Millions of bloggers can’t be wrong. WordPress is one of the most popular websites in the World. WordPress.com gets 220 million page views a day. It’s site rank is 19th in the World. Comparing this to typepad which gets 23 million and blogger which gets 1.1 billion (not a misprint!) Values provided by Wolfram-Alpha.
The primary difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is intent. WordPress.com is the place to go to get a blog hosted by WordPress needing minimal technical skills and setup. It is a safe sandbox to set up your blog with approved plugins and themes. The safety is a trade-off for extendability and purpose.
WordPress.com will not let you run your own adds. For a fee you can use WordPress.com’s Ad Control IF you generate 25,000 pageviews per month. WordPress.com takes 50% of your ad revenue. You could also run ads if you sign up for a VIP Blog. Basic VIP service is $15,000 per year.
If you don’t want to use WordPress as a commercial site then WordPress.com offers these benefits:
- 3 GB storage for free. You can upgrade for a yearly fee. 5GB runs $19.95US per year for example.
- Built in web analytics – if want to look at the usage of your site you don’t need to use Google Analytics or “hit counters” as WordPress.com has it built in.
- Global Tags – you can associate tags to your posts, those tags are shared globally so someone looking for information on a tag you share could be attracted to your post.
- 100+ themes to choose from
- No need to exercise technical skills – the site is ready for you
- Several premium features are available
If you aren’t casually blogging and really would like to reach the most people then WordPress.org is your best choice. You can download the software and set it up yourself on the hosting provider of your choice (and there are many). You could also hire someone to do the hard work of setting up the software, configuring the database and getting everything working. Further you get your own domain name and 100% control of your site. Some hosting sites will help you with setting up WordPress, possibly for a fee.
You can use any one of thousands of free or premium themes. You can develop your own theme of pay someone to do it. You might be surprised what sites are built on top of WordPress. Some big and important sites are built entirely with WordPress.
You can use any of the almost 13,000 plugins out there. You can design your own. You can use these to add widgets, control user experience and extend WordPress in many ways.
The other major benefit is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is MUCH better with WordPress.org because you can change your permalinks to ones more friendly to Search Engines and you can use various SEO plugins that have proven to be effective.
3 GB of space seems generous until you start to run a serious website. I have 2,500 GB and the bandwidth to service that storage. You can certainly get a lot more than 3 GB for very little money a month.
Finally, you can do whatever you want with your site with few restrictions (up to your hosting provider.) The downside is that you have to have technical skills or hire people who have them to use it. The initial setup isn’t very hard and if you can handle that the default blog can be useful and over time you can learn what you need to know.