WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Comparison – Pros and Cons (2023)
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which one is the best for you? This article compares WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, key differences, and how you can make an informed decision about using them.
It doesn’t matter if you are running a business or blog, or just a curious guy who is thinking about kicking off your blog. You do need to have a clear picture of both platforms to make the best use of them!
So What’s the Difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?
WordPress.com and WordPress.org both are blogging platform. Yes, from the same company, yet they serve two different purposes!
Want to click a few times and want to have your site ready? You are looking for WordPress.com! Want to geek out and take full control of your website? Wordpress.org is your friend!
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Differences
Think of like Messenger app and messenger.com? Same services but for Messenger app, you have to install that on your phone first, right? Think of like WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different branches under the WordPress Foundation. WordPress.com is the commercial version of WordPress, backed by Automattic.
Self Hosted WordPress needs to be installed on your server after downloading it from WordPress.org.
The Domain Hosting Conundrum
You might ask, what is domain and what is hosting? Domains are the name of websites you frequently visit. For example, you are visiting wphive.com right now which is the domain of this website.
What’s Web Hosting you might ask? See this 60 seconds video to have a quick review on Web Hosting.
WordPress.com does not need separate hosting. Automattic, the parent company behind WordPress.com, takes care of it for you automatically, but for WordPress.org you have to have your domain and web hosting to use the self-hosted WordPress.org.
WordPress.com vs Wordpress.org – Which One is Better?
Now that’s tricky. It depends on you and your specific requirements. There’s no one perfect solution for all. Both WordPress.com & WordPress.org comes in the free version.
Cost Comparison between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
- WordPress.com gives you a free subdomain to start. For example, if you want to name your site “mestiza.” Your site name in WordPress.com will be mestiza.wordpress.com. However, you can always upgrade to use custom domain names with WordPress.com charges a Personal Plan that costs $4/mo to use custom domains. Creating a site in WordPress.com is a matter of a few clicks. But simplicity has its price.
- WordPress.org is not too complex at all but requires for basic technical skills to jump start.
Cost comparison between WordPress.com vs WordPress indicated WordPress.org is the winner
One of the major contrasts between WordPress.com and WordPress.org lies in its flexibility and cost. First one offers free experience with many limitations.
The field of flexibility is limitless in WordPress.org. Want SEO? There’s a plugin for that. Want forms? There’s a plugin for that. Want a full-fledged HRM manager; there’s a plugin for that. With WordPress.org you have no boundaries!
- WordPress.com has some necessary theme support in the free version. But WordPress.org has an extensive collection of both free and paid themes in the themes directory.
- WordPress.com does not have plugin facilities in the free version. Hence, the experience is confined inside a frame. But WordPress.org is free to customize as you want it. (the Business version of WordPress.com supports plugins)
- Storage is limited in WordPress.com up to 3 GB. In WordPress.org, your hosting provider will take care of things like bandwidth and storage.
Comparing flexibility between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org gives us one winner. It is again WordPress.org
- WordPress.com started supporting plugins with their Business Plan But it is costly and costs $25/mo
- WordPress.org can install any plugins without any issues. And there are lots and lots of plugins! There can be as many as 250000+ free plugins available on the WordPress plugin repository!
Comparing WordPress.com vs WordPress.org results WordPress.org as the winner.
What about the Industry? Who’s using WordPress.com and Who’s using WordPress.org?
You cannot believe how beautiful and elegant looking WordPress sites can be! Check our coverage of 21 Great Examples of WordPress sites, where we covered some of the best-designed WordPress built websites.
WordPress.com is popular among great tech giants too because there is no hassle about maintaining the website. Pay Automattic $25/mo for the Business Plan. They will take care of everything.
Some of the well known WordPress.com users are
See our full coverage which top big brands are using WordPress
WordPress.org is used by enterprises like
Your Questions, Answered!
I am a newbie. I just want to start my website. Which should I choose?
Ans: Newbie? Don’t care about learning anything right now? Go with WordPress.com
Can I use WordPress.com for my business?
Yes, you can. If you do not want to take the hassle of any hosting/domain and scalability related issues, go for WordPress.com
I want to explore WordPress and a bit tech savvy. Which one should I choose?
Ans: Without a doubt, go for WordPress.org! You will be surprised what WordPress can do.
I want to monetize my free WordPress.com website. Is that possible?
Unfortunately no, you can’t. WordPress.com’s free version does not allow any monetization. But you can do with WordPress.com Ads when you switch to Personal Plan The user can control the monetizing system in WordPress.org by using programs like Google Adsense
I am a new writer. Just want to focus on my writing. Which one do I choose?
WordPress.org requires a bit of technical knowledge to maintain. People with expertise go for .org. WordPress.com is both for the newcomers. Bloggers, new writers and large organization who has the money to spend.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which one is Easier?
Comparing WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: WordPress.com is easier among the two
Final Verdict WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
What we discussed till now, the user may think it WordPress.org is the preferable one for him. Of course, it offers better features at no cost. But it also requires technical skills.
WordPress 5.0 introduced a new blockbased editor which is similar to Medium
On the other hand, it is impressive how seamlessly WordPress.com gives you everything you need. Both the two branches have their pros and cons. Every system has that. Does not matter how much people argue, they cannot decide which better because it will vary from people to people.
- If you want something that just works out of the box and do not want to want to spend any time about learning new things – go for WordPress.com
- If you’re going to spend some time on learning, on a budget and want full flexibility to go for WordPress.org
- Take a look at this summarized infographic on WordPress.org vs WordPress.com. It should help you even more to comprehend the whole thing
You might be interested to know how WordPress stacks up against other players on the market. Check our comparison between WordPress vs. Wix, WordPress vs. Squarespace, WordPress vs Typepad vs Squarespace
We tried to cover every aspect of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. We will certainly reply you.
Sakil Adnan is an Author, Content Strategist, and Editor. Completed his Graduation in Business & Marketing. Passionate about WordPress, history, religion, and literature. Enjoys exploring new things beyond regular responsibilities. Believes in teamwork and loves empowering team members. Now working as the head of content at weDevs and WPHive.