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November 15, 2010

What’s the Difference Between and, Anyways?

If you’re looking at setting up a website lately, you might be looking at WordPress as a possible solution for getting your site up quickly and making it as easy to manage as possible. No learning HTML or anything – WordPress certainly offers a great solution that requires little technical knowledge. But during their research, many people get confused as they notice that Internet Marketers often talk about uploading WordPress to your own hosting account, which you pay for, but already offers free websites for anyone who wants them.

Let me clear it up for you.

There’s a big difference between and the software you download from Well, it’s basically the same software, it’s made by the same people and is all opensource, but what differs is the way you can use it. is a relatively easy option if you just want to toss a quick hobby site online. The control you get over customization and all that is not as great, but it does get you online. And many people do use these sites to send more traffic to their self-hosted sites. Basically, when you go with this option, you are just opening up a WordPress account and setting up a website on their server.

There are some major disadvantages to using the account. The first is they will not allow you to monetize your site or promote your business, and if they feel you are working around those rules, they’ve got the authority to just take your site off the web in an instant and leave you hanging high and dry. Not too cool if you were pulling any kind of income stream off of that web property.

The other major disadvantage is that a site has “” at the end of the domain. So, instead of your site being, it would be It looks uglier, it looks unprofessional, and it really just doesn’t fly for a serious business.

So what’s the deal with Well, WordPress also makes the software available to people who have their own hosting accounts. That means you can still get all the benefits of their easy-to-use platform without any of those nasty disadvantages. And it’s still free.

The only thing you’re paying for if you go this route is your domain name and your hosting. Domains typically go from $7-$12 and hosting runs about $5-$30 a month, depending on your needs. Don’t worry – it’s easy to keep it down on the lower end of the spectrum if all you want to do is run a single site. But the fact that you get a free opensource software program to run your site with means you are still getting a site dirt cheap.

So I hope that clears it up a bit. I remember when I was just a newbie and always stumbling across people writing about and without making it clear what the difference was, I found myself scratching my head a bit.

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