WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: The Beginner’s Guide To Choosing The Right Blogging Platform

Maybe you’re one of those who have a regular 9-to-5 job but want to use blogging either as an emotional outlet or to supplement your income.

Maybe you’re a remote worker who wants to make the jump from freelancing to passive earning via blogging. Either way, there’s a good chance you’ll be asking yourself these questions very soon.

WordPress.com or WordPress.org? Which one should you choose? 

Apparently, this still confuses some people, especially but not limited to those who are new to the world of CRMs and website building.

It sounds like a digital version of the chicken or egg argument except that for this one, choosing right can actually make you a winner!

Whatever your reasons, if you’re starting a blog or building a website and are planning to use WordPress, read this first.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What WordPress.com and WordPress.org are
  • The pros and cons of the two
  • How to choose which one fits your needs perfectly

 

What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

WordPress.com

wordpress.com

WordPress.com is a popularly-used blogging platform hosted by Automattic. Their versatile plans include Free, Personal, Premium and Business Tiers. The higher the price, the better the features they can provide.

 

WordPress.org

wordpress.org

Occasionally referred to as the real WordPress, this generally points to the open-source CMS software that you can download from the WordPress.org website.

After downloading and designing your website, you have to install it on a web server, usually that of a third-party web host.

It has more advanced features compared to what WordPress.com provides. Examples are an easy-to-customize template system and advanced plugin architecture.

It’s currently the most popular and widely used content-managing system (CMS) in the world.

Pros and Cons

WordPress.com (Free)

Pros:

  • Free hosting
  • Free subdomain name
  • Free Themes
  • Simple custom options for background color, images, etc.
  • 3 GB storage space for your media and content
  • Paid Plans also come relatively cheap and have better features than the Free option.
  • The WP support staff takes care of all site maintenance. This covers:
  • updates
  • backups
  • optimization, etc.

Cons:

  • Limited Theme Support
  • You can’t customize existing themes or upload new ones. You can only use what’s available from their collection
  • No Plugins Allowed
  • Fewer Monetization options
  • You’re not allowed to sell ads on your website
  • com places ads on your site that you can’t earn from and don’t have any control over
  • You have to pay to remove “Powered by” branding links on your website
  • Can’t install Google Analytics
  • Very limited SEO control
  • You can’t use it to create an online store
  • You also can’t create a membership site

WordPress.Org

Pros:

  • Full Theme Support
  • All Plugins Allowed, including WordPress Automation Software that can make managing your blog a lot more convenient
  • A lot more freedom to monetize your blog or website
  • Unlimited SEO Features
  • Install Google Analytics and others like Kissmetrics, etc. for maximum traffic insights
  • Create your online store
  • design and customize it to your heart’s content
  • sell digital or physical goods or services
  • accept different modes of payment such as PayPal, credit cards, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, etc
  • Create membership access
  • *easily collaborate with your team
  • *set access levels, site restrictions, learning management systems, etc

 

Cons:

You are responsible for:

  • Installing WordPress updates
  • Backing Up your site on a regular basis
  • Installing Spam Control options
  • Keeping your site optimized
  • As the No.1 CMS, it’s always under threat of attack from hackers and other online perps
  • You have to be vigilant and on top of your site security
  • No Support
  • You have to visit the WP community forum for answers
  • Not very newbie-friendly

 

WordPress.org and WordPress.com: Which one do you need?

That depends on what your needs are.

What’s the purpose of the website you’re building?

Will it be a personal website detailing your adventures with your pets? Will it be your online journal or breathing space?

Or will you be using it for business instead? Do you plan to turn it into an e-commerce website to sell your stuff? Find clients? Monetize your website or your blog?

Your goals should figure the most in your choice of a website builder.

Choosing the correct platform to use is part of what makes a good blog.

Our Take

If you are a beginner at creating websites and are planning to use your website for personal purposes, WordPress.com is the choice for you.

Its free option is the first and best consideration, with the technical support coming at a close second.

However, if you are planning to use your website for business and generate profits from it, you should totally go for WordPress.org.

This option does require you to sign up with a third-party web hosting provider. However, the advantages listed above will make things a lot easier and more exciting for you.

Web hosting solutions you can check out:

PCMag.com recommends these top hosting providers:

 

HostGator Web Hosting

1&1 Web Hosting

InMotion Web Hosting

GoDaddy Web Hosting

 

SiteGround Web Hosting

DreamHost Web Hosting

A2 Web Hosting

Bluehost Web Hosting

Media Temple Web Hosting

Arvixe Web Hosting

With WordPress.org, you’ll have more freedom design-wise as well as have access to SEO tools and other plugins and themes you need in order to make a marketable blog or website.

Conclusion

We have, as much as we can, attempted to meet the initial objectives of this article, which were to explain the major differences and pros and cons of both WordPress.com and WordPress.org as well as help you make the right choice between them.

There are, of course, other solutions that you can check and try out. Still, we hope to have helped in clearing up any questions you may have about the two.

If you have any more questions or suggestions, please feel free to drop it in the comments section below. We will appreciate your insights and be happy to hear from you.