WordPress is one of the most popular web development platforms on the market. For those looking to create a website or blog, it can be confusing to determine which version of WordPress to use.

There are two main versions of WordPress; WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Both offer unique advantages and disadvantages when compared to each other, so it’s important to understand the differences before making a decision. This article will explore the key differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a powerful and popular content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. However, there are two different versions of WordPress:

WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Firstly, WordPress.org is an open-source software that allows users to download and install the CMS on their own web hosting service. This version provides complete control over website customization, including design, features, and functionality. It also offers access to thousands of free or premium themes and plugins to enhance website performance.

On the other hand, WordPress.com is a hosted platform where users can use the CMS without having to worry about technical aspects like hosting or maintenance. This version offers limited customization options compared to WordPress.org but provides an easy-to-use interface for beginners who want to get started quickly.

It’s important to note that while both versions share many similarities, they have distinct differences in terms of cost, flexibility, and ease-of-use. Ultimately, choosing between these two options depends on your individual preferences and needs for your website project.

Advantages of WordPress.org

One of the biggest advantages of WordPress.org is the level of control it offers. With WordPress.org, you have complete control over your website’s design, functionality, and content. You can customize your site as much as you want by using themes, plugins, and custom code. This makes it perfect for businesses and individuals who want a unique online presence.

Another advantage of WordPress.org is that it is self-hosted. This means that you need to purchase hosting and a domain name separately from a web hosting provider such as WPBarista Hosting. However, this also means that you own all your data and files, which gives added security to your site.

Finally, with WordPress.org there are no limitations on the amount of traffic or storage space you can use on your website. This means that as your business grows so too can your website without worrying about hitting any limits set by a third-party platform like WordPress.com.

Advantages of WordPress.com

One of the significant advantages of WordPress.com is its simplicity. With a few clicks, anyone can have a beautiful website up and running within minutes.

Another advantage of using WordPress.com is that it’s free to use. Although there are some premium features available, you don’t need to pay anything to create a basic blog or website with WordPress.com. The platform also offers excellent security features, including automatic backups and software updates.

Finally, unlike the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org), you do not need any technical knowledge or web development experience to build your website with WordPress.com. Everything from hosting to themes and plugins is taken care of by the platform itself, making it easy for beginners to get started with their online presence without any hassle or stress involved in setting up a site on their own server.

Differences between the Two Platforms

One of the main differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com is ownership. WordPress.org requires you to have your own domain name and web hosting while with WordPress.com, you are provided with a subdomain (e.g., yourname.wordpress.com) and hosting services.

This means that with WordPress.org, you have full control over your website while with WordPress.com, some features may be limited or not available at all.

Another difference is the level of customization you can do on each platform. With WordPress.org, there are no limitations on what themes or plugins you can use to customize your website’s design and functionality. On the other hand, with WordPress.com, only pre-approved themes and plugins are allowed for use.

Lastly, pricing is also a factor that sets these two platforms apart. Only WordPress.com offers a free plan. WordPress.org offers the software for free, but you have to purchase hosting to use it.

If you want more advanced features such as custom domains, more storage space or eCommerce capabilities then this will require payment for either version.

However, with WordPress.org there are no hidden fees as everything depends on which themes and plugins you purchase; whereas in WordPress.com various packages come at different prices depending on which features and functionalities one needs for their website.

Costs & Limitations

While both WordPress platforms share similarities, there are some key differences between the two. One of the main differences is cost.

WordPress.org is free to use but requires a domain name and hosting which can range from around $10-$30 per month depending on your needs. On the other hand, WordPress.com offers both free and paid plans starting at $4 per month for personal sites up to $45 per month for advanced business websites.

Another limitation of using WordPress.com is that it has certain restrictions on customization options compared to WordPress.org. With WordPress.org, users have complete control over their website including access to thousands of themes and plugins for customization purposes.

WordPress.com’s free plan you are limited to a selection of pre-designed templates and cannot install custom themes or plugins unless you upgrade your plan.

Overall, while there are costs associated with using either platform, it ultimately comes down to what level of customization and control you need for your website.

If you require more flexibility in terms of design options then going with a self-hosted option like WordPress.org may be worth the extra investment, but if you’re looking for an affordable option that requires less maintenance then choosing one of the paid plans offered by WordPress.com could be your best bet.

Pros & Cons Comparison

First off, WordPress.com is a hosted platform, meaning that your website will be hosted on its servers, while WordPress.org is self-hosted. This means you will have to find your own hosting provider.

One of the benefits of using WordPress.com is that it’s free to use for basic plans, and users are not required to pay for web hosting or domain registration separately. Additionally, security and maintenance concerns are handled by the platform itself. Conversely, with WordPress.org users can customize their sites with more freedom because they have access to plug-ins and advanced analytics tools.

Another difference between the two platforms is design flexibility. With WordPress.org you can have complete control over your website’s design since it allows access to custom themes and templates; something not available in the free version of WordPress.com.

However, if you’re looking to create a simple blog or personal website without worrying about managing updates or dealing with complex technical issues then opting for WordPress.com might be a better choice.

Conclusion: Best Choice for You

In conclusion, when it comes to WordPress, you have two main options: wordpress.org and wordpress.com. Each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, but the cost comparison makes it clear that a self-hosted WordPress site on wordpress.org will offer more freedom and control. While the hosted version, WordPress.com removes technical and security concerns.

The decision ultimately depends on your technical experience and what kind of website you want to create, and your budget. We recommend that those who choose WordPress.org save up $1000 per year for website hosting, domain, plugins and maintenance.

Beginner Checklist

If you’re starting out, you’ll love our comprehensive 52 point checklist for your website! Read through once, and then work on items one at a time as it comes up!

52 Edits Checklist – beginners categories

Cathy Mitchell

Single Mom, Lifelong Learner, Jesus Follower, Founder and CEO at WPBarista.