WordPress.org vs WordPress.com– You might have heard about these two terms and questioned yourself that which platform is better for you and which platform you should choose.
You must first ask this question to me.
Why is it necessary to know the difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com?
Well, there is a very simple and logical answer to this question.
You should know the differences between the two because one is totally different from the other.
WordPress.org is a better platform if you want to choose blogging as a career
Whereas WordPress.com is a free platform where you can learn blogging but there are some limitations in this platform which I am going to discuss in this post.
After reading this complete guide based on the major 10 differences between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com, I am sure that all your doubts will be cleared and it will become easy for you to choose between the two.
There is one another platform, known as Blogger, which is a free platform to start blogging, owned by Google.
If you don’t know about blogger and you want to know the differences between Blogger and WordPress, you can read this article on https://onlinerupaya.com/wordpress-vs-blogger/
So let’s start educating you on the 10 Major Differences Between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.
11 Major Differences between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
1. Basic Difference: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress is a free self-hosted platform open source Content Management System(CMS) which you can use to manage your website, and create your own blog.
If you want to know how to create a blog and start making money, you can read this article 6 Easy Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Blog and Make Money for Beginners in 2020
To install WordPress.org in your system, first, you need to buy domain and hosting which is available on various websites at different prices.
After you buy a domain and a hosting service from the hosting provider, you can easily install WordPress.org on your computer for free and start customizing your website.
This platform is preferred by almost all professional bloggers because of so many advantages over WordPress.com.
What is WordPress.com?
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform where you can start blogging for free and you don’t require to pay for any hosting and domain.
You just need to create an account on WordPress.com, if you want to start your own blog on WordPress.com.
Your website will be created on WordPress hosting and managed by its management team.
2. Setup: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
For installing and setup of WordPress.org, you are required to follow the following steps:
- The first step is you have to buy a domain from domain name registrars of your choice like BlueHost, HostGator, GoDaddy, Namecheap, and many more you can find and choose according to pricing, user experience, customer service, etc. You can choose to buy domain name extensions like (.in), (.com), (.net), etc and you can create a custom URL for your website like (yoururl.com), (yoururl.in), (yoururl.net), etc.
- The second step is you have to buy hosting from a good web hosting provider of your choice like BlueHost, SiteGround, HostGator, GreenGeeks. You can choose a good web hosting provider based on speed, security, customer support, pricing, etc.
- In the third step, you can now install WordPress in just a click and start customizing your website.
To get started with WordPress.com is very simple.
Go to WordPress.com and simply click on the “Start your website” button.
And there you go.
WordPress.com will ask you about your email address, username, and password, or you can simply create your account using Google, or you can continue with Apple.
After logging, you can choose from design and themes available on WordPress.com and then you can start blogging right away.
3. Themes: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
There are thousands of free and premium themes from which you can choose and customize your website as per your requirement.
You can upload and activate a new theme anytime you want.
You can choose your theme from the themes option but you can not customize your website, neither you can upload any theme.
Paid plans give you access to the free and premium themes to add functionality to your website.
Some of the free themes have responsive design and multiple page templates that you can use to customize your website.
4. Plugins: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
In WordPress.org, you can install and activate any free or paid plugin from the plugins toolbar section.
The themes are responsive and most of the themes work well with some of the page builder plugins.
Some of the themes have built-in WooCommerce to create an online store in your blog easily.
The themes are lightweight, SEO-friendly, and has great options for fonts and colors.
You cannot install plugins in your WordPress.com free blog.
However, there are in-built features that add functionality to your free plan blog.
For premium plans, you can install plugins if have the business or eCommerce plan.
5. Sub-domain: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
You get the custom URL or sub-domain for your website “mywebsite.com”.
If you sign up for WordPress.com, You are not provided with the custom domain hence no custom URL for your blog, you are limited to the sub-domain which is of this type “mywebsite.wordpress.com”.
6. Cost: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
The costs to continue your website in self-hosted WordPress includes:
- Monthly web hosting expenses
- Yearly domain expenses
- Both of the above costs around $40-$100 depending upon the type of domain and hosting you choose for your website.
If you sign up for WordPress.com, you are not required to pay for anything. Ads will be displayed on your website.
All the paid plans are displayed in the image above for which you get the custom domain, no displaying of ads, and no customization.
7. E-Commerce Capability: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
You can easily create an e-commerce store on your self-hosted WordPress site where you can sell digital products, physical products, other person’s products(as an affiliate marketer), make bookings for appointments, services, subscriptions, etc.
How do you set up a WooCommerce online store on WordPress.org?
Let me explain you step-by-step through following bullet points
- After you buy a domain and hosting and you have successfully installed WordPress on your hosting account. You have completed your first step.
- Install WooCommerce Plugin for free and do the quick setup and configure the basic settings like page setup, store locale, shipping & tax, selecting your payment option.
- Then add your first product on the online store you want to sell with necessary information like product name, product description, categories, tags, image.
- Choose the design and theme for the online store for great appearance and attractive looks.
- Last but not the least, configure the checkout page.
For e-commerce capabilities, WordPress.com has an e-commerce plan you can opt for.
8. Monetization: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
You can monetize your traffic in several ways like Google Adsense, Affiliate Marketing, sell your own e-books, digital and physical products, and several other ways.
WordPress.org is an open-source CMS so there is no limit of monetization options and you get to keep 100% of what you earn from your website.
If you choose to blog in WordPress.com, there are no monetization options for free and personal plans.
In the free plan, WordPress.com display their own ads on your website and there is no option for you to disable them.
However, for premium plans, you can choose the business plan with a Woocommerce plugin to earn money from your website. This free plugin can help you in selling digital and physical products, shipping of products, collect taxes, accept payment through Paypal, and much more you can do.
9. SEO: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
You can install the SEO plugin on your website and optimize your website for higher ranking in the search engine rankings.
For the free plan, you don’t have full control over SEO since you can’t install SEO plugins to optimize your website.
For the business plan, you can choose from several SEO plugins for better optimization of your website.
10. Analytics: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
Analytics is required if you want to know how many visitors are visiting your site daily/weekly/monthly or any time period you choose.
Analytics is a great option if you want to know where your visitors are coming from like social sites, referral sites, direct traffic, etc.
Analytics also helps you in finding out what the visitors are doing on your site, which pages. posts they are reading and clicking on, what type of ads they are clicking, and much more like this type of information which helps you in analyzing and gives you a better understanding of how can you monetize that amount of traffic successfully.
For a free plan, there is no option to install a plugin for analytics.
Rather, the Free WordPress.com plan has in-built stats quick tracking of the number of visitors on your site.
For Business, Premium, and eCommerce plans, there are options to install Google Analytics to your site, or blog, that will help you in understanding the funnel that visitors are passing through and how visitors are reaching to your site through various paths and how they are reacting to your products and all those stats that are available with Google Analytics.
11. Customer Support: WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
In WordPress.org, for customer support, we have two options available- Forums and Documentation.
Forums are community-based support forums where you can search for a specific troubleshoot and find the solution if available in the forum.
Documentation is the other option for customer support where you find the basic knowledge available for getting started on WordPress, installing WordPress, and similar other questions like how to write posts pages and many more information available for users.
And the third option is the toll-free number available.
But the most preferred option you can opt is to contact your customer support of your web hosting provider.
If you have purchased hosting from SietGround, BlueHost, A2 Hosting, Hostgator, etc., then you can contact their customer support. Most of the web hosting providers provide 24/7 customer support and they have their dedicated skilled technical customer support team that will be happy to help you out with your queries.
For free WordPress.com plans, forums and support documentations are the only options available for the users.
There is no email support and live chat support available for free plan subscribers.
For Business, Premium and Personal plans, free email service and basic live chat support are available for the users where you get connected with a happiness engineer, if you can’t get your queries solved using support documentation and forums.
Final Thoughts on WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
If you want to create your own website as a “hobby” and you don’t want to get into the technicality of websites, you can create your website in WordPress.com.
And as you grow your website and in the future, if you want to create a business out of your website, you can choose from personal, premium, business, and e-commerce plans and you can enjoy all the features that you get in WordPress.org.
The recommended option from my side is you should go for self-hosted WordPress.org since most of the pro bloggers are using WordPress.org, because of its easiness, several monetization options, excellent customer support from hosting provider and many more advantages that I already explained in this article.
If you want to know how to create your own blog using self-hosted WordPress, you can read it here 6 Easy Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Blog and Make Money for Beginners in 2020
Hi, I’m Rashpreet Singh Bagga, Founder of Online Rupaya. I’m a passionate blogger and an aspiring YouTuber. This blog will help you in earning your first dollar online providing useful information regarding blogging, and SEO.