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Did you make up your mind to start your own blog and have chosen WordPress as your ideal blogging platform?

Then you might be confused with the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Look no further since I got you covered like I always do!

Hence, here is a complete breakthrough on the significant differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and everything you need to know about it.

So, let’s just get started with it already!

What is WordPress.org?

First, if your blog is self-hosted with a company like Bluehost, you will perhaps use WordPress.org.

Here you need to pay for your domain, hosting, and typically everything required for a successful blog to run.

Nonetheless, if you choose Bluehost, you get a free domain name which is an added advantage compared to other hosting companies.

You have complete freedom to modify the software as much as you want without any restrictions.

You can take every advantage of the flexibility of the WordPress content management system and install countless WordPress plugins and WordPress themes without any hassle.

Additionally, you have full access to your website’s underlying code, which might not seem the most appealing if you are a beginner and not a tech-savvy person.

However, it is highly crucial as your website grows and you start earning good bucks from it!

This will help you tweak your website to match your needs every time without any hassle.

Of course, you can indeed hire a web developer for you to do that. And you can look for a web developer on Fiverr.com for a cheap rate.

Wordpress.org

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com has both free and paid plans.

So, if you want to create a blog just as a hobby and are not into earning money out of it, the free plan is an ideal choice for you.

On the contrary, if you want to make money from your lifestyle blog, digital product blogs or any other website that you want to monetize for that matter, you have to pay for your website!

Why?

Why not!

NOT EVERYTHING WHICH COMES FOR FREE IS GOOD FOR YOU!

Well, I understand. All of us love to save our money as much as possible, but investments are necessary.

Hence, if you want to gain any returns from your blog, choose the paid plans of WordPress.com!

Wordpress.com

WordPress.com and WordPress.org: Major Differences

Now when we know the basics, let’s jump right to the differences and decode this ultimate confusion once and for all!

Pricing plans:

For starters, let’s check out how much it will cost you to build a website on WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WordPress.com:

WordPress.com offers you both free and paid plans.

With the free plan, you can set up your website with WordPress’s subdomain and use up to 3GB of disk space.

For example,

Yoursite.wordpress.com

Also, you will have to run their ads throughout your website for the free plan.

Next, the paid plans range between $4 to $45 catering to all the needs from personal to business and eCommerce sites with a wide range of features you can’t even think of. 

You also get additional perks for your WordPress.com paid plans!

The cheapest plan in WordPress.com comes with a free domain as well, but it is limited to just a year.

You need to purchase the domain after a year to keep your blog up and running.

WordPress.org:

Being an open source software, WordPress.org is completely free for everybody!

However, being a self-hosted website, it may cost you a little bit to host your website with a custom domain name starting from as little as $3 per month from several hosting services.

Crazy, right?

You also get a myriad of different facilities with WordPress.org that will help you upgrade your website and make it more functional.

My recommendation:

If you just want a hobby website, choosing WordPress.com free plans would be the best deal for you. And if you are likely to expect higher returns from your blog, choose WordPress.org with Bluehost!

Set up:

The best part about the good old WordPress is that you need not be entirely tech-savvy to set up your first WordPress blog!

WordPress.com:

Just go to WordPress.com and click on the “Start your website.”

After your WordPress login, WordPress will then take you through a thorough step-by-step process to configure your first website and bring it to live.

You need to enter your email, the name of your website, and a design from the available options, and that’s it.

WordPress.org:

When you choose Bluehost(which I always personally recommend), you will get access to a one-click installer.

Here you need to provide a name for your website, add a few more details, and your site is ready to be published!

My recommendation:

Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are quick and easy to set up and perfect for beginners.

Number of themes:

Themes are typically the main attractions of your website apart from the other functionalities.

Let’s check out what both the WordPress versions have in store for us!

WordPress.com:

The number of WordPress themes you will receive will depend on the type of plan you choose.

The free plan gives you a limited number of free themes and the Personal plan gives you 150+ themes.

The Premium, Business, and eCommerce plans offer you 200+ premium WordPress themes along with the free themes to adorn your website as per your interests.

WordPress.org:

WordPress.org offers you 7,500+ free WordPress themes, which give you a wider range of options to choose from.

Even if you are still not satisfied, ThemeForest is one of the leading marketplaces for WordPress themes that offers you more than 11,000 exciting themes which you can easily integrate on your website.

Themeforest - Envato market

My recommendation:

WordPress.org indeed takes the lead here due to the availability of themes over thousands!

Number of plugins

Plugins are the exclusive installable packages that can extend the functionality of your WordPress website.


WordPress.com :

You can install any plugins on your website only if you are a Business or eCommerce plan member. You get access to 50,000+ paid and free WordPress plugins here.

WordPress.org :

You can easily install new plugins to your website irrespective of how much you pay for your hosting and where you host it from.

You get access to 50,000+ free WordPress plugins along with thousands of other premium plugins across the web.

Note: Remember to always install a plugin that will give you access to Google Analytics since this will surely make your blogging life by bringing exclusive data on your website traffic, blog campaigns, and many more!

My Recommendation:

Here WordPress.org is the better choice since you get access across ten thousand plugins and even more with both free and premium plans!

Customizations options

When it comes to customizations, the differences are very distinct between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WordPress.com:

There are various limitations when it comes to customization in WordPress.com. Hence, you might not be able to customize your website as per your likings with WordPress.com.

WordPress.org:

Since wordpress.org is an entirely open-source platform, you will get access to every nitty gritty component of your website and tweak them whenever you want.

You can quickly change themes, install new ones, configure plugins, or pretty much anything!

To conclude, you can do whatever you want with WordPress.org and add as much personalization as you like with zero restrictions.

My Recommendation:

There should obviously be no debate here. WordPress.org undoubtedly wins since the sky is the limit here!

Maintenance

Apart from posting content regularly and ranking your website, website maintenance and security is a hassle for somebody new to blogging.

Let’s check out how WordPress.com and WordPress.org help us with that.

WordPress.com:

You get access to basic security options and limited backups that are present at default on the website.

You need to rely just on Word press’s internal security only and cannot add any third-party resources into it to maintain your website.

WordPress.org:

A wordpress.org website is highly secure and carefully built to prevent any possible data breaches and hacks.

The security standards in WordPress.org are way higher in comparison to the other one.

Likewise, to further expand your security measures, you can also add additional security plugin like Sucuri.

For backups, you have many designated plugins to choose from, such as UpdraftPlus or Backup Guard.

My Recommendation:

If you are serious about blogging, taking the right measures for your blog security is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY and certainly not just a luxury!

Hence, WordPress.org is the way to go!

Monetization opportunities

Most of us have the thought and aim to monetize our blog and earn revenue from it in the long run.

Be it from affiliate programs or any other source. Ads are an essential aspect of generating income from the blog.

Let’s check out the monetization opportunities in each one of them.

WordPress.com:

You cannot monetize your website if you have a Free or Personal plan on WordPress.

Also, WordPress will show their ads on the Free plan, and you can’t earn any revenue from it.

You need to be at least under the Premium plan to apply for monetization.

WordPress.org:

You can effortlessly monetize your blog and earn by driving traffic to your website or different affiliate programs without hassle.

You can install/enable/add any method of monetization you wish!

My Recommendation:

Like I said, if you want to earn money from your blog, there is no doubt that you need to choose WordPress.org!

Final Thoughts:

Lastly, everything comes down to you. The battle between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is perpetual.

It is ultimately your call regarding your final choice. Typically, your choice should depend on your ideal returns, what you are expecting to achieve from your blog, and your budget.

Thus, take all of it into consideration upon making your final choice.

And when you are done with choosing a suitable WordPress platform, think of your first blog post idea, curate your first SEO-friendly blog post and be ready to start earning in six digits real soon!

Shohib

Shohib is an entrepreneur and a professional blogger since 2017. He has an MAIB degree in International business and blog at Shohib AK, a site for helping bloggers to make money through blogging to attain financial freedom. Read his inspiring story on how he went from 0 to 6 figure blogger.

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