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I created a new blog using WordPress.com and obviously it got hosted on their server. But what I notice is that few features are not visible in this version as compared to the WordPress PHP script that I downloaded and hosted on my server.

For example: the Plugins options is not visible anywhere from where I can upload any plugin.

Is the online version a degraded editon of the original WordPress script?

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2 Answers 2

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WordPress.com is running the same code that you can download for free at WordPress.org ... the biggest difference is that .com is run by a for-profit company and .org is maintained by a non-profit community.

WordPress.com, as a for-profit enterprise, has certain features disabled (for security purposes) and certain features limited so that users can buy in to "premium" packages. Specifically:

  • You cannot upload or install custom themes (custom code could damage the multi-site environment
  • You cannot upload or install custom plug-ins (for the same reasons as above)
  • You must pay extra to direct traffic from your own domain to your WordPress.com site (a self-hosted site can use any domain you want)
  • You cannon have an ad-free website on WordPress.com without paying extra (ad revenue supports the site)

Some bonus features you get from WordPress.com

  • You'll always be running the latest version of the software without the need to update
  • Your site will be automatically backed up by WordPress.com's servers
  • You can pay extra to use VideoPress for hosting your own videos (doing this yourself requires a separate server in addition to your custom website host)
  • Akismet and stats are built-in to the site (though you can add these for free with your own site).
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It is a slightly modified version of WordPress Multi-site. They turn off/hide some functions to increase stability since they are also on the hook for support. This is not uncommon for people that are hosting a large WordPress Multi-Site install to do.

Ultimately many new features of WordPress are first seen on wordpress.com then get rolled into the next version of WordPress.

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