What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

WordPress.com or WordPress.org? If you are new to WordPress, you may have this question in your mind.
Well, WordPress is a popular Content Managment System that is powering more than 24.7% of the websites. And it’s no surprise to see the figure growing every year.
WordPress bascially comes in two different forms – WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

However, what’s the different between the two? It’s a frequent point of confusion.

A simplified difference is this: WordPress.com is the commercial hosted version while WordPress.org is the home of the CMS.
In this post, I will try to clear the confusion between the two.

WordPress.com overview:
WordPress.com is the official website where you can host your website for free, but of course with certain limitations. This commercial website runs on the open source CMS developed by Automattic.

Here at WordPress.com, you do not have to install the software or pay for the hosting. You can directly get started with your website and begin creating and posting your content while WordPress.com handles the rest.

Choosing WordPress.com means you can host your website for absolutely free of cost forever. However, it also enables you to upgrade to a premium option to fulfill your particular needs. Along with quality hosting services, you also get certain WordPress.com plugins, proven security, automatic updates, automatic backups, and baked-in spam protection.

All you have to do is register with the commercial website, select your site name and get started. After registering, you can design your website the way you want without having to bother about installing the software and themes.

WordPress.org overview:

WordPress.org is where you can get your own setup of WordPress CMS for absolutely free of cost. It not only provides the core software but also a wide range of amazing free WordPress plugins and themes.

Along with core software, themes and plugins, WordPress.org also offers WordPress installation and configuration documentation and support forum where you can ask any WordPress related questions if you get stuck anywhere while developing your website.
You will get the complete control over the software as well as your website, its design and functionality. The only restriction you may have could be the resources you are given in the hosting package.

However, with this CMS comes the responsibility of buying your own domain name and choosing your own hosting provider to establish your online presence.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Cost comparison

When it comes to comparing the cost involved in using .com or .org, there are basically 4 aspects to consider – storage space, hosting, domain name and ad removal.

A basic, free .com plan is the most cost-effective option available for WordPress users, especially if you do not want to buy your own domain name as well as hosting services.
If you are looking to buy your own domain name with unlimited storage space and no advertising, .com might not be your ideal choice.
Thus, downloading the core software and building your website on your custom domain will be your most reasonable option.

The cost involved in using WordPress.com for building a website:
• Domain registration – $5
• Domain mapping – $13
• No ads – $30
• Space upgrade – $20 – $290
• Site redirect – $13
• Unlimited premium themes – $120
• Domain Privacy – $8, per domain
• VideoPress – $60
• Custom design – $30
• Premium theme – from $20
• Guided transfer – $129

The cost involved in using WordPress.com for building a website:

You can also go to WordPress.com and download the core software, but as mentioned earlier, note that you have to pay for your domain and hosting. Domain name will cost around $10 annually and hosting can cost around $5 to $30 per month.
Apart from domain name and hosting, there may be additional cost involved such as buying premium themes, plugins and/or hiring a professional developer to build and maintain your website.


Running a website on WordPress.org gives no FTP access. In addition, it does not even allows the basic website to edit the code. However, if you still wish to make any modifications in the code of the website, you have to fork out $30 per year.

On the other hand, WordPress.org gives full control over your files and allows you to make any type of modification you want without having to spend a fortune on it.


WordPress.com also does not allow you to display your own ads to earn income from your website. In case, you wish to use an ad-free platform, you have to again spend $30 per year.

However, on the other hand, monetization is possible on your own website, where you can display ads, banners or add affiliate links to earn extra income.

Final Words:

Using the core software to build a website opens us more flexibility and control for you, however, it also comes with more responsibility. With the help of a self-hosted WordPress version, you can have your custom domain, hosting, use your own

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