Amit is a web developer and writer turned digital entrepreneur. He loves writing on technology, social media, and self-improvement.
Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are basically blogging platforms. But as a beginner, you end up choosing the wrong one. Sometimes even when you know that they are not the same, you do not know the real difference.
Which is better out of the two is one of the most frequently asked questions.
Choosing the right platform is a must for you to become successful online. This article covers a detailed comparison between the two platforms.
Let us discuss the differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
Advantages and Disadvantages of WordPress.org
WordPress.org is the most popular software in order to build a website. The great thing about it is that it is 100% free to use for everyone. Also, it provides you complete control over your site.
You are only required to purchase a domain name and web hosting. Hence, it is known as self-hosted WordPress.
Here are a few pros and cons of using this platform to host your website or blog.
Here are a few advantages of the WordPress.org platform to build your website or blog and why it is considered the best website builder:
- It is free and easy to use, open-source.
- You have full control of your website and its data.
- You can use free, paid, and customized WordPress plugins for your website.
- You can customize the design of your site according to your requirement. You can use a free or premium WordPress theme.
- You can also generate revenue from your site by placing ads on your website or blog.
- You can integrate Google Analytics for tracking.
- You can create an online store to sell digital or physical products, accept payments, directly from your website.
- You can create and sell membership sites.
- You can also build an online community around your site.
Here are a few disadvantages of the WordPress.org platform:
- You have to purchase the hosting for your website. The initial cost per month is not high. But, as the number of visitors to your site increases, you have to pay more for the hosting services.
- You have to update your site yourself and, you can do it by clicking the update button. So, it is not a drawback.
- You have to take the backup yourself. However, there are plugins that can assist you in setting up the automatic backup.
The actual cost of your WordPress.org site will depend on other factors also, such as
- The type of site you create, such as a blog, membership site, portfolio site, E-commerce site, etc.
- The kind of theme and plugins you use – free or premium.
Advantages and Disadvantages of WordPress.com
If you are a hobby blogger, then WordPress.com is a better choice. Here are a few benefits of using this platform:
- It offers 3GB of free space. If you want more space, you have to opt for a paid plan. WordPress.com plans free (Very limited), personal ($48 per year), premium ($96 per year), business ($300 per year), E-commerce ($540 per year), and VIP ($5000 per year).
- You need not worry about updates or backups. WordPress.com takes care of that itself.
- It comes pre-installed with an SSL certificate.
- You have access to free themes.
- WordPress.com has much more limitations as compared to WordPress.org. Here are a few of the disadvantages of WordPress.com:
- It places ads on your site. But you will not make any money from them. If you want to remove ads, then you have to buy a paid plan.
- You cannot monetize your site. You cannot place ads or sell space for ads on your site. As a free user, you can only monetize your site through affiliate marketing or email offers. If you have a high traffic site, you can apply for their revenue sharing program called WordAds. It can be used by premium and business plan users instantly.
- You cannot upload plugins. The free plan comes with pre-activated with a built-in Jetpack. You have to upgrade your plan to use customized plugins.
- You cannot upload custom themes. The free plan offers only limited themes and customization options are also limited. Premium and business plan users can select premium themes and can use custom CSS.
- You cannot use any tracking tool, such as Google Analytics for free and personal plans.
- You have to use the WordPress.com domain. For example, https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com. You have to buy a paid plan if you want to use a custom domain.
- If your site violates its terms and condition, it can get deleted.
- There will be a powered by WordPress.com link on your site. You can remove it by upgrading to the Business plan.
- There are no E-commerce features in the free plan.
- You cannot create membership websites with WordPress.com.
The WordPress.com hosting platform offers limited features for free, personal, and premium plans. To unlock more advanced features, you have to upgrade to the Business plan ($300 per year) or the VIP plan ($5000 per month)
Beginners get confused between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org as they sound quite similar. WordPress.com is like a rented house. Whereas WordPress.org is like your own house and, you have complete control over it.
If you have your site on WordPress.com, you can migrate to WordPress.org easily with all your content.
I hope this article cleared your doubts related to the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Amit Masih
Amit Masih (author) from Jaipur, India on January 07, 2021:
Yes, Preeti! Thank you for reading it.
Preeti Shah from Delhi on January 07, 2021:
Thanks for sharing such great information.
This article clearly explains the difference between the two WordPress platforms.