WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

People often assume that both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are the same sites and this confusion is reasonable. However, WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org will give you a detailed overview of the differences between both websites.

To make sure you make the decision that is best for you, it is vital that you understand the difference between the two and luckily for you, you will be able to do just that within the next few minutes!

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

What is WordPress?

A CMS (content management system) handles the basic structure of your website, allowing you to create a website without learning how to code. One of the most popular and trusted CMS is WordPress, powering over 400 million websites online.

Below we shall review the detailed comparison of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org:

What is WordPress.org?

If you’re a beginner with no experience, WordPress.org might be a little complicated to use.

It is a free and open-source web developer that was initially created for writing blogs but over time it expanded to powering many million websites all around the world, ranging from basic sites to blogs to magazines to even e-commerce sites! It essentially is the OG WordPress you’ve heard of.

However, to access this site’s benefits, you need to find a host. WordPress can only be accessed through a web hosting company that offers WordPress. Once you sign up for a hosting website, you can find WordPress in the cPanel or customer portal. However, you will need to install and run it yourself. After you’ve installed it you will also manually maintain and update the website.

Although it occupies more of your time unless you require web developer assistance, it is far less expensive given the number of free features you can get a hold of. You can download the software for free, and then you entirely own your website. Nobody will be able to delete your site, nor use your content as their own. You get complete content ownership.

This site allows you to have full control of your website, giving you all the themes and plugins that WordPress has to offer. Plugins add additional functionalities that help improve your site overall; like making your site load faster, blocking spam, or adding extra security. You can also purchase any WordPress theme and add it to your website.

With this website, you are also able to monetize your website. It also allows you to control what ads you can put onto the website or remove, meaning you can earn money using services like Google Ads.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a paid service. It entirely takes care of the installation and hosting. The entire setup process is completed within just a few clicks. Alongside, you also receive access to email and live support. You will get content ownership here as well, it is a closed system. The maintenance and updates for your website are completely automated.

There are four plans that you get to choose from. The two basic plans include personal and premium plans, which don’t have much to offer. If you wanna fully obtain the features that WordPress has to offer, you will need to upgrade to their more expensive plans like the business or the eCommerce ones.

The options that they give you are more limited than what you would get on a self-hosted site. If you choose personal or premium plans, you will have a very restricted number of themes or plugins to choose from. The site will also constantly ask you to upgrade, which is quite bothersome. If you want to create something complicated, this will probably not be good for you.

The business and eCommerce plans, on the other hand, are a little more workable. They offer a wider variety of themes and plugins to choose from. Although they are more expensive, if you’re willing to invest they are better options in comparison to the other basic plans. You can also upload your own themes using these plans. With eCommerce, you can even accept payments.

However, they will put their own ads and branding onto your websites and you will need to pay if you want to have them removed. Your site can also be removed at any given moment if they feel you are violating their Terms Of Service. Ads can not be sold on your website either, you can only do so if your site attracts a lot of traffic. Then too, you have to apply for a program called Word Ads.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org; What is the difference?

Installation and hosting

On WordPress.org, you can download the software for free, but you will have to organize hosting and installation yourself. On WordPress.com, the installation and hosting will be taken care of for you.

Themes and plugins

Using wordpress.org, you get access to over 30,000 themes and over 50,000 plugins that WordPress has to offer. WordPress.com contrarily has very limited themes and plugins, depending on what plan you choose. In order to get access to better themes and SEO options, you will usually need to upgrade to one of their more expensive plans. But realistically, it is better to have lesser options so you don’t really overwhelm yourself.


Pricing does vary wildly between the two. In wordpress.org, web hosting usually costs around $5-$40 for web hosting, and custom domains usually cost up to $15 yearly. Premium themes and plugins can range from $40-$150 each. If you’re using wordpress.com, it depends on what plan you choose. It can range from $5 to $45 a month, depending on your needs.

So what should you choose?

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org does not mean that there is no exact ‘better’ option of the two. It all varies depending upon your needs. If you want something that is quick and easy to handle, something that doesn’t require much web developer experience and you’re willing to invest money, WordPress.com should work out great for you!

If you have some experience with web development and you have the time, WordPress.org is best for you. It will allow you to completely customize your website to your liking and you have full control over your site and you can add and remove ads as you’d like.

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