WordPress.com vs WordPress.org | Which Should You Choose?

Top difference between WordPress.com & WordPress.org

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems around the world. But WordPress.org and WordPress.com are actually two very different platforms.

If you are new to WordPress you’re probably wondering what the difference is between both of them, well the answer is quite simple and that’s we are gonna talk about now.

Many beginners get confused with choosing between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, making a mistake in choosing a blogging platform. Even people who know that these two are different platforms, but they do not know about the difference between them.

Since choosing the right platform for your online success is very important, I’ve created the most detailed comparison between WordPress.org & WordPress.com. so you can choose the right platform for your needs.

If you want to know about starting a blog or making a website, you can read these articles, and learn about WordPress.

As I said let’s know at the differences between self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.

If you search on Google for “WordPress”, these two websites will rank #1 & #2. Both of them are very famous.

An Introduction To WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org Dashboard

WordPress.org is a completely free, open-source WordPress content management system, also known as self-hosted WordPress. It’s a non-profit organization, thousands of people around the world contribute to it.

As I said WordPress.org is free, anyone – can go to WordPress.org and download the software, and install it on their own web hosting. Most of the web hosting providers make it easy to install the open-source WordPress software with just a single click.


WordPress.com dashboard

Instead of purchasing your own web hosting, WordPress.com comes with web hosting already organized for you. which means all you have to do is register for a WordPress.com account and start designing and creating your website. Once it’s done, you can publish your website without worrying about anything else. WordPress.com is a for-profit service that makes it easier for people to create WordPress websites.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com, this leads to some confusion. For example, you can see that the WordPress.com landing page says that “37% of websites around the world built on WordPress”, it’s true but most of the sites are using self-hosted WordPress.org not WordPress.com.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Comparison

WordPress.org:

WordPress.org is the real WordPress and it’s the popular website platform, you’ve may hear many great things about it.

It’s 100% free and open-source software (CMS) anyone around the world can use it. Only the requirement thing is you must have a domain name and web hosting, that’s why it is referred to as a self-hosted WordPress.

WordPress.com:

The co-founder of WordPress.org Matt Mullenweg created the WordPress.com service and it’s a for-profit service. Because of the same founder, users get confused with the popular WordPress.org software.

The cost of using WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org:

The WordPress.org software is completely 100% free, to use this software and make your site visible to the public, you’ll have to get a domain name and web hosting – which cost you some money.

WordPress.org won’t cost you much, you can choose entry-level plans from various hosting providers such as Namecheap (which I use), Bluehost, Godaddy, Dreamhost, Hostpapa, and more. These providers will not cost you much. $ 2.95 / mo. If you buy a three-year plan, you may get some discounts, it will be more expensive to buy for a shorter period of time.

Remember, you also buy a domain name from the same provider. In my suggestion, if you buy a domain name from a provider, get web-hosting from the same provider, doing so will help you manage your domain and web hosting in one place.

WordPress.com:

WordPress.com is also free to use, but you have to go with a subdomain name (yourdomainname.wordpress.com). Your site will run on WordPress.com hosting. On the free plan, you will get only 3GB of space with many limitations.

WordPress.com has 5 plans:

  • Free – Very limited.
  • Personal – $48 per year
  • Premium – $96 per year
  • Business – $300 per year
  • eCommerce – $540 per year
  • VIP – starting at $5000 per month

After buying a plan you won’t have to worry about updates or backups. WordPress.com will take care of everything.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com: Pros and cons

WordPress.org Pros (Benefits):

  • The WordPress.org software is free, open-source, and super easy to use.
  • You have full control of your website, you can add free, paid, and custom plugins and themes to your website.
  • Can customize your website layout, design as needed. Can use free or premium WordPress themes that you want. You can easily modify anything on your site.
  • You can track users on your website with google analytics, you can actually make money from your WordPress site by running ads without sharing revenue with anyone.
  • You can create your own online store with WordPress to sell digital products pr physical products, accept payments. You can also create a membership site and sell premium content, courses, etc.

WordPress.org cons:

  • To run this you need a web hosting. This is your site data will be stored, it cost you $ 2.95 / mo. Always choose fast hosting providers.
  • Everything is in your own hand, you are responsible for updates. You can easily update your plugins, themes in one-click.
  • You have to be very careful before making any changes to your site.
  • You need to be very alert about making backups for your site, cause you are responsible for it. Backups will help you restore your website if anything goes wrong. Thankfully, there are tons of plugin for making a backup that will let you automatically backup your site.

WordPress.com Pros (Benefits):

  • It’s free for up to 3GB to use on a free plan and with a subdomain. After that, you will have to upgrade to paid plans for more space and resources. (On personal plan $48/year with 6GB, Premium plan $96/year with 13GB, or Business plan for $300/year with 200GB storage.
  • No need to worry for updates and backups, WordPress.com will do it for you.
  • The site loading speed will be faster than self-hosted plans. Makes more engagements with visitors.
  • Full support by WordPress.com.

WordPress.com Cons:

  • WordPress.com place its own ads on free websites. The problem is your users see those ads but you don’t make money from it. If you want to earn money with ads then you have to upgrade to a plan (starting from $48 per year).
  • You can not sell ads on your website, which limits the way to monetize your site. If you have a high traffic site, then you have to apply for their advertising program called WordAds where you have to share your revenue with them. Personal, Premium, Business it works with every plan.
  • You cannot uploads plugins. One plugin you will get built-in is Jetpack pre-activated. Only Business plans can install a selection of plugins(($300 / year). WordPress.com VIP program lets you install any plugins according to your need, and it starts from $5000 per month.
  • Free plan users cannot upload any themes. Free plan users can only install the limited free themes from the collection.
  • Only business plan users can install google analytics. You cannot install Google Analytics or install any other tracking platform. You are restricted to their stats.
  • WordPress.com have complete access to your site, they can delete your site at any time if it violates their terms of service.
  • With WordPress.com you cannot build membership websites, WordPress.com does not offer any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways unless you switch to the eCommerce plan.
  • WordPress.com has very limitations according to its use. That’s why most of the websites are build using WordPress.org. Many beginners get their money stuck by buying the WordPress.com service.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Which is Better?

WordPress.org:

Setting up the WordPress.org isn’t as straightforward. You don’t need to go to the WordPress.org website to begin your installation. In your hosting, you will get a one-click installer to install WordPress. Just click on it and your website is ready to be configured, you have to make everything from scratch on your website. One-click installer tool called Softaculous.

WordPress.com:

Getting started with WordPress.com is very simple. All you have to go to WordPress.com and click on start your website button. WordPress.com will take you to the next steps, one by one, configuring your website in an easy-to-grab way. Simply enter your email, name of your site, and pick a design from a set to premade themes.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Table Summary

WordPress.orgWordPress.com
Full theme supportLimited theme support
All plugins allowedNo plugins allowed
Free to useNeed to purchase
Monetization freedomLimited monetization
Branding freedomPay to remove branding
All SEO featuresLimited SEO features
Powerful AnalyticsLimited Analytics
E-commerce storeNeed to buy 540$ E-commerce plan
Can create membership sitesCannot create membership sites
Require maintenanceNo maintenance required

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com (FAQs)

Can I Monetize the Free WordPress.com Website?

No, you cannot monetize the free wordress.com site. WordPress.com will show its own ads on your site. To show your own ads on your site, you have to purchase the premium plan.

What will be the server loading time on WordPress.com?

WordPress hosting is very fast comparing to self-hosted WordPress websites. It gives your users a fast loading website.

Do you have any suggestions about hosting providers?

In my recommendation, Bluehost would be a great hosting provider, because WordPRess.org itself recommends Bluehost for hosting. Read the full article about Bluehost hosting.

My Thoughts about WordPress

Well, the main confusion is by similar domains: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com for beginners. I hope you find this article helpful in knowing the differences between WordPress.org & WordPress.com.

Still, have any questions about WordPress.org vs WordPress.com? Feel free to ask in comment section!

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WordPress.com vs WordPress.org | Which Should You Choose?

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