WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

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wordpress.com vs wordpress.org what is the difference you ask?

Difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org

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WordPress.org is cloud-based software, allowing a user to create a website or blog by dragging and dropping widgets. The site builder is for small, quick websites which are fully managed by WordPress. However, WordPress.com you can build websites without any limits, and it allows for full customisation. 

Now that’s the difference in a nutshell. I explore more about the difference and which one you should make your website exploring pricing, wordpress themes, plugins, web host, maintenance, and upkeep. 

I let you know as a WordPress web designer which one I pick for my content management systems (CMS) and make it easy for you to understand.

If you want to know which one you should pick out of WordPress org or WordPress com for your website, blog or eCommerce (if you ever want to monetize your site) the below video and the following blog is for you.

What is WordPress

Before I go into the two different versions, it’s good to know the basics and understand what it WordPress. WordPress is a straightforward way of creating websites. It is a content management system where it allows you to manage your content easily.

Released in 2003, WordPress become one of the most popular web publishing platforms. Every day it powers more than 35% on the entire web everything from hobby blogs to some of the most popular websites online.

There is no software to download and run on your computer; you need to create a website or blog using your web browser. There is no need to learn how to code it. If you have ever used a word editor like Google Docs, you will be able to use the Gutenberg block editor. 

To begin with, you need to choose from one of the dozens of hosting companies who install WordPress for you. The hosting company installing WordPress on their servers allows you to build and focus on your audience.

Advantages of WordPress

The benefits of WordPress is it allows you to customise your website, easily manage your website or blog, search engines love WordPress, and around 75 million websites use it.

  1. WordPress is released under an open-source license which means you can download and use the WordPress software anywhere you like for free. 
  2. There are hundreds of volunteers from all around the world who are continually working to improve the WordPress software.
  3. It is easy to learn and use. There are many WordPress tutorials to help you when you get stuck.
  4. There are many WordPress meetups (not affiliate links just a relevant resource to help you) to network and get support in person. You can ask your questions, and every year there are thousands of local WordPress events happening all around the world where you can meet and talk with other WordPress users.
  5. You’ll be in control of your content and can import your content from other website builders.

Difference between WordPress?

There is only one WordPress company, but their software comes in two forms. There are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Confusing, yes, at first. Below I highlight the main differences so you can see what sets them apart:

Hosting and mainatance 

WordPress is a site builder allowing you to create your website or blog. You can download the software for your projects, or you can also get help to the community support forum do the official documentation and even get involved in creating or improving the software.

Still, it’s important to note that it’s a regular application like Microsoft Word, so you need a web hosting provider. Many hosting companies would not only install the WordPress software for you but also manage your website.

No matter which hosting company you use, they all use the same core WordPress software from wordpress.org. In regards to WordPress org download, most hosting companies handle this for you and provide simple step b step instructions. 

However, if you choose a managed WordPress host, you don’t need to bother with downloading or installing the software on your website that part is done for you automatically.

Complete Control 

Another point on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is that once your WordPress.com site is up and running, you don’t have complete control over your entire web site. Including the lack of ability to customise your site, install plugins, including live chat, add new features to your site or even change the underlying code to create a completely custom site. 

Admin Dashboard 

Another difference between WordPress com and WordPress org is the admin dashboard is different after you log in to your blog or website. Although the same underlying WordPress software powers wordpress.com, it operates a unique administration panel. It looks nothing like the self-hosted WordPress.org dashboard you’re likely to have seen on Youtube tutorial videos after they show you how to log in to WordPress. 

A video comparing the two

The video covers the following topics:

  • Short answer the difference between wordpress.com vs wordpress.org
  • What is WordPress
  • What are the benefits of WordPress
  • WordPress.org pricing and plans
  • What is a WordPress plugin?
  • WordPress.org free plan does not allow you to install your plugins or wordpress themes.
  • What is a WordPress theme?
  • WordPress.org advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons, SEO wins.
  • WordPress com vs org pricing
  • WordPress.org maintenance and upkeep

The video highlighting the difference between WordPress and wordpress.org was inspired by speaking to people in need of a website. They have used the free version of WordPress.com and did not like it. For this reason, when asking me to develop their website, they instructed me not to build their business website with WordPress and explain their difficulties. I had to explain there is an alternative to WordPress.com and it’s still WordPress and it’s free it’s the .org version. This question has been asked twice within a few weeks before making this video hence why I decided to make it. WordPress.com vs org depends if you have the time to invest.


Advantages of WordPress.com

There is less work involved in setting it up than wordpress.org. WordPress.com you click-click five minutes later you got your blog.

Pricing Plans

WordPress.com pricing (not affiliate links just a relevant resource to help you) and plans start for free, then it goes to personal for three pounds (£3 p/m), then the premium for seven pounds (£7 p/m), Busines plan for 20 pounds (£20 p/m), and eCommerce for 36 pounds (£36 p/m). A worthwhile thing to include in your business plan is the most expensive goal advertised on the WordPress site is their WordPress VIP starting at $1,700 p/m.

Disadvantages of WordPress.com

Domain Names

WordPress free plan and will consist of a free domain. However, the mentioned free domain adds wordpress.com at the end of your website URL. If you want to use your custom domain name or remove the wordpress.com advertising that will automatically appear on your side, you’ll need to purchase one of the other plans. On WordPress.org though you will need to buy a custom domain.

 WordPress.com – Adverts

On the free edition, you’ll be running adverts from WordPress. I’ve been on a restaurant’s website which used WordPress free edition, and it felt more of an advertisement website for another company than it did for the restaurant. You will have to pay to upgrade, and once you upgrade from free to personal you might find yourself needing to spend more as you might find yourself limited, and you can’t fully customise your website, and you can’t install specific plugins. 

WordPress.com – Plugins

For the free and personal edition of wordpress.com, you can’t install specific plugins, and you can’t install your favourite wordpress themes. 

What is a WordPress plugin? 

A WordPress plugin is just an extra bolt on to your website you click and download it. It’s like an app. Depending on which one you get, you could download one to make your website go faster; it’s just an extension. 

What is a WordPress theme?

A theme in a nutshell; it’s just a way to customise your website. A template. Let’s say your navigation bar at the top said ‘home, contact, about’ and it was in blue you could click another theme, and

now your navigation bar might be on the left-hand side, and they’ll be in yellow. Another theme difference might be instead of having one significant section with your photo there will be six small placeholders. It changes the feel of your website, which allows you to customise and make your website unique. If you can’t do it on the free edition in the personal plan, you’re going to have then to upgrade. 


Advantages of WordPress.org 

WordPress.org is brilliant; it’s the one I create my website on, and it is the one I use to make all my client’s websites. It allows for full web design creativity and full control. It’s the one which has helped me rank number one position one in several different search engines and my clients have seen the same success. 

Disadvantages of WordPress.org

WordPress.org – Hosting

WordPress.org, you have to find and research the best WordPress hosting company. Which I can help you out with my managed wordpress hosting plans and offer the best UK eCommerce hosting.

WordPress.org – Maintenance 

As wordpres.org is entirely yours to customise you’re unfortunately responsible for all the updates and maintenance. It is simple to do, but something you have to be aware. Like I say, wordpress.com click click you’ve done it.

wordpress.org vs wordpress.com

WordPress.org you need to design and make your website, and it might take you longer than WordPress.com. It all pays off in the end, and I’ve got tutorials about how to do every single one of these steps you need to put a little bit working up a start and they’ll pay for itself. You can add cool widgets like live chat.

Can I change from WordPress com to WordPress org?

Yes, you need to migrate your website and cancel your wordpress.com plan.

Can I move from WordPress com to WordPress org?

Yes, make sure you take a backup first. You can contact WordPress on the best way to do this but there are tools which can assist.

Can I switch from WordPress com to org?

Yes, if you feel like you need more control and creative freedom it is possible to switch.

How do I get started with WordPress org?

Find a wordpress hosting company and when creating your website click to install WordPress during their setup configuration.

Is WordPress com and WordPress org the same company?

Yes. Although two different websites they both are from Automattic.

Is WordPress com and WordPress org the same?

Yes, same company.

Is WordPress com or WordPress org better?

I get asked this questions, Which one is better WordPress com or WordPress org? I personally use org for all my websites.

Is WordPress org free to use?

The software itself is free to use however you need to pay for hosting provided by a 3rd company. Some themes and plugins (such as live chat) require additional money.

Should I use WordPress com or WordPress org?

It depends on your project. I have opted for org as it allows for more control.

Should I use WordPress org or WordPress?

Totally depends on your project.

What is WordPress org used for?

To build websites, blogs and eCommerce online stores.

WordPress org vs com – final comparison 

WordPress.com plans start from free but go up to £36. My prices for a managed WordPress hosting are significantly lower. For that reason, you can see straight away in the first months if you go for WordPress.com you would have spent more money on your web host with wordpress.com. I hope this helps understand wordpress.com vs org.


WordPress allows you to create your website and makes it very easy. 

I use WordPress.org as it allows for more customisation and allows me to be a WordPress SEO expert. I continuously review my setup so I can provide the best hosting for WordPress UK by ensuring you get generous server capacities. 

Please tell me which one will you choose? WordPress.com and if so which package, free plan, personal, premium, business, or eCommerce, or did you choose WordPress.org?