The most common question we get asked by new bloggers is, What is the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, and which of them is better? Because both run on WordPress, both use themes and plugins, and both are easily available for free online, this could turn out to be a very complicated yet important decision for your blogs. In this article, we will try to understand the key features and a few pros and cons of WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a free platform for creating a blog and a website with WordPress. It is completely managed by the creators behind WordPress, Automattic. It offers easy blogging for beginners. A user can register for a free account, choose a subdomain, and start adding your content.
- One of the best features provided by WordPress.com is that it takes no money to register.
- Along with free registration, you also get a set of free themes, a free subdomain name, and a pre-installed SSL.
- You can easily add a custom logo and background color or images to your website.
- You get 3 GB of free storage space for your content and media.
WordPress.com is extremely good and easy to use for beginners. It comes with the Gutenberg content builder ready for you to customize your website/blogs. So, after creating your account, you can instantly start blogging. Premium WordPress plans start at just $4 per month. This comes with features like a custom domain, no ads, and a subscription to paid newsletters. However, certain features are only available when you upgrade to higher plans. At $8/mo, you can unlock premium themes, WordAds, and Google Analytics. At $25/mo, you can remove all WordPress branding, upload third-party plugins and themes, access your website database, and enable automatic backup. They call WordPress.com vs WordPress.org their Business Plan. And for $45/mo, with the eCommerce plan, you can unlock options like marketing tools, shipping integration, eCommerce support, and the ability to accept payments.
In WordPress.com, your website is never truly in your control. Since everything is being managed by their multisite, any content you make is owned by WordPress.com. WordPress.com also has a few guidelines to be followed by every user. This means your content should have nothing controversial including gambling, adult content, spam, etc. You are limited to using the free and premium themes that WordPress offers and you don’t get to use Google Analytics unless you take their business plan. This means if you want to keep track of your traffic, analyze user behavior, or even design your blogs the way you want them to look, you have to pay $25/mo or higher. Also, WordPress.com does not support multisite for its users. So if you were hoping to create your own network of websites, you might want to look at other options.
WordPress.org is the self-hosted version of WordPress that you can use to build your own network of websites online. Here, the user is in full control of their website, as opposed to it being managed by Automattic.
- No matter what you create, you have 100% rights to your content. As long as it’s not illegal, you can type and post pretty much anything you like.
- WordPress.org provides you with flexibility for your website. You can create any type of website you like i.e. a personal blog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a magazine, or even a network of websites.
- It allows you to install and sync third-party plugins like themes, social networking, forums, or calendars.
- It has a built-in comment section for readers to leave their reviews and suggestions under your blog.
- It allows you to create membership sites, and offer online courses. Provide royalty-free images, or collect donations for your charity, all in one place.
Because WordPress.org provides you with a content management system, you have a lot of options to make your website better. You can just pick a custom domain name, select your choice of hosting plan, and start blogging. The free and premium themes that WordPress.com offers are also available for you to use here at no extra cost. WordPress.org allows you to pick the builder plug-in of your choice, as opposed to WordPress.com where Gutenberg builder is a default option. You can also start accepting payments on WordPress.org as soon as you make your account. All you have to do is embed a simple PayPal button on your website. It also offers full eCommerce support via free plug-ins like WooCommerce and EasyDIgitalDownloads.
The main problem with WordPress.org is the costs that come with it. Your domain registration and WordPress hosting plan will cost you at least $50 per year. This will let you use only the free themes and plug-ins. If you want to start using customized themes and powerful managed WordPress hosting from a reputable company, you are looking at spending at least $400 per year. Also, since your website is completely in your control, WordPress.org takes no responsibility for the security and maintenance of your website. When using WordPress.com they are in charge of everything except your content creation. So core updates and security of your website are being handled by them.
Also Read: Best WordPress Affiliate Plugins
To Sum up WordPress.com vs WordPress.org:
Blogging can become fun and profitable if you analyze and choose the right platform for your website. your needs and comparing WordPress.com and WordPress.org with them can help you choose the best platform for you. Just remember, that the key difference is that WordPress.com is more pocket-friendly, whereas WordPress.org gives you full control of the website you are trying to make.
We hope this article has been helpful to you. Thank you for reading and good luck with your blogs!