What is the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Straightforward question, but it must have confused you a lot. And if you don’t have a clear-cut answer, you better get one fast! Because the consequences of choosing the wrong WordPress are dire. Save yourself some frustration and get to know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org in this article. We will go step by step, first explaining what these two are and then highlighting their differences.

What is WordPress?

You truly deserve to know what WordPress is before diving into the debate of WordPress.org Vs WordPress.com. Check out this article to know what WordPress truly is.

What is WordPress.org

wordpress-org
  • Origin:

On April 1st, 2003, Matt Mullenberg and Mike Little started working on the platform they called WordPress. It was an open source project. Soon a community developed around it. Currently, the WordPress foundation oversees the development of WordPress.org.

  • Offering:

WordPress.org offers WordPress, which is an open source software that can create a beautiful website, a blog or app. It is completely free and completely customizable. You can install it on your system or server and tweak it the way you want. There are no terms and conditions attached. You are the sole caretaker of your WordPress software, meaning it is up to you to keep it up to date and back up the data you create on it. WordPress.org also offers free as well as paid themes and plugins which you can use to customize your website. There is extensive documentation available on WordPress.org  about the WordPress software.

What is WordPress.com

  • Origin:

Automattic, a company founded by Matt Mullenberg, launched WordPress.com on November 2005.  Earlier it was written in PHP, but since 2015, it is written in JavaScript. WordPress.com is a commercial product of Automattic, Inc.

  • Offering:

WordPress.com offers four different plans. Each has different offerings.

Let’s have a look at what each plan has to offer.

  1. Free: The free plan offers a free website hosted by WordPress.com forever. It is limited to 3GB storage. You get a WordPress sponsored domain name (Like thiswebsite.wordpress.org).  You get Jetpack essential features, which is a bundle of web software, for your website. You get dozens of free themes to choose from. You can do basic design customization. For all these offerings, WordPress.com puts advertisements on your website.
  2. Personal: This Plan removes WordPress.com ads, which are on the free plan.  You get a free custom domain for one year. It includes Jetpack essential features. You get email and live chat support. Along with themes and customizations, you get 6GB of storage space.
  3. Premium: This is offered primarily for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It provides advanced design tools, CSS editing, and you get the option to monetize your site with ads. You get the option to join the WordAds program where you share the revenue for ads hosted on your site. It gives you Unlimited premium themes. It offers advanced design customizations. You get 13GB of storage space. The rest of the offerings are similar to the personal plan.
  4. Business: This plan includes all the offerings of the Premium plan. On top of that, you get Unlimited storage space. It adds features such as Jetpack search, SEO tools, and Google Analytics integration. You can upload themes and install plugins. You get the chance to attend live courses by Happiness Engineers.

Now that we have had a look at both WordPress.org and WordPress.com, let us see what are the pros and cons of using each. Each one is completely different as we have seen in terms of features and pricing. Therefore, by now, it must be clear to you that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are not synonymous, in fact far from that. Therefore, your decision to choose the platform needs to be made by considering the pros and cons of each.

WordPress.org

Pros:

  1. It is free and easy to use
  2. You own your website and all its data i.e. your website is not subject to the terms and conditions of someone else.
  3. You can add free, paid and custom plugins to your website
  4. You can completely customize your website
  5. You can make money by running ads without sharing revenue
  6. You can create an online store to sell your products and accept payments
  7. You can create membership sites

Cons:

  1. You need web hosting to host your website
  2. You are responsible to update the WordPress version you are using. This is just a one-click process.
  3. You are responsible for backups at your website.

WordPress.com

Pros:

  1. It’s free up to 3Gb of space. This is enough for personal uses. You can create your personal website at no cost. The Personal plan gives you access to 6GB, the premium to 13GB and Business plan to unlimited data.
  2. You do not need to take care of backups. WordPress.com manages that.

Cons:

  1. It places ads on all free websites. You don’t make money from these ads.
  2. You cannot sell ads on your website in the free plan. Premium and Business plans only have WordAds option.
  3. You cannot upload plugins. Only the VIP program allows you to upload plugins.
  4. You cannot upload custom themes. You get to select from a selection of selected themes.
  5. You are restricted to the stats provided by them. You cannot install independent statistics providers. Only the business plan comes with Google Analytics.
  6. It can delete your site anytime if they believe it violates their terms and conditions.
  7. It will display powered by WordPress link at your website unless you switch to Business plan.
  8. It does not offer e-commerce features or payment gateways.
  9. It is not possible to create membership websites using WordPress.com

By now, the confusion you had about WordPress.org and WordPress.com, must be cleared. You have also got an idea about the pricing each involves. Now, based on your needs, you can consider which platform is to be selected. We recommend using WordPress.org even though you have to take care of the hosting. Leave that up to us. Nestify provides blazing fast managed WordPress hosting. With WordPress.org you get the full control of your website. And should an issue arise, we at Nestify are there to help you.

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