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

Do you understand that WordPress.com vs WordPress.org are literally two(2) very totally different platforms?

Oftentimes, beginners confuse the two(2) platforms thereby leading them to select or choose the wrong platform. We’re usually asked by our users which come as the efficient and better-improved platform.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

To continue and give a profound comparison of these 2 platforms that are WordPress.com vs WordPress.org; We’ve taken our time to create the most comprehensive and complete comparison of both platforms that is free WordPress vs Self-Hosted WordPress that is WordPress.com vs WordPress.org respectively.

Our goal is to highlight the key major differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org; So you can choose the right platform for your needs.

Since selecting the proper platform is crucial for your online success, we’ve created the most complete comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org ( text comparison, table-based comparison, and images).

Now let`s dive into the major differences between free WordPress vs Self-hosted i.e WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Comparison

WordPress.com VS WordPress.org Compared
WordPress.com VS WordPress.org Compared

The best method to really understand the distinctive difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is to take a look at each platform individually.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org also known as “the real or original WordPress”, is that the standard and common web site platform that you just have heard all the nice things about.

WordPress.org is an open-source platform and 100% free for all users. As long as you got your domain name and web hosting. This is why it’s also noted as self-hosted WordPress.

Below are the pros and cons of using the self-hosted WordPress.org to create your web site or blog.

WordPress.org Benefits

With WordPress.org you have a Super Admin Control or Full Admin of your website. You are free to do anything you want and customize it as much as you need. Here are a number of the advantages of choosing and using WordPress.org to build your website, and the reason why it is the go-to choice.

  • It is free and super easy to use. (See why is WordPress free?)
  • Your website and all its data are under your full control. Your web site won’t be turned off as a result of somebody decides that it’s against their terms of service (as long as you’re not doing anything illegal). You are in full control.
  • You can choose to install free, paid, and custom or customized WordPress themes and plugins/apps to your website.
  • You can really make some real cash from your WordPress site by running your own personalized or sponsored ads without sharing revenue with anyone.
  • You can use strong and powerful analytical tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking for your activities and performance.
  • You can use a self-hosted WordPress to create an online shop or store to sell digital products or physical products, by accepting credit card for payments, and deliver/ship the goods directly from your website to customers or users specified location.
  • You can also build or create membership sites to sell memberships for premium products, apps, themes, plugins, content, courses, etc and build an online community or forum around your website.

WordPress.org Cons

There are a really few cons of using the self-hosted WordPress.org site.

  • Just like all other websites, you do need a web hosting plan either dedicated or shared hosting plan. Because this is wherever your web site files are saved to or hold on the internet. Initially, the cost is around $3-$10 per month. However as your website grows and gets more traffic, the web hosting costs will increase as expected, but then you would be making enough money to cover the costs.
  • You are responsible for updates. You can simply update your WordPress web site by merely clicking on the update button (1-click), so it’s not too much work.
  • You are responsible for backups. Thankfully, there are plenty of WordPress backup plugins that permit you to set up automatic backups.

The real cost of WordPress.org website varies based on what you are trying to build (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc). There also are alternative factors like free templates VS premium templates, free plugins VS premium plugins, etc.

On a low budget, you can build your website for as little as $46 per year. See our guide on how much does it really cost to build a WordPress website for full details.

For ninety-nine (99) of users, our recommendation is always to use WordPress.org. See our Guide on How to Build a WordPress website for Free.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com could be a hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. Because of a similar founder, often users confuse WordPress.com with the popular WordPress.org software.

The WordPress.com hosting service has 5 plans:

  • Free – Very limited.
  • Blogger – $3 per month, billed yearly
  • Personal – $5 per month, billed yearly
  • Premium – $8 per month, billed yearly
  • Business – $25 per month, billed yearly
  • eCommerce – $45 per month, billed yearly

Let’s take a glance at the pros and cons of WordPress.com.

WordPress.com Benefits

WordPress.com is a free platform and it is a good option or choice for hobby bloggers and those bloggers starting a blog for their friends and family. Here are some of the benefits of using WordPress.com:

• It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that, you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space. (Personal set up or plan $5 per month, billed yearly offers you 6GB, Premium set up $8 per month, billed yearly offers you 13GB storage, or Business set up for $25 per month, billed yearly for unlimited storage).

• You don`t have to worry yourself about updates or backups because WordPress.com will take care of that for you.

WordPress.com Cons

There are many limitations of free WordPress.com which of course differentiate it from WordPress.org. Here are some of the disadvantages of using WordPress.com:

  • They place their ads on all free blogs or websites. So your users can see ads, and you don’t make money from it. If you don’t need your users to visualize their ads, then you can upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $36 per year).
  • WordPress.com does not allow you to sell ads on your blog/website. If you run a high traffic web site, then you can apply for their advertising program called WordAds for both Premium and Business plan users where you share revenue with them.
  • You cannot upload plugins. Free plan users get built-in JetPack features pre-activated. Business set up or plan users will install from a variety of compatible plugins ($299 / year). WordPress.com VIP program allows you to install plugins, and it starts from $5000 per month.
  • You cannot upload custom themes. Free set up or plan users will solely install from the restricted free themes repository. Premium and business set up or plan users also can choose premium themes. There are restricted customization choices for the free version. Premium and Business set up or plan users can use custom CSS.
  • You are restricted to their stats. You cannot add Google Analytics or install the other powerful tracking platform. Business plan users can install Google Analytics.
  • WordPress.com can delete your site at any time if you violate any of their policies or Terms of Service.
  • Your site will denote a powered by WordPress.com brand link. Which can only be removed or hidden just by upgrading to the Business set up or plan.
  • WordPress.com does not offer any E-commerce features or integrated payment gateways.
  • With WordPress.com does not allow you to build membership websites.

As you’ll see, the WordPress.com hosting platform is kind of restricted once you’re on the free, personal, or even premium plan. To unlock a number of the additional advanced options, you have to subscribe to the Business set up or plan ($300 per year) or on the VIP set up or plan ($540 per month).

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (FAQs)

We have done our best to answer the most frequently asked questions below:

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

If you`re a private or personal blogger, and you don’t care regarding making cash from your web site, then go with the free WordPress.com.
If you're a business or a blogger that desires to make some cash from your web site, then we recommend using the self-hosted WordPress.org. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to grow your website the way you want.
You'll only get many advanced options or features to choose from with the WordPress.com Business plan ($300 / year for each website), you can make that money go much further on a self-hosted WordPress site which costs $46 per year.
In our professional opinion, WordPress.org is hands down the better platform. That’s the platform that each professional blogger, small business owner, and even big-name brands likes Disney uses.

To start a self-hosted WordPress web site, you need a domain name and WordPress hosting.
A domain name is your website’s address on the internet such as google.com, Tech Freak Guide.com, etc. Web hosting is wherever your web site files are housed or kept on the net.
We recommend using Namecheap or Bluehost for hosting your website because they are one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. They’re also an official WordPress.org recommended hosting provider. Last but not least, with available offers to their users a free domain + 60% off on hosting.
For step by step guide, you can check out our free guide on how to make a website.
If you need help, Tech Freak Guide Team is available to assist you build your website.

Oftentimes new users who don’t understand the distinctive differences between WordPress.com VS WordPress.org end up beginning with the free WordPress.com service. Once they see the restrictions of the platform, they need to change to “the Real WordPress” aka WordPress.org.
Yes, you'll undoubtedly switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and fairly easily move all of your content.

The best way to consider the distinctive differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is the analogy of renting a house vs owning a house.
WordPress.com is similar to renting a house. You have limited power and control over what you can and cannot do.
WordPress.org is like owning a house. Where you have full control, no one can kick you out, and you can do anything that you want.
Below is that the outlined summary of everything we mentioned above in our self-hosted WordPress.org VS WordPress.com comparison:

Below is that the outlined summary of everything we mentioned above in our self-hosted WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison:

Features WP.org (Platform) WP.com (Free) WP.com (Premium) WP.com (Business)
Cost $46 – $100 / year Free $99 / year $299 / year
Custom Domain Yes No Yes Yes
Hosting Storage Unlimited 3 GB 13 GB Unlimited
Monetization(Ads Revenue) Freedom Yes No Yes(with rev/share) Yes (with rev / share)
Branding Freedom Yes No No Yes
All SEO Features Yes No No Yes
Powerful Analytics Yes No No Yes
Full Theme Support Yes No Limited Yes
Full Plugin
Support
Yes No No Yes
Ecommerce Store Yes No No No
Membership Site Yes No No No
Maintenance Yes No No No
Full Control Yes No No No

Final Thoughts

Our hope is that you just found this article or post useful in understanding the distinctive differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We wish you all the best with your web site and hope that you simply chose the right platform: WordPress.org.

If so, you’ll need to follow our fundamental Guide on How to Learn and Build WordPress Websites in seven (7) days or less. Keep up with our fundamental guides.

Recommended Article

How to Install WordPress Plugins – Beginners Guide

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