WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

Same name (almost). But very different platforms.

Wondering about the difference? ? 

Don’t worry. We'll walk you through the important stuff, like key features, pricing, and the pros and cons of each. 

This way, you can make an informed choice and pick the WordPress option that's right for you. 

So, let's get started!

WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

Ever wonder, “Are WordPress.org and WordPress.com the same?”

WordPress.org and WordPress.com are not the same. While they stem from the same WordPress software, there are significant differences between them.

Here’s a quick overview of their features. 

? WordPress.org:

  1. Self-Hosted: With WordPress.org, you can host your website on your chosen web hosting service (which is why it is often referred to as self-hosting WordPress).
  2. Complete Control: You can control your website's design, functionality, and customization options. You install plugins, use custom themes, and make any desired changes.
  3. Flexibility: WordPress.org allows you to tailor your website to your specific needs, whether for a blog, e-commerce store, or any other type of site. 

? WordPress.com:

  1. Hosted Solution: WordPress.com comes with WordPress hosting, so you don't have to find and manage a web hosting provider.
  2. Simplicity and Convenience: Setting up a website on WordPress.com is straightforward and beginner-friendly.
  3. Security and Maintenance: WordPress.com handles security and updates for your website, ensuring it stays protected and up to date without much effort on your part.

Remember, these are a few highlights of each platform. 

Let’s cover the extra features and considerations to explore before deciding which is best for you.

A clear comparison

Take a quick look at the chart below, and then we’ll dive more into the differences:

PriceOffers different plans to fit your needs and budget. You get a variety of options, from Free to Enterprise.The software is free, but you must pay for web hosting and a domain through a third-party.
Experience NeededEasy to use.. It's an all-in-one website builder and host optimized for performance.Requires some technical knowledge for customization, maintenance, and setup.
HostingHosting is included..You must find and pay for your hosting.
Speed & PerformanceYour website will load quickly and reliably from anywhere in the world.Speed and performance depend on the hosting plan, theme, and plugins you choose.
SecurityWordPress.com is super safe from hackers and viruses. Security depends on the host and package.
PluginsYou can only install plugins on certain plans.You can install custom plugins, and choose from thousands of free ones. 
ThemesVarious premium themes are available with eligible plans.You can install custom, premium, or free themes. You can even create your own.
SupportFree support forums, webinars, and videos. Premium email and live chat support on higher-tier business plans.No dedicated support. You can seek help from the WordPress.org support forums or your hosting provider.
Site OwnershipYou own your site content and can move it freely.You own your site content and can move it as you wish.

WordPress.org (pros and cons)

WordPress.org site is great for bloggers.

The pros

  • Free. WordPress.org is open-source software, so downloading and installing it is completely free of charge.
  • Complete control. You have full control of your website. You can do anything you want with your site and customize it as you please.
  • Custom domain name. You also get to use your domain name without “wordpress.com” attached to the end of it. 
  • Flexibility and customization. WordPress.org offers users a lot of flexibility with customizing their sites. You can install any number of free or premium WordPress themes and plugins (i.e., Tasty Pins, Tasty Recipes, Tasty Roundups, and Tasty Links) and add your custom code to change how your website looks and works. There is no limit to what you can do with your site.
  • Monetization. This is a big one if you plan to have a blog to make extra income. WordPress.org allows you to run ads and place affiliate links on your site without sharing the revenue with your host.
  • Tracking. You can install tracking like Google Analytics with no limitations.
Stuck between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org? WordPress.org offers customization and flexibility for bloggers and businesses.

The cons

  • Domain name and hosting. When you use WordPress.org, you’re on your own with your domain name and hosting. This expense can add up depending on who you decide to host your website.
  • Technical. WordPress.org requires a bit more technical prowess than WordPress.com. Because WordPress.org allows for more customization, site maintenance is a little more complicated. While not necessary, it helps to know some basic coding.
  • File backups and updates. You are responsible for making sure your site is backed up, and your plugins and themes are kept up to date. This isn’t complicated, but it is another thing to add to your to-do list.
  • No live support. WordPress.org doesn’t have live support, so you must work with your hosting company or reach out to the community forum if you ever need help.

WordPress.com (pros and cons)

WordPress.com can be a great option for those not looking to monetize their site.

The pros

  • Free to use. Once you sign up for an account, WordPress.com provides a free subdomain and hosts your site for free for up to 3 GB of space. Once you reach that space limit, you must upgrade to an E-commerce or Business plan to increase your storage amount.
  • Ease of use. WordPress.com is incredibly easy to use. Everything you need is laid out for you. You don’t have to worry about hosting, updates, backups, security, etc. WordPress.com takes care of a lot for you, starting with their Personal plan.
  • 24/7 support. Support is available 24/7 through email and community forums. And if you have a paid plan, you can chat with their support for real-time assistance.
WordPress.com pricing plans

The cons

  • Ad placements. WordPress.com places ads on all free websites, but the catch is that you don’t make money off of these ads. If you want to remove ads, you must upgrade to a paid plan.
  • No monetization. You can’t monetize your site with ads or ad networks like Mediavine, AdThrive, Google AdSense, WooCommerce, etc. In addition, you cannot add affiliate links to your site on the free plan.
  • Limited customizations. You can’t upload any custom themes. Instead, you only have a few free and premium themes. Free plan users can’t install plugins, but paid users can install compatible plugins.
  • Branded domain. Free WordPress.com sites come with a WordPress.com branded domain (i.e. https://yourblog.wordpress.com.) You must upgrade to a paid plan to remove this branding.
  • No tracking tools. You can’t install tracking tools like Google Analytics. Instead, you are limited to WordPress.com’s stats.

Get access to WP Tasty plugins

When you have a WordPress.org site, you can elevate your website with the help of WP Tasty's plugins. 

WP Tasty has all the plugins you need to upgrade your website!

WP Tasty has all the plugins you need to upgrade your website!

Here’s a rundown of each:

  • Tasty Links makes affiliate marketing easy. It handles all your affiliate links on your site so you can maximize your income!
  • Tasty Recipes makes your recipes beautiful! With a few settings, your recipes are ready to be seen everywhere — from your site to Google results!
  • Tasty Roundups makes your blogging better. Instead of manually entering the information for a roundup post, our plugin helps you out and speeds it up!
  • Tasty Pins brings one-click Pinterest sharing to your website! That way, your content is seen everywhere! Not just your website!

WP Tasty has covered everything from managing affiliate links and showcasing irresistible recipe cards to curating engaging content lists and optimizing your Pinterest SEO.

Which should you choose?

So, which version of WordPress is best? 

✅ Here's the deal: if you're serious about your blog or selling your products, WordPress.org is the ultimate choice. 

✅ Now, if you're just starting with a casual hobby blog and not aiming to rake in the big bucks, WordPress.com still has your back. 

We hope this comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org has helped you in your web journey!

Looking to migrate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org? This is a great resource for you to check out!