WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Should I choose?

Many people that are just getting started often get confused when learning about WordPress.com and WordPress.org and think they are the same thing.

They are actually two very different Platforms!

In this blog post, WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Should I choose? You will learn the differences between
WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

I will go into the detailed differences in a moment, but as a simple explanation, the main difference is that WordPress.com will host your site for you, but doesn’t allow extra plugins to use on your site. It is restricted to what is available there. So it’s more geared to the newbie.

With WordPress.org on the other hand, you will sign up to the site to be able to download the WordPress software to install on your own hosting package.

For instance… I use Hostgator for my website hosting.

After I add my domain to my hosting and create a package with Hostgator there is a Quick-install for WordPress already in the Cpanel.

I just click that and my WordPress Site is installed on my hosting package for free. So I really don’t even need an account with WordPress.org if I don’t want to create one.

Let’s take a closer look at each platform individually to get and better understanding of the difference between the two.

Comparison WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.org

If you’ve heard of people using WordPress, chances are they are referring to WordPress.org (also known as the real WordPress.)

With the ability to have full control and flexibility it’s no wonder this is the most widely used platform. You can customize it with extra plugins and pretty much do whatever you want with your website.

Here’s a few benefits of using WordPress.org platform.

  • It’s free and you can add free and paid plugins to enhance your site.
  • You can use paid or free WordPress themes.
  • Use your site to make money with affiliate programs such as Adsense, Amazon, Ebay, etc.
  • You can use Google Analytics plugin to track your traffic and sales.
  • You can build your own online stores using different apps such as WooComerce, Shopify, and others.
  • You can create membership sites, sell your own courses, create forums, the possibilites are limiless.

Here’s a few Cons

  • You will need your own hosting to host your website. Hosting is basically a place where you will store your website files such as pages, images, videos, etc. I use Hostgator.
  • If you are new, you can even set up your plugins and even WordPress to automatically update. Are you can choose just to be notified when you open WordPress again if anything needs to be updated.
  • Another thing you will need to do is backup your site frequently. But there are plugins you can get that do that as well for you.

Your site can get expensive if you use a lot of paid plugins, but there are a lot of free stuff out there that you can use that does the same things if you look around.

One thing that I use for my marketing business is OptimizePress (premium plugin) which is a page builder that builds sales pages, optin pages (squeeze pages), membership sites, thank you pages, webinar pages, etc. You can check out OptimizePress here.

optimizepress
OptimizePress – Website Builder For Marketers

I made a video overview of OptimizePress here if you like to watch that as well!

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.

WordPress.com hosting has two different plans to choose from. One for Blogs and Personal Sites and one for Business Sites and Online Stores.

Within each plan there are packages to choose from

Blogs and Personal Sites

  1. Blogger $3 per month, billed yearly – Best for Bloggers
    Brand your blog with a custom .blog domain name, and remove all WordPress.com advertising. Receive additional storage space and email support.
  2. Personal $5 per month, billed yearly – Best for Personal Use Boost your website with a custom domain name, and remove all WordPress.com advertising. Get access to high‑quality email and live chat support.
  3. Premium $8 per money, billed yearly – Best for Freelancers Build a unique website with advanced design tools, CSS editing, lots of space for audio and video, and the ability to monetize your site with ads.

Business Sites and Online Stores

  1. Business $25 per month, billed yearly – Best for Small Businesses Power your business website with unlimited premium and business theme templates, Google Analytics support, unlimited storage, and the ability to remove WordPress.com branding.
  2. eCommerce $45 per month, billed yearly – Best for Online Stores Sell products or services with this powerful, all‑in‑one online store experience. This plan includes premium integrations and is extendable, so it’ll grow with you as your business grows.

Here are a few benefits of using WordPress.com platform.

  • You don’t have to worry about updates.
  • You don’t have to worry about backups.
  • I think they might still have a free plan, but if you need more than 3GB of storage you have to upgrade to a paid plan.

Here’s a few Cons

  • Your site can get deleted at any time if they think you violate their Terms of Service.
  • You can’t upload custom themes. You can only use the themes they provide per plan you choose.
  • They put ads on your website on the free version if they still have a free version, and you don’t make money from those ads. To disable the ads you have to upgrade to a paid version.
  • You can’t sell ads on your site. If your site gets high traffic you can apply for their advertising program called WordAds where you share revenue with them. Premium and Business plan users can use it right away.
  • You can’t add Google Analytics or any other tracking platform unless you are using Business plan.
  • Your site will show “Powered by WordPress” link. And only Business plans can remove it.
  • You cannot build a membership website.

I hope you found this article WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Should I choose, somewhat helpful in making your decision to which platform would serve you better.