WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s The Difference?

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s The Difference?

When you’re choosing a website hosting platform or software tool, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most significant is what features and functions the platform has to offer. 

Many organisations and companies seek open-sourced software that gives them the flexibility they need to build the website and content they desire. 

It’s the range of plugins and features it offers that have made WordPress a popular choice for anyone looking to create their own website. 

For beginners, it can seem like there’s only one WordPress. However, there are actually two platforms on offer: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

While the difference might seem like it’s only three letters, it’s more complicated than that. The two tools are separate, although they were created by the same individuals. 

If you’re considering using either of these tools to create your website, then I’ve put together this quick and easy guide to the differences between them.

Wordpress Web Design
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s The Difference?

What Is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is a free, open-source software tool that’s the original version of WordPress. All a website needs is a hosting platform and domain name to get started. Hosting and a domain name can cost money, but the software itself on WordPress.org is free to use. 

If you choose to use WordPress.org, you own all of your content and data. You have full creative control over your site and can customise it with paid and free plugins. 

It’s also possible to get themes and other design features on WordPress.org so that you can transform your site into the perfect digital signpost for your organisation or business. 

Add-ons such as Google Analytics can allow you to view your site’s progress and monetise your content so that you can make the most of it. 

What Is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is a hosting platform that uses the open-source WordPress.org software to create an all-in-one solution that gives users the chance to build, host and amend its tools without adding on any third-party tools outside of the platform. 

Provided by Automattic, whose founder Matt Mullenweg also developed WordPress.org’s software, WordPress.com gives users a free plan, which incurs absolutely no costs, either for hosting or using free themes. 

That means it’s possible to build and maintain a website on WordPress.com completely for free, with no additional costs. You also won’t need to back up your data or deal with updates, as the platform takes care of everything.

As well as the free version of WordPress.com, it is also possible to get a paid plan on the platform that will give you more storage space. 

However, WordPress.com does have limitations, as the platform doesn’t allow businesses to host adverts and hosts its own on all free sites. 

It also restricts your use of Google Analytics and instead provides its own statistics, which aren’t as comprehensive as some users might require. 

Which Is The Best Choice For You?

The best option for you depends entirely on what you’re using your site for. If you’re creating a site for a hobby or a non-profit organisation, then WordPress.com could be the ideal free solution.

For businesses seeking complete control and ownership over their content, WordPress.org could be the more prudent tool.

For expert advice on the best hosting solution for your organisation, feel free to get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to discuss hosting solutions on WordPress and other hosting platforms, so you can find the one that suits your needs.