WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better?

What if I told you that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two completely distinct platforms?

Beginners frequently mix up WordPress.com and WordPress.org, resulting in them selecting the incorrect blogging platform for their purposes. Even people who are aware that they are two separate platforms are unaware of the differences.

Our users frequently question us which platform is better: WordPress.com or WordPress.org. We’ve put together the most comprehensive comparison of free WordPress.com vs WordPress.org to help you decide (self-hosted version).

Our objective is 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 (self-hosted) vs. WordPress.com (free)

Because choosing the correct platform is so important for your online success, we’ve put together the most comprehensive WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison available.

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.

WordPress.org

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

It’s open-source software, which means anyone can use it for free. You only need a domain name and web hosting to get started. Because of this, it’s also known as self-hosted WordPress.

The benefits and drawbacks of choosing self-hosted WordPress.org to create your website or blog are listed below.

Benefits of WordPress.org

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, as well as why we think it’s the finest website builder.

  • WordPress is a free, open-source, and extremely user-friendly blogging platform.
  • You are the only owner of your website and all of its content. Your site will not be disabled because it violates someone’s terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You have complete control.
  • To your website, you can install free, premium, and custom WordPress plugins/apps.
  • You can change the style of your website as needed. You can use any WordPress theme, whether it’s free or paid. You can also make fully 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 powerful tools like Google Analytics.
  • You can utilize 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.

Cons of WordPress.org

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

  • You’ll require web hosting, just like any other website. This is the location on the internet where your website files are stored. Initially, the price ranges between $3 and $10 each month. However, if your website expands and receives more traffic, 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.
  • Updates are your responsibility. It’s not too much work to update your WordPress site by simply clicking on the update button (one-click).
  • Backups are your responsibility. Fortunately, there are numerous WordPress backup plugins available that allow you to set up automatic backups.

The true cost of a WordPress.org website is determined by the type of site you want to create (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc). Other considerations include free vs. premium templates, free vs. premium plugins, and so on.

You can establish a website for as little as $46 per year if you’re on a tight budget.

Our recommendation for 99 percent of users is to utilize WordPress.org.

WordPress.com

Automattic, the firm founded by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, established WordPress.com as a hosting service. WordPress.com is frequently confused with the popular WordPress.org software due to the same founder.

The WordPress.com hosting service offers six different pricing options:

  • Free – Quantities are extremely limited.
  • Personal – annual fee of $48
  • Premium membership costs $96 per year.
  • $300 per year for a business.
  • $540 per year for e-commerce
  • Starting at $5000 a month, you can become a VIP.

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

Benefits of Using WordPress.com

For hobby bloggers and those creating 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 completely free for up to 3GB of storage. After that, if you want extra storage space, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium subscription. (A Personal plan for $48/year provides 6GB of storage, a Premium plan for $96/year provides 13GB of storage, and a Business plan for $300/year provides 200 GB of storage.)
  • You won’t have to bother about backups or upgrades. That will be taken care of by WordPress.com.

Cons of WordPress.com

There are a few drawbacks to free WordPress.com that set it apart from WordPress.org. The following are some of the drawbacks of using WordPress.com:

  • They run advertisements on all free websites. Your users see such adverts, but you don’t get paid for them. You can subscribe to a paid WordPress.com plan (beginning at $48 per year) if you don’t want your users to view your adverts.
  • You are not permitted to sell advertisements on your website, severely limiting your options for monetization. If you have a high-traffic website, you can apply for their WordAds advertising program, which allows you to split earnings with them. WordAds is immediately 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 allows you to install plugins and costs $5000 per month.
  • Custom themes are not available for download. Users on the free plan can only use the restricted number of free themes available. Premium and business plan subscribers can also choose from a variety of premium themes. The free edition 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 Google Analytics or any other advanced tracking tool. Google Analytics can be installed by users on the Business plan.
  • A WordPress.com branded subdomain (e.g. https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com) is included with all free WordPress.com sites. 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 upgrade to the eCommerce package, WordPress.com does not have any eCommerce functionality or connected payment methods.
  • WordPress.com does not support the creation of membership websites.

As you can see, the WordPress.com hosting platform is severely constrained when using free, personal, or premium plans. You must be on the Business ($300 per year) or VIP ($5000 per month) plan to access some of the more advanced features.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What’s the Difference? (FAQs)

We get a lot of inquiries about WordPress.com vs WordPress.org because it’s such a hot issue, and WPExpertPro is the largest free WordPress reference site for beginners.

Below, we’ve attempted to answer the most frequently asked questions:

Which is Better: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

If you’re a personal blogger who doesn’t care about making money from your website, WordPress.com is a good option.

We recommend utilizing self-hosted WordPress.org if you are a business or a blogger who wants to make money from your website. It provides you with the freedom and flexibility to develop your website in any way you see fit.

While the WordPress.com Business plan ($300 per year for each website) offers some sophisticated capabilities, a self-hosted WordPress site, which costs $46 per year, can stretch that money considerably further.

WordPress.org, in our opinion, is by far the superior platform. Every professional blogger, small company owner, and even big-name businesses like Disney use this platform.

Is it possible to monetize a free WordPress.com website?

On free WordPress.com websites, you are not permitted to display advertisements. You can join their WordAds program and share your ad money with WordPress.com if you have a high-traffic website.

You can add a few affiliate links to your site, but that’s it.

On a WordPress.com website, you have very few options for monetizing content.

Whereas with WordPress.org, you have complete control over the content management system, allowing you to monetize your new website in an infinite number of ways.

Which is better for Ecommerce: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is the most user-friendly platform for creating an eCommerce website. To create your store, you can use WooCommerce or one of the many other WordPress eCommerce, membership, and LMS plugins.

WordPress.com also has an eCommerce package that starts at $540 per year, which is a significant investment if you are just starting. In terms of features, it’s still limited, and you’ll have to adhere to WordPress.com’s terms of service for your eCommerce business.

See our advice on starting an online store on a shoestring budget. It explains how to get your domain for free, as well as all of the useful features you’ll need to succeed online.

Last Thoughts

For newcomers, the misunderstanding caused by similar domains: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is particularly bad.

We hope this post has helped you understand the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

We wish you the best of luck with your website and hope you choose the correct platform: WordPress.org.