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The Difference Between WordPress.com And WordPress.org


The Difference Between WordPress.Com And WordPress.Org



WordPress has a market share of about 33% of all websites worldwide including websites that don’t run on a Content Management System or any custom-coded CMS. Its simplicity makes it suitable for beginners who want to build a website with WordPress. It garnered this juicy share partly due to the thousands of both free and premium templates and plugins that can be used to create powerful and flexible websites within a short time.

WordPress runs on two platforms namely WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Beginners may find it difficult to understand the difference between these two platforms and so in this blog, we’re going to clarify the differences between these platforms to help you make an informed decision with your website.


WordPress.org provides downloadable WordPress software to enable self-hosting on other hosting platforms by the user while WordPress.com provides readymade hosting along with the Content Management System so you don’t have to worry about buying hosting or domain names. The only letdown is that WordPress will display ads on your website.

With WordPress.com, your site is hosted on a sub-domain. This means WordPress will append ".WordPress.com" to the end of a domain name. This indicates to people that the website is being hosted by a 3rd party platform. To remove this appendage, you have to pay for a premium version. However, with WordPress.org, you are free to use whichever TLD suites you or your organization. The choice is yours to choose between a “.com”, “.net”, “.info” etc. The implication is that your site address looks more professional and customized.

Themes and Plugins

WordPress.org allows you more freedom with your website UI development as it provides free and premium themes to use and install on your website from different third-party theme providers. On the other hand, WordPress.com provides a limited array of premade free themes to choose from. You can’t install a 3rd party theme from an independent WordPress theme developer. Only themes developed by WordPress can be installed on your site. The only way to use a 3rd party theme for a WordPress.com site is to upgrade the free account to a premium account.

The same goes for plugins. WordPress.com limits the plugins that can be used by the user as they preload the site with some essential plugins like Google Analytics, social media engagement, etc. This poses a difficulty for expert developers looking to build specific site functions. However, WordPress.org provides an exhaustive list of free/premium plugins to choose from. This is a better choice for experienced developers.

Pricing and Complexity

Despite all the shortcomings of WordPress.com, it is free to use and easy to operate whereas with WordPress.org, you have to purchase a domain name and a hosting package which will require some technical experience.


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