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Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Did you know there’s a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Yes, they are two very different platforms and usually become the most common sources of confusion for the beginners. Although they both have the same name, there are quite striking differences between them.
In this post, we’ll have a detailed comparison of WordPress.com and WordPress.org so that you can make the right choice while starting your blog.
Let’s discuss each platform individually for better understanding.
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WordPress.com is a hosting service created by Matt Mullenweg who is also the co-founder of WordPress Software. It is a hosting platform similar to Tumblr, Medium, or Blogger.
Because of the same founder, many users confuse WordPress.com with WordPress.org.
WordPress.com offers the following 5 different hosting plans:
- Free (Limited)
- Personal ($36 per year)
- Premium ($99 per year)
- Business ($299 per year)
- VIP (minimum $5000 per month)
Each of the above-mentioned hosting plans offers different features depending on their pricing structure.
- If you are a hobby blogger and do not want to earn money from your blog, the “free” pricing plan is sufficient for you. It offers basic customization, dozens of free themes, and up to 3GB free space. You can easily switch to a paid plan for getting access to more space.
- When you build a blog with WordPress.com subdomain, it looks like this: http://yourblogname.wordpress.com
- While using WordPress.com, you do not have to worry about backups and updates because the platform manages them itself.
There are various limitations of Free WordPress.com which differentiate it from WordPress.org. Let’s discuss a few of them below:
- You cannot upload plugins.
- You cannot upload custom themes.
- You cannot add Google Analytics or any other tracking platform.
- You cannot sell ads on your blog. If your blog holds high traffic and you want to sell ads, you will have to apply to their WordAds advertising program and share revenue with them.
- You cannot build membership websites.
- Your site can be deleted at any time if you violate the policies of WordPress.com.
- It does not offer any kind of e-commerce features.
- It can place ads on your free blog but you do not make money from it. In order to stop seeing these ads, you have to upgrade to a paid plan.
WordPress.org is the platform which provides the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server. It is open source, quite easy and completely free to use. You just need a domain name and web hosting service for it. That is why it is also known as self-hosted WordPress.
- While using WordPress.org, you are the owner of your website. You can customize it according to your own requirements and needs.
- You have full control of your website and its data. Nobody can delete your website saying that it is against their policies or terms of service.
- When you build a blog with WordPress.org, it looks like this: http://yourblogname.com
- You can add as many plugins as you want to your website.
- You can upload any kind of customized theme and modify anything that you want. Besides that, you can also choose any theme from thousands of free themes.
- You can easily use Google Analytics for tracking and custom analytics of your website.
- You can show ads on your website and make money through it. While selling ads, you do not have to share revenue with anyone.
- You can create an outstanding e-commerce store and sell physical or digital products there. You can accept payments through different means and ship goods directly from your website.
- You can build an online community as well as membership sites and can sell premium content there.
Well, there are no real-time limitations of WordPress.org because you can almost build any kind of website you desire.
However, there are certain points that you should be aware of while using the WordPress software. Let’s have a look at them below:
- You have to manage the updates and backups of your website yourself. It can be easily done by clicking the update button and using backup plugins.
- You need a web hosting service for hosting your website. It is basically the place where the data of your website is stored on the internet. There are different types of web hosting services available so you should go for the one that meets your website’s needs and suits your budget.
Which is Better – WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
If you are a personal blogger and do not intend to earn money from your blog, you can easily go for WordPress.com.
On the other hand, if you a professional blogger or some business that is planning to build an online presence, I would recommend self-hosted WordPress i.e. WordPress.org. It provides you the freedom and ability to grow your website according to your requirements.
WordPress.org is a way better platform which is being used by millions of small to large businesses these days.
If you want to learn all about building a blog using WordPress.com and WordPress.org, this EBook is for you: The Ultimate Guide to Blogging with WordPress
- The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is like renting a shop and owning a shop. WordPress.com is similar to renting a shop whereas WordPress.org is like owning a shop.
- WordPress.com is a hosting service whereas WordPress.org is the platform that provides free WordPress software.
- WordPress.com is less customizable whereas WordPress.org offers a lot of customization.
- WordPress.com is not self-hosted whereas WordPress.org is known as self-hosted WordPress.
- You do not own your content on WordPress.com whereas, on WordPress.org, you are the owner of your content.
- With WordPress.com, you get a subdomain whereas, with WordPress.org, you get a full domain.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in comments. 🙂