WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – What’s the Difference?

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – What’s the Difference?

Often, when you try to start a new blog using WordPress as your website management tool, you will be juggling around either to host it WordPress.com or WordPress.org.

Do you know the differences between the two? Does it even matter? And if it does, how do you know which is right for you?

Let’s take a closer look.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

The one noteworthy difference amongst WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s really hosting your WordPress blog website.

With WordPress.org, you have your own particular blog or website. WordPress.org is the place you’ll download the free WordPress installation that and upload to your own web hosting server.

WordPress.com, on the other side, Take cares of all this for you. You don’t need to download the WordPress installation and perform any upload of the files to your own web hosting servers.

Pros and cons of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org


WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Self-hosted WordPress Interface

WordPress.org, which is also known as “the original of WordPress”, is the famous website content management tool that has power 29% of the Internet websites.

It is open source and 100% free for anybody to use it. All you require is your own domain name and WordPress hosting subscription. This is also the reason sometimes is being referred to as self-hosted WordPress.

Here’s are some pros and cons of using the self-hosted WordPress to build your website or personal blog:

The benefits of WordPress.org:

Using the download version of WordPress files from WordPress.org gives you the full control and flexibility. You can apply any customization and changes as much as you need.

  • It’s Free and easy to use. That’s why it dominates 29% of the Internet websites.
  • You have the full customization you need – including adding any plugins, themes, and customizations that you need.
  • You can setup custom analytics on your WordPress websites such as Google Analytics for better tracking and analytics.
  • You will be able to monetize your WordPress websites either by installing some ads plugins, Google Adsense…etc
  • You will be able to build an online course through some memberships plugins/themes or potentially turn your WordPress to digital stores to sell any products and accept payments online.
  • You own the content of your WordPress website (as long as it does not trigger any illegal rules that against your web host).

The downside of WordPress.org:

  • You need to pay for it. Typically a WordPress hosting that ranges from $5-$10/mo that would cater for your initial usage and scale as your websites attract more and more visitors. Aside from that, you also need a domain name such as matt.blog, mytravel.blog domain. WPWebHost offers the lifetime domains FREE for you when you sign up and renew the hosting annually (minimum).
  • You are responsible for the maintenance of your websites. Some of the Managed WordPress Hosting providers will have the tools that allow you to configure the auto updates or a one-click button that simplify the task for you.
  • Because WordPress.org installation is Free, the codes are open source and their flaws in the code which needs to be patch when major bugs are found. To protect your WordPress website, you need to manage the Security and Backup of your WordPress websites. Look for a WordPress hosting provider that gives you fully managed solution as they will take care this 2 for you. Otherwise, you will need to get some 3rd plugin or subscribe 3rd party solution to backup and protect your WordPress (that involve additional cost).

If you’re not interested in paying for your own hosting, managing your own web server or paying someone else to handle that for you, you’ll probably want to use WordPress.com. It’s free and easy to set up and you have lots of options for customizing your site.


WordPress.com Interface

WordPress.com Dashboard Interface

WordPress.com is fully owned by Matt Mullenweg ~ founder of Automattic and WordPress. WordPress.com runs the full WordPress installation files as we get it from WordPress.org.

WordPress.com doesn’t require much from its clients. When you’re prepared to begin, all you require is:

  • The knowledge and ability to learn WordPress.com and its built-in dashboard interface.
  • To stand with the limited themes and features available.

The benefits of WordPress.com:

  • It’s Free.
  • It’s hosted and managed by WordPress.com – in other words, you do not need to run any upload of the WordPress installation files.

The downside of WordPress.com:

  • Though It’s free the limitation is of to 3GB of disk space for you to host your content. If your blog or website is going to host a large volume of photos, you will need to upgrade to the paid plan for larger storage space.
  • On the free plan, your domain will be setup as subdomain on top of their primary domain, example myblog.wordpress.com. Paid plan allows you to have your own domain (additional fees for the domain registrations).
  • Your WordPress website is tight to the limited of 100+ free themes to choose vs 1500+ of themes from the self-hosted WordPress.org.
  • You can’t upload custom themes under the Free plan. Only Premium and Business plan users can choose the premium themes with customization of custom CSS.
  • You are not allowed to run any customization on your blog such as installation of any 3rd party plugins like MailChimp..etc
  • Your WordPress website will get enormous of ads which you can’t control. Your visitors will see the ads as they browse your website and you don’t any money from it.
  • You can’t run ads on your WordPress website except that you are on a high traffic site that you can ride on their WordAds advertising program with a revenue share with them.
  • No analytics integration supported by Google Analytics. You are bound to their limited stats and tracking.
  • A powered-by WordPress.com link on your footer for your Free plan which can be removed by upgrading to a Business plan.
  • No e-commerce features and integration of any shopping cart with payment acceptance online for your WordPress website. You can’t build any memberships website as well.
  • If you violate any of their terms of services, they reserve the rights to delete your website at any time. You don’t have full control of your content.
  • Backup and Security is taken care of by them – but it does not necessarily mean that your WordPress website is 100% hack-free. Reason being is that WordPress is an open source content management system and the codes are publicly available for download that could have the security bug.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it: a bare-knuckle brawl between the two WordPress platforms. If you are serious about blogging and running your website on WordPress platform, you should always consider going for the self-hosted options. Building your brand on your own domain is always the best options to go with instead on of someone’s domain.

WPWebHost offers the Fully Managed WordPress hosting that takes care all of the downsides of the Free plan of WordPress.com. When you are on our annual plan, you get a lifetime .BLOG domain with the famous Jetpack Professional plugin bundled for FREE. Check out our benefits and features of our Managed WordPress Hosting.

About the Author
Andy Andy
WordPress, WordPress & WordPress....