When starting out with WordPress, this question comes in everyone’s mind – What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Choosing which platform is best for you? Following this guide to answer this question.
In brief, WordPress.org is where “WordPress” the software is freely available to the public. You download it freely, install it on your hosting and will have a website totally owed by you.
- You have to buy hosting
- You have to buy domain
- You have to manually install WordPress
- You manage and maintain the website
Besides that, the power of self-hosted WordPress.org site is:
- You can install and use any theme you want, including premium ones
- You can install and use any plugin you want, including premium ones
- You can customize the website the way you want.
On WordPress.com, installation is a snap, and the web hosting is provided and FREE!
- You don’t need to buy hosting
- You can use the subdomain yourname.wordpress.com. If you want your own domain, you have to buy a domain AND upgrade your account to Personal plan at least.
- You don’t need to manually install WordPress
- Your website is maintained by WordPress.com
Regarding using themes and plugins, you simply can’t:
- You can choose only the themes provided by WordPress.com. Most of them are good enough for you. Check our our TheFour theme on WordPress.com.
- You can’t install any plugin.
The difference between 2 platforms is summarized as below:
|Price||Free + Premium||Free|
|Need to buy web hosting||No||Yes|
|Need to buy custom domain||Yes and requires Personal plan||Yes|
|Manage and maintain website||No||Yes|
|Can add custom CSS code||Requires the Premium plan||Yes|
|Can use plugins||No||Yes|
|Can use custom themes||No||Yes|
|Overall difficulty with set up/maintenance||Easy||A bit more complicated|
Which platform is for me?
Self-host WordPress.org is suitable if:
- You want to use a custom theme, especially a premium theme.
- You want to use custom plugins
- You want to customize your website a lot
WordPress.com is suitable if:
- You’re just a blogger and don’t want to spend too much time with installation, setting up the website
- You have a limited budget for web hosting
So, choosing a platform mostly depends on your budget and how you want to manage your website. Each platform has its own pros and cons. We hope this quick guide can help you understand 2 platforms better and choose the best for you.