WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (Pros And Cons)

We’re often asked by our WordPress beginners which is the better platform: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. In this WordPress Tutorial, we have created the most comprehensive comparison of free WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (self-hosted version). So Let’s begin tutorial to learn WordPress step by step

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

Wordpress.com Vs WordPress.org

WordPress is the most popular CMS software that you can use as the operating system to start a blog.

WordPress is used on more than 35% of all websites and is capable of handling any type or size of the website. It offers a lot of features and can be extended endlessly via additional free and premium WordPress themes(custom designs) and plugins (extra features). It really is the perfect solution to start a blog or website.

What Is Difference Between WordPress.org And WordPress.com?

Despite its popularity, there’s one question that many beginners still struggle with – what’s the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is a free, open source content management system(CMS). The WordPress software, available at WordPress.org. To use the WordPress software, you require to install WordPress on your own web hosting server.

WordPress.com, on the other hand, takes care of all of the webs hosting for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server.

And that’s the basic difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

WordPress.org is often also called self-hosted WordPress. because you can download WordPress software from WordPress.org and set it up with your own web hosting provider and use it on your own website. which gives you a ton of flexibility to start a blog or website as per your needs.

WordPress.org

WordPress.com is a website platform based on the WordPress software. You can just sign up for a WordPress.com account and have a working WordPress website right away. There is no need to download the software and host it yourself.

 

WordPress.com

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Pros and cons

So you have decided to start your own blog or website and have selected WordPress as your platform, but do you use WordPress.com or WordPress.org? Both are WordPress, but what is the difference between the two?

Take a look at each platform individually, understand the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

1. WordPress.org:

WordPress.org is open source and 100% free for all to use it. You just need a domain name and web hosting account to start a blog or website. This is why it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress.

Below are the pros and cons of using the self-hosted WordPress.org to create your website or blog.

Pros Of WordPress.org:

With WordPress.org, you can customize your website as much as you need, You have full control of your website with WordPress.Org, That’s is the reason, why  I personally think the .org version has better than .com. But you can decide for yourself!

Here are some of the benefits of choosing self-hosted WordPress.org to start a blog or website using WordPress software,

  1. It is free and easy to use. (WordPress Download Here)
  2. You have full control of your website. You own all of your website data. On a self-hosted WordPress.org, you’ll own your content and you can even sell it as a website/blog in future without any permissions.
  3. It Allows you to install free, paid, and custom WordPress plugins and apps to your WordPress website.
  4. With WordPress.org you can customize your website design as per your requirements. You can install any free or paid WordPress theme as per your choice. You can also build completely custom designs or modify anything that you want.
  5. It allows you to monetize your website with Google Adsense. You can use your website for affiliate marketing to make money online.
  6. It also allows you to make money from your WordPress website by running your own ads without sharing revenue with anyone.
  7. You can integrate many tools like Google Analytics and Maps for custom analytics and tracking of your website.
  8. You can use self-hosted WordPress.org to create an online store to sell products, accept debit and credit card payments, Netbanking Payments and deliver/ship the goods directly from your website.
  9. It Allows you to create membership sites and sell memberships for premium courses, content,  etc and create an online community around your website.

Cons Of WordPress.org:

Besides above all benefits of WordPress.org, There are also have few disadvantages of using the self-hosted WordPress.org site.

  1. Using WordPress.org requires the need for your own web hosting package from a third party which is an additional cost. Initially, the cost of web hosting is around $1-$15 per month. However as your website grows and gets more traffic, the cost of web hosting will also increase, but at that point, you would be making enough money to cover all of your expenses.
  2. It requires to update your website manually. You can easily do that by simply clicking on the update button (1-click) appeared on your dashboard, so it’s not too much difficulty.
  3. You need to backups your website manually. Fortunately, there are a number of plugins that can be used to make backing up the site easy.

The actual cost of WordPress Website depends on what you are trying to create (simple blog, eCommerce store, membership site, portfolio website, etc). There are also other factors like free templates vs premium templates, free plugins vs premium plugins, etc.

2. WordPress.com:

WordPress.com is a hosting service provider. but It doesn’t provide any software like WordPress.org. Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, started WordPress.com. Because of the same founder, often users confuse WordPress.com with the popular WordPress.org software.

WordPress.com have their own web hosting plans to host WordPress.  So Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of WordPress.com.

Pros Of WordPress.com:

WordPress.com is a good platform for beginners who want to start a blog or website because it comes with a free hosting plan. here are some advantages to use WordPress.com

  1. This option allows you to set up a blog or website quickly, easily and with a minimum amount.
  2. A big advantage is that the basic site is free for all. Beside free plan, they also have premium plans available which counteract some of the disadvantages.
  3. WordPress.com offer free web hosting plan, up to 3GB of space. After that, you will have to migrate to a paid plan for additional space. (Personal plan $36 /year with 6GB space, Premium plan $99/year with 13GB storage or Business plan for $299/year for unlimited storage).
  4. WordPress.com will also take care of any upgrades and backups which can be useful when inexperienced users want to just start creating their website or blog.

Cons Of WordPress.org:

Free WordPress.com also has some limitation which differentiates it from WordPress.org. Here are some of the disadvantages of selecting WordPress.com:

  1. You can get sub-domain on WordPress.com in your free plan for example yourdomain.example.com
  2. WordPress.com don’t allow creating a membership site.
  3. WordPress.com does not allow any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways
  4. You can not make money with a free plan of WordPress.com, because it already enabled with their own ads on it.
  5. You cannot sell ads on your website. But you can apply for their advertising program called WordAds,  where you share revenue with them. Only Premium and Business plan users are allowed to use WordAds right away.
  6. You are not allowed to upload plugins in the free plan. but you get built-in JetPack features pre-activated. Business plan users can install from a selection of compatible plugins as per their requirements. WordPress.com VIP program allows you to install plugins,
  7. You cannot upload custom themes in the free plan, therefore Free plan users can only install from the limited free themes with WordPress.com. Premium and business plan users can also select premium themes. There are limited customization options for the free plan. Premium and Business plan users can use custom CSS as per their requirement.
  8. Your blog will also be limited in size to 3GB (unless you upgrade to the premium option). If you go too heavy on posting images and videos, you might need to migrate for a premium plan.
  9. You cannot add Google Analytics or install any other powerful tracking platform. Business plan users allow installing Google Analytics.
  10. You cannot install AWeber, GetResponse or Mailchimp plugins also.
  11. They have right to delete your site at any time if you violate their Terms of Service.
  12. Your site will display a powered by WordPress.com link in the footer. you can remove it by upgrading to the Business plan.

What I chose and why? (WordPress.com vs WordPress.org)

I’ve been using self-hosted WordPress blog now.  I started out on a free WordPress platform and later had to migrate onto self-hosted one.

If you are serious about blogging, you should go with WordPress.org. If you are just starting off, then free services can be an easy decision to opt WordPress.com, but I don’t recommend it for you. Why?

  1. Whether you’re setting up a website or creating a blog, free platforms are getting more and more strict about rules and allowed content.
  2. They can also delete or suspend your blog without any warning at all. You don’t have full control over your blog.
  3. They can also display random advertisements on your blog that make it look very  “spammy” and cheap.

Further reading:

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