5 September 2023
Are you wondering which platform will win the battle between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?
When starting a blog, it’s important to choose the right blogging platform. Choosing the right blogging platform from the start can save you the time and frustration of having to switch later on.
If you’re new to blogging, you’ve definitely heard of WordPress and are thinking about using it as a platform for your new blog. If so, you’re off to a great start!
WordPress is one of the top blogging platforms on the market.
Which WordPress? There are actually two different versions: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. It’s easy to get confused about the difference.
So, in this article, we’ll compare WordPress.com vs WordPress.org so you can decide which one is best for your blog.
But first, if you’re unfamiliar with WordPress, check out this quick introduction.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) built on PHP and MySQL. It was first released in 2003, and now it is used by more than 43% of all websites on the internet.
Furthermore, you can use WordPress to create any type of website. These include:
The possibilities are endless! If you can think of it, you can probably build it with WordPress.
Further, with WordPress, you don’t need to know how to code to create a website using WordPress. WordPress is easy to use, even for beginners.
Because WordPress is so popular, many popular websites use it. Many of the websites and blogs you visit on a regular basis are probably powered by WordPress.
Let’s take a look at some big websites that use WordPress.
WordPress is a robust and versatile website-building platform, which is why so many big brands use it to build their websites.
Here’s a list of WordPress-powered websites:
Sony Music is a multinational music company that runs its website on WordPress. The site features its artists, the latest news, a Twitter feed in the sidebar, and more.
PlayStation is one of the most popular gaming companies in the world. They use WordPress to run their gaming website, which offers tips, game releases, insider news, and more.
TechCrunch is a well-known technology website that provides up-to-date information about startups, gadgets, events, and other relevant topics.
Time Magazine is one of the biggest American news websites and publications. The site covers topics like politics, health, technology, entertainment, and much more.
cPanel is a web hosting control panel software developed by cPanel, LLC. Their website and company blog are powered by WordPress. It uses WordPress to power its website and company blog.
WPBeginner is a well-known free WordPress resource site for beginners. It provides quality tips, tricks, hacks, and other WordPress resources that allow WordPress beginners to improve their sites.
In this section, we’ll go through WordPress.com and WordPress.org separately so you can understand the primary differences between them.
Let’s get started.
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform and blog hosting service that is owned and run by Automattic. This means you can create an account and start creating your blog right away—no hosting needed.
There are six different plans you can sign up for on WordPress.com:
Since you will not have to worry about hosting, using WordPress.com will make it easy to start your blog.
However, because you aren’t hosting your own blog, you have less freedom.
Which gets us to WordPress.org. Let’s have a look at it.
WordPress.org is an open-source blogging platform that you can use to launch your own blog.
Open-source software is a type of software that allows you to customize, edit, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. So, is WordPress.org free?
WordPress.org is a free website and blog-building platform that anyone can use. However, you need to buy a domain name and web hosting to use it.
Having a self-hosted WordPress blog allows you more freedom and control over your own site. It is one of the primary advantages of using WordPress.org for your blog.
Now that you see the main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of each option.
When deciding which platform to use for blogging, WordPress.org vs WordPress.com, it’s important that you consider the pros and cons before making a decision.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of both WordPress versions so you can decide which one is best for your blogging needs.
WordPress.com can be a good option if you want to start a blog for free as a hobby.
Here are some of the pros of using WordPress.com:
WordPress.com has a free plan that allows you to start a blog for free without spending any money at all.
WordPress.com hosts your website, so you don’t need to set up a separate hosting for your site.
It takes care of security measures and system updates, reducing the risk of security vulnerabilities. Plus, it also handles server maintenance, ensuring your site stays online.
Automatic backups are performed by WordPress.com, ensuring that your website’s content is regularly saved in case of data loss.
While a free WordPress.com site might look to be the best option, there are certain limits to be aware of.
Here are some of the cons of using WordPress.com:
WordPress.com puts ads on all free websites. Your users see such ads, but you don’t make money from it. If you don’t want your users to see these ads, you can upgrade to a premium WordPress.com plan (starting at $48 per year).
When you create a free blog, you don’t get a custom domain name like www.yourblog.com. Instead, you’ll get a subdomain that looks something like https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com.
This makes your blog look unprofessional, and the URL might be difficult for users to remember. You’ll need a premium plan to get a custom domain name.
Check out some of the best domain registrars for your blog.
One of the best things about WordPress is that you can use WordPress plugins to make your blog more powerful. However, you cannot use WordPress plugins with a free WordPress.com blog.
You must upgrade your plan if you want to use WordPress plugins on your blog.
There are many amazing WordPress themes for blogs that you can use to instantly give your site a professional look.
However, with the free WordPress.com plan, you can use a limited number of WordPress themes. This makes it challenging to give your blog the look you want.
If you want to start a blog to make money blogging, you can’t do it with a free WordPress.com blog. Plus, you cannot use Google Adsense on your blog with the free plan.
When you create a blog with WordPress.com, you must agree to the WordPress.com Terms of Service. This provides you with less control over your blog.
Furthermore, if WordPress.com believes you have violated their Terms of Service, they have the authority to delete your blog at any time.
As you can see, there are several downsides to using a free WordPress.com account to start a blog. While you may upgrade from a free WordPress.com plan to a premium plan to get access to some of the features you are missing, it’s quite expensive.
Instead, let’s look at how choosing WordPress.org to build your blog will provide you with all of the functionality you want without having to spend a ton of money.
WordPress is a free, open-source software that is very easy to use.
You can customize your blog however you want. There are over 59,600+ free plugins in the official WordPress.org plugin repository that you can use to further improve the functionality of your WordPress website. In addition, you can also purchase premium plugins from third-party websites.
Here are some of the best WordPress plugins for your blog.
Similar to WordPress plugins, there are over 11,000+ free themes available in the official WordPress.org themes repository that allows you to customize the look of your blog to suit your brand or style.
Here are some of the best free WordPress blog themes that you can check out.
With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you own both your site and your blog content. This means you have no restrictions. You can set up and grow your blog in any way you want.
You also don’t have to adhere to another company’s Terms of Service or worry about your blog being deleted.
A self-hosted WordPress blog gives you complete control.
Using WordPress.org, you can monetize your blog. You can use your own blog to make money with Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, writing sponsored blog posts, and more. Plus, you don’t have to share the revenue with others.
Check out our article on the best ways to make money blogging.
With WordPress.org, you can use Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking.
WordPress is SEO-friendly by default, with features that make it easy to optimize your site for search engines. Furthermore, there are several SEO plugins available to further improve your blog visibility.
You can’t start a blog for free using WordPress.org. You do need to pay for WordPress hosting. Luckily, there are several cheap WordPress hosts available that you can use to start your blog for as little as $1.99/mo.
With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you’re responsible for maintaining your site. This covers backups, updates, and security. However, it’s not as difficult as it seems.
Keeping your WordPress site, theme, and plugins up to date is as simple as a single click of a button, and you can also use WordPress plugins for security and backups.
As a self-hosted platform, you will need to install WordPress manually to use it. Luckily, most popular WordPress hosting companies offer 1-click WordPress installation options. You can also follow our beginner guide on how to install WordPress.
Which is best for blogging: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
Well, it depends!
WordPress.com is a good option for students or people who want to start a blog as a hobby. Their limited free plan is great if you don’t want to build a professional blog or make money online.
However, if you want to build a profitable blog, go with WordPress.org. A self-hosted WordPress blog will allow you to build and grow an online business in any way that you want.
If you are ready to build a blog on WordPress.org, keep reading for some more tips that will help you get started.
As we mentioned earlier, when using WordPress.org to launch a blog, you must pay for a domain name and web hosting.
Starting a self-hosted WordPress.org site may look difficult, but it is very easy.
Here at Pickup WP, we always recommend using Bluehost to create a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Bluehost is one of the best blog hosting providers in the market. Plus, it is also officially recommended by WordPress.org.
In addition, it also offers free domain, free SSL certificate, 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 support, and more.
With WordPress.org and Bluehost, you can build a blog in no time, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money, either!
And that’s a wrap!
We hope you enjoyed this article on WordPress.org vs WordPress.com. At Pickup WP, we always recommend using WordPress.org for blogging if you want to make money from blogging. WordPress.org gives you more flexibility to establish a blog on your own terms and grow it into a profitable business.
For more tips on running a successful blog, check out these other helpful resources:
Although WordPress.org is completely free to download and use, you must have your own domain and hosting to use it.
Choose WordPress.org if you want complete control and customization and are comfortable with maintenance. Choose WordPress.com if you want a simple setup with limitations until you upgrade. WordPress.org provides more flexibility, whereas WordPress.com is easier but may charge extra for features.
WordPress.com is not the same as WordPress.org. Despite their names, they are different entities. WordPress.com is owned by Automattic, whilst WordPress.org is run by a completely separate organization. The one thing they have in common is that Matt Mullenweg helped launch both of them.
WordPress.com is more secure by default since it is a closed system hosted by a company. WordPress.org can be made even more secure, but it will take certain security plugins, a secure web host, and some settings. It’s easy to set up but needs more effort than WordPress.com.
Yes, you can move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and quickly migrate all of your content.
WordPress.org is a far better option to build an eCommerce website. There are many eCommerce plugins available that you can use to build your store easily.
WordPress.com also has an eCommerce plan that starts at $540 per year, which is quite an expense if you are just getting started. It still has limitations in terms of features, and you must adhere to WordPress.com’s terms of service for your online store.
WordPress.org is usually better for SEO. It allows complete customization, including the use of advanced SEO plugins and tools. While WordPress.com includes basic SEO features, you’ll need to upgrade to have access to advanced tools.
No, you cannot use WordPress.org without a host. WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform, which means you need to have web hosting to run a WordPress website.