How about if I informed you that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two completely distinct platforms? Yes, you have heard the right thing. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are completely different platforms. So we are writing the article on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
Beginners frequently mix up WordPress.com and WordPress.org, resulting in them choosing the wrong blogging platform for their website. Even people who know that they are two separate platforms, but do not have a clear concept of the differences.
Our users frequently ask us which platform is better: WordPress.com or WordPress.org? We've brought the most comprehensive comparison of free WordPress.com vs WordPress.org(also known as self-hosted version) to help you to decide.
Our aim is to assist you to understand the fundamental differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org so that you can pick the best platform for your need.
Because choosing the correct platform is so important for your online success, we've brought the most comprehensive WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison available (text comparison, table-based comparison, and a full infographic).
If you only want to learn how to start a blog or create a website in the right way, then just move forward to our guides here:
How to Start a WordPress Blog (step by step guide)
How to Use WordPress to Make a Website (step by step)
How to Use WordPress to Create an Online Store (step by step)
How to Use WordPress to Create and Sell Online Courses (step by step)
After that, let's compare the differences between self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
Now let’s take a look at the differences of self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Comparison
Analyzing each platform separately is the best approach to understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.org, also known as “the genuine WordPress,” is a popular blogging platform about which you've probably heard a lot of good things.
It's open-source software, which means anyone can use it for free. You only need a domain name and web hosting to get started. That's the reason why it's also known as self-hosted WordPress.
The advantages and disadvantages of choosing self-hosted WordPress.org to create your website or blog are listed below. Read it carefully.
Advantages of using WordPress.org
You have full control over your website with WordPress.org. You have complete freedom to do whatever you want with it and to personalize it as much as you want.
Here are some of the advantages of using WordPress.org to create your website, as well as why we think it's the best website builder.
WordPress is a free, open-source, and extremely user-friendly blogging platform. Over 45% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress (see our article on Why is WordPress Free?).
You are the only owner of your website and all of its content. Your site will not be disabled since it is in violation of someone's terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). So ou have complete control over your website.
In your website, you can install free, premium, and custom WordPress themes and plugins.
You can customize the appearance of your website as needed. You can use any WordPress theme, whether it's free or paid. You can also make fully unique designs or make changes to anything you like.
You may make money from your WordPress site by running your own advertisements without sharing the revenue with anyone.
For custom statistics and tracking, you can use any powerful tools like Google Analytics.
You can use self-hosted WordPress to set up an online store to sell digital or physical goods, collect credit card payments, and distribute/ship the things straight from your website.
You may also build an online community around your website by creating membership sites and selling subscriptions for premium content, courses, and other services.
Disadvantages of using WordPress.org
The use of a self-hosted WordPress.org site has only a few disadvantages.
You'll need a web hosting, just like any other website. This is the location on the internet where your website files are stored. Initially, the price ranges between $3 and $10 each month. However, if your website grows and receives more traffic, the cost of your web hosting plan will increase as expected, but you will be able to afford the costs beacause then you can able to make enough money.
You'll need to download and install WordPress. Fortunately, the majority of popular WordPress hosting companies offer one-click WordPress installation. You can also follow our step-by-step guide on how to install WordPress in right way.
Updates are your duty. It's not too much trouble to update your WordPress site. You can update you site just by simply clicking on the update button (one-click).
Backup is also your responsibility. Fortunately, there are numerous WordPress backup plugins available that allow you to set up automatic backups.
The actual cost of a WordPress.org website is determined on the type of site you want to create (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc). Other considerations include free vs. premium templates, free vs. premium plugins etc.
You can create a website for as little as $40-$50 per year if you're on a limited budget. For more information, see our post on how much does it really cost to build a WordPress website.
Our recommendation for 99% of users is to use WordPress.org. See our step-by-step instructions on how to create a website.
WordPress.com is a hosting service launched by Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg, a co-founder of WordPress. WordPress.com is frequently confused with the popular WordPress.org software due to the same founder.
The WordPress.com hosting service offers six different pricing options:
Free – Services are extremely limited.
$48 per year for a Personal plan
$96 per year for Premium plan
$300 per year for a business plan
$540 per year for e-commerce plan
Starting at $5000 a month, you can become a VIP.
Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress.com.
Advantages of Using WordPress.com
For hobby bloggers and those beginning a blog for their family, the free WordPress.com platform is a great choice. Some of the advantages of using WordPress.com are as follows:
It's completely free for up to 3GB of storage. After that, if you want extra storage space, you'll have to upgrade to a premium subscription. (A Personal plan for $48/year provides 6GB of storage, a Premium plan for $96/year provides 13GB of storage, and a Business plan for $300/year provides 200 GB of storage.)
You won't have to worry about backups or upgrades. That will be taken care of by WordPress.com.
Disadvantages of using WordPress.com
There are a few disadvantages to free WordPress.com that differentiate it apart from WordPress.org. The following are some of the disadvantages of using WordPress.com:
They run ads on all free websites. Your users see such adverts, but you don't get money for those people. You can subscribe to a paid WordPress.com plan (beginning at $48 per year) if you don't want your users to view your adverts.
You are not permitted to sell advertisements on your website, severely limiting your options for monetization. If you have a high-traffic website, you can apply for their WordAds advertising program, which allows you to share earnings with them. WordAds is immediately available to Premium and Business plan subscribers.
Plugins are not allowed to be uploaded. Jetpack features are pre-activated for free plan customers. Users on the Business plan can choose from a list of compatible plugins ($300 per year). The VIP program on WordPress.com allows you to install plugins and costs $5000 per month.
Custom themes are not available for download or upload. Users on the free plan can only use the limited number of free WordPress themes. Premium and business plan subscribers can choose from a variety of premium themes. The free edition has a limited number of customizing choices. Custom CSS is available to Premium and Business plan users.
You're limited to their statistics. You won't be able to use Google Analytics or any other advanced tracking tool. Google Analytics can be installed by users on the Business plan.
A WordPress.com branded subdomain (e.g. https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com) is included with all free WordPress.com sites. To get a custom domain name (e.g. https://www.yourwebsite.com), you'll need to upgrade to a premium plan.
If they believe your site breaches their terms of service, they have the right to delete your website at any moment.
A “powered by WordPress.com” link will appear on your site. You must upgrade to the Business plan to get rid of it.
Unless you upgrade to the eCommerce package, WordPress.com does not give you any eCommerce functionality or any integrated payment methods.
WordPress.com does not support the creation of membership websites.
As you can see, the WordPress.com hosting platform is severely limited when using free, personal, or premium plans. You must be on the Business ($300 per year) or VIP ($5000 per month) plan to access some of the more advanced features.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org (FAQs)
We get a lot of questions about WordPress.com vs WordPress.org because it's such a critical topic.
The following are the most frequently asked questions, which we have tried to answer to the best of our ability:
Which is Better between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
If you're a personal blogger who doesn't care about making money from your website, then WordPress.com is a good option for you.
We recommend using self-hosted WordPress.org if you are a business or a blogger who wants to make money from your website. It provides you with the freedom and flexibility to develop your website in any way you think right.
While the WordPress.com Business plan ($300 per year for each website) includes some advanced features, a self-hosted WordPress site, which costs $46 per year, will help you to make money easily.
The superior platform, in our opinion, is WordPress.org. Every professional blogger, small company owner, and even big name companies like Disney use this platform.
Is it possible to monetize a free WordPress.com website?
On free WordPress.com websites, you are not allowed to display advertisements. You can join their WordAds program and share your ad revenue with WordPress.com if you have a high-traffic website.
You can add a few affiliate links to your site, but that's it.
On a WordPress.com website, you have extremely limited choices for monetizing content.
Whereas with WordPress.org, you have complete control over the content management system, allowing you to monetize your new website in an unlimited number of ways.
Which is better for Ecommerce: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is the most user-friendly platform for creating an eCommerce website. To create your store, you can use WooCommerce or one of the many other WordPress eCommerce, membership, and LMS plugins.
WordPress.com also has an eCommerce package that starts at $540 per year, which is a significant investment if you are just starting out. In terms of features, it's still limited, and you'll have to adhere to WordPress.com's terms of service for your eCommerce business.
Check out our tutorial on how to create an online store with a low budget. It covers how to get your own domain for free, as well as all of the useful features you'll need to succeed online.
How can I get started with WordPress.org?
A domain name and WordPress hosting are required to launch a self-hosted WordPress website.
A domain name is the web address for your websites, such as google.com or noproblembd.com. Web hosting refers to the location on the internet where your website files are hosted.
We recommend Bluehost for website hosting because Bluehost is one of the largest web hosting companies all over the world. Bluehost is also a recommended web hosting company by WordPress.org. Moreover, they're giving our consumers a free domain, a free SSL, and a 60% discount on hosting.
Check out our free tutorial on how to make a website (step-by-step instructions).
Is it possible to transfer from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
New users who are unfamiliar with the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org frequently begin using the free WordPress.com service. When users realize the platform's limitations, they wish to transfer to “the Real WordPress,” also known as WordPress.org.
Yes, you can transfer your website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and you can move all of your content very easily.
We've put together a step-by-step guide on how to transfer your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Summary of the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
The comparison of renting a property vs. owning a property is the easiest way to understand about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
The experience of using WordPress.com is similar to that of renting a home. You only have a limited amount of power and control over what you can and cannot do.
WordPress.org is like to owning property. So you have complete control, no one can kick you out, and you can do whatever you want.
Everything we discussed in this self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison is summarized below:
Below is the summary of everything we discussed above in our self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison:
|WP.org (Platform)||WP.com (Free)||WP.com (Premium)||WP.com (Business)|
|Cost||$46 – $100 / year||Free||$96 / year||$300/ year|
|Hosting Storage||Unlimited||3 GB||13 GB||200 GB|
|Monetization Freedom||Yes||No||Yes (with rev/share)||Yes (with rev/share)|
|All SEO Features||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Full Theme Support||Yes||No||Limited||Yes|
|Full Plugin Support||Yes||No||No||Yes|
For beginners, the misunderstanding caused by similar domains: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is quite bad. There is a lot of history behind these decisions, which you can learn about in our post about how WordPress.com and WordPress.org are related.
We hope this post has helped you understand the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
We wish you the best of luck with your website and hope you choose the correct platform: WordPress.org.
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Regards for helping out, superb information.