WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org - what is the difference

WordPress .com vs. WordPress .org – What’s The Difference?

Ian Booth WordPress Leave a Comment

WordPress came out in 2003 and now it is powering a staggering 27% of the internet! It’s a free and open-source CMS (content management system) with a thriving community of developers contributing to it and it’s ecosystem, in the form of themes and plugins to enhance the system. It has revolutionised web-design and helped to make blogging very accessible, blazing the trial over the last 15 years.

But, there’s one thing about WordPress which confuses people who are new to blogging or web design. What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress powers 27% of the internet! But, what is the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?Click To Tweet

What Is WordPress.com (The Hosted Version)

Put simply, WordPress.com is a hosted blogging network that is user-friendly. It’s simple to use and free to set-up. It has a limited amount of features and could be best described as WordPress light.
However, it is only free at it’s most basic. If you want extra features or to have your own domain name, you must sign up for a monthly paid subscription. The basic subscription starts at €4 per month and options go up to €24.92 per month – depending on the level of options you want to have.

If you’re not paying a subscription fee, your account will display adverts throughout – which are beyond your control.

On WordPress.com you’re also bound to the platform term and conditions. So, you don’t have 100% freedom in what content you publish.

What Is WordPress.org (The Self-Hosted Version)

WordPress.org (full WordPress) is a software (web app) that you install on your own server – it’s self-hosted and you (or your developer) are in total control. There’s an array of themes and plugins you can install to make your website just the way you want it. There’s no end to the functionality or features you can addon – you might have to pay for premium plugins from time-to-time if you want these enhancements.

It’s a fully-fledged website management platform, unlike WordPress.com. There aren’t any adverts (unless you choose to use ads) and there are no outside forces to restrict you in any way – apart from the law, obviously.


If you want to build a real website, that you own and has plenty of scope for further development in the future, WordPress.org is your best bet.

If you simply want to have a very basic blog and join a network, which is similar to Medium, Blogger, Tumblr…etc. Then choose WordPress.com.

WordPress .com vs. WordPress .org – What’s The Difference? was last modified: February 5th, 2018 by Ian Booth