You wan’t to start your WordPress blog or website, but you are unsure which version of WordPress to choose. I’ll explain the major differences between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com. Which one might be better for me? What are the costs for each one? How to decide?
|Basic plan is FREE, but limited to 3GB storage space. Your site address will use a WordPress.com subdomain .
|You will have to purchase hosting plan with one of the hosting providers you choose. Hosting plans are paid and the cost depends on the plan performance.
|Subdomain is free, however, if you wan’t to have a custom domain, you need to upgrade your plan to a minimum of $2.99/month.
|You need to purchase your own domain. Some hosts offers a free domain in their hosting plans, but purchasing domain separately costs a few $.
|Maintenance is handled automatically, basic backups and updates.
|Some hosts have automatic backup, but you will have to make sure that your site is backed up and updated.
|If you ran into any kind of performance or technical issues, you won’t be able to fix it on your own. You will need to wait for the team to fix the issue for you.
|You are responsible for the performance and security of your blog or website. It requires a bit of knowledge, but at least it’s your control.
|Selection of themes is not that rich. There are limited number to choose from and the ones you can choose.. You’ll be disappointed with customization options.
|You can install any theme you want. Free or premium. You can custom code your own themes or modify PHP files of existing themes. You can do whatever you want.
|You won’t be able to install any plugins that are not a part of WordPress.com default system and environment. You’ll only get to install a short list of predefined plugins.
|In WordPress.org, you are free to install any third party plugin you want. You can also custom code your own plugin if you need to. You can customize your site endlessly until it fits your needs.
|Monetization – You won’t be able to run any kind of ads on your blog or website. Instead, WordPress.com will show their own ads on your website. FREE, right?
|Ads are unlimited and the plan for monetizing your blog is under your control. You are free to choose any ad service you want.
|Extra traffic – WordPress.com as a network may feature your post in their blogs of the day section or tags. This may result in extra traffic to your blog that you normally wouldn’t get.
|Because your site WordPress.org is independent and not a part of WordPress.com network, your posts do not get extra traffic from the WordPress.com network.
If you ask me to choose between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com, I know in which one would I choose in a heartbeat. But let’s have a look at the PROS and CONS once again. Data below is credited to WPbeginner as they already explained it very clear.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Pros and Cons
- It’s free and super easy to use.
- You own your data. You are in full control. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You are in control.
- You can upload and use plugins.
- You can upload custom themes. Modify theme files (not just styles) if needed.
- You can make money from it by using your own ads, and doing things your way.
- Custom Analytics and Tracking
- Like any other website, you need a good web hosting. This bits cost you money somewhere from around $3 – $7 per month (as your site grows, your hosting costs will too). But then you would be making enough money to cover the costs
- You are responsible for updates. WordPress upgrades require 1 click (Not too hard eh).
- You are responsible for backups, but thankfully tons of amazing plugins are out there like BackupBuddy.
- You are responsible to prevent SPAM, but if you enable Akismet (which comes built-in with WordPress.org), then you won’t have to worry about it.
- It’s free for upto 3GB of space. After that you will have to pay for space ($19.95 per year for 5GB) or ($289.97 per year for 100GB).
- They make regular backups of your site.
- They place ads on all free websites. Did you really think it was free without a catch? If you don’t want your users to see ads, then you can pay them $29.97 per year to keep your site ad-free.
- You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your site unless you receive 25,000 pageviews per month. In which case, you have to apply to try their feature called Ad control. The approval process doesn’t cost you any money, but you have to split your revenues 50/50 with them *Ouch*
- You cannot use plugins. Yup WordPress is well known for it’s flexibility due to the plugins. WordPress.com does not allow you to use plugins! If you want to use plugins, then you have to move to their VIP program which starts at $3750 per month. No joke.
- You cannot use custom themes. Yup, you have to be stuck with their choice of themes which is being used on hundreds of millions of sites. They do offer a “design upgrade” which should really be called CSS upgrade for $30 per year. Meaning, you can change the color of your site. But if you want to add something really custom, you cannot.
- You are restricted to their analytics. You cannot use custom analytics software because you cannot add custom codes.
- They can delete your site at anytime if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
- They will change your theme without your permission if the founder doesn’t like the theme developer.
- Even if you pay for their upgrades, you still have to tell others that your site is powered on WordPress.com
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com Conclusion
Most of the time, WordPress.org is a better solution for some of you who are not scared to get your hands dirty and dig into the code a bit deeper. Especially if you want to have full control over your site. WordPress.org is considered to be the perfect platform for any type of business site, ecommerce or professional custom project. Plus, it’s offers most valuable SEO options. You can learn more about SEO right here in my guide.
On the other hand, WordPress.com is easy enough to use for personal blogs and websites with no commercial intent.
My personal preference WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Definitely WordPress.org!! If you want to learn how to install WordPress.org manually, click on the link.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!