WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Want to use WordPress for your site?  The first question new users have is WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.  It really depends on what you want your site to do, how much you want to spend on your site and how much you want to be involved in maintaining your site.

WordPress.com – Hosting Service

WordPress.com is a service that will host your WordPress site for you.  It offers a way to get up and running with a WordPress blog quickly.  The basic package is free but has some serious limitations:

  • No premium themes or customization – you are limited to themes in the WordPress.com repository.
  • No eCommerce
  • Only 3 Gb of space
  • Must use a WordPress.com address (can’t redirect your domain)
  • May show ads on your site

The premium service offers:

  • Custom domain (can redirect your own domain)
  • Advanced customization, but no premium themes  – you are limited to themes in the WordPress.com repository.
  • 13 Gb of space
  • No ads
  • No eCommerce

The Business plan offers unlimited space, premium themes and eCommerce.  You are still limited to themes in the WordPress.com repository.

Self-Hosted WordPress

WordPress.org allows you to download the WordPress application and install it on your hosting site – so it will be associated with your domain name out of the box.  You can install any number of plugins and themes and can do any kind of customization you want, including adding eCommerce.  Your storage space is limited by your hosting plan.

Self-hosting is all about flexibility, but with that come some added site maintenance issues.  You will need to check in occasionally and update WordPress, any plugins and themes (easy with WordPress, just click on a button).  You will need to make sure you have at least one anti-spam plugin and install a security plugin with automatic backups.  These plugins can be had for free.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?

I would definitely go with WordPress.org.  The flexibility a self-hosted WordPress.org site offers far outweighs the small amount of maintenance necessary.  But if you aren’t convinced,  WPBeginner has created a comparison infographic that will help you make your decision.


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Category: WordPress - Beginner

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Diane Ensey
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Diane Ensey

Programming Diva and CEO at Beyond Paper
For more than 10 years I've been making websites work for clients world-wide using WordPress, Google Maps, forms and custom applications. You can see my work portfolio and case studies at Beyond Paper.
Diane Ensey
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