Do you know WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different platforms to build a website? If you don’t, you are not alone. There are many newbies and non-technical users who may not know or are confused about it. Due to this reason, they end up choosing the wrong platform to build their website for their needs. Also, there are many people who know about two different platforms but are not aware of the difference. So, to help you all with that, we have written this article – WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org for you.
Here, we will compare and contrast the different features and possibilities that these two platforms offer. It will help you find out the major differences between them and make it easier for you to choose a suitable platform for creating a website.
But before, we jump to the differences, let’s take a look at a short overview of both WordPress.com and WordPress.org to be clear of what they really are:
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a free online platform that lets you start a blog or build a website. It is quite similar to social platforms like Blogger or Tumblr, where you can create your own blogging site and publish content.
It is a fully hosted platform that is controlled by a company named Automattic. The company uses WordPress software to host your website and ensures you a high-quality, spam-free and secure hosting for free. It means you won’t have to worry about finding a hosting provider to run a website build on WordPress.com. Also, the company takes care of all security, maintenance, backup and software updates of the website.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is home to open-source software required for creating WordPress websites. Here, you can download the WordPress software and install it to any web hosts for creating a website.
It is a self-hosted platform. That means you will need a hosting company and a domain name all of your own. Also, the security, maintenance, backup and software updates of the website are all your responsibility depending upon the quality of the web hosting you are using. The WordPress software is free but you will need to spend the money on other website utilities like hosting, domain registration etc.
WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org – The Major Differences
Now let’s talk about the key difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org to find out how they differ from each other.
As discussed above, WordPress.com is a fully hosted platform by the company called Automattic. It provides you a website space of 3GB for free. If you want to increase the space, you will have to switch the platform into the paid plan starting from $4/month. Besides, the platform provides you the flexibility to choose the host from the hosting company like BlueHost and DreamHost at an exclusive rate.
While, WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform that gives you the freedom to choose any web host you like. There are many companies that provide hosting services to WordPress. Cloudways, DreamHost, HostGator, Kinsta, Bluehost, WPEngine, and GoDaddy are some of the popular choices. However, you can any hosts as per your choice.
Domain Name Registration:
If you are using WordPress.com, you will get a free subdomain. Your website will look like sitename.wordpress.com. To have your own custom domain, you will need to upgrade to a premium plan.
For WordPress.org users, you will need to register your domain name yourself. You may need to pay additional fees for your domain name depending on the hosting provider you have chosen. Also, you can register the domain name separately from the companies like Domain.com.
Security, Backups and Maintenance:
WordPress.com takes care of all the security, maintenance, backup and software updates of the website.
If you are using WordPress.org platform, you will need to take care of all these aspects in your own hand. You can take the help of WordPress plugins like VaultPress or other 3rd party plugins. You are free to install plugins.
You can use the 100+ free themes and 200+ premium themes available at WordPress.com. But you cannot use custom created themes.
There are over 4000 free WordPress themes to choose from in WordPress.org themes repository alone. While the premium WordPress themes can be purchased from the theme marketplace like Themeforest.net or from WP theme provider companies like Mystical Themes. Besides, you can also use the custom created theme as per your choice.
You can make the basic customization in the design of your website. For more customizations, you need to upgrade to the paid version.
You will have full control over the design of your website. You can install any theme and play with the customization options website or contact the theme developers for design customization. Also, you can build your own WordPress theme with PHP and CSS.
Builtin Plugin to Add Features and Functionalities:
There are some inbuilt plugins for features like sharing, stats, comments etc. But if you want to add more functionality, you cannot install 3rd party plugins.
You can install any plugins as you like and extend the functionality of your website as much as you like.
Advertising and Monetization:
You cannot add your own advertisement on the free WordPress.com website. But there will be WordPress.com ads on your site. If you don’t want them and want to add your own advertisement, you need to upgrade to its premium plan. It will allow you to add your own ads using WordAds.
You can display as many advertisements as you want from any advertising network like Google AdSense, OpenX, and BuySellAds to earn money.
A basic website with WordPress.com subdomain is completely free as you won’t have to pay for the hosting or domain registration. However, if you want to build a fully featured website with your own custom domain name, storage, custom design and no advertisement, WordPress.com can be an expensive choice.
On the other hand, WordPress.org will cost you money for registering domain names and purchasing the hosting. But for design customizations and feature enhancements, you can simply download free WordPress themes and plugins from its repository.
WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org – Which One is the Best?
Rather than being a superior platform that others, both WordPress.com and WordPress.org can be an appropriate platform for the users depending upon their needs and resources. They have their own pros and cons.
So, let’s discuss which platform suits whom:
Who should pick WordPress.com?
If you are a beginner creating your first website, WordPress.com is the perfect one for you. It’s WordPress.com comes with a super fast and easy setup. Also, you won’t have to worry about the installation, hosting, security, maintenance, and backup.
However, you cannot get a custom domain and will have limited website space. Also, you cannot customize the design of your website and will have to be happy with what is already there in the theme.
The platform will also not allow you to place any advertisements to earn money. Instead, you will have to tolerate the “WordPress.com” ad that will be shown by default.
The paid plan of WordPress.com with provide some freedom and control over your website but not as much as WordPress.org.
Who should pick WordPress.org?
If you want to build a unique website of your own choice, WordPress,org is the right platform for you. But before you start building your website, you will need to register your domain name, purchase hosting, install WordPress, and pick a beautiful theme. If you are a layman without any technical knowledge related to WordPress, starting the website with WordPress.org platform can be quite difficult and time consuming.
However, you will get all the freedom to build an attractive website of your choosing.
So, if you are looking to build a website with a strong online identity or for professional purposes, WordPress.org is just the platform for you.
So, we have made to the end of our article WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. If you think there need to be any other difference that is need to be included in the article, feel free to share us on comment box below.