Were you aware that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two very different platforms?
Beginners often confuse wordpress.com and wordpress.org, leading them to choose the wrong website to suit their needs. And those who know they’re two different websites aren’t sure of their inconsistencies.
Some people often ask which platform is the better? wordpress.com vs wordpress.org. We created the most detailed comparison of free wordpress.com vs wordpress.org (the self-hosted version) to help address that.
Our goal is to illustrate the key differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org, so you can choose the best platform for your needs.
wordpress.com vs wordpress.org comparison:
The best way to explain the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org is by looking separately at each site.
wordpress.org, or “the real WordPress,” is the famous website platform you’ve learned about all the great stuff.
For anyone to use it is open-source and 100% free. Only a domain name and web hosting are everything you need. This is why it’s often referred to as WordPress hosting itself.
Below are the pros and cons of using wordpress.org as a self-host to create your website or blog.
You have complete control of your Website with wordpress.org. You can do anything you want and customize it as much as you can.
Here are some of the benefits of using wordpress.org to create your website, and why this is our # 1 choice for the best website builder.
- The software is free, open-sourced, and super simple to use.
- Your website and all its data are your own. Your account will NOT be switched off if someone thinks it’s against their terms of service (so long as you don’t do anything illegal). You are completely in charge of that.
- You can add WordPress plugins/apps free, paid and personalized to your website.
- You can customize your website template to suit your needs. You can add any WordPress theme which you want free or premium. You can also make custom designs or change something you want.
- You will actually make money off your WordPress website by running your ads without anyone sharing income.
- You can use powerful tools for custom monitoring and tracking, like Google Analytics.
- You can use self-hosted WordPress to create an online store to sell digital or physical items, accept payments via credit card and deliver/send the goods directly from your website.
- You can also build partner websites and offer memberships for premium content, courses, etc.
There are quite a few drawbacks of using the self-hosted wordpress.org platform.
- You’ll need web hosting like any website. It is where the files for the website are located on the internet. The cost initially is about $3-$10 per month. And as your website grows and gets more visitors, the cost of web hosting will increase as predicted, but then you’d make enough money to cover the cost.
- You are in charge of the updates. By simply clicking on the upgrade button (1-click), you can quickly update your WordPress blog, so it isn’t too much effort.
- You are in possession of the backups. Fortunately, loads of WordPress backup plugins let you configure automatic backups.
The actual cost of the wordpress.org website varies according to what you’re trying to create (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce shop, membership site, etc). Other considerations, such as free templates vs premium templates, free plugins vs premium plugins, etc.
You can create your website on a small budget for as little as $46 per annum. Our recommendation is to always use WordPress.org for 99% of users.
WordPress.com is a hosting service created by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Because of the same author, users sometimes confuse WordPress.com with the popular app WordPress.org.
Hosting service WordPress.com pricing plans are as follows:
Pricing Plan Update : 3 June, 2021
Let’s just take a peek at the pros and cons of wordpress.com.
To hobby bloggers and those who start a blog to their families, the free wordpress.com platform is a really good option. Below are some of the advantages WordPress.com has to offer:
- It is free for a maximum of 3 GB of space. After that, you’ll need to move to more space on a paid plan. (Personal $48/year plan gives you 6 GB, Luxury $96/year plan gives you 13 GB of storage or $300/year business plan for 200 GB of storage).
- No need to think about updates or backups, wordpress.com should pay heed to this.
Free wordpress.com has some drawbacks that distinguish it from wordpress.org. Below are a few of its drawbacks of using wordpress.com:
- They put advertisements on every free website. The customers see those advertisements, so you’re not making money out of it. If your users don’t want to see their ads, you can switch to a paid plan (starting at $48 per year).
- You are NOT permitted to sell ads on your website, which greatly limits the way your content is monetized. When you operate a high-traffic site, you will be able to register for their advertising plan called WordAds where you share revenue. Users of Premium and Business plans will immediately use WordAds.
- Plugins can’t be published. Free plan customers have to default pre-activated Jetpack apps. Business plan users can install compatible plug-ins from a range ($300/year). wordpress.com VIP plan requires plugins to be activated and begins at $5,000 a month.
- Custom themes cannot be published. Free plan users can only install them from a limited collection of free themes. Users of Premium and Business Plan can also select Premium themes. There are restricted options for Free Edition customization. Users of the Premium and Business plan will make use of custom CSS.
- You’re only restricted to their numbers. You can’t add any strong monitoring tool to Google Analytics or build another. Users can only install Google Analytics on the business plan.
- Free wordpress.com websites come with a branded wordpress.com domain (for example https:/your.wordpress.com website). To receive a custom domain name, you will need a paid plan (e.g. https:/www.yourwebsite.com).
- They can delete your website at any time if they think it breaches its terms of service.
- 8. Your website will show a connection powered by wordpress.com. Upgrading to Business plan will delete it.
- Unless you switch to an eCommerce plan, wordpress.com offers no eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.
- For wordpress.com, you cannot create membership websites.
So, whether you’re on a free, personal, or even paid plan, the wordpress.com hosting platform is very limited. You have to be on the company plan ($300 a year) or the VIP plan ($5000 a month) to access some of the more advanced apps.
The easiest way to think about the discrepancies between wordpress.com and wordpress.org is to rent a house vs. owning a house analogically.
Here, wordpress.com is very much like renting a home. You have little influence and power over what you can and can’t do.
On the contrary, wordpress.org is like a house in its own right. Nobody can drive you out where you have full power and you can do anything you want.
The ambiguity generated by similar domains: For beginners, wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org is very unfortunate. There’s a lot of context behind the decisions and in our article how wordpress.com and wordpress.org are connected, you can learn more about that.
Our hope that this article will help you understand the discrepancies between wordpress.org and wordpress.com.
For your website, we wish you all the best and we hope you have selected the right platform.