WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – what is the difference?

Do you know what the most popular way to build and maintain your own website is? You’ve guessed it right. It’s by using WordPress. People have been using this platform for years to help them have a website of their own – layman and successful, world-known companies alike. However, there are some WordPress-related questions that remain a mystery to the common user. One of them is the well-known issue of ‘WordPress.com vs WordPress.org’. What is the difference here and what should someone new in this whole WordPress game know about the similarities, and more importantly, distinctions between these two? You are about to find out soon enough.

a screen showing the wordpress homepage, representing wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org
If you are new to the notion of WordPress, the distinction between WordPress.com and WordPress.org might leave you feeling confused.

Searching for ‘WordPress’ on Google

You might have been aware of this by now, but typing the word ‘WordPress’ into your Google search will end up with the top two choices being between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. This does seem to get many people quite confused at first. Especially those who are new to the notion of WordPress. Obviously, only one of those is the perfect choice for you as a way to build your own website, but how will you know which way to go? Don’t worry – if you happen to be confused with these ‘two WordPresses’ – you’re not alone. Luckily, the distinction between the two is quite clear and easy to make. WP Full Care professionals are here to make every WordPress-related question or issue easily understandable.

There is one vital difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Before we go into further explanations, there is in fact that one major difference between these two confusing notions. It is the question of who is hosting your website. So bear with us for this important explanation: when using WordPress.org, you are the one to handle the hosting of your own blog or website. WordPress.org is the place where you can find free WordPress software. You can then download and install it on your own web server.

On the other hand – WordPress.com handles the hosting for you. There’s no need for you to download the software. You don’t even have to pay for hosting nor manage a web server.

a person sitting in front of a computer screen
Choosing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org can mean opting for or against flexibility.

The pros and cons of using each of these options

Naturally, each of these two options has its pros and cons. You can use our brief guide to choose which option suits you the most. At the end of the day, in the WordPress.com vs WordPress.org battle, the final choice depends only on your wants and needs.

Why you might want to opt for using WordPress.com

As we’ve already mentioned, WordPress.com takes care of your hosting for you. This means that if you choose to use it, there will be no need to purchase hosting or to worry about maintaining your site. There are paid plans and options, but WordPress.com can be free for use if you choose to use it that way. There are certain limitations included in its free form, of course. If you opt for the free plan, it will limit you to 3GB of data, and you will need to use a subdomain. And finally, the free plan will include WordPress.com ads.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay for the business plan if you want to be given the option of installing your own plugins or themes. Since using plugins and themes is perhaps the most significant perk of having WordPress software, you might be missing out on quite a lot of useful features. So how will you know if WordPress.com is the right way for you to create your website? You just need to ask yourself whether you find it too challenging to change your domain name server (DNS) or back up your website data.

If this is the case, then WordPress.com is the perfect choice for you. Consequently, you might be giving up on flexibility, the chance for monetizing your site, and even allowing your website to grow.

When using WordPress.org is the better idea

As we’ve already said, WordPress.org requires you to handle the issue of domain provider. Although having to set it up with your hosting provider might sound somewhat complicated for a complete beginner, it is generally a simple and easy task, even for a complete beginner. Furthermore, when opting for WordPress.org, you’ll be given a wider span of customizable options. You’ll be able to use custom themes and install plugins. This means you can use all the benefits of WordPress to the fullest. There is also the important option of monetizing your website. This is more than useful for all those users who plan to make or use their website for business purposes.

a computer screen showing wordpress
When opting for WordPress.org, you’ll be given a wider span of customizable options, improving the quality of your WordPress experience.

In conclusion – you’re the one who needs to make the final choice

As you might have already concluded, having your own self-hosted WordPress.org website is probably the best option if what you are after is creating a serious website. Although using WordPress.com has its own advantages, WordPress.org offers flexibility and many other options that make it superior to WordPress.com. However, WordPress.com definitely has its upsides. If what you want to build is just a blogger/hobby website and you need the ease of use more than you need it to be flexible – you have a clear decision in front of you. There are always option to get help with maintaining your WordPress website, so this is something that should also be taken into consideration when trying to make the final decision.