In the realm of website creation, the names WordPress.com and WordPress.org often intermingle, creating a puzzle for beginners seeking the right platform for their blogging endeavors. This confusion stems not only from their similar names but also from the lack of awareness regarding their individual attributes.
Our users frequently inquire about the superior choice between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. To facilitate a decision, we’ve meticulously compared the two in this comprehensive analysis of free WordPress.com versus self-hosted WordPress.org.
WordPress.org Commonly referred to as “the real WordPress,” WordPress.org stands out as the widely acclaimed website platform, recognised for its commendable features.
As an open-source software, it comes with a price tag of zero, requiring only a domain name and web hosting. This self-hosted version, often lauded for its autonomy, empowers users with complete control over their websites. Here, we outline the pros and cons of opting for self-hosted WordPress.org for your website or blog.
- Full Control: WordPress.org provides unparalleled autonomy, enabling users to customise their websites as per their preferences.
- Cost-Effective: The software is free, open-source, and user-friendly. It boasts a significant market share, powering over 43% of all websites on the internet.
- Ownership: Users retain complete ownership of their websites and data, safeguarding against arbitrary shutdowns.
- Plugin and Theme Options: The platform supports a wide array of free, paid, and custom plugins and themes, offering flexibility in design and functionality.
- Monetization: Users can generate revenue independently through self-hosted WordPress.org, allowing them to run ads without revenue-sharing obligations.
- Versatility: From creating online stores and membership sites to leveraging powerful tools like Google Analytics, the platform caters to diverse needs.
- Web Hosting Costs: Users need web hosting, incurring initial costs of around £5-10 per month, with potential increases as website traffic grows.
- Installation and Updates: Users are responsible for installing and updating WordPress, though one-click options and backup plugins ease the process.
- Variable Costs: The overall cost of a WordPress.org website depends on factors like website type, template choices, and plugin preferences.
WordPress.com, developed by Automattic, the company led by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, WordPress.com functions as a hosting service. The familiarity of its founder often leads to confusion between WordPress.com and the standalone WordPress.org software.
- Free Option: The free version is suitable for hobby bloggers and family-oriented blogs, offering up to 3GB of space.
- Ease of Use: Users benefit from hassle-free updates and backups managed by WordPress.com.
- Affordable Plans: Various pricing plans cater to different needs, providing increased storage and features.
- Advertisements: Ads are displayed on all free websites, with limited monetisation options.
- Restricted Monetisation: Free users cannot run ads, limiting revenue options. Premium and Business plan users can access an advertising program.
- Limited Customisation: Free plan users have restricted customisation options, while Premium and Business plan users enjoy enhanced flexibility.
- Domain Restrictions: Free WordPress.com sites come with a branded subdomain, and a custom domain requires a paid plan.
- Content Control: WordPress.com reserves the right to delete sites violating terms of service.
- Powered by WordPress.com Link: Free sites display a powered by WordPress.com link, removable with the Business plan.
- Ecommerce Limitations: WordPress.com lacks robust ecommerce features unless users opt for the dedicated Ecommerce plan.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better?
For personal bloggers uninterested in monetising, the free WordPress.com suffices. However, businesses or bloggers seeking revenue avenues are advised to opt for self-hosted WordPress.org, offering greater flexibility.
Can I Monetise a Free WordPress.com Website?
Free WordPress.com websites cannot display ads. High-traffic sites may join the WordAds program, sharing ad revenue with WordPress.com. Affiliate links are allowed, but monetisation options are limited compared to WordPress.org.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which One is Better for Ecommerce?
WordPress.org stands out for ecommerce, with the option to use WooCommerce and various plugins. While WordPress.com offers an Ecommerce plan, it comes at a higher cost and entails certain limitations.
How Do I Start a WordPress.org Website?
To embark on a self-hosted WordPress.org journey, secure a domain name and opt for WordPress hosting. Bluehost, a recommended hosting provider, offers a free domain, SSL, and a 60% discount on hosting. Follow our guide for detailed step-by-step instructions.
Can I Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
Transitioning from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is feasible. A step-by-step guide on moving your blog is available, or take advantage of our free blog setup service for a seamless transfer.
Drawing parallels between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is akin to comparing renting a house to owning one. WordPress.com resembles rental living, offering limited control. In contrast, WordPress.org provides ownership, empowering users to shape their websites as they see fit.