WordPress is a well-known brand that powers more than a third of the internet. Then again, there are two varieties of WordPress, isn’t there? With nearly identical names? Are you aware that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two distinct platforms?

Beginners mix up WordPress.com and WordPress.org; this results in them selecting the incorrect blogging platform for their purposes. Unfortunately, even people aware of these two platforms are unaware of the differences.

WordPress.com is based on the same software as WordPress.org. But it is hosted for you and functions more like a website builder like Wix or Squarespace. WordPress.org is a self-hosted CMS.

This means you’ll have to download the software and find your web hosting. However, it’s still relatively simple to use rather than only checking in and creating a website. WordPress.org is considered the more powerful of the two. It allows you to develop whatever type of site you want with no restrictions on creativity. We’ve made a complete WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison available (self-hosted version).

We aim to help you understand the fundamental differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. So you can pick the best platform for your needs.


WordPress.org is also known as “the genuine WordPress.” It is a popular website platform about which you’ve probably heard many good things.

It’s open-source software, and anyone can use it for free. All you need is web hosting and a domain name. The benefits and drawbacks of working on a self-hosted WordPress.org to create your blog or website are listed below.


You have complete control over your website using WordPress.org. You have complete freedom to do whatever you want with it and to personalize it as much as you want. Here are some of the advantages of using WordPress.org to create your website and why it’s the most acceptable website builder.

  • It is an open-source and highly user-friendly platform. (Can you see why WordPress is free?)
  • You are the only owner of your website and all its content. Your site will not be disabled because it violates someone’s terms of service. But, if you are following the laws. You have complete control.
  • You can install free, premium, and custom WordPress plugins/apps to your website.
  • You can change the style of your website as needed. Also, you can use any WP theme, both free and paid. You can also make unique designs or make changes to anything you like.
  • You may make money from your WordPress site by running your advertisements and not sharing the proceeds with anyone.
  • For bespoke statistics and tracking, you can use tools like GA.
  • You can use self-hosted WordPress to set up an online store to sell digital or physical goods, collect credit card payments, and distribute/ship the things straight from your website.
  • You may also build an online community around your website by creating membership sites and selling subscriptions for premium content, courses, and other services.


The use of a self-hosted WordPress.org site has only a few drawbacks.

  • You’ll need web hosting, like any other website. It is the address on the internet where your site files are stored. Initially, the price ranges between $3 and $10 each month. If your site expands and receives more traffic, then the cost of your web hosting plan will rise as expected. But you will be able to afford the expenditures.
  • You’ll need to download and install WordPress. Fortunately, the majority of popular WordPress hosting companies offer one-click WordPress installation. You can also follow the step-by-step guide to install WordPress.
  • Updates are your responsibility. It’s not too difficult to update your WordPress site by clicking on the update button.
  • Backups are your responsibility. Fortunately, many WordPress backup plugins are available that allow you to set up automatic backups.
  • The actual cost of a WordPress.org website is determined by the type of site you want to create. Such as a simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site.
  • Other considerations include free vs premium templates and premium plugins, and You may design a website for as little as $46/year on a tight budget.


Automattic established WordPress.com as a hosting service. WordPress.com is often confused with the popular WordPress.org software due to the same founder. The WordPress.com hosting service has six pricing options:

  • Free – has minimal access.
  • Personal – annual fee of $48.
  • Premium membership costs $96 per year.
  • $300 per year for a business.
  • $540 per year for ecommerce.
  • Starting at $5000 a month, you can become a VIP.

Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of WordPress.com.


For hobby bloggers who create a blog for their families, the free WordPress.com platform is a fantastic option. Some of the advantages of using WordPress.com are as follows:

  • It’s free for up to 3GB of storage. Now, if you want more storage space, you’ll have to get a premium subscription.
  • A Personal plan ($48/year and 6GB of storage). A Premium plan ($96/year and 13GB of storage). A Business plan ($300/year and 200 GB of storage).
  • No need to bother about backups or upgrades.


A few drawbacks to free WordPress.com that set it apart from WordPress.org.

  • They run advertisements on all free websites, and your users see such advertisements. But you don’t get paid for them. If your users don’t want to view your adverts, you can subscribe to a paid WordPress.com plan (beginning at $48 per year).
  • You are not permitted to sell advertisements on your website, limiting your options for monetization. However, you can apply for their WordAds advertising program if you have a high-traffic website. In addition, it allows you to split earnings with them. WordAds is available to Premium and Business plan subscribers.
  • Plugins are not allowed to be uploaded. Jetpack features are pre-activated for free plan customers. Users on the Business plan can choose from a list of compatible plugins ($300 per year). The VIP program on WordPress.com lets you install plugins, and it costs $5000 per month.
  • Custom themes are not available for download. With the free plan, you can only use several free themes. Premium and business plan subscribers can also choose between many different premium themes. Also, it only has a restricted number of customizing choices. Custom CSS is available to Premium and Business plan users.
  • You’re limited to their statistics. You won’t be able to use GA or other advanced tracking tools. Users on the Business plan can install Google Analytics.
  • A WordPress.com branded subdomain is included with all free WordPress.com sites. However, to get a custom domain name (e.g., https://www.yourwebsite.com), you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan.
  • If they believe your site breaches their terms of service, they have the right to remove it at any moment.
  • A powered by WordPress.com link will appear on your site. Upgrade to the Business plan to get rid of it.
  • Unless you get the eCommerce package, it does not have any eCommerce functionality or connected payment methods.
  • WordPress.com does not support the creation of membership websites.

Hence, the WordPress.com hosting platform is constrained when using free, personal, or premium plans. You must be on the Business or VIP plan to get more advanced features.

Comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Examining each platform separately is the best approach to grasp the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Ease of Use

To use either WordPress.com or org, you need some technical knowledge. But which is more straightforward to learn?

Let’s start with how simple it is to make a website. While each platform provides ‘page builders’ to assist you in structuring and building all your web pages, you will need to know a little coding.

This is particularly true in the case of WordPress.org. Because you’ll be able to create various websites, you’ll need to have a greater level of coding experience. On the other hand, WordPress.com is created primarily for blogging, making it easy to create and update entries. The primary distinction here is the ease with which you may set it up.

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

In ease of use, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are very comparable. But WordPress.com is more streamlined. In addition, it’s only for blogs, so everything you need is already set up for you, and you don’t have to bother about hosting your site.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Hosting

WordPress.com already has web hosting set up for you, so you have to worry about is developing your website. You can then post it online without having to worry about anything else.

WordPress.org is self-hosted, which means you’ll have to locate your hosting. Self-hosted solutions demand greater autonomy. But they also give your site more power and scalability.

Bluehost is the finest WordPress.org hosting provider, according to our independent study. In addition, it has features like one-click installs, which allow you to connect your site with only one click.

Bluehost also maintains your site as per WordPress updates. So you don’t have to keep up with them manually.

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

WordPress.org, unlike WordPress.com, is a self-hosted platform. This means you must find your hosting provider. Thus you can’t truly compare the two. You can’t go wrong with Bluehost for all your WordPress.org hosting needs.

Customization & Theme Design

The look and feel of your website — its appearance, the options available to you, and the extent to which you may alter it – is all about theme designs and customization.

WordPress.com functions like a website builder. This online application allows you to design your website and offers pricing options. Of course, the more expensive your plan is, the more benefits you’ll receive.

It’s no different with themes. WordPress.com has many free themes and built-in default functionality on its lower-tiered plans.

You can make fundamental changes to free themes. But if you want to add custom CSS (code) or use one of WordPress’ 200 premium themes, you’ll need to upgrade. You’ll also need to upgrade your plugins to install extras like Google Analytics.

Because WordPress.org is open-source, the possibilities for customization are endless. You can use any WordPress theme you choose or use one created by a third party. You can even create your custom theme. But this is quite difficult and should only be attempted with the help of a web expert.

Plugins are the same way. Any feature, whether created by WordPress, a third party, or one you’ve had custom-built, can be added to your site.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org What is the Difference?

For creative control, WordPress.org comes out on top. Its customizability is boundless, and you can code everything from scratch if you want to. In addition, fundamental changes are possible on WordPress.com. But if you want to make significant changes to your site, you’ll need to be on a high-priced plan.


WordPress is well-known for being free. But how much will it cost you to create a fully functional website on the platform? Let’s have a look. To begin, both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are free to use. But, in all circumstances, you’ll need to spend money to get your site up and operating.


WordPress.com has six pricing levels, ranging from free to $45 per month. Of course, you must pay for all plans in advance each year, so keep that in mind before making your final decision.

The following is a pricing breakdown for WordPress.com:

  1. Free – You can create a website using a website builder with minimal options.
  2. Blogger- $3/month: A ‘.blog’ subdomain is included with the Blogger plan but put it in another way, you can register a domain name for free. Because the Domain will finish in ‘.blog,’ for example, the URL will look like this www.websitebuilderexpert.blog.com.
  3. Personal- $5/month: The Personal plan is the first level of service, and it includes a free year of domain ownership. It also offers specialized help via email and live chat. Unfortunately, you’re still limited to a blogging site at this stage, and you’ll need to upgrade if you want to build anything else.
  4. Premium- $8/month: The Premium plan is the most popular on WordPress.com, and it’s easy to see why. This is the cheapest way to access premium WordPress themes and make advanced customizations.
  5. Business- $25/month: The business plan is designed for companies. It removes all WordPress branding and allows third-party plugins to be installed. This strategy distinguishes an excellent personal website from a great company website.
  6. eCommerce- $45/month: The eCommerce plan is self-explanatory – you can sell anything on the internet! Sell an infinite number of products, receive payments from customers in more than 60 countries. You can also interface with leading shipping companies and use marketing tools to help your products reach a bigger audience.

Even though WordPress advertises an entirely free plan, there is one item you’ll need to buy before you can publish your site: a domain. Every other plan comes with a one-year free domain, but you’ll have to pay for it if you go with the free plan.

A domain isn’t costly — usually around $10-15 per year. But, to be completely transparent, you will have to pay for it. Domain.com, for example, is a well-known domain name registrar where you may search and get a domain name for your website.


The WP software is free to download and use. But you will incur some costs to design and build your website. The typical costs associated with establishing and publishing a WordPress.org website are listed below:

  • The cost of a domain name is between $10 and $15 each year.
  • Hosting costs between $30 and $300 per year (we recommend Bluehost).
  • Security fees range from $5 to $250 per year.
  • Premium Plugins range in price from $10 to $1,000 a year.
  • Premium Theme – $35 for a one-time fee of $200.

WordPress.org provides you with an estimate of how much it costs to develop a WordPress.org site. Assuming you use only free plugins and a free theme, the least total price is roughly $55 per year. But, if you want to create a high-quality website, you’ll need to invest a little more.

WordPress.com’s free plan and acquiring a domain name is the cheapest option to construct a WordPress website. Aside from that, it all depends on what you want your site to do.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Plugins

Both WordPress.org vs com use the same plugin directory. Hence you can choose from the same selection of plugins. But, the quality of these plugins is uneven. Moreover, because anyone can make a plugin, there is much garbage. This means staying to WordPress plugins using ones created by skilled developers, or you can hire someone who can create one for you.

The number of installs and reviews of a plugin are good indicators of its quality. Unfortunately, if you use WordPress.com, you can only view the plugin directory if you have a Business or above payment plan; otherwise, you’ll have to do with the default built-in functionality.

WordPress.com already has everything a basic blog needs. So you won’t need all the flashy extras unless that’s what you want.

The plugin directory on WordPress.org is entirely open to you. You can use any plugin or design your own specific to your website. But keep in mind that this will need some technical knowledge.

Plugins come in a variety of price ranges. Some are free, while others can cost up to $1,000 each year. Therefore, it’s essential to know precisely what you’ll need before beginning. Then you can calculate the total cost of your site ahead of time and budget.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Should You Choose for Plugins?

Both platforms share the same plugin directory. Hence it’s impossible to declare which is “better.” WordPress.org does not charge a monthly fee to use plugins. But WordPress.com already has everything you need for blogging built-in.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for Ecommerce

WordPress.org lacks built-in ecommerce functionality. But you may still sell online by using third-party plugins like WooCommerce plugins, Ecwid, and WP eCommerce. Each plugin has all the tools you’ll need to sell online. It also has a slew of extra features to help you promote your products online.

There are specialized ecommerce website builders like Shopify if you’re serious about building an efficient ecommerce store.

These systems include built-in ecommerce tools which allow you to set up your online business quickly. You’ll need to be a member of WordPress.com’s eCommerce plan to sell on the platform.

This allows you the following functionalities:

  • The Unlimited number of products
  • Receive payments from customers in more than 60 countries
  • Link with leading shipping companies

Keep in mind that the eCommerce plan costs $45 per month. So if you don’t want to use WordPress’ built-in ecommerce facilities, you’ll have to pay an extra charge to install an ecommerce plugin on top of that.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Should You Choose for Ecommerce?

If you need a full-featured online store and want to sell things in volume, WordPress.org is your best bet. But, paid partnerships and affiliate marketing are more accessible and effective on WordPress.com. It is entirely dependent on how you want to monetize your website.


A blog can serve as a lovely side attraction and the primary goal. There is a clear WordPress choice depending on the perspective you take. Blogging is an excellent way to attract site visitors by providing intriguing and relevant information.

They’re also an excellent technique to get people to talk about your site and share your links on social media. Not only that, but they’re a proven strategy to boost your site’s ranking in search engine results. According to statistics, blogs increase your chances of ranking highly by 434 percent.

WordPress.com is a platform dedicated to helping you create a blog. This is the only one for it is the best choice for anyone who wants a blog, whether personal or professional. All the features are ready to use and put out for you. It’s also a lot less expensive to run a blog this way because you don’t have to worry about hosting and security certificates individually.

If you already have a website for something other than a blog but want to add one as a distinct feature, WordPress.org can help. Many blogging plugins allow you to compose posts, integrate social sharing, and include a comments section. Posts can also be tagged and categorized.

Which one should You Choose?

WordPress.com provides built-in blog functionality and a dashboard to help you manage your entries. WordPress.org also makes it simple to add a blog to your website. So it’s less about which is superior and more about what you need a blog for.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is the practice of making modifications to your website to improve its ranking on search engines like Google and Bing. For SEO, WP is one of the best platforms. Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org offer the same features. WordPress powers a third of all internet sites. Hence search engines trust it, giving you an advantage over lesser-known competitors by using it.

WordPress will generate sitemaps and submit them to Google. This makes it easier for the search engine to read your website or ‘crawl’ and figure out what it’s all about.

Plugins for SEO

If you want advanced SEO control, you’ll need to add third-party plugins, like ecommerce features. For example, Yoast is regarded as one of the most excellent WordPress SEO plugins. Also, it comes with a slew of features that can help your site climb the search engine results.

Yoast can help you with SEO, from simple modifications like adding and changing metadata to identifying profitable keywords and internal linking opportunities. Yoast has a free version, but if you’re serious about ranking well, you’ll want to pay in the premium version. It costs roughly $100 each year.

If that’s too much, you might want to choose a website builder like Wix or Squarespace. Both offer built-in SEO tools and inexpensive apps for more advanced functions.

Which Should You Choose?

It’s a deadlock because you’re using SEO plugins available on both WP systems. But WordPress.org provides you with more power. So, you can make some manual modifications to boost SEO that you couldn’t do with WordPress.com.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Analytics

You’ll never know how to improve your website until you track its performance. However, you can constantly improve even the most successful websites.

WordPress does not have its analytics at the risk of a broken record but, you can track the essentials such as site traffic. But you’ll need to visit the plugins directory for more information.

WordPress.com with Google Analytics

Google Analytics is without a doubt the best analytics plugin available — who better to trust than Google? But, unfortunately, plugins aren’t available on the free WordPress.com plans. Hence you’ll have to upgrade to use them.

WordPress.org with Google Analytics

You can install, set up, and use Google Analytics right away on WordPress.org. It allows you to track the number of visits per page, bounce rates, time spent on-page, and conversion rates.

You may break all this down into separate pages or periods. This provides you with a detailed report on your site’s performance, as well as information on how adjustments you’ve made have affected it.

It’s a terrific way to keep track of your revenue, the number of visitors you’re getting, and your progress. WordPress.org makes it easier to track site performance by allowing you to install Google Analytics for free.


You’ll need to keep your WordPress site in good shape, or it’ll grow into a thorn in your side. Minor updates are completed every two weeks, and significant upgrades are completed every two months. Minor upgrades should not affect the functionality of your site. But you’ll be in danger if you don’t make the essential changes to follow the more significant updates.

These changes are handled for you on WordPress.com. The updates on WordPress.org are your responsibility. But, the vast majority of hosting companies, including Bluehost, will handle these upgrades for you.

It’s essential to have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. A small padlock icon next to your URL symbolizes this. It safeguards visitors’ personal information as they browse your site. An SSL certificate reassures your site’s visitors. But it’s also something Google considers when determining where your website should appear in its search results.

On WordPress.com, SSL certificates are included in the monthly fee. But they must be purchased and renewed separately on WordPress.org. Most hosting companies, like WordPress updates, include a free SSL certificate as part of their monthly hosting fee.

Which One Should You Choose?

WordPress.com handles all your upkeep for you. Including automatic updates and SSL certifications, which are included with every subscription.

WordPress.org gives you more control over your website by requiring you to manage it yourself. But, Bluehost handles your updates and SSL certificate. Hence there isn’t much of a difference between the two WordPress platforms.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Ownership & Copyright

It’s critical to understand who owns your website. What does this imply for you? And how can you safeguard yourself from potential problems?

The topic of who owns your website is one of the most significant distinctions between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. When you use WordPress.com, WordPress, not you, owns your site technically. This implies it has the authority to shut down or destroy your website at any time.

It does not happen every time. For WordPress to take action against you, you must have violated its conditions. The trouble is, WordPress, not you, chooses what makes up a breach.

You are the sole owner of WordPress.org websites. You pay for the name, hosting, and security, and you own your site. This means no one but you can take it down — except for the government in cases of illegal behavior.

You also don’t have WordPress branding or a WordPress subdomain on your site. These both are included with WordPress.com’s lower-tiered pricing options.

Which Should You Choose?

If you make money from your website, WordPress.org is the safer alternative. It’s not that you have to be vigilant if you use WordPress.com – far from it. But it does make you feel uneasy knowing that your site could be shut down at any time.

Help & Support WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Having someone to turn to when you aren’t a full-fledged web developer is always reassuring. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation where you have no one to turn to.

Another significant consideration in the ‘WordPress.com vs WordPress.org discussion is help and support. While neither offers the same level of customer support as a top website builder, there are a few options for getting help.

WordPress.com’s free plan does not include any expert help. You can request help from the WordPress community forums, but you’ll have to dig through much information, not all of which is relevant.

Upgrade to the Blogger plan for $3/month, and you’ll get email support. This is helpful but not always immediate. In addition, you can use WordPress’ live chat help starting with the Personal plan ($5/month) and up. It’s available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.

WordPress.org, once again, does not offer any expert help. Because you don’t have to pay for the service – and because you own the site – there aren’t any resources available to assist you.

But, you can use the internet forums, and many WordPress.org users seek help from developers. It’s an expensive option, but you’ll get personal help.

Flexibility for Most Users

One of the most impressive aspects of WordPress is its thriving community of third-party theme and plugin developers. Themes and plugins allow you to make significant changes to the appearance and functionality of your WordPress site.

WordPress.org allows you to install whatever WordPress themes and plugins you desire. But, WordPress.com does not allow you to do so on most plans.

Can You Use WordPress.com to Install Third-Party Extensions?

For a long time, the answer to this question was a complete and emphatic no. Recent modifications have made things a little trickier, but most WordPress.com users still say no.

Users of the $300 (per year) Business plan on WordPress.com have installed third-party WordPress themes and plugins since August 2017. This gives those users the same ability to install extensions as users of self-hosted WordPress.

Users on all other free and premium plans do not have the same results. Users on the Free, Personal, and Premium WordPress.com accounts, for example, are unable to install third-party themes and plugins.

One of the primary drawbacks of WordPress.com is that in return for simplicity, WordPress.com fundamentally compromises flexibility. That compromise can be worth it if you only want a casual hobby blog. But, if you want a site that you can customize and truly call your own, WordPress.org will make that much easier.

Can You Use WordPress.org to Install Third-Party Extensions?

You can install any of the tens of thousands of third-party themes, plugins, and WooCommerce extensions on your site using WordPress.org. As a result, you have complete control over everything that occurs on your website. In a nutshell, WordPress.org is more adaptable for the majority of users.

WordPress.com Makes security more straightforward, but it isn’t necessarily more secure because most WordPress.com plans are part of a closed environment. Therefore, the sites you build with them are usually more secure by default. With that stated, WordPress.org is only as secure as WordPress.com as long as you follow the appropriate fundamental WordPress security standards.

How does WordPress.com deal with security?

You don’t have to worry about security when using WordPress.com. You don’t have the authority to make your site vulnerable because the system is locked down even if you wanted to for some strange reason.

How does WordPress.org deal with security?

WordPress.org is, once again, only as safe as WordPress.com. But now you’re the one in charge of putting that security in place. Again, it’s not tricky; your host can assist with some aspects, and WordPress security plugins can take care of the rest.

But with WordPress.org, you must pay much more attention to security than on WordPress.com. Remember, you’re paying the price for more flexibility.


Aside from the lack of customization, one of the primary drawbacks of WordPress.com is the restricted number of methods you can use to monetize your website. We’ll go over the restrictions in more detail below.

But, there are no limitations with WordPress.org. You can make money from a website in a variety of ways. You may also use advertising plugins to make it easier.

WordPress.com Monetization Limitations

Monetization Method Limitation
Google AdSense Only allowed on Business plans
BuySellAds Only allowed on Business plans
Affiliate marketing Allows affiliate links but not for “sites that exist primarily to drive traffic to affiliate links.”
Sponsored Posts Allows sponsored posts but does not allow “sites where the vast majority of content is sponsored content.”
eCommerce store Only available on Business plans

Unless you pay $300 for the business plan, your options for making money from your site are restricted. You’re also limited by WordPress.com’s notion that affiliate links and sponsored posts are too many, even in the Business plan.

Which Should You Use: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

Finally, for most serious websites, self-hosted WordPress.org is the best solution as it outperforms WordPress.com in the following functionalities:

  • Installing extensions
  • Modifying functionality
  • Selecting monetization methods

But, you’ll have to pay more attention to updates and security as it is not much tricky; with that stated, WordPress.com has a place in the world.

WordPress.com is still a good alternative if you only want a casual hobby site and don’t mind compromising flexibility for convenience of use.

Also, the WordPress.com Business plan blurs the distinction between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Time will tell how this shift presents itself, but it’s too early to know about it right now.


As you can see, WordPress has more to offer than meets the eye, and it is divided into two platforms, each designed for a particular type of website.

WordPress.com is an online blogging platform to host your blog. You select a pricing plan based on your demands and pay WordPress a yearly charge to use its platform.

WordPress.org is a self-hosted CMS. So you have complete creative freedom over your website. But you do need to know how to code to use it. Also, it’s free, but you’ll have to pay for things like Domain and to host separately.

WordPress.com is a great place to start if you’re looking for an If you’re a little less tech-savvy and want a one-stop-shop. It’s ideal for personal blogs, and it’s also a viable alternative for small enterprises that may need some help. But ultimately desire ownership over their website. So sign up for a WordPress.com account and begin building your website.

Should You Use WordPress.org If you know how to code or have the financial resources to hire a web developer? Nothing is off-limits when it comes to creating a website. But, of course, you’ll also have your website, which means you won’t have to worry about it getting taken down. WordPress.org is, without a doubt, the more powerful and complex alternative. Install Bluehost to get started with WordPress.org.


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