Rithesh Raghavan
Rithesh Raghavan
Posted on Nov 27, 2023

In most cases, when beginners try to use WordPress to build their websites, they get puzzled by WordPress.com and WordPress.org definitions. People often ask which one is better: WordPress.com or “pure” WordPress.org; however, there is no simple answer to this question.

This article shall shed light on WordPress.com and WordPress.org, comparing them and identifying aspects to watch while choosing the most suitable platform for a respective site.

WordPress.org: The Resource Center

WordPress.org – Image source: wordpress.org

WordPress is a program that can be accessed from WordPress.org. Here, one downloads the WordPress software freely; one’s responsibility is then arranging for a host, installing WordPress on that site, and keeping up all other costs.

WordPress.org is more than just furnishing the WordPress software; it also acts as a nexus of the open-source WordPress community. Users can participate in developing the platform, learn more about its benefits and advantages, and interact with other enthusiastic WordPress users. Nonetheless, it should be mentioned that direct website creation and hosting services are not provided by WordPress.org itself.

WordPress.com: Managed WordPress Hosting

WordPress.com – Image source: wordpress.com

However, WordPress.com offers a managed WordPress hosting solution. Users who need to create their own website might choose WordPress.com, which also has WordPress software preinstalled. WordPress.com handles all securities, such as maintenance and security requirements, which reduces any technical issues on the platform since no further technical work is required for a user. It’s a pre-built, dedicated, managed WordPress hosting platform enhanced further.

The two versions are geared towards two distinct sets of customers serving diverse needs, but both are WordPress at heart.

Understanding the Differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

1. Cost and Installation

As regards cost, WordPress.org offers free downloadable software; however, one has to incur an annual expense on a website domain and web hosting services. However, in contrast to WordPress.com, a user can start his/her website absolutely free of charge from WordPress.com, but additionally, there are paid options for gaining access to some additional features.

Installation of WordPress.org is only available in the form of finding a hosting service, handling security, and backups as maintenance oneself. On the other hand, WordPress.com offers a pre-built hosting service with further upgrading options like advanced features, security, backup services, etc.

2. Experience Needed and Functionality

Users should be technically savvy in order to make their own self-hosted sites using WordPress.com at least to configure, update, take care of other needs as well as customize the website. However, for a beginner in an advanced user’s domain, WordPress.com provides all the power necessary for a beginner in an advanced user’s domain. User Interface makes it simple to create websites.

Self-hosted sites are flexible and customizable, as any plugin can be installed into them. However, they may have compatibility problems after the upgrade. However, WordPress.com comes equipped with inbuilt components, which are sufficient reasons not to use several plugins. Plugin installation is possible in eligible plans, plus managed updates.

3. Themes, SEO, and Analytics

Users with self-hosted WordPress can install personalised themes or create theirs. Themes are very diverse; customization options are wide-reaching. Conversely, WordPress.com provides many themes that are free and can be heavily modified.

Users with an eligible plan may also opt for high-end features such as custom themes and enhanced customization capabilities. Plugins on self-hosted sites can improve SEO as far as Search Engine Optimization is concerned. WordPress.com, however, provides a ready-made SEO right from entry. Should you want to install an seo plugin, this is also possible with a qualifying plan. Self-hosted websites need to integrate plugins or connect with Google Analytics in terms of analytics. WordPress.com provides built-in stats to help newbies measure the success of a website. Some sites that have an eligible plan can be connected to Google Analytics, others might be integrated with other tools.

Pros and Cons of WordPress.com

Pros of WordPress.com

One of the biggest strengths of WordPress.com is that it handles all the complicated parts for you. No hosting, no security concerns, and no need for software updates.

They offer intuitive interfaces, allowing new users to easily create and maintain their sites. The word ‘WordPress.com’ stands for this reason. Also included are integrated social sharing tools and a blogging community that enables interaction among people who share common interests.

Cons of WordPress.com

However, WordPress.com is limited in many ways, especially when it comes to flexibility. However, the ads displayed on a free WordPress.com may limit your ability to earn money off the blog site.

Upgrading to a paid plan is necessary to remove the ads and access further functions. In addition, the free version of this program does not provide opportunities to use customized themes and plugins that might restrict your website’s functional design.

Pros and Cons of WordPress.org

Pros of WordPress.org

With WordPress.org, control of the site is entirely yours. Any theme or plugin can be installed, every part of the site is available for editing, and even coding changes are possible when using this system, provided that one has the skills. Having this kind of control will enable you to develop an individualistic and all-inclusive website.

Moreover, WordPress.org opens up opportunities for monetizing, including through an advertising platform, online shopping platforms, and subscriptions/membership sites.

Cons of WordPress.org

However, unlike WordPress.com, there are responsibilities included in this option, which makes it an unattractive option for most users. It would be wise to choose a trustworthy hosting provider and carry out regular backups, take care of security measures, and keep track of software releases. However, newbies and those that lack the time or technical expertise may find this intimidating.

In addition, there might be a need for someone with a technical background to implement custom themes and plugins.

Choosing the Right WordPress Platform for Your Needs

Choose Either WordPress .com or WordPress .org After Considering Your Goals, Budget, Technical Capabilities, And Desired Control. And it would make sense if you’re just starting out in blogging or just want a smooth and easy way with WordPress.com. However, on the other hand, if your desire is to fully control their website but also possess the technical know-how, then your best option is WordPress.org.

Setting up a WordPress.com Website

Setting up a website and creating a WordPress.com account are both fairly easy. These are the procedures to start:

1. Create a WordPress.com account and select a URL

2. Choose a theme that fits into the website’s purpose and style

3. Add a company logo, change colors, and arrange a widget for the customization of your page

4. Build a home page on your website with sections like “About” & “Contact.”

5. Start Promoting Your Website by Publishing Your Content

Setting up a WordPress.org Website

The procedures below must be followed in order to set up a website using WordPress.org:

1. Select a good web hosting company that suits you

2. Upload WordPress Software On Your Hosting Server

3. Choose a suitable theme for your site’s design and install it

4. Add functional and secure plugins that you need in order to install them later

5. Make Your Website Look Unique

6. Create and publish your content

Customization Options on WordPress.com

Though WordPress.com limits some of the customization options available for free versions, it is possible to still personalize your website. Here are some customization options available on WordPress.com:

1. Select from multiple basic and pro Themes

2. Add colors, fonts, and design layout features to your site

3. For added function, add widgets in your sidebar or footer

4. Make live adjustments to your website design using the internal Customiser

5. Switch to a paid plan for better customisation features

Customization Options on WordPress.org

There are many customization options available on WordPress.org. The following approaches allow you to personalize a self-hosted WordPress website:

1. All themes accessible through the word press.org forum can be installed, including their own customised themes, as well as premium ones

2. Develop your website with page builders and visual editors for special templates or design

3. Use plugins to extend the functionality of websites by adding features, including contact forms, slideshows/sliders, and social media interface

4. Customize the theme’s code to suit your needs by modifying the theme or creating a new theme that is similar.

Pricing Comparison between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

On pricing, WordPress.com provides free as well as paid packages, costing about $4 a month. However, the paid plans unlock other features like a personalized domain for the site, removal of adverts, and more advanced customizable tools.

However, in order to consider this option, you’ll need to think about hosting fees, domain name registration cost, as well as costs for premium themes and/or plugins.

Debunking Common Myths

Debunking Common WordPress Myths – Image Source: Theme Kraft

Myth 1: I don’t own my content on WordPress.com.

Reality: You fully own your content with WordPress.com. With any of these options, including downloading and moving your post/page, media, followers, and comments, you remain the sole controller. Even though certain themes, plugins, and custom configurations on WordPress.com are unique, all the content belongs to you.

Myth 2: I can’t move my entire site from WordPress.com to a different host.

Reality: And by the way, you may anytime pull it out of any Webhost. And if you have a plugin-enabled plan in WordPress.com, you can even transfer an entire site, with all plugins and themes, to another hosting. A website transfer from one host to another may take some time, but there are ways to do it without losing any content.

Myth 3: The differences between WordPress.com and a Self-Hosted WordPress site are significant.

Reality: The only significant differences between a WordPress.com website and self-hosting are cost and the services that the host provides; most functionality lies in the software itself. There are a lot of built-in features that usually would need additional plugins if not on WordPress .com.

Myth 4: WordPress is a DIY software that anyone can use.

Reality: Indeed, this means that word-pressing beginners can use it nonetheless, with a few up-hills in understanding how to work with it. It is tremendously efficient and able to do just about anything, however, its use might demand a certain degree of technical skills in specific instances. WordPress.com’s user interface caters to low, medium, and high-level users in their interaction with the clients.

Myth 5: Self-hosted WordPress sites are cheaper than WordPress.com.

Reality: Yes, a bare-bones budget host may be far less costly; however, a careful comparison of features usually reveals that a WordPress.com account adds even more value than price alone would justify. The cheaper hosting will have limited storage, site visits, security, and backup. For varying needs and with different prices, the plans are offered by the WordPress.com website.

Myth 6: I can’t install plugins and themes on WordPress.com.

Reality: Eligible plans in WordPress.com facilitate the installation of plugins and custom themes. The compatibility issue is relatively minimal, and it can be addressed with the plugin-enabled WordPress.com site. Although the installation of plugins and themes in self-hosted WordPress websites could be slightly different, it is possible.

Myth 7: WordPress.com doesn’t offer full control of your website.

Reality: Your choice of plan on WordPress.com will determine the extent of technical controls. Nevertheless, all this while, you still own content for any given plan. Plugin-enabled plans give you identical control over your files, just as if you were using a self-hosted WordPress site.

Myth 8: Customizing WordPress.com sites is challenging due to restrictions.

Reality: WordPress.com offers many customization features even in its free version. The built-in features, blocks, and global styles help achieve many customizations. However, WordPress.com provides a variety of modification options with limited compatibility issues for the plugins and custom themes.

Myth 9: WordPress.com puts restrictions on how you can monetize your site.

Reality: By June 2023, all plans on WordPress.com, including the free plan, offer the ability to your site. WordPress.com has a built-in monetization component that includes features like gated content, paid subscriptions, and selling one-off items, as well as tips and donations. Full e-commerce functionality is available with WooCommerce and other plugins.

Myth 10: You are not allowed to sell ads on your WordPress.com website.

Reality: You can also sell custom ad space on WordPress.com. WordAds is an advertising network provided by WordPress.com, and its ad suppliers are top-notch. In addition, you can use third-party ad servers as well as incorporate affiliate links. Your website should mainly publish quality and original articles.


It is a necessary step in choosing the suitable WordPress platform that matches your website for success. When it comes to complexity/ease of use, WordPress.com makes more sense as compared to WordPress.org, which is for control/flexibility. Check on what you want, your technology awareness, and the amount of money available. Whether it’s WordPress.com or WordPress.org, joining a big group of people using WordPress for their websites is an experience in itself.

If your issue is still unresolved, don’t hesitate to get in touch with WPclerks, a WordPress support service providing company. We are available to help by taking care of your one-time tasks and WordPress Support and Maintenance quickly and easily. Forget about hours spent searching for solutions yourself.