WordPress is one of the most used Content Management System(CMS) because one out of every four website is created using WordPress.
If you’re new to WordPress, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. I know this may be confusing, so let’s unpack all the key differences for you.
WordPress.org is the place where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server. All you need is your favorite domain name and web hosting. This is why it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress. WordPress.org is viewed as the more advanced of the two, allowing you to create any type of website you see fit without any creative limitations.
WordPress.com is easier to start but gives you less freedom which is the major difference. You should simply go to WordPress.com, create an account, and you’ll be able to start building your website or blog immediately. WordPress.com takes care of all of the web hosting for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server. But you need to pay in order to unpack advanced features.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org in Depth
Let’s find some major differences according to features, customization, SEO (Most Important), etc.
The WordPress.org is an open-source and 100% free. However, you’ll have to pay for web hosting and a domain name.
WordPress.com offers both free and premium plans:
The Free plan indeed is 100% free. As a major aspect of it, you can set up a site on WordPress.com’s subdomain (for example
example.wordpress.com), utilize up to 3 GB of disk space.
The premium plans come with different features and advanced customization.
Themes are a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a website.
WordPress.org offers a number of free and premium themes. You can pick your favorite theme from 7,500 free themes available from the official directory at WordPress.org.
In Free and Personal plans, WordPress.com gives you access to 150+ free themes.
In Premium, Business, and eCommerce plans, WordPress.com gives you access to all the free themes plus 200+ more premium themes.
WordPress.org gives you access to 55,000+ plugins (Free) and you can also install premium plugins from around the web.
WordPress.com allows you to install plugins only if you’re on the Business or eCommerce (paid) plan.
On these plans, WordPress.com allows you to get access to 50,000+ plugins.
It allows you to monetize your site in any way you want. Since WordPress.org is open-source software, you can add whatever method of monetization you want without any limitations.
WordPress.com place ads on all free websites. Your users see those ads but actually, you don’t make money from it. If you want to stop seeing ads or want to monetize your site then you need to upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $48 per year).
WordPress.org (self-hosted WordPress) allows you to create a beautiful online store to sell your products, accept credit card payments, and deliver/ship the products directly from your website.
WordPress.com does not give access to any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways until you switch to the eCommerce plan.
6. SEO (Most Important)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making changes to your site that will help it rank higher on search engines like Google.
Both the WordPress.org and WordPress.com (premium plan) provides a plugin to improve the SEO of your site. But the only difference is that:
WordPress.org gives you allows you to make some manual changes to improve SEO that you can’t on WordPress.com.
If you just want to launch a personal website without pay, either for basic blogging, sharing your thoughts, etc., do it on WordPress.com. You don’t have to worry about any maintenance at all.
If you want to build a more attractive website like a business site, an advanced blogging site, or want to monetize your website then go through WordPress.org (self-hosted WordPress).