WordPress.org vs WordPress.com: Comparison in 2023
Last Updated on 9th March 2023 by Ajmer Singh
Do you want to start a new blog and are confused about whether to go for wordpress.org or wordpress.com?
In this article, you will learn the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
Wordpress.com and wordpress.org are blogging platforms that are distinct from each other.
Beginners are confused about the two, so they end up choosing the wrong blogging platforms at the expense of their needs.
However, some folks have an understanding that they are both different platforms but they can’t outrightly state the difference.
In this article, we will be doing a thorough comparison of both platforms, pinpointing their differences.
Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com (Full Comparison)
To have a proper understanding of both platforms, we will be dealing with them individually.
Let’s start with WordPress.org
WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform that is free for all to use.
All that is required of you is to buy a domain name and web hosting.
Benefits of using WordPress.org
WordPress.org comes with a lot of benefits and we will be looking at them below:
1. It is free and easy to use: Wordpress.org stands as the best blogging platform available in the market.
Apart from the fact that it is free, it is also very easy to use and can be easily navigated.
2. You have full control over your site: You purchase your domain name and web hosting. You have full control over the site.
No one can remove your site just because you violate their community guidelines.
3. You are free to add any plugins/apps (free and paid) to your website: You can easily install plugins and apps on your WordPress.org by simply navigating to the plugin section on your WordPress dashboard.
4. You can add any theme of choice to your site whether paid or free as long as it is compatible with WordPress.
Our recommendation is the Ultra theme by Themify.
5. You can monetize your site: You can monetize your site with any advertising program (like EZOIC) of your choice as long as you meet up with their requirement.
You can also run ads on your site.
6. You can also monitor your metrics and site performance via Google Analytics.
7. With WordPress.org you can create an e-commerce online store and membership site,
where you sell digital or physical products, build leads, and an online community.
Cons of using WordPress.org
WordPress.org has a few disadvantages which include:
1. Web Hosting and domain name are needed: To own a website on WordPress.org, you are definitely going to need a domain name and web hosting.
However, the hosting plan you subscribe to depends on the type of website you want to build.
You can get hosting from Cloudways for the best performance or Bluehost if your budget is tight.
2. Regular updates of WordPress: Using WordPress.org will require that you regularly update your WordPress.
However, this can be done by just clicking on the ‘UPDATE’ button.
3. The responsibility of backing up your site is on you: Thanks to the tons of WordPress backup plugins available in the market, you can easily schedule a backup using plugins.
Most importantly, if you will be making use of premium plugins and themes on your WordPress.org site, the cost of building a site might increase, however, it is affordable
They provide a number of services, and offer too many plans according to your requirements, their plans are perfectly designed for beginners and experienced bloggers.
Here, we will talk about some basic, and continuous plans offered by WordPress.Com
- Free: Very Limited Features
- Blogger: Best for bloggers ($25 per year)
- Personal: approx. $35 per year
- Premium: approx. $60 per year
- Business: approx. $120 per year
- eCommerce: approx. $300 per year
It minimizes your customization, you are given very few features that are introduced for free services.
The level of customization is the problem here, and you don’t have control over your websites.
As features are limited, competing with others is very hard.
Bloggers Plans (25 USD/Year):
In this plan, you will get all the features that are required to run your website as a blogging website,
and here you get some customization features required for making your blogs awesome.
Personal Plans (35 USD/Year):
These charges are approximate, according to your requirements for your personal use, and the customization you’ll be charged.
Premium plans (60 USD/Year):
Purchasing premium plans will cost you approximately 60 US Dollars per year.
Business Plan (120 USD/Year):
Business plans are offered with different customizations, and services. And according to that, you’ll be charged,
which costs you approximately 120 dollars for a year plan and subscription.
E-commerce Services (300 USD/Year):
WordPress.Com gives comfort to customizing your websites in a form of e-commerce platforms, and according to your usage,
you’ll be charged up to 300 dollars for a one-year basic plan.
Benefits of using WordPress.com
Are you looking to start a blog where you don’t intend to earn massively? WordPress.com is the best option for you.
1. It is free and has a 3GB plan.
2. Updates and backups are automatically managed by WordPress.
Cons of using WordPress.com
WordPress.com has a lot of limitations that differentiate it from a WordPress.org
1. Ads are placed on your site with no revenue generated by you: WordPress.com places ads on free websites, and these ads are visible to your users.
While they earn, you don’t receive a dime from the revenue generated.
However, to stop your users from viewing these ads, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan which costs $48 annually.
2. You can’t monetize your website: The only reason why a site can be monetized on WordPress.com is if you have huge traffic.
You can apply for their advertising program called wordads. But there is a percentage they get from the total revenue earned.
3. Plugins are not allowed: You cannot upload plugins except you subscribe to their business plan which costs $300 yearly.
4. Metrics: You can only make use of the stats provided, you cannot include Google Analytics on this platform.
5. You are stuck as a subdomain: With WordPress.com, you are stuck with a branded WordPress.com domain.
For instance (www.yourwebsite.wordpress.com) except you upgrade to a paid plan to get a custom domain.
6. Your site is controlled by WordPress.com: Because WordPress.com is responsible for your hosting, your site is in their care and they can choose to delete it if it violates their community rules and guidelines.
7. You can’t create a membership site: WordPress.com has a lot of limitations when compared to WordPress.org
To upgrade and unlock advanced features you have to upgrade to their paid plans which cost $300 for a business plan yearly and $5000 for a VIP plan monthly.
Should I use WordPress.org or WordPress.com?
I will say that the choice of what platform to use depends on what you want to use your site for.
However, if you intend to own a site where you won’t earn massively (which I doubt anybody would want) you can make use of WordPress.com.
On the other hand, if you are looking to build your brand without restrictions, I will advise you to go for WordPress.org.
This is because it is self-hosted and you are fully in charge.
WordPress.org is also budget-friendly, while you can completely set up a blog for $50, WordPress.com don’t allow for that.
Wordpress.com’s advanced feature doesn’t allow for that, you have to subscribe to their business plan which costs a whopping sum of $300 yearly.
As it stands, I recommend WordPress.org because it is free, budget-friendly, and can be easily navigated.
It is globally used by professional bloggers, brands, online stores, and business owners
Can I make money on a WordPress.com site?
As I said earlier, WordPress.com does not allow you to sell anything on their site,
except on the ground that you have huge traffic, you can sign up for their wordads program.
The downside is that they receive a percentage of the revenue shared.
Basically, there are limitations when it comes to monetizing WordPress.com
What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
Overall, the basic difference is :
To start with WordPress.org, you need to purchase a domain name and web hosting.
On the other hand, WordPress.com is a free platform. You don’t need to buy hosting from third party, it takes care of all the hosting for you.
Can I change from wordpress.com to wordpress.org?
Yes, you can definitely move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and easily move your content,
Often beginners start out by using wordpress.com, once they notice its limitation, they definitely will want to move to wordpress.org.
To move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org is easy, you will need to get a domain name and web hosting.
I would recommend Cloudways for the best performance and Bluehost if your budget is low.
After which you redirect users from your wordpress.com to wordpress.org.
To move your content from your wordpress.com site, you will need to visit your wordpress.com dashboard,
Hover over to ‘tools’, and click on export content, All your content will be exported.
After you have completed the setup on your wordpress.org, navigate to your WordPress admin area and click on ‘tools’, click on ‘Import’ and follow the prompt.
Are wordpress.org and wordpress.com the same company?
No, they are not.
People, however, think they belong to the same company because of the brand name WordPress and because both platforms were created by Matt Mullenweg.
Wordpress.com is a platform that belongs to a company called Automattic which was founded by Matt Mullenweg,
while Wordpress.org was founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.
They are not related and they serve different purposes.
Is wordpress.org paid?
No, it is 100% free.
By understanding the difference between the functionalities, plans, and services of both of these platforms,
we can conclude that both Platforms have their advantages and disadvantages according to your requirements, and experiences.
If you need absolute control over your websites, if you want to customize your websites at an advanced level and if you are experienced to do that, you can go with WordPress.Org.
If you don’t have that much experience, and if you are a beginner in this field, if you wish to give all control to the platform,
just in need to experience this field as a beginner, WordPress.Com will be best suited for your websites, and blogs.