WordPress.org VS WordPress.com

written by Marie Last updated on March 5, 2017

Published on April 26, 2016

WordPress.com and WordPress.org may seem to be the same for someone who has never done any research or is not used to create a website with this tool. This is not the case at all. In this article, we will compare these two tools for you to be able to take the most informed decision possible about which tool is best for you and which one best meets your needs.

All dollar amounts are in Canadian dollars. You can use a currency converter to have the information in your currency.

Cost

Here are the different registration models on the WordPress.com website, and in the last column, a WordPress.org! In the last column, I used my subscription OVH France to have a reference.

Free Premium $129 CAD / year Business $389  CAD / year WordPress.org
$53
CAD / year
Free blog Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
A Custom Site Address Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Space 3 Go 13 Go Unlimited 100 Go
No Ads Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Custom Design Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
VideoPress Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Premium theme Unlimited You can buy themes. A lot cheaper than the ones on the store of .com
Google Analytics Checkmark Checkmark
Support Community Direct Emails Live chat Community
Plugins Checkmark
Emails @your_domain_name.com Checkmark

Do you want to have an income?

Not only you do not have any publicity on your blog with wordpress.org, but also, you may decide to put some to generate income!

Themes

WordPress.org themes

I have the tendency to change the theme of my blogs every month. As soon as I finished adapting a theme to my blog 100%, it would please me more, and I already look at possible new themes to install. On WordPress.com, I would have quickly made the rounds of what there is to offer in themes!

WordPress.com :

  • 190 free themes

WordPress.org :

  • Thousands of free and customizable themes, on ThemeForest and CreativeMarket for example
    • In addition to a huge bank of themes where everyone can contribute by submitting their theme.
    • You can also edit your theme directly in the source code! Something impossible to do on WordPress.com

Widgets

Widgets Page

WordPress.com :

  • 45 available widgets

WordPress.org :

  • Hundreds or even more. I do not even know how many there are.
    • Better Recent Posts
    • Star Rating System
    • Popular Posts Bar Widget
    • YouTube Channel Gallery
    • Opening Hours
    • Tabbed Login Widget
    • Social Media Widget (supports 21 websites, WordPress.com only 9)
    • Surveys
    • … and much, much more

 

Plugins

Wordpress.org Plugins

I do not know what WordPress would be without plugins. You can’t have any plugins on WordPress.com! I simply couldn’t live without Google Analytics, Yoast SEO, and other great plugins.

WordPress.com : 

  • Impossible ! Doesn’t exist !

WordPress.org : 

Thousands of plugins are available! Use this directory if you’re curious. Some examples:

  • Translation of your blog to become multilingual
  • Improving your SEO by Yoast SEO for example (SEO in Google, out on the first results page)
  • Google Analytics (do not forget it was 389$ per year with wordpress.com !!!)
  • Cache plugins to make your website load faster

Thus, plugins are modules that you can add to your blog in order to make a real comprehensive website. This adds tremendous value to your website and allows you to do many things!

Conclusion

Advantages
WordPress.com 
Advantages
WordPress.org
  • Easy to install + setup
  • No need to manage your database
  • You don’t have to find a domain name nor a server

 

= Easier, but more expensive and restricted

  • Much cheaper
  • Offers more customization to your blog. Can become a real website rather than a blog.
  • More theme available
  • Plugins available
  • No publicity, EVER! Except if you decide to put some to have some income. 🙂

= More complicated, but cheaper and unlimited!

 

In conclusion, the choice is yours! If you have any questions or comments, you can leave me a comment on this article.

If you decide to move on with WordPress.org, I have written two guides that will help you install WordPress on OVH or Hostpapa! It’s very easy, and if you have any questions you can contact me, I will be happy to help you in your installation.

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8 comments

Sulfen March 1, 2017 - 6:15 pm

Really good comparison between WordPress.com hosting and WordPress.org self hosting!

Reply
Marie March 1, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Thank you so much! 🙂 I’m glad you liked it!

Reply
Alvin Lau March 5, 2017 - 10:35 pm

When I first started WordPress, I didn’t know that there was a difference! I came to know about the difference after a month because I realized I couldn’t add plugins hahaha. I’m happy with a self-hosted WordPress now.

Reply
Marie March 6, 2017 - 10:59 pm

Yay, haha! That’s unfortunate you had to learn the difference the hard way! At least it was “just” after a month!
Thanks for your comment Alvin!

Reply
John March 29, 2017 - 1:44 pm

Good comparison. This will help so many people in choosing between the two.

Reply
Blair April 27, 2017 - 10:41 am

I really want to switch over to WordPress.org instead and can’t figure out how! Help!

Reply
Paula Lizarazo June 5, 2017 - 9:36 pm

Hey Marie! This is a great article, I really liked. I’ve been working in my blog, and I have written some articles, but I am still wondering what could be better for me? I want to start to work in my blog as a future plan and with time have an income, I know that’s no easy, but I am not sure if i should go directly to wordpress.org or maybe start with wordpress.com (where I am right now) . Which is your recommendation?

Reply
Marie June 5, 2017 - 10:56 pm

Hi Paula! I’m glad you liked the post.
I would recommend you to start on WordPress.org directly. Why ?

  1. The downside of WordPress.org is you have to be self-hosted. It’s not that hard and there is great tutorials out there, but if you do it when your blog is still young, I would feel better if I were you because you would have time to understand how it works. When you site grows, if anything happens, you’ll be used to self-hosted.
  2. I would switch now, because your blog is smaller, and you have less posts to transfer, less things established on your blog. Also, you could start using plugins that could help you grow your blog faster. (Yoast for SEO – more organic visits, Google Analytics to see where your visitors are really coming from, etc.)
  3. With WordPress.org, you could also start monetizing your blog right now. Even if you don’t have a lot of visits, you can use affiliate links right away and get started. However, I would not use ads at the beginning as it can annoy your first visitors and they are really important.
  4. You could get better themes. And themes are essentials to make a good impression! (Read my blog posts about themes to know more)

Here you go! I hope I could help you. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Thank you for your comment!
Marie

Reply

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