The whole WordPress.com vs WordPress.org thing is really confusing. For everyone. There are not many cases in which a brand’s “.com” domain is totally separate from its “.org” domain. We’re just used to seeing the same thing under every domain extension that a brand might have. Well, it’s just different for WordPress. But before we discuss the differences of WordPress com or wordpress org for blog, let’s get the most important piece of the puzzle out the way:
Okay okay, but what are the most significant differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?
WordPress com or wordpress org for blog: the core differences
Here’s an easy way to memorize what the difference is … just look at the domain extension of the WordPress you’re interested in:
- 👐 WordPress.org – “.org” stands for “organization”
- 💰 WordPress.com – “.com” stands for “commercial”
With that in mind,
is where you go if you want to get just the WordPress software itself. You can get that for free with no questions asked – since WordPress is fully open source. Once you have WordPress, you can install it on a web server and then use it to build a website.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a fully commercial service. It’s an online platform where you can go, sign up, and create your website/blog all in one place by going through the on-screen steps.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org in summary:
Note. Keep in mind that while the tables above do say “custom domain name”, this doesn’t mean that you actually get it bundled in. You still need to pay for that separately.
When you add things together, running a decent commercial website on WordPress.com will cost you around $111 annually ($8 / month for WordPress.com itself + $15 / year for the domain name).
In comparison, with WordPress.org, you do need to invest money up front, but the investment is usually smaller overall, especially for new sites.
In order to launch a website with WordPress, you do need to get a hold of a web server and a domain name (which you need to take care of completely separately from what you get from WordPress.org).
As it turns out, you can get a high-quality hosting package for a WordPress site at around $35 / year. When we factor in the cost of the domain, that’s $50 annually in total to run a website based on WordPress.org. Roughly half what you’d pay with WordPress.com.
The only tough part is how to choose a web host that’s quality. We have a whole comparison of the top options right here, but if you don’t have the time to go through all that, you can just go to Bluehost and get a hosting setup from them. It’s a respected company with tons of options for WordPress. Here’s what’s good about Bluehost’s offering:
- You can get a hosting plan for WordPress at $2.95 / month
- You get a free domain name for the first year
- You get WordPress installed automatically
- You get automatic updates of the WordPress software
To an extent, Bluehost acts very similarly to WordPress.com here, but it’s just cheaper. Overall, you also get to use unlimited themes on your site and install whatever plugins you wish. Basically, you have the freedom to do whatever you want, improve anything, and customize all you need about your site. WordPress.com will still only give you limited access to customizations, even if you agree to pay premium.
🔎 WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – a more in-depth take
Note: Would you rather watch a video on the main differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?