Understanding the Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

When planning to build a WordPress website, most people are torn between using WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Most people confuse the two and this leads to the use of the wrong blogging platform. Even for people who know these are two different platforms they are not aware of the key differences. In this post we shall be striving to help you understand the difference. To do so we will take a look at each platform individually.


This is the real WordPress. WordPress.org is 100% free and open-source. All that is needed is for you to purchase a domain name and get web hosting. The platform is free to use. Even so, it has its share of pros and cons.


The grand beauty of using WordPress.org is that you get full control of your website. You can do virtually anything you want to do. The key benefits are:

  • It is completely free to use and open-source
  • It is easy to use
  • You own your website and all its data.
  • You can use free, paid and custom WordPress plugins or apps
  • You can use free or premium WordPress themes to modify your website.
  • You can make money through your website using personalized ads and you keep all the revenue.
  • Powerful tools like Google Analytics can be used for analysis and tracking.
  • Self-hosted WordPress can be used to build an online store.
  • You can use the platform to create a membership website and sell memberships.


There are few cons of using WordPress.org. they include:

  • You have to buy web hosting.
  • You are responsible for your website’s software updates
  • You are responsible for backing your site up.

The cost of using WordPress.org depends on what you are trying to build. If you use too many premium plugins and themes, the cost will be higher. It is possible to build your website for as little as $46 per year on WordPress.org.


This is a hosting service that was created by the co-founder of WordPress. The service comes with 5 plans:

  • Free – quite limited
  • Personal – $48 per year
  • Premium – $96 per year
  • Business – $300 per year
  • Ecommerce – $540 per year
  • VIP – starts at $5,000 per year


WordPress.com is ideal for the hobby bloggers and those trying to create a blog for their family. You will get:

  • 3GB of space in the Free plan
  • Updates and backups will be done for you.


WordPress.com has many limitations especially when using the free plan. The key disadvantages of the free plan include:

  • Ads will be placed on your website and you won’t make money from them.
  • You are not allowed to sell ads
  • You cannot upload your own plugins or themes
  • Stats are limited and you cannot add Google Analytics
  • Your site can be deleted if you violate the terms of service.
  • Your website will have a powered by WordPress.com link. Upgrading to the business plan will remove this link.
  • No ecommerce features or integrated payment gateways are offered unless with the ecommerce plan.
  • You can’t build membership websites using WordPress.com.

With this knowledge you can now choose the right WordPress for your next website. The overall cost in both will always depend on the features you want.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com