WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) the most popular Software to build a website. But despite its popularity, there’s one question that many new users still struggle with –
What’s the difference between WordPress.com v/s WordPress.org?
Here’s an easy way to memorize what the difference is … just look at the domain extension of the WordPress you’re interested in:
WordPress.org – “.org” stands for “organization”
WordPress.com – “.com” stands for “commercial”
Did you know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are actually two very different platforms?
WordPress.org “the real WordPress” is the popular website platform that you have heard all the great things about.
It is open-source and 100% free for anyone to use. All you need is a domain name & web hosting. This is why it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress.
Here are some of the benefits of choosing WordPress.org:
- The WordPress software is free, open-source, and super easy to use.
- You own your website and all its data. Your website will NOT be turned off or banned as long as you are not doing something illegal. You are in full control until you don’t violate the terms & conditions.
- You can add free, paid, and custom WordPress plugins / apps to your website.
- You can customize your website design as per your need. You can add any free or premium WordPress theme that you want. You can also create completely custom designs or modify anything that you want.
- You can make money from your website by monetize your website without sharing revenue with anyone.
- You can use powerful tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking to see traffic of your website.
- You can use self-hosted WordPress to create an online store to sell physical products or services & accept payments, from customers.
WordPress.com is a for-profit hosted blogging service run by Automattic. WordPress.com launched in 2005, and is the largest WordPress install in the world. It is powered by WordPress, with some additional plugins and modifications layered on.
Having “.wordpress.com” in the domain (www.yourdomain.wordpress.com) of the blog or the presence of a “Blog at WordPress.com” promo message or credits image can be used to determine whether a site is hosted at WordPress.com.
With WordPress.com, you don’t have to worry about purchasing hosting or maintaining your site. It also can be free, though there are paid plans as well.
The WordPress.com hosting service has 6 plans:
- Free – Very limited.
- Personal – $48 per year
- Premium – $96 per year
- Business – $300 per year
- eCommerce – $540 per year
- VIP – starting at $5000 per month
The free plan limits you to 3GB of data and a subdomain (like mywebsite.wordpress.com).
Furthermore, you won’t be able to install your own “plugins” or “themes” unless you pay for the expensive business plan. Plugins and themes are one of the most helpful things about the WordPress software because they make it easy to customize your site, so that’s a pretty big loss.
- Go to WordPress.com and sign up for an account,
- Provide all your access details for the new account,
- Set a name of your site, pick a design,
- Pick the plan that’s best suited to your needs. Those go from $0 to $25 a month – more on these below,
- Register a new domain for the site if you’ve chosen a paid plan in the previous step,
- Finalize the setup and configure your website.
It’s easy to get lost in details when you are not very familiar with something. Same goes here. If you’re still undecided which platform is the best option for your website, let’s make things even simpler.
So, is it WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
- WordPress.org = is for website owners who want to be independent. That means that you build everything on your own from the ground up. Most importantly, you’re free to install any tools you like and control the overall website functionality. This is the best choice if you want to be completely on your own.
- WordPress.com = is good for you if you don’t want to get your hands dirty with hosting, third-party tools, and custom website functionality. You just sign up and get an online space of your own instantly. The downside is that you won’t be able to customize it much unless you go with an expensive plan.