My Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions Blog is hosted as a .com endeavor. I have been blogging for 2.5 years, and for that entire time, I have used the .com interface, and I have used free themes. Frankly, I am pleased with the .com option, but I have undertaken the commitment to help other people learn about WordPress, and I felt that it was only reasonable for me to examine both the .org and the .com blog options.
At this point, I have little to offer other people about those differences. All that I know, for sure, is that it is MUCH easier to blog on a .com site. The downside is that your blog address or your URL contains the word WordPress within it. Because the .com blogger is using a pre-made theme, he is also somewhat limited; but as the theme choices have become more numerous, those limitations have become fewer.
WordPress.org sites are served by a variety of sites. I currently have websites on GoDaddy. I have just begun to develop those websites. Simply to get a site launched there, I opted to use a ready-made GoDaddy website. I do not believe, however, that the pre-made GoDaddy websites are as well-developed or as sophisticated as some of the free WordPress Themes; and the use of them is far less intuitive. The plus for a regular website is that those sites have a simple .com URL. For instance:
My URL for my free WordPress blog is jackikellum.wordpress.com
My URL for my website [which is limping along now] is jackikellum.com
Something about the latter URL seems to imply that I am a bit more professional. Again, the URL nomenclature is becoming less a problem now. Blogging on WordPress has become a status symbol. I do not believe that the need to change my URL would force me to blog elsewhere. My only actual reasons for blogging on a .com site are commercial.
I am both a painter and a writer. For quite some time, I have needed an online presence, where I can market and sell my paintings and drawings. I am also considering self-publishing my writing. I’ll need a place to market and sell that as well. While the free WordPress.com sites do not allow that, the .org option does.
Bottom Line: In the past, free blogging on WordPress was limited. In the past, there were fewer options for free WordPress themes. In my opinion, that day is almost past. At this point, it seems to me that the main thing that a free WordPress theme lacks is the potential for selling one’s wares, once they are created. [Review–the free theme option is WordPress.com]
WordPress itself grew out of the freeware mindset. I must admit that it is a bit of a farce to use a FREE online option as a vessel for selling one’s goods. By hosting your blog via WordPress.org, you have unlimited options for adding PayPal, Shopping Carts, and other commercial features.
Copyright Jacki Kellum December 2, 2016