WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Comparison – What’s The Difference?

Self hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com (Free). Which one to pick? When you first start waging best options to build site or blog, you are going to be confused by the various different options available.

Hopefully you will realize that WordPress is excellent solution. WordPress is an open source content management system. It is software anyone can download and use for free.


WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org is the center of the WordPress community. It is the version of WordPress that you have to host yourself. This means that if you use WordPress.org, you have to find affordable WordPress hosting provider to host your blog.

If you host your own WordPress site you will need to do maintenance and updates when new releases are out. Also it is essential to secure it from hacking. If you have a spam problem you will need to install some plugins or find another proper solutions. WordPress sites are a favorite target of spammers and hackers.

If there are any sorts of problems with your server, you’ll need to be able to handle that. WordPress.com is a commercial website where you can host a free site with some limitations or pay for upgrades.

It runs on the exact same software offered at WordPress.org. But, WordPress.com saves you troubles of maintaining and installing on server. It is the safest way to go, as there are a lot of mechanisms in place to make sure that you don’t accidentally break it or prevent it from working the way it was intended to.

This means that it is nearly impossible for a beginner to screw up something. It also means that you are unable to really make use of some of the more advanced and fun features of WordPress.

In return for the free hosting and maintenance, your site will be striked with restrictions and advertising. You can pay yearly in order to have these removed.

  • You can use custom, free, commercial themes and you can modify or do anything you want with your site.
  • You can upload any free, custom or paid plugins.

  • You need to pay for hosting and domain registration fee.

  • You can put your own ads or choose which one to put.
  • You can sell ads space on your site and keep all earnings.

  • You need to keep site updated, make backups, stop spam, optimize site etc.
  • Number of visitors to your site depend on various factors.
  • Do whatever you want.
  • You manage or provide it.
blank 200x208

  • Themes

  • Plugins

  • Expenses

  • Ads

  • Monetization

  • Maintenance

  • Traffic
  • Control
  • SSL security
  • FTP access
  • You are limited to free themes that are available in WordPress theme repository and you cannot modify CSS or codes in theme.
    CSS upgrade can be purchased for 30$ a year and some themes can be purchased for one time fee.
  • You are not allowed to upload any custom, free or paid plugins but there are lot of built in plugin features.
    There is VIP program which allows control over themes, plugins, code etc. for 2500$ for up to 5 sites.
  • Up to 3GB of storage space is free. You have to pay domain registration fee if you want custom domain name and not sub domain.
    Custom domain price is 12-17$ a year and more space is paid 5GB for 19.97$, 100 GB for 289.97$ a year.
  • Blog will display ads for log out users and there is nothing you can do.
    Ad free option costs 29.97$ a year
  • You are not allowed to sell ads on your site unleas you receive at least 25 000 pageviews per month. Then you can apply for Ad Control.
    You need to split revenue 50/50
  • No need to worry about that.

  • You may get extra traffic to your site if your post gets featured.
  • WordPress TOS limitations
  • They provide it.


Which To Choose?

If you are creating website for business it is recommended to use WordPress.org as that will make possible retaining flexibility, custom themes, extra plugins etc.

Of course, you can always export your site from WordPress.com, but you’ll then have a whole list of things to handle before being up and running on your own self-hosted installation.


WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
(Picture taken from WPMUDEV)


WordPress.com is great if you are looking to keep an online journal or for small clubs and the like. But the initially free option of WordPress.com could actually result in higher costs down the road.

After you start piling on extra fees for a custom domain, ad removal, extra storage space (you only get 3GBs to start), plus the ability to use custom CSS in your blog design, you really aren’t saving much, if any, money on WordPress.com, and you have to deal with its limitations.

In battle WordPress.org vs WordPress.com I would definitely recommend going for WordPress.org.

WordPress.org Or WordPress.com Summary

When it comes down to cost, freedoms and limitations, and maintenance and development considerations, WordPress.org wins. It may take more time and effort to set up a WordPress site, but you will have full control over the look and feel of your site.

You will be able to use custom themes and customize their look, and also upload custom plugins to add more functionality to your site.

If you plan to grow your site and increase traffic, then downloading WordPress from WordPress.org is my recommendation. What is your opinion? Let me know in the comments below.

DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.

2 thoughts on “WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Comparison – What’s The Difference?”

  1. All detailed differences between both of servises. Thanks for the informative article. And thanks for making me to understand the differences.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Copy link