It’s the king of all questions for webmasters and bloggers: what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
If you are completely new to the world of WordPress, you will need to learn more about these differences before launching your site. Both share some dramatic differences that you will need to keep in mind. In the sections below, we are going to cover dissimilarities in:

  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Development
  • Features and Options

Once you learn about how each platform works, you’ll be able to make a more educated decision as to which one will work best for you.

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is an open source WordPress software that is currently powering millions of sites all across the Internet. Along with thousands of free plugins and themes, it features community support forum, open source software, and efficient hosting options that will allow your site to run more efficiently. Download it here.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is basically a commercial website where you can take advantage of the same features as WordPress.org- but with a few limitations. Since you don’t run it on your own server, the amount of site options that you have are limited. But the best part about this option is that it is completely free to use (we’ll get into that later). Check it out here.

Comparison – Which Option is Cheaper?

Although WordPress.org is an open software, the hosting associated with it is not free.
When taking this route, there are two main things that you’ll need to pay for:

  • Domain Name: Costs about $10 depending on what domain registry you use. Domain names also need to be renewed on an annual basis, otherwise, you will lose the rights to use them for your site.
  • Hosting: Hosting can range anywhere from $3 to $8 depending on which hosting service you use. Some are better than others, which is why you need to do your homework. Nonetheless, it is needed to run a WordPress.org site.

As you can see, this option isn’t free. But what about WordPress.com? How much does it cost to use it? Absolutely nothing. Although you will be limited in customization options, there are no monthly costs associated with WordPress.com sites, which is one of the main reasons why they are so popular among users.

Which Option is More Limited? Which One Offers More Freedom?

WordPress.com tends to be a little more limited. As you will see below, you won’t be able to exercise your creative ideas to their highest potential if you decide to go with this option. Let’s take a look:

WordPress.Com

  • No custom plugins
  • Limited themes to choose from
  • Storage limit is only 3GB (unless you want to pay more for additional space)
  • Limited control over how you portray your content to your readers

Unless you want to pay $30 per year, this route can limit your ability to create a wonderful looking website. Also keep in mind that if you don’t pay this amount, you also won’t be allowed to post advertisements on your site either.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org offers much more freedom. Some of the freedoms that you’ll be able to achieve include:

  • Apply any commercial theme that you want
  • There are thousands of plugins and themes to choose from
  • Tweak site details in a fast and efficient manner.
  • Full control over your content.
  • Ability to post advertisements

Since you are hosting a WordPress.org independently, there is much more creative freedom. If you are a serious business owner or blogger, this is definitely the option to take. While you are paying for expenses like hosting, domains, and in some cases, themes, it is simply the better option for reaching a larger audience in the long run.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. As always, be sure to subscribe to our blog to stay updated on the latest WP tips and tutorials.

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