WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two platforms that often cause confusion due to their similar names. In this short comparison, we will take a look at the differences between these platforms, covering important aspects such as security, customisation options, and pricing, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a hosted platform that provides a fully managed service. It simplifies the setup experience, catering even to beginners lacking technical expertise. With WordPress.com, you can sidestep the complexities of server management, software updates and security, as these tasks are handled by the WordPress.com team.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress, is a free open-source software that you can download and install on your own web server. It provides you with more control and flexibility over your WordPress website, allowing you to customise it to your heart’s content. With WordPress.org, you are responsible for managing your own website, including hosting, backups, and updates.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
The main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org lies in the level of control and customisation they offer. WordPress.com limits the scope of customisation options, confining you to the themes and plugins available on the platform, whereas WordPress.org allows you to tap into a wide range of themes and plugins, enabling you to fully customise your website extensively and create a truly unique online presence.
When it comes to cost, there are notable differences between the two alternatives. WordPress.com offers a range of pricing plans, including free, personal, premium, business and commerce plans. The free plan provides limited features and displays ads, while the paid plans unlock more advanced functionalities options such as monetisation, advanced analytics, e-commerce and the removal of ads.
WordPress.org itself is free, but you will need to bear the expenses of web hosting and a domain name. The total cost of self-hosted WordPress depends on the hosting provider you choose but generally, WordPress.org is by far the cheapest option.
WordPress.com Pros and Cons
- Easy setup and secure
- Availability of a free plan
- Automatic updates and backups
- More features than WordPress.org
- Hosted on the WordPress.com platform
- Limited control and customisation options
- Display of ads on the free plan
- Restricted monetisation possibilities
- Higher monthly cost
WordPress.org Pros and Cons
- Complete control over website design and functionality
- Access to a vast collection of themes and plugins
- Possibility to monetise your website without restrictions
- Cheaper hosting options
- Requirement for technical knowledge during setup and maintenance
- Responsible for backups and security
- Responsible for own hosting
Which is the better choice?
The optimal selection between WordPress.com and WordPress.org hinges on your specific needs and level of technical expertise. If you prefer a hassle-free solution and do not require extensive customisation, WordPress.com may be suitable. However, if you seek full control over your website and possess the technical skills or resources to manage it, WordPress.org offers far greater flexibility.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org FAQs
Can I use my own domain name with WordPress.com?
Yes, WordPress.com offers the option to use a custom domain name with their paid plans.
Is it possible to monetise my website with WordPress.com?
Yes, but monetisation options are limited on the free plan. Paid plans offer more avenues for monetisation.
Can I install custom themes and plugins on WordPress.com?
Custom themes and plugins are only available on the higher-tier plans of WordPress.com. The free plan offers limited options.
Do I need coding knowledge to use WordPress.org?
Basic coding knowledge can be advantageous for customising your website, but it is not essential. There are numerous pre-built themes and plugins that will have everything you need so there is very little chance you will ever need to look at code.