Whenever you’re thinking about starting a blog or creating a new website, WordPress is the first leading software that comes to your mind to start with. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional.
But when you’re starting a new blog or website as a beginner, you might be confused between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. You might be starting your site using any but you didn’t know that these two are actually very different.
Because as a beginner, when you Google “WordPress”, you found two similar websites that is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. So it’s difficult for one to differentiate between the two and choose the right one according to their needs.
That’s why I’m here to help you with this article explaining the key differences between the two and help you to choose the right one.
Let’s start by getting the basic knowledge about WordPress.org and WordPress.com individually.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is open-source software that is 100% free to use. It is a Content Management System (CMS) platform.
This is also called Self-hosted WordPress because you only need a domain name and hosting to run your website.
It is one of the best website builder platforms.
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a hosting service provider where you can host your site. You can also run your website entirely for free but you don’t have full control of your website.
You can also upgrade to paid plans to get out of boundaries.
You can either use your own custom domain to run your site or you can use the wordpress.com subdomain to run your site for free.
Detailed Comparison: WordPress.com VS WordPress.org
Now we’re going to understand the main differences between both of them. I’ll explain these differences in pointers for you to better understand.
Don’t miss the infographic at the end for better understanding.
1. Key difference
The key difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the hosting service. In simple words,it depends on “who hosts your website”.
As WordPress.org is also known as Self-hosted WordPress, you need a domain and hosting to start your website. After that, you can download WordPress which is 100% free to use and start creating and customising your site.
Whereas in WordPress.com, it’s a hosting service where you can host your website. You only need a domain to start your website or you can use wordpress.com subdomain to run it entirely for free.
2. Pricing and Plans
WordPress.org is 100% free to download and use. The cost you need to run your website are of two things that are domain name and hosting.
Creating a website using WordPress.org can cost you anywhere between $2 to $10 per month which is the cost of domain and hosting.
While, WordPress.com is cheaper. It costs $300 to $400 per year.
This cost covers your hosting service. You can host your website or blog by paying this amount.
Sum up: WordPress.com is cheaper than WordPress.org but still I recommend you to go with WordPress.org as you’ll get complete freedom and control over your site (How? Explained in upcoming points).
3. Set-up Procedure
To run your website or blog using WordPress.org, you need to follow these steps given below:-
- Register a domain name and purchase a hosting plan.
- Install WordPress software (100% free)
- Now, start building your website by installing premium themes for free.
To run your website or blog using WordPress.com, you need to follow the below mentioned steps:-
- Go to WordPress.com.
- Register a domain with wordpress.com or any other registrar on the web or you can use wordpress.com subdomain as well (free).
- You need to sign-up to create your wordpress.com site.
- Pay for hosting according to your needs.
When you use WordPress.org for your site or blog, their are many options available for you to monetize. You’re not limited.
Here are some monetization options available:-
- Providing Ad spaces (Google Adsense, Media.net, etc)
- Sell digital products (ebooks)
- Sell your online course
- Affiliate marketing
- Provide digital services (content marketing, etc)
- Give online coaching
Apart from these ways, there are a lot more wya through which you can monetize your site.
Now in WordPress.com, you’re somehow limited. They ways of monetization gets limited.
If you’re using the free version, you can’t avoid the wordpress.com ads that will appear on your site or blog.
However, if you’ll go with paid version you can also use the above mentioned ways to monetize your WordPress.com site as in WordPress.org.
5. Control ( Freedom to Customize)
In WordPress.org, you’ll have full control over your site. You can customise each and everything by your own according to your needs.
While in WordPress.com, you can be very limited. It is good to start a basic blog or website but it’s not for creating a profitable blog or business website.