Setting up your own website can seem like a gargantuan task. But is it really? Not if you know of a tool like it. It offers two different forms of service: wordpress.com and wordpress.org. Before we dive into finding the disparities between the two, let us first know what is it, as a platform, offers.
What is WordPress?
It is a hosting service that provides free websites and blogs for your online presence on the World Wide Web. It has been used by more than 73 million sites in total, like CNN, Forbes or Time magazine, while itself claims to power over 32% of all the websites world over.
WordPress, a free and open-source, is a Content Management System (CMS) based on PHP. It started in 2003, with its first release coming out in May of that year. It’s main feature includes the use of plug-ins, which extend the platform’s functionality to include support for multimedia files like music and videos as well as integration with social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Though it is CMS and meant primarily to be used for blogs, it can be used for more than that. It is a great tool for building business sites, personal portfolios, online resumes and more. It has become so popular that hosting providers have started offering free WordPress hosting to attract customers.
WordPress.org or WordPress.com
It comes in two different versions: WP.org, which stands for Open Source version and WordPress.com, which is WordPress’ paid service. And apart from the payment difference, the core difference between the two is that WordPress.org is self-hosted, whereas wordpress.com is not.
WordPress.org is it’s “distribution” because it’s WordPress software that you download to your own website and install yourself, rather than use WordPress hosting company like WordPress.com or other shared hosts where they take care of installing WordPress for you plus provide extra services such as backups and security too.
WP.org has more features than WordPress.com. It allows users to build custom themes by using HTML/CSS code instead of pre-made templates. You have absolute of your content and WordPress.org is free to use.
WordPress.org has thousands of plug-ins and themes available to download for free, so if you need a specific function/feature in your website, it will most likely be possible without having to pay anyone or have any coding skills yourself.
You have complete control over your content, monetization, and terms of storage.
And your website is then here to stay without having to worry about somebody else’s terms of service, provided your content is legal, of course.
It has a large community, so you can find many it’s developers, freelancers who will help with building or customizing themes/plug-ins for little cost.
It requires some technical skills in order to handle it and a lot of time to manage. Upon that, if one doesn’t have enough technical skills, they might have to hire professionals for it, which is an additional expense.
Though WordPress.org might be free, it requires hosting, which means paying for that as well every month in order to run your website properly.
This can get pretty costly after some time if you don’t have enough money or need additional features such as an online store.
WordPress.com is the other version of this software used for the same purpose. It comes with a managed hosting service and is for someone who finds this as a benefit because of the reduced hassle as they would not have to hunt for a hosting platform or manage their own server.
The WordPress.com service has a free version which is enough for basic uses, but there are paid services as well if you would like to upgrade your site with features such as e-commerce and better security.
WordPress.com also offers detailed statistics about how many people visit your website daily, weekly or monthly so that you can understand what is clicking with your audience and what is not.
WordPress.com is perfect for people who are just starting out or do not know their way around tech as one need not worry about hosting, managing servers, security or upgrades. It Does it all for you. is The platform is built for it’s beginners, with a simple yet powerful interface you can use to design your blog in minutes.
It has tiered plans with different prices. Different tiers have different features. Different available options and their monthly rates are:
The popularity of it can be bad news too. Since it is so popular, hackers are more likely to try and hack into it. This means vulnerability for your website. There also have been incidents in the past, including a server break-in in 2011.
WordPress.com users rely on it for all technical support and hosting-related issues, which is not the case with WordPress.org, where you have complete authority over your website and can hire a developer to help manage it if you are unable to do so.
WordPress.com flashes ads on your site which are visible to the audience, but you do not get the money.
WordPress.org vs. wordpress.com: Which one should you use?
Well, that depends on your needs. WordPress.com offers a free hosting service where you can create a blog or website for yourself without having to pay anything at all, while WordPress.org requires that you have your own web hosting service so as to install it and use it on other’s servers or services provided by third-party websites such as Bluehost, Hostgator etc.
WordPress.org is ideal for large companies seeking full control over monetization and a clean website. WordPress.com suits independent publishers, small magazines, and those with limited tech skills, offering free 24/7 support and no hosting costs.