Key differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress is a platform powering more than 25% of websites and blogs on the internet. The 2 most popular blogging platforms are: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. We have other Platforms like BlogSpotWix etc. BlogSpot is powered by its parent company: Google. The company behind WordPress is Automattic.  Automattic offers two blogging platforms:

  • WordPress.com
  • WordPress.org (Mostly associated with Self-hosted WordPress)

WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Note that Automattic offers other services and products like Jetpack, Gravatar, VaultPressVideoPress and WordPress VIP.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

WordPress is a free blogging platform offered by the Automattic. Anyone can create a blog for free. With the free plan, you can only create a web address that is in the form of:

The Blog will be hosted on the WordPress server which is perfect for those people who would like to blog as hobby or just to share their thoughts.

If you want to buy a custom domain name and use paid themes, then they are plans like the, Personal Plan and Business plan.

WordPress.com may be useful to people who don’t want to worry about the technical aspect of setting and maintaining a blog since the team at WordPress, takes care of everything from the structure of the blog, updates and backups. But there are many limitations that come with using it.

Some of these limitations include:

  • You may have very limited choices for themes
  • You can’t install 3rd  party plugins
  • Very limited ways to monetize your Blog

If you have no prior experience of using WordPress, then it is recommended you start with a free blog at WordPress.com then with time you can switch to self-hosting with WordPress.org.

You can also Read: How to Improve the Loading Speed of a WordPress Site

WordPress.com (Free plan) is for people who want to blog as a hobby with no intention of making money on the blog.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is for people planning to make money online through blogging. With this platform you are free to use any of the ads networks of your choice like Media net,  Google Adsense,  affiliate networks like Maxbounty etc. You have a full control of your site. You are also free to use any theme, install plugins of your choice etc.

In Summary the following are some of the Key Differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com WordPress.org
Free Version with Paid upgrades available. Only Paid Version available.
No Technical knowledge required to set up and run. Requires technical knowledge to set up and run a blog or website.
The set-up, upgrades, backups, security is taken care of by WordPress team. You are responsible for the Set-up, Upgrades, Backups, Security hence you need to have some technical knowledge.
Your posts are backed Up Automatically. You set-up the backups on your end.
They don’t allow plugins from 3rd parties but provide some of the best plugins for all blogs. You are free to install plugins from 3rd parties.
Custom Themes are not allowed. You can use any Theme.
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Author: John Mulindi

John is very passionate about Digital marketing. He blogs on topics ranging from Social Media marketing, Search Engine optimization, Internet Marketing, Email Marketing, to Personal Development. In free time he likes watching Football, Reading, Listening to music and taking Nature walks.

8 thoughts on “Key differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org”

  1. Thanks John. I have both – one was a hobby and one is a business. Somehow they are linked and it confuses the hell out of me, but I think I’m figuring it out with the help of posts like yours. Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for clearing this up, John since difference tends to confuse many. I started out on .com and then switched to .org within a few months. It was much easier than I thought and with many tutorials out there it’s easy to follow along.

    Visiting from #ThoughtfulThursdays

    1. Hi, WordPress.com is useful especially when you are starting out, and if you don’t want to worry about maintenance and other technicalities then buying their business plans can still work but if you want to control everything on your side, then you can self host with WordPress.org.

  3. Good breakdown John. Definitely a huge dot org fan here for owning the blog and for branding potential. You can really gussy it up with minimal investment, with plug ins, cool themes and even bespoke themes.

    1. Hi Ryan,True! if you are serious about blogging, then Making some small investment in terms of say Themes, Site design isn’t a big deal otherwise thanks for visiting.

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