Wordpress.com vs. WordPress.org

Nadejda

Nadejda Milanova · 03rd September 2020·Wordpress, Business

Wordpress.com vs. WordPress.org

In most cases beginners are often confused when they start using Wordpress.com and WordPress.org. This leads them to choosing the wrong platform for blogging. Even users who are aware that these are two different platforms, are not sure what the differences exactly are between them.

Often our customers ask us this question: which one is the better choice – Wordpress.com or WordPress.org. In order to answer this correctly, today we have made a detailed comparison between the two platforms.

Choosing the right platform is essential and crucial for the success of your online business.

Wordpress.com vs. WordPress.org - Comparison

The best way to understand the differences between the two platforms is to analyse them carefully individually.

WordPress.org

Wordpress.org also known as the real WordPress, is the famous website platform which you have most likely already heard off.

It’s open source and entirely 100% free for anyone who wishes to use it. The only thing you would need is web hosting and a domain name. This is the reason it’s called a self-hosted WordPress.

Below you can see the pros and cons of WordPress.org in order to build your blog or website.

Benefits

With WordPress.org you have full control of your site. You are free to do any customization you wish as well as any changes to your liking.

Below you can find some of the benefits which come with choosing Wordpress.org, as well as the reason it’s the number one platform for building websites.

  • It has a free, extremely easy and open source software.
  • You have full rights to all of your data and website. Your website will not be shut down because someone might think it’s against their terms of services. You have full control.

  • You have the option to add custom elements or free plugins and apps to your site.

  • You can customize your website design according to your needs. You can choose and add any premium or free WordPress themes which might be to your liking.

  • You can also create entirely custom designs and any modifications you wish.

  • You can actually make a profit from your WordPress site by using your own advertising and not sharing the revenue.

  • You are free to use any powerful tools such as Google Analytics for tracking and custom analytics.

  • With the help of this platform you can create your very own e-commerce store where you can sell physical or digital products, accept all type of payments and ship of your goods directly from your website.

  • You also have the freedom to create membership sites and sell premium content, courses, and so on. This can help you build your very own online community around your site.

Cons of WordPress.org

The cons of using Wordpress.org or actually very few:

  • As with all websites you would need web hosting. This is the place all of your site files are stored on the web. The prices for this service very. As your website involves and grows, attracts more traffic, your website hosting costs will also increase, but your earnings will cover the costs.

  • You are in charge for all updates. Any updates can easily be done just by clicking one button.

  • You are responsible for your site’s backups. Thankfully, there are a number of backup plugins available to assist you with this.

Wordpress.com

This is a hosting service created by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Because of this reason, a lot of users often confuse Wordpress.com with WordPress.org.

There are five plans available for hosting service at Wordpress.com:

Free - very limited

Personal - $48 per year

Premium - $96 per year

Business - $300 per year

E-commerce - $540 per year

VIP - starting at $5000 per month.

Wordpress.com benefits

Wordpress.com platform is an excellent choice for beginners in blogging. Below you can find some of the benefits of using WordPress.com.

  • It has up to 3 GB of space. Above that you would need to switch to a paid plan.

  • No need to worry about backups or updates as Wordpress.com will take care of that for you.

WordPress.com cons

There are a number of limitations concerning the use of Wordpress.com. Here are some of the disadvantages:

  • They place adds on all websites which are free. Your visitors will see those ads but you will not receive any profit from it. If you don’t want the add to be visible to users, you would need to use an upgraded plan.

  • You do not have the permission to sell adds on your website which in turn will limit your ways of gaining any profit from it. If your website has a lot of traffic you can apply for their advertising program, called WordAds. In this case you can share the revenue with them. Premium and business plans can use WordAds straight away.

  • You also do not have permission to upload plug-ins. Users with free plans receive built-in Jetpack features which are pre-activated. Users with business plans can choose from a selection of certain plugins. With the VIP program you can install plugins, however, this will cost you over $5000 per month.

  • You also cannot upload custom themes. Premium and business plans have the option to select premium themes. For the free version you have very limited customization options. Users with business and premium plans can use custom CSS.

  • You have restrictions to your statistics. You cannot add Google analytics as well as install any other tracking platforms. Users with business plans can, however, install Google Analytics.

  • Users with free Wordpress.com websites have WordPress.com branded domains. In order to get a custom domain, you need to get a paid plan.

  • If they decide that your website violate the terms of service then it can be deleted at any time.

  • There will be a Powered by Wordpress.com link which will be displayed on your website. It can be removed only by upgrading to a business plan.

  • There are no e-commerce features on Wordpress.com as well as integrated payment gateways unless you switch your plan to an e-commerce one.

  • You cannot create membership website with Wordpress.com.

As you can see above WordPress.com can be quite the limiting platform, especially when you are on a free plan. In order to upgrade to the more premium features you would need to upgrade to a business or VIP plan.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

If you have a personal blog and you’re not interested in making profit from your website, then you can simply use the free platform or Wordpress.com.

If you own a business or a professional blogger, then it’s natural that you would be looking to make some profit from your website in which case we recommend using the self-hosted platform Wordpress.org. It will provide you with the flexibility and freedom to grow your website in any direction you desire.

You do get a number of advanced features with Wordpress.com Business plan, you can also make money by using the self-hosted WordPress site which would cost you $46 per year.

In our expert opinion, Wordpress.org is definitely the better choice. This is the platform used by every professional blogger on the web, small business owners, as well as big brand names.

Can WordPress.com be monetized?

With Wordpress.com you cannot run ads for free on your website. If you have a high traffic website then you can join the WordAd program and share your revenue with WordPress.com.

You can use affiliate links on your website and that’s pretty much it.

In short, you have very limited options on how to monetize content from your website.

Which is better for ecommerce?

With Wordpress.org do you have an easy way of building an e-commerce website. You can even use WooCommerce to build your own store, as well as choose from the many other WordPress LMS plug-ins.

Wordpress.com provides e-commerce plans starting at $540 per year which is quite the amount if you are a beginner. It’s very limited in terms of features and you would need to comply with Wordpress.com terms of services when using your e-commerce store.