You’ve heard about these two WordPress platforms, but you’re not entirely sure what the difference is between them. You’re not alone. People often mistakenly believe that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are one in the same thing, or that they both offer the same types of services and features.
But there are some key differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org that you need to be aware of before making a decision about which platform to use for your website or blog.
The Difference Between WordPress.Com And WordPress.Org
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows users to build attractive, functional websites without coding knowledge (although there is some HTML involved if you want full control over your design). You can use it as a blogging platform or as a CMS for an entire website — or both! Regardless of how you intend to use WordPress, though, understanding the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org will help ensure you choose the right platform for your needs.
What are the pros and cons of WordPress.com
The pros of WordPress.com include the fact that the service is free, and it’s very easy to use, so you can start a blog in just seconds. It also takes care of all your technical needs, including hosting and site maintenance.
You can also customize your WordPress.com site by purchasing a custom domain name and selecting a theme from the large selection on offer in the WordPress themes database. You can also install plugins on your WordPress.com site to add additional functionality like an online store or contact form, for example. On some premium plans, you can even install Google AdSense ads to earn money from your content.
The cons of WordPress.com include the fact that it doesn’t allow you to upload custom themes or plugins unless you pay for one of its premium plans (which requires a yearly fee). Without this option, all blogs hosted on WordPress will have limited customization options and will look pretty much identical to each other.
What are the pros of WordPress.com
The pros of WordPress.com:
- You can create a free website with a WordPress subdomain e.g. yourwebsite.wordpress.com.
- You can easily set up a blog with many built-in features using the WordPress subdomain e.g. yourwebsite.wordpress.com/blog.
- You can easily publish content and manage your site without any coding knowledge or experience.
- You get to use various themes, plugins, and other customization options to make your blog attractive.
- You can easily add images, videos and multimedia files in posts, pages and widgets on your blog using the drag-and-drop feature.
What are the cons of WordPress.com
As we mentioned, WordPress.com has many great features. However, there are some cons to using it. The main one is that you are limited to using a .com domain when you create your blog address. You can’t create a custom domain, and you have no choice in what the URL will be…it will always contain “wordpress” in it somewhere. Along with that limitation comes others:
- You have fewer themes to choose from than you do with WordPress.org.
- You have fewer plugins and widgets than WordPress.org.
- You have limited storage space for photos and videos.
- You have less design freedom because of the available themes and the fact that you can’t install custom codes on your site.
- The support system is less developed than with WordPress.org.
- Ads aren’t allowed (unless you pay for an upgrade).
- It isn’t recommended for businesses as there is little customization ability.
What are the pros and cons of WordPress.org
WordPress.org is the “self-hosted” version of WordPress. You need to download it and install it on your own web server. It is free, but you will need to take care of all maintenance and security issues on your own.
With WordPress.org, you have complete control over your website and can do whatever you want with it: add any plugin or theme, change its design as much as you like, edit its files, and more. This also means that if you break something while customizing it, there’s no one to turn to except yourself (or professional developers).
You should consider using WordPress.org if:
- You want a personal site or blog where you don’t expect many visitors.
- You want to build a more complex website that has not just pages but also lets users post content of their own (e.g., a job board).
- Your website needs lots of customized features that can be added using plugins.
What are the pros of WordPress.org
The pros of WordPress.org:
- Flexibility: You can use WordPress to create any kind of website. As mentioned above, you can start with a simple blog, then add on features and functionalities as your site grows. Since you have complete control over it, the possibilities are endless. You’re not limited by anything!
- Plugins: Perhaps the biggest benefit of WordPress is the extensive plugin repository available. Plugins enable users to add many different kinds of features, such as an eCommerce store or a contact form, with just a few clicks. There are over 53,000 free plugins and thousands more premium ones that can make your life so much easier!
- Hosting: With WordPress.org you get the freedom to choose where to host your website because it’s not hosted on WordPress’ servers — only .com sites use them — but instead on servers that you choose yourself or that come recommended by trusted friends or experts (such as Brickellhost).
What are the cons of WordPress.org
The cons of WordPress.org:
- You need to buy your own domain name and hosting. To use WordPress.org software, you will have to pay for a web host (some WordPress-specific hosts offer free or very cheap plans). You also need to purchase a domain name, which costs around $10–$15 per year.
- You have to handle everything yourself. If your site goes down, it’s up to you to find the problem and fix it. Also, if you want backups of your site, you must set that up yourself. Finally, security is all on you as well—any security breaches are your responsibility!
- It requires technical knowledge and maintenance. Since the software must be installed on a server, there will be some technical knowledge required for maintenance tasks like updating core files and plugins/themes.
Pros and cons between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
WordPress.org is a self hosted platform meaning you need to have your own hosting account and install the software on it. In short, there are many advantages of using WordPress.org over WordPress.com such as:
- You have complete control over your site and all its files.
- You can fully customize your site’s design, which allows you to make it look exactly the way you want it to (or at least add some custom code that will save you from the headache caused by WordPress.com’s limitations).
- You can install any plugin or theme on your site without restrictions, which is perfect if you want to add features that don’t come in the form of widgets or plugins available in WordPress.com’s store (let’s not forget that WordPress.com doesn’t even offer plugins).
- You can monetize your blog by showing advertisements, selling products and services etc., whereas this is not possible with the free version of WordPress.com (and even if it was possible, they would take a cut of everything earned through these monetization methods).
WordPress hosting using Brickellhost.com
At Brickelhost, we take our WordPress hosting very seriously. That’s why we offer WordPress optimized servers, Free LiteSpeed servers and caching, Free CDN, HTTP/3 supported, memcached enabled, Free domain name, and Free Off-site daily backups.
You cannot get all of this from WordPress.com alone. The following are some of the great features we have listed on the site:
- Free Website Migration with every hosting plan
- Free Domain name for the first year
- Free and Unlimited SSL Certificates
- Free Daily Off-site Backups stored on remote servers
- Free malware scanner and malware removal for your WordPress site
- Multiple PHP Versions supported (7.0 – 8.1)
- LiteSpeed Web Server + LSCache Plugin to boost your WordPress website speed and loading time (much faster than Apache & Nginx)
Optimized WordPress Hosting
On the flip side, our WordPress Hosting plans are optimized for WordPress and take care of all routine maintenance aspects for you. Once you sign up for one of our hosting plans, we’ll automatically install the latest version of WordPress, create your account and link it to your domain. You can get a WordPress site up and running in minutes!
We offer three types of WordPress hosting plans:
- Lite hosting – Our Lite plan is great for entry-level websites that don’t receive much traffic or have a simple business website.
- Pro hosting – Our Pro plan is the optimal package that brings together major services to create a complete hosting solution without 2x more resources than Lite plan.
- Premium hosting – Our Premium plan offers more power and 3x more resources than our Lite and Pro plans, including priority support and a Free Premium SSL certificate for serious ecommerce websites.
WordPress.org is a self hosted platform, which means you need to find a hosting service for your WordPress site and install the WordPress software on it. This means that you own all of your data and can modify it or even sell it if you want to.
WordPress.org also gives you more freedom to edit your design, add plugins, customize themes and much more without having any restrictions put in place by WordPress.com which makes it more suitable for large sites and businesses.