As you all know I am a big fan of WordPress for so many different reasons. WordPress is a stable and easy to use Content Management System (CMS) and it powers more than 60 million websites/blogs on the web.  Novices can easily create a beautiful website/blog without knowing a stitch of code and 18.9% of all websites globally use WordPress for their backend.

Since I started using WordPress as my primary CMS for client websites/blogs, the most common question I get from prospective clients and students is: What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

Today we will explore the difference between the two.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a commercial website where you can host a website for free with some limitations or pay for upgrades.

  • Cost: FREE
  • Domain name provided by WordPress: $13/year
  • Your website is hosted on WordPress.com’s server: Free hosting
  • Forced advertising unless you pay annually to have the them removed
  • Website/blog can be set up in 5 minutes or less
  • Limited to WordPress.com themes with no modifications ( most themes are very plain and generic)
  • Limited Plugins
  • Storage space limit: 3 GB and no videos (unless you pay more)
  • No FTP access to your files for security reasons
  • Maintenance: You don’t have to worry about anything. The staff at Automattic takes care of everything.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the open source software that powers millions of websites around the web. There are no limitations.

  • Cost: FREE
  • You own your domain name: Usually $10/year
  • Your website is self-hosted and sits on your own server: Usually $7-$10/month
  • A very basic website/blog can be set up in 5 minutes or less
  • Access to all plugins
  • Access to all themes including premium themes found online
  • E-commerce capability
  • Full functionality. The sky is the limit with WordPress.org
  • Highly Customizable
  • Storage space limit: Unlimited
  • Embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
  • FTP Access
  • Maintenance: You are responsible for keeping up  all plugins, themes and the WordPress core updated.

In summary, I prefer WordPress.org because it allows you to maximize your blog/website with customized themes and plugins.  However, with full control comes full responsibility. Whenever the WordPress core software is released, you’ll be responsible for upgrading your site to make sure it’s secure and less vulnerable to hacking.  I have a list of plugins that will keep out hackers and spammers. You can find them here: Top 50 WordPress Plugins For Your Website Blog/

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Do you use WordPress.com or WordPress.org or some other blogging platforms? Are you happy with what you are currently using? Do you need help deciding which one to use? Please send me an email or call me if you need further clarification.

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