Key Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the topic that I will discuss in detail in this article.
When a person going to start a new WordPress site they have two options to choose from either they go with WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
Now, most of the time people think that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are the same things but in reality, they are not.
No doubt both of these platforms are popular. They enable the user to build their WordPress site and offer a Content Management System.
But the question is if they both are popular and offer many rich features then what are the differences between these two platforms.
This article helps you a lot in understanding key differences and important features that will help you in choosing the right platform according to your needs.
In this article, I will discuss the following topics in detail.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source platform written in PHP. It is one of the most popular CMS(Content Management System) software.
By CMS we mean a system in which a user only provides content and platform does all the codding work by itself.
WordPress gives the freedom to the users to create, modify and organize their website in an efficient manner with lots of features.
You can visit What is WordPress to learn in detail about this platform.
Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
In this in-depth section, I will discuss all differences that make both WordPress.com and WordPress.org distinguish from each other.
I will also discuss all the pros and cons so it will be helpful for you to choose which platform suits your needs.
WordPress.com is founded by the creator of WordPress named Matt Mullenweg. Often people get confused with WordPress.com and WordPress.org which is popular software.
WordPress.com comes with all the necessary tools for a hosted WordPress website. It makes really simple for a student, blogger or any person who wants to share his ideas to make his website.
In WordPress.com you don’t need any coding skills to manage your website as it is done by the platform itself.
All you have to do is register for your free account and start working without knowing how to code or the layout works.
WordPress.com basic plan is free but with limited features.
But if you want to have more advanced features and other great services such as custom themes etc. you can go with paid plans.
Every WordPress.com paid plan allows a user to have better control over its site operations and it reflects a self-hosted website.
WordPress.com comes with the following free and paid plans:
|Free||Very limited||3 GB|
|Personal||$48 Per Year||6 GB|
|Premium||$96 Per Year||13 GB|
|Business||$300 Per Year||200 GB|
|eCommerce||$540 Per Year||200 GB With eCommerce Services|
Now a user can choose any plan according to their requirements.
Now let’s see what are the pros and cons of the WordPress.com
- You can start a blog without spending any penny by just register in a free account.
- Free account is enough for the users who write as a hobby but not for professional reasons.
- A user can avail up to 3 GB of free storage space for their website content. It is enough space for a hobby blogger.
- For professional users or if you wish you expand your website then you can get the plans mentioned above.
- The platform automatically updates your websites to the latest version of Word Press.
Where using WordPress.com amuses the users it also has its own limitations which make it different from WordPress.org.
- In free WordPress, they show their advertisement on your website. But the sad thing is you don’t make any money from showing these ads on your website.
- You are not allowed to display other advertisements on your website to make money which badly affects your earning potential.
- In case if you have a huge traffic network then you can place your own ads via their network WordAds but you have to share revenue with them. If you upgrade to Premium or Business then you can use WordAds without huge traffic.
- You cannot use custom plugins to enhance your website performance and speed as a free plan includes built-in Jetpack plugin which is pre-activated.
- Uploading custom theme option is also not available in the free plan. Free users can choose from a limited collection of themes. Upgrade to Premium or Business plan if you wish to use high-quality themes.
- You cannot add your custom CSS in the free plan. Upgrade your account if you want to use your own custom CSS.
- Another disadvantage of using free WordPress.com is that you cannot track your progress or stats via Google analytics or any third party tracking system but you have to depend on their stats.
- In the free plan, the branded extension WordPress.com sticks with your website name like (e.g. https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com)
- You have to upgrade to a paid plan to get your own custom domain name like (e.g https://www.yourwebsite.com).
- If at any time you did something that violates their policy they can delete your website without any notice.
- In your website a link of powered by WordPress.com displays. You have to upgrade to a paid plan to remove this link.
- If you wish to start an eCommerce website then you cannot do this with a free plan unless you upgrade to an eCommerce plan.
- You cannot start a website in which you offer membership which a great drawback if you want to earn over your services.
In light of the above-mentioned disadvantages, we can say that WordPress.com hosting platform is very limited. If you want to enjoy full features then you must upgrade to Business or VIP plan which is ($5000 per month).
Self Hosted WordPress.org
WordPress.org can be called “the real WordPress”. it is the world’s most popular platform which offers great functionalities and awesome features.
It is the platform that is used by most of the people around the world.
The best thing is that you don’t have to pay any price as it is 100% free and open-source for anyone. All you need is a domain and hosting for your website.
Because it is free and open-source that is why is often called self-hosted WordPress.
When you create your website all your software files, your themes stored in PHP programming language in the home directory of WordPress.org.
Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of this self-hosted WordPress.org to help you in choosing the right platform for your website.
If you want to have full control over your website functionalities, customization and files then WordPress.org is the right option for you.
Below I discussed some of the best reasons why you choose WordPress.org to make your professional websites.
- You have full control over your website and its contents. WordPress team will never change or delete any data on your website unless you are not doing anything illegal.
- This popular WordPress software is free and open-source.
- There is an option to add free, premium and custom WordPress plugins to your website if you want to enhance performance and security.
- You can add free, premium and paid themes on your website to give it a more professional look.
- You can create and apply a custom theme that is fully according to your personal or business needs.
- Unlike WordPress.com you can monetize your WordPress website to display advertisements and earn revenue by them which is a great feature of this platform.
- You can track your website performance by integrated it with tools like Google Analytics that will show you detail custom stats like demographics stats, unique users, bounce rate, etc.
- You can start your own eCommerce business website and earn revenue by integrating credit card payments and can track your sales very easily.
- If you are offering some kind of services you can create a membership website.
- You can offer your skills, premium content, and courses and earn revenue by it create your audience and promoting it.
Along with many advantages, self-hosted WordPress.org has some limitations which are as follows.
- You will need a domain and a web hosting for running your website. Web hosting is the place where all your website files stored.
- In the starting, your web hosting monthly fees is just like $3 to $5 according to your hosting provider.
- You can purchase premium web hosting as your website traffic and size increase while you are also making money.
- Your website will not update automatically unless you update your WordPress site manually by simply clicking on the update button.
- WordPress.org will not take automatic backup but you have to take it by yourself.
You are responsible for taking backups of your website. Thankfully, there are many useful WordPress backup plugins available in the market that let you set up automatic backups.
The budget for WordPree.org depends on what you are planning to build i.e. a simple blog, professional portfolio website, your dream eCommerce website, etc.
Other factors like using premium themes, paid plugins instead of going with free ones can impact your expenses.
Up to 90% of users who wish to make a WordPress website go with WordPress.org.
Important Questions Regarding WordPress.com and WordPress.org
As WordPress is used by many people for building their website so, they have many questions regarding different aspects of these two platforms.
I gathered the most frequently asked questions here and try my best to answer these questions.
I hope that this detailed guide will surely help you a lot in understanding the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
After reading and understanding all the above points I am sure you can make better decisions in choosing the best platform for your dream website.
According to your recommendation, you should go with WordPress.org.