WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Which One Should You Use?

Selecting the right platform is essential for getting success. It’s just like going to the right school or using the right books to gain knowledge. If you mess up then you will face a lot of troubles later. The same applies in blogging too.

There’s no denying in that WordPress is the best platform to build a site (or blog). However, new bloggers always get confused between 2 things – WordPress.org and WordPress.com, as they sound the same.

When you search for WordPress you come across 2 sites of the same name. This is what confuses many people, they can’t understand which WordPress they should be using.

Also, when someone is saying WordPress, they mean WordPress.org (as it’s the true WordPress).

The differences between these two are like day and night. And it’s our job to clear any misunderstanding you have between the two WordPress. After all, you must have the right knowledge of everything…

Head to Head Comparison – WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

Before comparing both these platforms, we must know about both of them. Right?

WordPress.org – WordPress.org is an open source CMS and is by far the most popular CMS for starting a blog. More than 30% of all the websites on the internet are running on WordPress.

As a CMS it’s a software that you need to download and install. However, almost every web host now has a built-in WordPress installer. WordPress.org is also the most beginner friendly platforms and with it you control everything.

You can create any kind of site with WordPress. It’s the most powerful solution for managing your site. This blog is also a self-hosted blog (using WordPress.org) and starting a self-hosted blog isn’t a big deal anymore.

A lot of popular sites are also using WordPress.org, but for starting a self-hosted blog you need to get a domain name and web hosting. And, if you’re thinking that it’ll cost too much to start, then you’re wrong.

WordPress.com – The counterpart of the WordPress software, WordPress.com is run by the company Automattic. It has developers from WordPress.org, one reason for having the same name.

WordPress.com is totally different from WordPress.org, it’s a hosted solution i.e, you don’t need to pay for web hosting. It is the same as Blogger, Tumblr, Medium and other platforms.

And, on the free version, you will get a sub-domain, that means you still have to purchase a custom domain. A subdomain is like – myblog.wordpress.com which doesn’t look nice. There are a lot of sites to purchase domain names.

WordPress.com is good for new bloggers, who are just trying to learn the basics of blogging. It’s also easy to use and you can use it for free with some limitations. It’s a freemium platform.

The biggest difference you can see between these 2 platforms is also that one is hosted (WordPress.com) while the other is self-hosted (WordPress.org). For knowing about more differences we must compare both these platforms.

The criteria that will be using for comparison will be – security/updates, customization, pricing, support, etc. Let’s start…

Security & Updates

WordPress.org – In WordPress.org you need to do everything and if you mess up anything that will happen, you will be responsible. You will have to handle the security and updates of your site.

Managing updates is an easy task as you only need to click on the 1-click update button. But for making your site secure you will need to take a lot of precautions. One of the best ways to make your site secure is to use security plugins.

WordPress.com – One thing which WordPress.com has better is that you will never need to worry about security and updates. Everything will be handled by WordPress.com developers, who will do auto-updates of all the sites.

Even the security will be top-notch as there is nothing you can mess with. WordPress.com It’s a closed software which doesn’t allow you to do anything beyond the basic tasks, you only need to remember your password and that’s it.

Customization

WordPress.org – The power of WordPress.org truly lies in the way you can create any kind of site with it. No matter what kind of site you want it’s possible to make with the true WordPress. There are a lot of features for customization.

You can use WordPress themes for designing and WordPress plugins for adding more features. With Drag and Drop page builder plugins you can edit the layout of your site and see the changes in real time. It’s fun to use WordPress.

WordPress.com – WordPress.com is far behind WordPress.org when it comes to customization. There are a lot of restrictions, and if you’re a free user then you have no other option than using some basic themes.

WordPress.com also has plugins but they are less in numbers, you also get some built-in features. Apart from this if you’re willing to pay for the premium version you can have additional features and access to premium themes.

Pricing

WordPress.org – It’s free to use WordPress software, but to use it you need web hosting and domain name. The average cost of getting a domain name is 10.99$/year and for web hosts, it depends on the visitors you have.

For starters, the cost of web hosting will be 3.99$/month (shared hosting). However, there are more costs for paid WordPress themes and plugins. Depending on the features, a single theme and plugin cost anywhere between 30$ to 199$.

WordPress.com – The pricing structure of WordPress.com is as follows – one free plan and 3 paid plans of 4$, 8$ and 25$ respectively. The free plan is the most used plan as a lot of new bloggers start with it.

The paid plans give more features to the user like – premium themes, more storage, email support, etc. But it’s a lot costly when comparing to the cost of a self-hosted site which only costs 3$ to 10$ with more features.

Support & Troubleshooting

WordPress.org – If you mess up something on WordPress.org then you’ll have to fix it on your own. You are responsible for every single thing! However, there are a lot of blogs about WordPress so you can fix your problem easily.

The community is damn large and you can take the help of support forums or documentation. If you can’t solve the issue then hiring a WordPress developer will be the best choice and there’s no shortage of WordPress developers.

WordPress.com – Fixing errors or mistakes on WordPress.com is easier than its counterpart. In the free plan (or version) you can solve the issues by asking about them in the community forums where other users and staff members are.

In the premium (or paid) plans it’s much easier to get support. You can either ask for help through email or live chat. They will also help to set up and customize your site. The support is great!

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Pros & Cons

There are pros and cons to everything. Even these two blogging platforms have their share of benefits and disadvantages. So, let’s know about them…

WordPress.org

Here are the pros and cons of WordPress.org –

Pros

  • It’s damn easy to use and free. (Although, you will have some costs.)
  • You have control and own 100% of your site. No one can shut your site down except you. You’re the real owner!
  • It’s easy to create stunning sites with paid WordPress themes. You can design it as per your imagination.
  • You can add amazing features with the help of WordPress plugins. There are both free and paid WordPress Plugins.
  • You can monetize your blog (or site) in any way you want to, there aren’t any restrictions. Because you’re are the real owner and control everything!
  • It’s possible to add Google Analytics or any other tracking plugin to get the stats.
  • You can create any kind of site with WordPress.org, there are no limitations.
  • WordPress.org is suitable for everyone, it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or pro, you can use it for anything!

Cons

  • You will be responsible for doing updates. However, that’s not even an issue as you can update it by simply pressing an update button. (Some web hosts even provide auto updates.)
  • As a self-hosted platform, you will need web hosting to run WordPress.org which will cost some money. The cost will be around 3$ to 10$ per month for basic sites and will increase as you receive more visitors.
  • You will also need to take backups as you are responsible. But there are also some plugins for taking backups so you can just sit back and relax.

WordPress.com

Here are the pros and cons of WordPress.com –

Pros

  • Anyone can start for free, the free plan has up to 3 GB of storage. If you need more you will have to switch to paid plans.
  • You don’t need to be afraid of taking backups and making updates, WordPress.com will do it for you regularly.
  • It is good for beginners who want to learn the basics of blogging before moving to other blogging platforms for a better experience.

Cons

  • In the free version, WordPress.com will place their ads on your blog. Which means even if you get the traffic you won’t be able to monetize your blog, the only way to remove ads is to buy paid plans.
  • You can’t monetize your blog, the only way to earn money is to buy premium plans and using their own ads service i.e, WordAds. Even then you will not earn fully, you will have to share revenue with them.
  • You won’t able to install and update any other plugin than Jetpack, which Automattic owns (in the free version). Even in the premium version, you can use a handful of plugins which will cost a lot. (299$ to 5000$ per month)
  • Unlike WordPress.org in which you can use any theme you want, here only some premium themes are available that too for premium users. Free users have to use the basic theme.
  • A “Powered by WordPress” link can’t be removed with the free plan. To remove it you will have to upgrade.
  • WordPress.com can delete your site anytime without prior notice if they think that your site isn’t up to the terms of service. (Even if you’re a premium member.)
  • You are stick to a basic site forever. Any other kind of site like e-commerce, membership, etc. can’t be built with this WordPress.
  • You can add Google Analytics code, you will have to see the stats with their inbuilt stats counter.

It seems that WordPress.com has a lot of cons when compared to WordPress.org. Even if the results are clear now we must declare the winner among our two participants. Here we go…

The Winner Of This Battle!

It isn’t a surprise that WordPress.org is the winner of this battle. WordPress.com stood no chance of winning from the start. Whether it be price, features or support – WordPress.0rg is way better than its counterpart.

The only time WordPress.com truly shines is when you’re blogging as a hobby and don’t mind the limitations. And speaking of limitations, WordPress.com or any hosted platforms are full of them.

With these hosted solutions you don’t own a single thing on your site, everything belongs to the company which runs these platforms. They can delete your blog anytime without any reason and you won’t be able to do anything.

If you don’t mind getting your blog shut down and losing all of it. Go with these hosted platforms. If you want to own and control everything then a self-hosted platform the best choice for you.

Hosted platforms are not good to start a site (or blog) when your aim is to make money. There isn’t any CMS on the internet that can beat WordPress.org, only custom sites are slightly better. But they aren’t cheap, seriously.

Even if WordPress.org has some costs it’s far better than WordPress.com, as you will only upgrade when you’re earning much. And to earn much WordPress.org is the best choice. Right?

So again we declare – WordPress.org as the winner! In the end, it’s your choice to choose between the two if you are willing to take others suggestions then only use the real WordPress.

Final Thoughts…

Right now, you shouldn’t be having any confusion between these two WordPress. Even if you ask any pro blogger that which WordPress is better, their answer will be WordPress.org as even they are having their sites on WordPress.

It’s almost impossible to find any blogger who says that WordPress.com is the best. Because everyone knows that the WordPress.org is the best one! It has been the best CMS for more than 10 years.

And creating a blog (or site if you want) with WordPress is very easy, all you need to do is purchase web hosting and domain name. We recommend SiteGround for web hosting and Namecheap for domain names.

Here is our guide on how to start a blog with WordPress. It won’t take you more than 30 minutes to start a blog. (If you want to start it.)

That’s the end of our comparison between – WordPress.org vs WordPress.com if you want more comparisons you can suggest us in the comments below. We will try our best to fulfill your demands. After all, you readers are the soul this blog.

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