WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – What’s the difference
Once you decided to start your blog on WordPress most confusing part is the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
This is the most general situation for anyone as both names look exactly the same.
In this post I will clear all your queries and give you an in-depth difference between these sites.
Before going in detail here is a quick version of what you need to know:
WordPress.com is a one-stop solution platform that has all features to build-your-own-site. It’s free to start with and you don’t need any hosting or domain name. Go to WordPress.com, sign up for an account with few clicks you will be able to start building your own site or blog.
WordPress.org is an open-source software which is an operating system for blog/website available for free. You need a hosting account and domain name to start with WordPress.org. Our step-by-step guide on how to start a blog can help you to get started.
We will now dive inside and find the core differences between these two platforms in detail.
Introducing WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Table of Contents
WordPress.com has both free and premium plans available.
The free plan is 100% free and you can start straight away.
With the free plan, your website will be a subdomain of WordPress.com, and the website address will be “yoursite.wordpress.com”.
You will get 3 GB disk space, dozens of free themes, and need to be ready to have WordPress.com ads.
WordPress.com has plans from $4 -$45 per month with a free domain name if you choose a personal plan.
WordPress.org is 100% free software.
Cost involved to start a website with WordPress.org is buying a domain name and hosting.
A domain name costs roughly around $10 depending on the popularity price may change.
To buy you can check NameCheap.
Hosting plans start from $3 – $15 per month.
Recommended WordPress.org hosting providers are Bluehost, Siteground, and Dreamhost.
The total cost to make your website go to live could cost you from $50 to $100 per year depending on your choice of hosting.
Your website address will look like “Yourwebsite.com”.
Start Building Your Site
Creating a website with WordPress.com is as simple as filling up a sign up form.
It takes a couple of minutes to start building your website on WordPress.com.
You don’t need any hosting to start with, just by clicking on start your website button on ‘WordPress.com‘ website that will guide you through the complete process.
All you need is to enter your email id, site name and select a nice theme for your website and you are good to go.
Setting up a site on ‘WordPress.org’ is not a straightforward process, it requires a domain name and hosting which can be said as self hosting.
If you are looking for starting a website with self hosting and you are clear with the differences you can skip and look at these guidelines:
How to start a blog with WordPress
18 secret steps to follow once you finished installing WordPress
Once you selected hosting service provider you can install WordPress with few clicks.
Availability of Themes
A theme comes with a set of shapes, fonts, and colors which gives a website great look and feel.
In both the versions anyone can install themes by browsing from dashboard.
WordPress.com you can only use premade WordPress themes which means you can not install themes from outside.
Availability of themes depends on the plan you have chosen.
Ranging from 150 to 500 different types of themes which includes Personal, Premium, Business, and e-commerce.
WordPress.org also comes with both free and premium themes.
Around 7500+ premade themes available in official directory.
You can also install free or purchased themes from outside the directory which are from the web.
Availability of Plugins
A plugin is an add-on software that will be installed on WordPress to enhance website.
To install plugins you need to be a Premium or Business user.
You will have access to around 50,000+ plugins.
Anyone using WordPress.com can not upload plugins
Free users don’t have access to install plugins which is a downside if building a website using WordPress.com.
It allows you to install plugins regardless of which hosting service you are using.
By default, all 57,000+ plugins are accessible to every user our post will help you to choose the best free plugins.
It does not limit you to available plugins in the directory you can also upload plugins available on the web.
Security and Backup
WordPress.com don’t allow themes or plugins to upload from internet, so your website will be in internal environment of WordPress.com and it’s secure.
Backup options are built internally in WordPress.com and our data is safe.
Regular updates are released from WordPress.com and those are installed automatically in all sites hosted through WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is as secure as WordPress.com but WordPress.org allows you to install themes and plugins from outside WordPress environment.
Themes and Plugins installed from good sources will give your website required security features.
But to be more secure one can install plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri.
Backups are not taken care internally, so you need to use plugin which can finish the task easier.
UpdraftPlus is the most common plugin used for taking care of backups.
Updates need to be done by the user which can be done with a click from dashboard.
WordPress.com does not allow you to monetize your site if you are using free plan.
If you are planning to make money from your website you need to switch to at least Premium plan.
WordPress.com has their own advertisements displayed when you are on free plan which can not be disabled.
When hosted through self hosting using WordPress.org software there are no restrictions to monetize your site.
You can market your website the way you like and earn money from it.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is best choice
Both versions have their own advantages and disadvantages.
No one can make decision except you as everyone has their own requirements.
Before choosing the platform think why you are planning have a website and act.
Factors to be considered are is it for learning or to make money online, what’s the budget available with you.
If you just want to start your personal blog to share your experiences, ideas, hobbies or whatsoever WordPress.com is good choice.
If you plan to start for free and trail choose WordPress.com, with this you can set up with easy with simple steps, and need not worry about maintenance.
When you have a great idea and serious project to build a website, WordPress.org is good choice.
WordPress.org will give complete flexibility for pro-bloggers, webmasters, and business sites.
You can monetize and customize the site as you like.
If you decided to start your website with self hosting and not sure on how to start with our guide you can start easily.