Key Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (A Comparative Analysis)

WordPress is the most widely used Content Management System(CMS) with a share of over 38 percent of all websites. But, its two dimensions (WordPress.com and WordPress.org), confuse many new users. This is why knowing the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the first thing one should do before choosing one. And you are in the right place to do so.

Because of not having enough knowledge on these platforms, new users can not decide which one they should build their website with. A clear idea about both of these platforms can help them choose the right one and reach their desired goals. In this article, we will dive deep inside, talk more about WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, and find everything you need to get started with the right one.

The Core Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

The core differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org mainly lies in hosting. WordPress.com is self-hosted, which means it takes care of your hosting itself; on the other hand, with WordPress.org, you have to find your hosting space all by yourself. You download the software to run WordPress as a CMS and do everything yourself.

Besides these core differences, there are some other areas where they differ to a greater extent. We will go deep into them and find their differences for you to decide whether you should go for WordPress.com or WordPress.org. 

First, let’s know what these two platforms are and what they have for you to offer. So, let’s begin.

What Is WordPress.com? 

WordPress.com is a platform where you can sign up and create your website all in one place. Users on this platform do not need to download or install WordPress. It is a part of their hosting services. It is helpful for the new users as it takes care of the hosting itself. Also, users get some default plugins and themes on this site. So they can quickly build their website without hassle.

Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
a sneak peek of WordPress.com site

Some More Information About WordPress.com

  • WordPress.com has a free plan. Users can get 3 GB of space storage fully free. There are also some premium plans to buy more space for your site.
  • WordPress.com’s authority automatically updates and backups the site on users’ behalf. So there is nothing to worry about for the users.
  • Very much helpful for the new users for website building.
  • For websites with a free plan, the website authority places ads on your site without sharing any financial benefit from these commercials.
  • Users can’t upload his favorite plugins unless you have their Business or eCommerce plan.
  • Limited themes for the users to use.
  • The users can not freely use this site. It’s bound with restriction.
  • The WordPress authority reserves the right to delete the site any time they like. So it is very much alarming.

What Is WordPress.org:

Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.org is open-source software for everyone under the sun to create, launch, and manage websites on their own. Users can get the real taste of the WordPress site using WordPress.org. It is open-source and free for anyone to use. The user needs a domain name and web hosting to run the site. 

Some More Information About WordPress.org

  • This software is open-source and free for everyone.
  • Users can create, launch, customize, and manage websites themselves.
  • All websites created with WordPress software (org) can promote paid ads.
  • No limitation on using any plugins developed by the users or anyone else.
  • Users can use any WordPress themes they prefer—no limitation on that too.
  • Users can buy the hosting services and plans on their own. Also, users can create their servers and host their sites on that.
  • It’s easy to monetize any site built with WordPress open-source software.
  • Utilize powerful analytics tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking as the way you want.

Key Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org in More Details

We will now discuss the key differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org in more details on the basis of some important benchmarks. Let’s find out where they stand in this comparison.

Storage

A user can get 3GB of free storage in WordPress.com. There are also other plans on WordPress.com, but they come up with their capacity and limitations in storage. Whereas WordPress.org has unlimited storage capacity. Users can easily buy hosting from their preferred company and start creating, running, and managing WordPress.or software on that.

Update & Maintenance

In the case of open-source .org software, The users update websites on their own. It’s done manually which takes only a few moments for the users to update WordPress.org. But there are also some plugins that help you handle WordPress, plugins, and themes update automatically.

On the other hand, the WordPress.com authority itself updates. Users do not need to think about it at all. 

Monetisation

The users can monetize the WordPress.org website according to their own choice. You can also run Google Adsense ads or some other similar ads services on the website. 

WordPress.com also encourages and supports monetization. But there are some restrictions here. You can not utilize Google Adsense and other similar services. They have their own official WordPress.com advertising program called WordAds. Read the full WordPress.com monetization guideline

WordPress Plugins

Beauty of WordPress.org lies in freedom to customize and extend the core functionality. There are more than 58,000 plugins in the WordPress directory. You can use any of them for free. Plus, you can develop your own plugin and add your desired feature or functionality on your own.

WordPress.com has some limitations when it comes to installing plugins. You can not upload your own plugin, and you don’t have such a huge number of plugins at your disposal. Plus, some of the available ones are not free. 

WordPress Themes

Themes play a very crucial part in the look and feel of your websites. WordPress.org has more than 7,950 themes, and users can use them free of cost. Plus, you can use any third-party premium themes or develop and use your own theme on your website.

On the other hand, the WordPress.com has only 200 selected themes, and not all of them are free of cost. Also, you can not install any third-party themes on WordPress.com site.

Pricing

Anyone can download and use WordPress.org open-source software for free forever. But users themselves will have to buy a domain and get hosting on their own. The cost depends on the users. There are plenty of options out there that would fit your budget. 

Whereas one tier of WordPress.com is free but is not ideal for all users as they come with a lot of limitations. To avail some advantages, the user must get premium plans. WordPress.com plans are relatively expensive  (Personal $48, Premium $96, Business $300, eCommerce $540 per year), and they don’t provide you full control or the features beyond their listed ones. Most of the time, they are not sufficient for advanced users.

Hosting

Hosting WordPress.org sites is all on the users. They can buy hosting from anywhere they want and install WordPress on that. Users can build their own hosting server and create their websites there with WordPress too. For users with 

For WordPress.com, there’s no such opportunity to choose any third-party hosting or go for your own hosting server. In fact, hosting comes with each of the WordPress.com plans, including the free one. This is why for beginners who don’t want to mess with server setup, WordPress.com plans can be suitable for them.

Security and Backup

WordPress.com itself handles the basic security and backup for the user. In WordPress.org, the users need to go for some third-party services to keep security and backup, and there are plenty of options available for them. 

Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org at a Glance

WordPress.comWordPress.orgVerdict
Setup and InstallationEasy for beginnersNeeds some technical know-how and setup knowledge.com
HostingNo hosting neededChoose your own hosting.com
CustomizationModerately customizableHighly Customizable.org
Free DomainAll pro plans include a domain for one yearNot free. (Some hosting companies offer a free domain with their hosting plans).com
PricingRelatively expensiveDepends on you completely.org
ScalabilityGood for small businesses. Can be too expensive for large websitesHighly scalable. It’s all on you.org
eCommerce StoreComparatively Expensive with a limited offeringFull control with plenty of pricing options.org
ThemesLimitation on third party themes on some plansNo limitations at all.org
PluginsLimitation on third party plugins on some plansNo limitations at all.org
StorageThere are plans with different storage capacitiesThe choice is all yours. .org
SEODoes not include in all plansYes.org
BackupDoes not include in all plansChoose your own backup service.org
Google AnalyticsDoes not include in all plansYes.org
MonetizationDoes not include in all plansEasy to monetize with full control.org
SecurityOffers basic securityOn your own
SupportIncludedOn your own.com
Membership SiteNot supportedFull support.org
Authority Limited controlComplete control.org
Comparison between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which One Should I Choose?

After all these discussions, I think you can decide on your own. If anyone asks me which one is best for use? Then I would say as a beginner of WordPress sites; one should use WordPress.com because it helps to make a simple personal blog or website easy. It can be compared to a beginner door in the world of WordPress. To get a fully operated and commercial website, WordPress.org is the best choice, no doubt. It gives you the real taste and adventure of websites, making the world for sure.

Whether you are going for WordPress.com or WordPress.org, your decision to use WordPress is going to pay off smartly. Most importantly, you will be a part of a WordPress community that helps each other and grow together. Plus, there are WordCamps, meetups, and workshop happening all around the world to stay connected and spread the love of WordPress through co-operation. Enjoy your journey with WordPress. For more of such WordPress stuff, please visit our WordPress tutorials section.

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Fahim Hasan

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