WordPress.org and WordPress.com – A Detailed Guide
The most popular blogging and website designing/development platform in the world is WordPress.
However, WordPress is available in two forms.
WordPress.com and WordPress.org. While they are both managed by the same parent company, they are actually very different.
As of 2022, there are a staggering 835 million websites made on WordPress. Many people who are new to setting up their online presence often confuse these two platforms.
To help you understand both the services’ features, we have created a comprehensive comparison between them. We aim to help you choose the right one for your needs. Let’s get started!
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Comparison
Understanding the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com starts by looking at them individually.
The main difference between the two is that, while WordPress.org is open-source, WordPress.com is a self-hosted platform.
Here, we dive deeper into the features to help you get a hold of both platforms.
WordPress.org, often touted as “The Real WordPress,” is an open-source blogging and website desigining and development platform that has made waves on the internet ever since its inception. Like every other platform or solution, the pros and cons of using this platform are mentioned below in detail.
For WordPress.org, your website needs to be hosted on 3rd part hosting company/platform/servers. So even though WordpPress.org is a free source, third-party hosting services add additional costs.
There is a wide range of hosting companies that you can consider when building your website on WordPress. SiteGround, Bluehost, Dreamhost, and Kinsta have been making a name for themselves in the community of WordPress users. Their strong support and optimized servers make them an ideal choice for those who are looking for a reliable hosting solution.
For a high-performance website, you need either Managed WordPress hosting or Cloud hosting, which are quite expensive.
Pros – WordPress.org
With WordPress.org, you have complete control over your website and can customize it as you wish. This is the main reason why it is the #1 pick for many website builders. The software is free and open-source, and though it has a learning curve, provides a wide range of features.
Around 43% of all websites on the Internet use WordPress. With WordPress.org, you can install plugins to add features to your website, with the ability to customize it as you wish. You can add any theme that you want and can create custom designs too.
You can also use various tools like Google Analytics to analyze and track your website’s performance. Elementor and Divi are two of the most popular page-building plugins for WordPress, whereas you can find a wide range of themes and SEO plugins to grow your reach and rank higher with fast upload times.
Cons – WordPress.org
There are very few disadvantages to using WordPress.org. One of these is that it requires web hosting, where your files are stored. Initially, it costs around $3 to $10 a month, but as your site grows, the cost will increase. However, the costs will eventually come down as you make more money from your website.
Most web hosting companies will give you a 1-click option to install the software. You are also responsible for updates, and can easily update your site by clicking on the “update” button. You have to manage your site on your own, including all the errors, fixations, and SEO as well plus site speed.
One of the most important factors you should consider when using WordPress.org is the availability of automatic backups. Automatic plugin updates are usually provided with Managed WordPress hosting, which is usually expensive for most. There are a variety of plugins that allow you to set up backups. The real cost of a website is based on the type of website you plan on building, such as a blog, a portfolio, an e-commerce store, or a membership site.
WordPress.com was created by Automattic, a website designing and development solution. It is the same as WordPress.org, however, it is a self-hosted platform i.e. you subscribe to a yearly plan and host your website on WordPress.com
The service has grown as a part of a community and is committed to providing online businesses with the best possible experience when establishing their online presence.
WordPress.com hosts six pricing plans:
- Personal: $48/year
- Premium – $96/year
- Business – $300/year
- eCommerce – $540/year
- VIP – $5000 onwards/month
Pros – WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a good choice for people starting a blog as a hobby. It comes with 3GB of storage space, so you’ll have to switch to a paid plan as your blog grows. With a paid plan, you’ll have more storage space and won’t have to worry about backups or updates.
Easy to use and with an intuitive interface, WordPress is a great platform for creating your online presence. It can be used to add new images, pages, and blog posts regularly. Because of its simplicity, time spent formatting can be greatly reduced.
It’s a self-contained system that allows you to create new pages, post content, upload photos, and more without requiring additional HTML or FTP software.
It comes with built-in features, such as the ability to install plugins. Business plan users can access the same features by selecting compatible plugins. However, if you are a member of the WordPress.com VIP program, you can start installing plugins at around $5000 a month.
Cons – WordPress.com
There are several disadvantages to using WordPress.com, which differs from its sibling, WordPress.org. One of these is that it allows advertisers to place ads on its free websites. This means that you don’t make money from these ads. If you want your users to see the ads, you can opt out by upgrading to a paid version of WordPress.com, which starts at $48 a year.
Free websites with WordPress.com come with a branded sub-domain, such as “yoursite.wordpress.com.” You’ll need a paid plan to obtain a custom domain name, and you can be removed from the site at any time if it violates the terms of service. Moreover, your site will appear powered by WordPress.com.
You can remove the free version of WordPress.com by upgrading to the Business plan. It does not support eCommerce features and can’t be used to build membership websites.
The platform for WordPress.com is quite limited when you’re on either the free, premium or personal plans. To access the most advanced features, you must sign up for either the Business plan, which costs $300 a year, or the WordPress.com VIP program, which costs up to $5,000 a month.
Is WordPress a Code or No-Code Tool?
WordPress.org is an open-source platform that allows anyone to build websites, including eCommerce sites, forums, and portfolios. It was initially created to create blogs, but it has grown to become one of the most popular platforms on Earth.
Due to its wide variety of plugins and themes, WordPress has become a popular platform for people without coding experience. It allows them to create websites that are simple and functional.
WordPress.com is not a No Code Tool; you can use CSS, Java, and HTML to enhance the website. However, page builders like Divi, Thrive, and Elementor help to allow drag-and-drop page building, thus, eliminating coding!
Which is Better?
If you’re a personal blogger who doesn’t want to make money from your website, then you should go with the free version of WordPress.com. If you’re a business owner, you should use the self-hosted version of WordPress.org. This allows you to build a website designed to meet your needs.
The Business plan of WordPress.com comes with several advanced features, but you can make more money by using a self-hosted version of the platform, which costs $46 a year. WordPress.org is the best platform for small business owners, professionals, and even major brands like Disney.
Which is better for Ecommerce?
The easiest way to build an e-commerce website is with WordPress.org. WooCommerce, the popular open-source e-commerce plugin, was designed for small and medium-sized businesses that use WordPress. It was released on September 27, 2011. Since its launch, it has quickly become a popular choice among online retailers. It is also very easy to install and customize, and it has a market position as a free product.
You can use the free version of WordPress.org to build a store or choose from various other plugins and services. On the other hand, the Business plan of WordPress.com starts at $540 a year and lacks many features integral to eCommerce sites.
Page Builders for WordPress
You’ll find plenty of plugins that allow you to build beautiful landing pages and custom layouts using WordPress. These are known as drag-and-drop plugins. They can be used to build websites without the need for a web designer or developer.
With the help of drag-and-drop plugins, users can easily create beautiful and functional website layouts. One of the most important advantages of using a page builder is that it doesn’t require any coding skills.
The SeedProd plugin allows you to create pages for sales, maintenance mode pages, upcoming pages, webinar templates, and more. It also has a live preview that allows you to see all the changes in real time.
One of the most popular WordPress page builder plugins is Beaver Builder. It comes with a front-end visual editor that allows you to create real-time previews. There are over 30 professional-designed templates available on this plugin, so you can create a web page faster by simply replacing the content with your own images and text.
Lastly, no page-building list would be complete without Elementor. Undoubtedly the most popular plugin in this category, it allows you to easily add and customize various parts of your site, as well as the ability to import a template. This tool saves a lot of time by allowing you to quickly create and publish pages!
The main difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com is that the latter is more like renting a house than owning one. With WordPress.org, you have complete control over everything that you want to do, while the former gives you limited power and can only do so much.