by Automattic that offers free and premium (paid) plans and hosts and manages your blog or website without you delving into the nitty-gritties of hosting, and site management tasks like taking back-up, security, keeping plug-ins up-to-date, etc. For a list of differences and features, please visit this link from WordPress.Com.
Why would you go for hosting your web-site yourself i.e. WordPress.Org flavor, when one has highly simplified and easy options offered by WordPress.Com. The possible answers are:
- You are a technically capable user and want to get your hands dirty. You understand the risks and you can manage them. You want full control over your web-site and do not want to work in the limitations imposed by WordPress.Com’s restricted environment.
- WordPress architecture allows installation of plug-ins, which add functionality to your blog/ web-site. WordPress.Org offers more than 50,000 plug-ins. WordPress.Com doesn’t allow you to add your own plug-ins and offers limited plug-ins depending on your plan. Read more here…
There are security risks attached to plug-ins. For example, it’s from an unreliable source and is malicious. Another reason can be its developer/s do/esn’t provide updated version for the new releases of WordPress or you don’t keep your plug-ins updated, hackers may use the vulnerabilities in the older version and hack your site.
WordPress.Com’s Business plan offers much flexibility but costly($24.92/month, billed yearly) for individuals. See the complete list of their plans.
I first hosted my web-site myself and using a paid plug-in ConvertPlug, I added the following subscription forms to my site:
I was able to manage my self-hosted website but unfortunately due to poor performance of my host’s server, my website used to go down a couple of times every two-three days. This provoked me to move to WordPress.Com as I wanted my web-site to be always available whenever anybody is looking for it. I still miss these features in my WordPress.com account.