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

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
What is WordPress.com? What is WordPress.org? What's the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

In this article on 'WordPress.com vs WordPress.org', you will clearly understand the difference between the two.

And as always, for any one-on-one consulting and assistance, you may mail me at tariq@bloggersbloom.com
Tariq Digital Marketing Consultant
Tariq SP
Blogger & Digital Marketing Consultant

If you are starting out with WordPress, you’re surely going to face this confusion.

Is it WordPress.com or is it WordPress.org? And what’s the difference between the two?

This confusion is quite natural since, well, the names are practically the exact same.

What’s the difference between the two? And which one should you use for your website?

We’re going to take things far more extensive later on in the post. But to begin with, let’s start with the absolute big difference between the two.

WordPress.org, AKA self-hosted WordPress, is the actual open-source WordPress software application that anyone can download and utilize however they desire. You need to buy your own domain name, web hosting and have complete control over whatever.

wordpress.com vs wordpress.org

WordPress.com is one particular “site as a service” execution built on the WordPress.org software. WordPress.com hosts your website and deals with whatever for you, however at the expenditure of some flexibility.

wordpress.com vs wordpress.org

Recent modifications made by WordPress.com have actually served to only blur the lines more– but that’s still what the core distinction between the two boils down to.

In the following post, we’ll dig much deeper into the two choices and reveal to you how this core distinction in fact plays out when it concerns creating a website.

Introducing: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Prior to covering the features, let’s quickly introduce the players.

Simply to repeat:

WordPress.org is an open-source software application managed by the non-profit WordPress Foundation.

WordPress.com is a for-profit company owned by Automattic that uses the WordPress.org open-source software.

The two are formally separate entities, though the informal lines can get blurred because Matt Mullenweg is both the creator of the WordPress Foundation and the creator of Automattic. As a result, the two entities remain closely linked.

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Both Platforms Make It Easy to Create a Website

At this moment, it’s exceptionally easy to create a site with both WordPress.com and WordPress.org. With that being stated, it’s tough to reject that the procedure is even easier with WordPress.com.

Here’s a fast summary of what it requires to start with each choice.

How to Create a Website With WordPress.com.

With WordPress.com, creating a new site is actually as simple as developing an account. No requirement to fool around with hosting or domains:

I’ve listed out the entire process of creating a new site with WordPress.com below.

Step #1: Create An Account on WordPress.com

Visit the WordPress.com website

Click ‘Get Started’ on the top right-hand side corner.

Create an account in WordPress.com, Step 1

You could go ahead and create a new account by either entering your email address and setting a password or create an account by using your Google ID.

Step #2: Select Your Site Name

Once you have created an account, you will be prompted to enter a domain name.

Create an account in WordPress.com, Step 2, Selecting a domain name

If you already own a domain name, you could click on the ‘Already own a domain?’ link, displayed below the search field.

If you do not have one, enter the domain. For e.g., for the sake of this article, I’ve searched for the domain name ‘freewptutorials’.

Select a domain name, WordPress.com set up process

While I own the domain name ‘freewptutorials.com’, the purpose of this article is to show you, how to create a website using WordPress.com without buying a domain and hosting.

WordPress.com offers you various domain extensions to choose from. Go ahead and select the free option, below the WordPress.com recommended options.

Step #3: Choose A Plan

In the final step of your set up process, you will be prompted to select a plan.

WordPress.com Set up process, Select a Plan

Again, since we would like to create a website free of cost, ignore the plans and click on ‘Not sure yet? Start with a free site’.

Step #4: Welcome to your WordPress.com Dashboard

The setup process will start, as shown in the image below.

Set up process for WordPress.com

And once this is complete, you will be directed to your WordPress.com dashboard.

Account Created, WordPress.com Dashboard

As shown in the above image, your site has been created!

The whole procedure takes simply a couple of minutes and you’re off to the races.

How much Does It Cost to Create a WordPress.com Site?

WordPress.com varies from 100% free to $24.92 per month.

With the free plan, your website,

  • Is a subdomain of WordPress.com– like yoursite.wordpress.com. For e.g., as shown above, my domain will be ‘freewptutorials.wordpress.com’
  • Displays WordPress.com ads
  • Has minimal storage area

If you go with the paid plans, you’ll have the ability to use your own domain and eliminate the advertisements, but you’re still limited in what you can do with your website (more on this later).

How to Create a Website With WordPress.org

With WordPress.org, the procedure isn’t rather as basic as simply developing an account. Since how popular self-hosted WordPress is, the process is still quite beginner-friendly these days.

Generally, you’ll need to get your own:

  • Domain name
  • Webhosting

Then, you can install the self-hosted WordPress.org software by yourself. Nowadays, many hosts make this procedure as basic as clicking a couple of buttons– no code needed.

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Some hosts, like BlueHost, SiteGround, Kinsta, WPX Hosting, even provide to pre-install WordPress for you so that you don’t need to do a single thing.

You could refer to my free online course on WordPress for Beginners to learn how to create a website using WordPress.org.

How Much Does It Cost to Create a WordPress.org Site?

The only set expenditures with a WordPress.org website are:

Web hosting– can be as cheap as $3-5 per month, but goes into $100+ for performance-oriented managed WordPress hosts.

Domain– ~$ 10 annually for a “. com” domain.

When you’re just starting, you’ll typically be great developing a site for just ~$ 50 each year total.

WordPress.org Is More Flexible For Most Users

Among the amazing things about WordPress is its vibrant third-party theme and plugin communities. Themes and plugins essentially let you make substantial changes to how your WordPress website both looks and functions.

With WordPress.org, you’re totally free to set up whatever WordPress plugins and themes you desire, while WordPress.com doesn’t let you install themes and plugins on a lot of plans.

WordPress.org Themes and Plugins

Can You Install Third-Party Extensions on WordPress.com?

For the longest time, the answer to the concern was a hard, no. Now, current changes make it a bit murkier, though the response is still no for most WordPress.com users.

Considering that August 2017, WordPress.com users who spend for the $300 (annually) Business strategy have the capability to set up third-party WordPress themes and plugins. That gives those users basically the exact same power to install extensions as self-hosted WordPress users.

Users on all other strategies, consisting of both complimentary and paid, are not so fortunate. That is, users on Free, Personal, or Premium WordPress.com strategies can not set up third-party themes and plugins.

This is among the major drawbacks of WordPress.com.

WordPress.com basically sacrifices flexibility in exchange for simpleness.

That tradeoff might be worth it to you if you just desire a casual pastime blog. But if you want a website that you can adjust and really make your own, you’ll discover that much easier to achieve with WordPress.org.

Can You Set Up Third-Party Extensions on WordPress.org?

We already sort of covered the distinction here, however, let’s go through it quickly anyway.

With WordPress.org, you can install any one of the countless third-party styles, plugins, and WooCommerce extensions on your site. You have 100% control of what happens on your site.

WordPress.com Streamlines Security, However, Isn’t Inherently More Secure

Because most WordPress.com plans are a closed community, sites that you create with WordPress.com are often more protected by default. With that being said, as long as you put in place the right fundamental WordPress security practices, WordPress.org is just as protected.

How WordPress.com Manages Security

With WordPress.com, you just plain don’t need to think of security. Since the system is locked-down, you do not have the authority to make your site susceptible, even if you wanted to for some odd factor.

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How WordPress.org Deals With Security

Once again, WordPress.org is just as secure as WordPress.com. … you’re the one who’s responsible for carrying out that security, now.

It’s not specifically made complex– your host can help with some parts, and WordPress security plugins can do the majority of the rest for you.

You certainly need to pay more attention to security on WordPress.org than WordPress.com. Remember– that’s the tradeoff you spend for more flexibility.

WordPress.org Lets You Monetize Your Site Nevertheless You’d Like

Beyond minimal versatility, among the major drawbacks of WordPress.com is that you’re limited in the manner ins which you can generate income from your site. We’ll go through the constraints listed below.

With WordPress.org, on the other hand, you have zero limitations. You can monetize your site by means of actually any technique that you choose. You can even discover helpful marketing plugins to help you do it!

WordPress.com Monetization Limitations

  • Google AdSense: Only permitted on Business plans
  • BuySellAds: Only permitted on Business plans
  • Affiliate marketing: Allows affiliate links, but not for “sites that exist mainly to drive traffic to affiliate links.”
  • Sponsored Posts: Allows sponsored posts, but does not permit “websites where the huge bulk of the content is sponsored material”
  • eCommerce store: Only readily available on Business plans

Basically, unless you’re willing to pay for the $300 organization plan, you’re limited in how you can make money from your site. Plus, even on business strategy, you’re restricted by WordPress.com’s meaning of the number of affiliate links or sponsored posts are too many.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Which Should You Choose?

In the end, self-hosted WordPress.org is the best choice for many serious sites.

Its versatility when it pertains to setting up extensions, altering performance, and picking monetization methods makes it superior to WordPress.com.

If you have a site with them but wish to transfer to a self-hosted platform we have a total step by step guide: How to Migrate WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

Yes, you will need to pay more attention to things like updates and security, however, neither is particularly complicated.

With that being stated, WordPress.com absolutely fits. If you simply desire a casual pastime website and/or do not mind sacrificing versatility in return for ease of use, WordPress.com is still a solid choice.

Additionally, WordPress.com’s Service plan is blending the conventional line between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Time will inform how this modification manifests itself, but for now, it’s too early to inform.

At this point, it’s incredibly easy to create a website with both WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Its versatility when it comes to setting up extensions, altering performance, and choosing money-making methods makes it remarkable to WordPress.com.

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