WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?

For those new to WordPress, the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org can be confusing. So, we have tried to put in brief, the difference between these two. In short, WordPress.com is a hosted blogging platform whereas WordPress.org is a self-hosted blogging application.


WordPress.com: The hosted blogging platform

  • It is an all-in-one blogging platform
  • You get a ready to use blog that uses wordpress.org software
  • Your blog URL will be a subdomain of wordpress.com (myblog.wordpress.com)
  • It’s definitely easier to sign-up, but much more restrictive
  • It’s free to use and does not cost you a penny unless you go for certain upgrades
  • You can’t display Adsense or other ads on your blog
  • You can’t upload external themes and plugins; only use those from the official repository
  • Since it’s a hosted solution, you don’t have to worry about hosting and security issues; they are taken care of by the WordPress team.

WordPress.org: The self-hosted blogging software

  • org is a software that you need to download and install on your server
  • It is not a one-stop shop; you need to buy domain and hosting separately in order to be able to install and use it
  • It is recommended for those who need the most freedom in blogging and website development
  • It’s not just for blogging; you can even set up a fully functional commercial website, or an ecommerce store for that matter
  • This too is free but with lot more flexibility since the domain and hosting will be yours; so you take your site with you when you change your hosting.

So, which one should you go with?

For those of you who are unsure which to choose, I will always be a proponent for learning how to start a site from scratch. Using the WordPress software is easy and getting a domain and hosting is straight-forward as well. You don’t need to write any “code” to start a site, especially with all the autoinstall scripts like Fantastico, Softaculous and all that are available now. WordPress and other software can be installed with just few clicks!

But if you really don’t want to register your own domain or get hosting, you should go with WordPress.com. This option will also be a great price (FREE), so budget will not be an issue.