Did you realize that WordPress.com & WordPress.org are two distinct platforms?
Beginners frequently mix up WordPress.com and WordPress.org, leading them to select the incorrect blogging platform for their needs. Even those who are aware that they are two distinct platforms are unaware of the distinctions between them.
Our users frequently ask us which platform is superior: WordPress.com or WordPress.org. To assist you in answering this question, we have created the most comprehensive comparison of free WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (self-hosted version).
Our goal is to highlight the key distinctions between WordPress.com and WordPress.org so that you can select the best platform for your needs.
We have created the most detailed comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org because choosing the right platform is critical for your online success (text comparison, table-based comparison, and a full infographic).
If you simply want to start a blog or create a website the RIGHT WAY, you can skip this article and go to our guides here:
How to Begin a Blog Using WordPress (step by step)
How to Make a Website Using WordPress (step by step)
How to Launch an Online Store Using WordPress (step by step)
How to Use WordPress to Create and Sell Online Courses (step by step)
After that, let’s look at the differences between self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Please keep in mind that this article compare the powerful self-hosted WordPress.org with the free WordPress.com hosting service. By upgrading to WordPress.com’s paid service, you can gain access to additional features. We have also highlighted those features.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Comparison
The best way to understand the distinction between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is to examine each platform separately.
WordPress.org, also known as “the real WordPress,” is the well-known website platform about which you’ve heard nothing but good things.
It is open-source software, which means that anyone can use it for free. You only need a custom domain. This is why it’s also known as self-hosted WordPress.
The following are the benefits and drawbacks of using self-hosted WordPress.org to build your website or blog.
You have complete control over your website when you use WordPress.org. You can do whatever you want and customize it as much as you want.
Here are some of the advantages of using WordPress.org to build your website, and why it is our top choice for the best website builder.
- WordPress is a free, open-source software that is extremely simple to use.
- You own your website as well as all of its data. Your site will not be shut down because someone decides it violates their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You have complete command.
- WordPress plugins and apps, both free and paid, can be added to your website.
- You can use any free or paid WordPress theme you want. You can also create completely unique designs or modify anything.
- You can earn money from your WordPress site by running your own advertisements and not sharing revenue with anyone
- Custom analytics and tracking can be accomplished with powerful tools such as Google Analytics.
- You can use self-hosted WordPress to set up an online store where you can sell digital or physical goods, accept credit card payments, and deliver / ship the goods directly from your website.
- You can also build an online community around your website by creating membership sites and selling memberships for premium content, courses, and so on.
There are only a few disadvantages to using a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
- You will need web hosting, just like any other website. This is the location of your website’s files on the internet. Initially, the cost is between $3 and $10 per month. However, as your website grows and receives more traffic, the cost of your web hosting plan will rise as expected, but you will be making enough money to cover the costs.
- You must first install WordPress. Fortunately, the majority of popular WordPress hosting companies provide 1-click WordPress installation options.
- You are in charge of updates. It is not difficult to update your WordPress site by simply clicking on the update button (one-click), so it is not a lot of work.
- Backups are your responsibility.Fortunately, there are numerous WordPress backup plugins that allow you to set up automatic backups.
The true cost of a WordPress.org website varies depending on what you are attempting to build (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc). Other considerations include free vs. premium templates, free vs. premium plugins, and so on.
You can build a website on a shoestring budget for as little as $46 per year.
WordPress.org is always our recommendation for 99 percent of users. See our website creation guide for more information.
Bonus: Bluehost is providing our readers with a 69 percent discount on web hosting as well as a free domain name. They are a WordPress hosting provider that is officially recommended. Begin Right Now »
Automattic, the company led by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, created WordPress.com as a hosting service. WordPress.com and the popular WordPress.org software are frequently confused by users due to the same founder.
The WordPress.com hosting service has 6 pricing 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
Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of WordPress.com.
For hobby bloggers and those starting a blog for their family, the free WordPress.com platform is a good option. The following are some of the advantages of using WordPress.com:
- It is free for up to 3GB of storage space. After that, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan to get more storage space. (A Personal plan for $48/year provides 6GB of storage, a Premium plan for $96/year provides 13GB of storage, and a Business plan for $300/year provides 200 GB of storage.)
- There will be no need for updates or backups. WordPress.com will handle it for you.
There are a few limitations to free WordPress.com that set it apart from WordPress.org. The following are some of the drawbacks of using WordPress.com:
- They place advertisements on all free websites. Your users see those ads, but you don’t get paid for them. If you do not want your users to see advertisements, you can upgrade to a paid WordPress.com plan (starting at $48 per year).
- You are not permitted to sell advertisements on your website, which severely limits your options for monetization. If you have a high traffic site, you can apply for their WordAds advertising program, in which you share revenue with them. WordAds is immediately available to Premium and Business plan subscribers.
- Plugins cannot be uploaded. Jetpack features are pre-activated for free plan users. Users on the Business plan can choose from a list of compatible plugins ($300 per year). The WordPress.com VIP program allows you to install plugins and costs $5000 per month.
- Custom themes cannot be uploaded. Users on the free plan can only install from the limited collection of free themes. Premium and business plan subscribers can also choose from a variety of premium themes. The free version has fewer customization options. Custom CSS is available to Premium and Business plan subscribers.
- You’re limited to their stats. You are unable to add Google Analytics or any other powerful tracking platform. Users with a Business plan can install Google Analytics.
- WordPress.com free sites include a WordPress.com branded subdomain (for example, https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com). A paid plan is required to obtain a custom domain name (e.g., https://www.yourwebsite.com).
- They have the right to delete your site at any time if they believe it violates their terms of service.
- A powered by WordPress.com link will appear on your site. It is possible to remove it by upgrading to the Business plan.
- Unless you upgrade to the eCommerce plan, WordPress.com does not include any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.
- WordPress.com does not support the creation of membership websites.
As you can see, when using the free, personal, or premium plans, the WordPress.com hosting platform is quite limited. You must be on the Business plan ($300 per year) or the VIP plan ($5000 per month) to access some of the more advanced features.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (FAQs)
We get a lot of questions about WordPress.com vs WordPress.org because this is a popular topic, and Your Blog Master is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners.
We’ve done our best to answer the following frequently asked questions:
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better?
If you are a personal blogger who is not interested in making money from your website, use WordPress.com for free.
If you are a business or a blogger looking to monetize your site, we recommend using self-hosted WordPress.org. It allows you the freedom and flexibility to grow your website in any way you see fit.
While the WordPress.com Business plan ($300/year for each website) includes several advanced features, a self-hosted WordPress site (which costs $46/year) can make that money go much further.
WordPress.org, in our opinion, is by far the superior platform. That is the platform used by every professional blogger, small business owner, and even well-known brands such as Disney.
Can I Make Money From My Free WordPress.com Website?
WordPress.com does not permit the placement of advertisements on free WordPress.com websites. If you have a high-traffic website, you can join their WordAds program and share a portion of your ad revenue with WordPress.com.
You can include some affiliate links on your website, but that is all.
In general, you have very few options for monetizing content on your WordPress.com website.
Whereas with WordPress.org, you have complete control over the content management system, allowing you to monetize your new website in an infinite number of ways.
Which is better for ecommerce: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
Which is better for ecommerce: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
WordPress.org provides the most user-friendly platform for creating an eCommerce website. You can build your store with WooCommerce or one of the many other WordPress eCommerce, membership, and LMS plugins.
WordPress.com also provides an eCommerce plan that starts at $540 per year, which is a significant investment if you are just getting started. It is still feature-limited, and you must adhere to WordPress.com’s terms of service for your eCommerce store.
See our guide on how to start an online store on a shoestring budget. It explains how to get your own domain for free, as well as all of the powerful features you’ll need to succeed online.
How do I get started with a WordPress.org website?
A domain name and WordPress hosting are required to launch a self-hosted WordPress website.
A domain name is your website’s internet address, such as google.com or Your Blog Master.com. Web hosting is the location on the internet where your website files are stored.
We recommend Bluehost for website hosting because they are one of the world’s largest web hosting companies. They are also an official WordPress.org web host. Last but not least, they are providing our users with a free domain, free SSL, and a 60% discount on hosting.
Check out our free guide on how to make a website for step-by-step instructions.
If you require assistance, the Your Blog Master team will even install WordPress and build your website for free.
Is it possible to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
New users who are unfamiliar with the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org frequently begin with the free WordPress.com service. When they realize the platform’s limitations, they want to migrate to “the Real WordPress,” also known as WordPress.org.
Yes, you can switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and easily migrate all of your content.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org – A Comparison
The analogy of renting vs. owning a house is the best way to think about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is analogous to renting a home. You only have a limited amount of power and control over what you can and cannot do.
WordPress.org is equivalent to owning a home. When you have complete control, no one can kick you out, and you can do whatever you want.
Everything we discussed in our self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison is summarized below:
|WP.org (Platform)||WP.com (Free)||WP.com (Premium)||WP.com (Business)|
|Cost||$46 – $100 / year||Free||$96 / year||$300/ year|
|Hosting Storage||Unlimited||3 GB||13 GB||200 GB|
|Monetization Freedom||Yes||No||Yes (with rev/share)||Yes (with rev / share)|
|All SEO Features||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Full Theme Support||Yes||No||Limited||Yes|
|Full Plugin Support||Yes||No||No||Yes|
For beginners, the confusion caused by similar domains: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is quite unfortunate. We hope that this article helped you understand the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.We wish you the best of luck with your website and hope you chose the correct platform: WordPress.org.