WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org: Know the top 7 differences

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In our first blog, we have mentioned the two different ways of hosting a WordPress website, i.e. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. But, many of you may not have fully understood everything that we have written there. Don’t panic. We have all been there and were confused by this stuff before. So, in order to give clarity to the users about these two platforms, we have created the most synoptic comparison of  WordPress.com and WordPress.org in this article.    

To begin with, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two very different platforms. In most cases, a brand’s “.com” domain is similar to its “.org” domain. We’re just used to seeing the xerox thing under every domain extension that a brand might have. Well, it’s just different for WordPress. And really, there’s a lot of turmoil out there about these two platforms with a lot of ​bloggers selecting one when they could have used the other, and wasting time while attempting to create a site.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is an online platform where you can create a website or start a blog for free i.e. you have the freedom to build your own blogs and bring out content. The primary function of WordPress.com is to make sure that your website is of high quality, free of spam and securely hosted for free. Also, users don’t have to be concerned about choosing a hosting provider if you go with this WordPress platform. Plus, it takes care of your website’s maintenance, backup and software updates.

WordPress.com is the easiest platform to build a WordPress-based website.

At WordPress.com, you don’t have to download and install any software or pay for hosting or domain names. So, WordPress.com is the easiest platform to build a WordPress-based website.  

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is a self-hosted open-source platform like Microsoft Office. This is where you can download the WordPress software and install it on any web host to create a website. It also enables us to personalize and install all kinds of plugins and themes. When people just say ‘WordPress’, they often mean to say ‘WordPress.org’, not ‘WordPress.com’.

In WordPress.org, the WordPress software is free of cost but you need to pay money for hosting.

With WordPress.org, you need to select a hosting company on your own along with a domain name. The performance, security, and other aspects of the website are all in your hands and are dependent on the nature of the web host provider you choose. In WordPress.org, the WordPress software is free of cost but you need to pay money for hosting.

Which is free – WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

There are a lot of options available with both WordPress.com and WordPress.org, but they’re also very distinct below the lid. WordPress.com does give you an exclusive free plan, where you don’t have to pay for hosting and installing. But you are restricted in what you can actually do with that site. If you are a new kid on the block who wants to have a basic website with WordPress.com subdomain, you can get that completely free at WordPress.com.

It costs you some dollars to start any website with WordPress.org. Though it gives the whole WordPress code base for free, we will have to pay for the domain name and hosting to take the site live. However, if you want to build a website that is unique and striking, WordPress.org is the right platform for you.

If you are worried about losing money while hosting, we have a listicle of the best budget-friendly hosting providers.

Bluehost offers FREE Domain name with their hosting packages!
View Packages (starting from $3.95)

Core differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

1. Website Hosting

The major disparity between these two platforms is based on who is really hosting your website. WordPress.org lets you host your own site. In other words, it is the self-hosted platform. Whereas, WordPress.com is the fully hosted platform. It lets WordPress host your site and look after the other aspects of your site.

2. Content Regulation

In WordPres.com, by submitting the content, you grant WordPress a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify and publish your content for the purpose of displaying, sharing and promoting your blog. This means that though you are the owner of the content, WordPress has the full right to edit or even delete it.

Whereas on a self-hosted WordPress, you are the owner of your content and nobody has the right to edit it other than you. You can even market it as a website or blog without having to get an official approval or anything.

3. Domain Name

When you go with the fully hosted version to create a website or blog, you’ll get a domain name like YourNewBlog.WordPress.com. You have to upgrade to the premium plan if you need a custom domain. On the other hand, in self-hosted WordPress.org, you can buy your own domain name like YourNewBlog.com

4. Maintenance Responsibility

WordPress.com takes care of the basic security, backups, and maintenance of your website with some inbuilt WordPress plugins. Whereas in WordPress.org, you need to take care of all these yourself. For assistance, you can go through our guide on WordPress maintenance to keep your site neat and tidy if you are working on WordPress.org. You can also stick on to a WordPress managed hosting company that will take care of the security, backup, and performance of your website. But they usually cost much more than WordPress.com.

5. Theme Availability

You can use over 100 free themes available in the storehouse of WordPress.com but you cannot customize them. Users have to purchase premium plans to use premium themes and get design customization. It also provides some default plugins that provide features like sharing, writing comments, etc. But you cannot install any third-party plugins if you need more performance of your website. In contrast, WordPress.org enables users to have unlimited themes and plugins and extends the site’s functionality as you wish.

6. Customization Options

The free plan of WordPress.com doesn’t provide you with many customization options. You can only have basic customization in the website design or else get the paid version for more custom options. In WordPress.org you have complete control over the design of your website and can be personalized in any way.

7. Marketing Options

You cannot add your own ads on your free WordPress.com website but they advertise ‘WordPress.com ads on your site. WordPress.org enables you to display as many advertisements you want from any ad network and gain money.

Which platform is suitable for you?

As we mentioned earlier, if you are a beginner or a personal blogger who doesn’t care about making money from your website, WordPress.com is splendid for you. Also, it’s easy and fast to set up a website with WordPress.com since you don’t need to bother about the hosting, security, maintenance and backup of your site. It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that, you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space and features. 

In most situations, WordPress.org is meant for those who want a website that stands out of the crowd, and those who want to have full charge of their sites.

It’s also the perfect platform for any type of business sites and professional projects. Beginning with WordPress.org is breaking your back, but at the end of the day, your work will be fruitful.

We believe that you have understood the differences between the two versions of WordPress and hope that you can now confidently choose the right platform for your site. If you have decided to create a website with WordPress.org platform, we can assist you. We have developed various WordPress plugins and offer dedicated support to all our customers. You can get in touch with us for WordPress customization as well. 

Some Frequently Asked Questions about WordPress.com and WordPress.org

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org or “WordPress” is self-hosted – you can download it and install for free but have to pay for domain name and hosting. It is an open-source Content Management System which helps you to create a blog or website in the simplest way. 

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is owned by Automattic and takes care of web hosting for you. You just need to create an account with WordPress.com. There is no need to download any software or pay for hosting services here.

Is WordPress.org and WordPress.com the same company?

They are not. But they are both related through Matt Mullenweg. WordPress.org is the open-source Content Management System founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003. WordPress.com is owned by a company called Automattic which was founded by Matt Mullenweg.

Can I move my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Definitely. It is very simple and easy to move your blog or website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

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