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WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org: Comparison 2024

WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org
Saurabh Dhariwal

9 min read

Ever since 2003, if one system has dominated the market of Content Management Systems (CMS) – it’s undoubtedly WordPress! If you’ve encountered 3 websites while surfing the internet today, 1 out of 3 websites are made by WordPress. Without WordPress, building any attractive websites will require building and debugging lines of HTML, CSS, and JS codes. All this lengthy process can be cut short by managing the WordPress dashboard. 

With this, you can customize the theme, color grade, images, fonts, and a lot more with zero technical expertise. WordPress does it all when putting forward any project/business – be it a landing page, portfolio, blogging site, or LMS page.

But one common question that multiple users ask – “What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?”. Although the base software, WordPress, remains the same, there is a line of contrast between these two. This is what this blog aims to discuss in the sections below, which include the overviews, comparisons, and prices of both. Thus, let’s dig deep into further details!

Overview of WordPress.com

A simple-to-use platform for building hosted websites is WordPress.com.The platform offers a variety of plans. These range from a simple free option to premium tiers. The premium tiers come with more sophisticated features. Users gain from automatic security, upkeep, and upgrades, which do not require technical management. 

For beginners, hiring website hosting providers like WeWP will be ideal. WordPress.com is ideal for individuals who value simplicity of use over deep customization and control.

Overview of WordPress.org

With WordPress.org users now have total control over their websites, thanks to it. It allows the installation of custom themes and plugins. Also, Website hosting providers have access to the underlying code for substantial alterations. Additionally, they are free to monetize with advertisements. Users using WordPress.org must have their own hosting and domain, in contrast to WordPress.com. Developers, businesses, and seasoned users will find this platform excellent. They can construct distinctive, feature-rich websites.

Comparison Of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Now that you know what they are, let us learn the comparison between the two:

Hosting

WordPress.com: Users don’t need to hunt for external hosting providers. WordPress hosting sites and servers take care of your platform’s hosting. This makes it easy to set up. It’s also easy to maintain. This makes WordPress.com ideal for beginners.

WordPress.org: Needs self-hosting. Customers must purchase hosting from providers like WeWP. WordPress cloud hosting allows more control over server resources. You can configure your server as needed with WordPress website plans.

Domain Name Options

WordPress.com: Provides a custom domain purchasing option through their platform, or you can select a free subdomain (like yoursite.WordPress.com). The WordPress.com branding is present in the free plan.

WordPress.org: Users are required to buy domain names from registrars on their own. With no forced subdomains or branding, this method gives you total control. You have full control over your domain with WordPress cloud hosting.

Storage

WordPress.com: Offers varying amounts of storage according to the plan. 1 GB is available for free. The Business and e-commerce plans offer limitless storage. You may be limited in how much material and content you can upload by storage constraints.

WordPress.org: Storage varies according to the WordPress webhosting package selected. The majority of web hosts provide ample storage space, and customers can increase as needed, so it’s appropriate for larger websites with substantial media libraries.

Performance

WordPress.com: Using a content delivery network (CDN) and server-level caching, managed hosting guarantees optimal performance. Although consumers have little control over server settings, performance is usually dependable.

WordPress.org: Both the WordPress webhosting company and the user’s capacity for site optimization affect performance.

Security

WordPress.com: Managed WordPress hosting services include built-in security features including regular backups, SSL certificates, and scheduled upgrades. By handling every security measure, WordPress.com reduces the likelihood of vulnerabilities.

WordPress.org: Users are accountable for their security. This includes setting up security plugins like Wordfence, maintaining backups, and installing updates. Although this gives flexibility, maintaining a secure site needs technical expertise.

Customizations

WordPress.com: WordPress website plans and specific customization options are available on WordPress.com. Higher-tier plans enable comprehensive design customization with custom CSS and paid themes, while free plans only allow basic theme modifications.

WordPress.org: Provides countless possibilities for altering the appearance and feel of the website. Users can use a range of themes and page builders, create child themes, and modify the core code to get a personalized appearance.

Monetization

WordPress.com: The free plan offers few alternatives for monetization. WordAds ad placement is possible with higher-tier plans, and online storefronts are supported with the eCommerce package.

WordPress.org: There are many possible methods of monetizing a WordPress blog. Such as membership sites, ad networks, affiliate marketing or paid-to-click sites, PTC sites, etc. Concerning monetization, users are fully in charge of the same regarding the website being used.

eCommerce Capabilities

WordPress.com: The eCommerce package offers integrated capabilities. It includes shipping choices, inventory management, and payment gateways, for online stores. Limited e-commerce capabilities are allowed in the lower tier of WordPress.com. 

WordPress.org: Users can fully customize their online storefronts with plugins like Woocommerce. Also, link various payment processors, and oversee complex inventory systems. 

Tech Support

WordPress.com: Provides email, live chat, and forum support for its paid plans. Higher-tier plans offer a greater degree of support and more individualized help.

WordPress.org: It simply depends on the forums, the documentation, and all the other resources. Plus, managed WordPress hosting services aim to provide community support.

Also Read : 20 WordPress Plugins You Must Try in 2024

Pros and Cons of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress.com

Pros:

  • Managed hosting makes setup and maintenance simple.
  • Automatic updates and integrated security features.
  • Basic functions are provided in a free plan.
  • Technical knowledge is not required.
  • Dependable performance with optimal server configuration. 

Cons:

  • Lower-tier plans have fewer plugin options and less customization.
  • Few alternatives for monetization with the free plan.
  • Branding from WordPress.com on free subdomains.
  • Increased prices for bespoke domains and additional features.
  • Less authority over site and server configurations.

WordPress.org

Pros:

  • Total control over the functioning and customization of the website.
  • Thousands of premium and free plugins are available.
  • Total freedom in terms of monetization strategies.
  • The option to select and change hosting companies.
  • Ample resources and support from the community.

Cons:

  • Requires the purchase of a domain and self-hosting.
  • Greater accountability for upgrades and security.
  • Additional technical expertise is required for setup and upkeep.
  • Potentially more expensive hosting, premium plugins, and themes.
  • No formal support channel; assistance is provided by the community.

Also Read : What’s New in WordPress 6.5?

Pricing – WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress.com

  • Starter: This plan provides you with a free domain for one year. Additionally, you get access to millions of themes with an ad-free experience. It is billed at $1.92 per month and around $23 annually.
  • Explorer: In this plan, you get Starter benefits plus a plethora of other benefits. These include tech support, site-activity logs, an analytics dashboard, and customizable fonts. The pricing is around $16.2 annually.
  • Creator: Along with the Explorer plan, you get global edge caching, CDN, Web application firewall(WAF), and Spam protection. It also includes DDoS protection, uptime monitoring, etc. You can avail of this plan at around $92 annually. 
  • Entrepreneur: This plan incorporates everything in the Creator plan along with optimized Woocommerce hosting, product add-ons, custom marketing optimizations, etc. The price of this plan is set up to around $165 annually.
  • Cloud: In this plan, you get a high-performance WordPress site, with 150 vCPU, 225 GB SSD storage, unrestricted bandwidth, real-time backups, etc. The plan starts at $65/month billed annually.
  • Enterprise: It provides the best-in-class security standards with an enterprise-level system. This plan is available for $25,000 per year.

WordPress.org

  • Domain Name: Depending on the registrar and the extension, the annual fee usually ranges from $10 to $20.
  • Web hosting: Depending on the provider and the characteristics of the plan (e.g., shared, VPS, dedicated hosting), monthly rates can vary from $3 to $30.
  • Themes with Plugins: Both themes and plugins are available for free. Premium options range from $10 to $100 for plugins and $20 to $200 for themes. These costs cover additional features and assistance. 

Which WordPress Do We Recommend?

Choosing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org depends on your skills and needs of WordPress hosting sites. WordPress.com suits beginners and offers a hassle-free managed solution. It’s perfect for those wanting simplicity and ease of use. It offers simplicity, integrated security, and affordable options. This makes fully managed WordPress hosting perfect for small websites or personal blogs.

WordPress.org is a superior option for individuals who require significant flexibility and control or who possess technical expertise. It is appropriate for developers, businesses, and large-scale projects. Because fully managed WordPress hosting gives complete access to themes, plugins, and code modification capabilities. 

Your requirements and your familiarity with technology will determine your decision between the two. When choosing between WordPress.com or WordPress.org, the amount of control wanted on a website ought to be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions

WordPress.org is free. However, hosting costs vary depending on the provider and package chosen. The cost of domain registration and optional premium themes and plugins is an additional $10 to $20 each year approx.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com differ in cost based on your needs and choices. Essential expenses like domain and hosting tend to be lower with WordPress.org. However, expenses for premium plugins, themes, and services may escalate accordingly. Because WordPress.com offers fixed plan pricing, budgeting is more dependable.

Your demands will determine which platform is ideal. WordPress.com is ideal for novices seeking a regulated, trouble-free experience. WordPress.org offers advanced features, total control, and customization options.

WordPress.org provides greater SEO capabilities. It offers wide customization choices and code modification ability. But, WordPress.com offers decent SEO capabilities. However, advanced SEO plugins and modifications are limited to lower-tier plans.

WordPress.com is estimated to be more secure. It is a fully hosted platform that takes care of security from malware, hackers, and vulnerabilities. WordPress.org is self-hosted and depends on your choice of your hosting. Hence, security lies in your hands.

Indeed, websites on both platforms can be made profitable. WordPress.org offers multiple revenue options: memberships, eCommerce, and advertising. Despite more restrictions, WordPress.com allows eCommerce on higher plans. It also permits affiliate links and generates revenue through WordAds.

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