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WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Which One to Choose? (Infographic)

WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different platforms, users often get confused thinking they are same. But hey! they are not, both are completely different. WordPress.org is CMS software whereas WordPress.com is hosting service and both have their own advantages and disadvantages. So which platform should you choose for your blogging career: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com? Quite a tough choice, right? Well, read this comprehensive guide to understand the difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com. I have written this comprehensive guide to help you understand the platforms: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com and help you make a right choice to start your blog.

Things Covered in This Article:

  1. Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
  2. Pros and cons of both platforms
  3. Infographic summary
  4. My Recommendation

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com:

WordPress.org WordPress.Com WordPress.com Upgrade Plans
Cost:

WordPress.org is a free platform but you need to pay for your custom domain name and hosting.

 

Cost:

WordPress.com is a free platform for up to 3 GB storage. You are not allowed monetize your website they display their ads. You get wordpress.com subdomain.

*Paid Plans Available: starts at $36/year

Personal Plan: Starts at $36/year which includes the custom domain. 6 Gb space. Removes WordPress.com ads.

Premium Plan 13 GB space and monetize your site.

Business Plan:  unlimited storage space.

Monetization:
With wordpress.org, you can use as many ad units as you want. You can advertise directly on your site. Most importantly, you don’t have to share revenue with WordPress.
Monetization:

Only sites with 25,000 monthly visitors qualify for monetization.

Personal Plan:  No access to WordAds Program.

Users on Premium and Business plan get access to WordAds Program.

Themes:

You get full Theme Support. You are free to use any custom theme, you have access to the editor to edit theme files. You have full control over them.

Themes:

You are restricted to themes available on wordpress.com. You get very limited support and cannot modify themes.

Personal Plan: No additional Featured

Premium Plan: You have the privilege to customize your theme.

Business Plan: Can customize and upload third party themes.

Plugins:

You are free to use any type of free, paid, or a custom plugin.

Plugins:

You are not allowed to use any type of free, paid, or custom plugins.

Business plan: Only users on the business plan can install custom plugins.
SEO:

On WordPress.org platform you have access to all third-party SEO plugins to rank higher in google.

SEO:

wordpress.com users do not have access to third-party plugins, as result, they do not have much control over SEO optimization.

Only Business Plan users can install third-party plugins to increase website’s SEO.
E-commerce Store:

On WordPress.org platform you have access to third-party plugins which help you to create E-commerce store with ease.

E-commerce Store:

WordPress.com Does not allow to create an E-commerce store. You need to switch to WordPress.org to Ecommerce store.

No plan allows creating Ecommerce store.
Maintenance:

You must take care of your sites Maintenance. You are responsible for keeping WordPress, plugins up to date and backing up your website.

Maintenance:

No maintenance is needed. WordPress.com takes care of it.

 

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Pros and Cons:

We have seen a detailed chart about WordPress.org vs WordPress.com. Now, let’s see what their pros and cons are.

WordPress.org:

WordPress.org is also known as self-hosted WordPress. This is the by far most widely used platform for building blogs and other websites. wordPress.org is open source and free to use for everyone. You just need a domain name and web hosting service. It’s just one click process, and your site is up and running.

WordPress.org pros:

  • It is open source, free, and easy to use.
  • wordPress.org gives you full control over your blog or website. You have the full control over look and feel, you can do anything with it. You own your website and its data.
  • WordPress.org allows you to extend its functionality by installing free, paid, and third-party custom plugins.
  • You can use free, paid, themes to change the user interface. You can also develop your own theme and use it for your website.
  • With WordPress.org you can create the E-commerce website, membership websites.
  • You are free to monetize your website the way you want and do not have to share the revenue with WordPress. You get 100% share.

WordPress.org cons:

  • Though the WordPress.org is free to use, you need purchase a custom domain name and web hosting for your website. This can cost you as little as $5 – $10 per month.
  • You are responsible for keeping your WordPress version up to date. Thankfully, it’s just one click process. Just check for WordPress update in your WordPress dashboard and click on Update.
  • You are responsible for taking your site back up at regular interval. You can take back up manually via FTP. If you are not tech savvy, you can use WordPress backup plugins to automate the backup process.
  • The biggest con of WordPress.org is that you need to purchase domain and hosting. The real cost of building blog or website with self-hosted WordPress revolves around this. If you decide to use premium plugins and themes, then this cost may go up.

WordPress.com:

WordPress.com, a hosting service to build your website without having to interact with backend coding or setup. It is free to use and have custom plans based on user needs.

WordPress.com Hosting Plans:

wordpress.org vs wordpress.com

 

WordPress.com Pros:

  • It’s easy, to use and to get started with it.
  • WordPress.com is free and you do not need to invest a single penny to start your blog. If you are just blogging for fun and hobby, then this is the right place to start.
  • WordPress.com takes care of your backup, you do not need to worry about it.
  • You do not need to manage your web server.

WordPress.com Cons:

  • WordPress.com is free and easy to use but it comes with few disadvantages.
  • The biggest con is that it does not allow you to do SEO with the help of plugins. Only business plan users can install third-party plugins.
  • You do not have full control over the website. Meaning they can delete your website if it violets their terms and conditions.
  • You can monetize your blog only after you upgrade to either premium or business plan.
  • They place ads on your free website and all ad money goes to wordpress.com. you do not earn anything.
  • You can use a custom theme, plugins only if you upgrade to the business plan. The business plan costs around $300 per year.
  • You can not use Google analytics plugin. You are restricted to their stats. Only business plan users can install Google analytics plugin.
  • With WordPress.com, you cannot build an E-commerce website and membership sites.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Which one Should You Choose:

If you are hobby blogger or just want to have your online presence and do not want to invest in domain and hosting, then wordpress.com is ideal for you. It provides a lot of basic features which will help you to grow your blog or website. WordPress.com is ideal for personal use and having a free online presence.

On the other hand, if you are serious about your blogging career then you should start with WordPress.org. It gives you more control over your blog or website. You can make money with your self-hosted blog. WordPress.org gives you the control to build and grow your website. You can purchase web hosting from this discounted link with the free domain name.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Infographic Summary: 

Wordpress.org vs wordpress.com infographic

 

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My Recommendation:

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com is quite confusing for beginners, though now you know the difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com, I recommend using WordPress.org. It is more robust and provides a lot of flexibility. Use a self-hosted WordPress blog and your own domain name. This gives more authority to your blog than WordPress.com.

I like WordPress.org and recommend it to others. I use WordPress.org for all my website. WordPress.org must be installed on a web server.

WordPress recommends using Bluehost web hosting and I recommend the same for their simple and great support.

They provide 24/7 live support, 99.99% uptime. It is more optimized for WordPress sites, so your sites load faster.

You can get started at $2.95 per month.

It takes only 5 minutes to get your blog or website online with one-click installation.

Bluehost with discount wordpress.org vs wordpress.com

Wrapping Up:

I hope now, you know the difference: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com and choose the right platform for building your blog/website, I wish you good luck with your website. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment, I would be more than happy to answer.

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About the Author: Swapnil Harpale

A programmer by heart and passionate blogger. Swapnil is a founder of WPWISER - A Blog for Bloggers.

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