Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

WordPress.org is the official website for WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging and content management system. Since WordPress is free and open source software, anyone can download it for free from WordPress.org and use the software to power their website. However, some technical knowledge is required to properly and securely install WordPress and maintain it on an ongoing basis. Some WordPress users don’t have the technical skills or time to maintain a WordPress instance.                                                                                                                  WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com is a freemium service that installs and maintains a WordPress blog on behalf of its users. No technical skills are required, nor do users have to worry about the infrastructure (a server connected to the Internet with the required software) required to host their website. Behind the scenes, WordPress.com also uses WordPress software. So for content authors and publishers, the user experience is almost identical, whether they are using WordPress.com or a self-hosted WordPress instance.

The WordPress.com service is intended to be a hassle-free content management solution that requires very little maintenance. WordPress.com’s free basic service includes advertising, and users cannot upload custom themes or plugins. On the other hand, WordPress proprietary hosting software (from WordPress.org) offers users an ad-free solution, with unlimited customization options. The user is in complete control of the content, but must also be responsible for all security, maintenance and backup.

While WordPress.com’s hosted solutions are powerful, with the BBC and CNN among the service’s marquee users (having access to special customization features), it can take a lot of money to achieve what’s possible when self-managing a facility. WordPress Free downloaded from WordPress.org. The customizable nature of WordPress (the content management system software) essentially provides endless possibilities. For users who want a “middle ground” solution (more features and customization, but little or no maintenance required), managed WordPress hosting solutions are also available, which outsource the technicalities of automated hosting.

Comparative graph                                WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Comparison chart of WordPress.com versus WordPress.org

IntroductionWordPress.com is a blogging service that uses the open source WordPress script to power user blogs. Hosted blogs are placed on a subdomain of wordpress.com unless users pay for domain registration.WordPress.org hosts the free downloadable WordPress script, which is a fully customizable blogging and content management solution. It is intended to be self hosted on the server itself.
Developer (s)AutomaticAutomatic
Site registrationYou don’t need to read most blogs. Free registration to comment or blog ..No need to download the WordPress script. Site owners can change site settings to be more open or more restricted (for example, they require registration to read or comment).
Custom domain nameUsers must pay for their own domain name “and” pay for a plan to add it to a blog.You must buy your own domain and connect to hosting servers.
MonetizationNot allowed for most all blogs. Affiliate links are allowed. Blogs with high traffic can request an invitation to WordAds.As this is a self-hosted solution, users can monetize their website (s) however they wish.
Themes / DesignThe layout can be customized with free themes, provided by WordPress.com, or premium themes purchased through WordPress.com. Users have many theme customization options, but they cannot edit HTML or CSS without updating.Thousands of free and premium themes available on the web. Themes can be created from scratch using HTML, CSS, and basic PHP.
Storage spaceUnlimited number of blogs with an unlimited number of writers. The free plan has 3GB of image / file space. Users can upgrade storage or purchase a better overall plan.Based on hosting provider, but can be little / limited or unlimited.
Mobile bloggingYes. Support for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Nokia.Yes. There is an official open source application for self-hosted WordPress uses. Support for Android and iOS users only.
Image GalleriesExtensive gallery support ..Wide gallery compatibility, but it can depend a lot on the theme.
Video and audio uploadUsers can embed videos from other sites, such as Vimeo and YouTube. Premium plans allow users to upload directly to the WordPress.com servers. Support for MP3, M4A, WAV and OGG audio files.Users can embed videos from other sites or upload them to their servers. There are numerous audio and video gallery plugins to improve loading and organization.
OrganizationSupport for categories and tags.It varies by topic, but most have support for categories, tags, and post formats. Some also support support for post types, custom fields, and many other features.
Anti-SpamAutomattic owns Akismet, a popular spam prevention script, which it implements on all WordPress.com blogs. Akismet prevents most spam from being posted.Some antispam options are included by default (for example comment moderation), but plugins may be required for added protection / security.
AnalyticsIt has the “Statistics” tool. Less in depth than Google Analytics, which cannot be added to WordPress.com blogs.There are no built-in statistical tools. You must manually add analytics support or use one of the many free statistics plugins, such as Jetpack or WP Slimstat.
AccessoriesUnsupported. Hosted version of WordPress – WordPress.org – has a vast library of plugins.Full support. Any plugin can be used, whether it comes from the WordPress plugin repository or not.
PricesVarious options: free for Basic; $ 99 / year for Premium; $ 299 / year for business.Free. Users must pay for domain name and hosting registration / renewal costs. Custom themes and plugins may require hiring of designers and developers.
Self-accommodationYes. Users can download the WordPress open source script and host it on their own server.The script must be self-hosted.

Content: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

  • 1 Blogging and content management
    • 1.1 Calypso
  • 2 WordPress.com Features vs. WordPress.org
    • 2.1 Themes / Design
    • 2.2 Advanced customization and add-ons
    • 2.3 Storage space
    • 2.4 multimedia
    • 2.5 social community
    • 2.6 Mobile blogging
    • 2.7 Safety and maintenance
    • 2.8 Support
  • 3 SEO
  • 4 monetization
  • 5 Prices and Hosting
    • 5.1 Domain name
  • 6 Managed Hosting

Blogging and content management

Although both the hosted and self-hosted versions of WordPress allow for content management, WordPress.com targets those who are less tech and web savvy. Recently, WordPress.com has taken a different approach to designing its admin pages, greatly simplifying the pages users come across most often, and arguably moving away from self-hosted software. (Note, however, that it is still possible to use the more “advanced” admin area on WordPress.com, which looks almost identical to the admin area of ​​traditional WordPress software. The more complex layout is simply no longer displayed. as default.)                                                 WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Click to enlarge. A side-by-side comparison of the new default WordPress.com admin interface (left) versus an example of the traditional WordPress admin area (right).


In November 2015, Automattic (the company behind WordPress) launched Calypso, a new admin interface for WordPress.com websites and blogs. Since it is not part of the WordPress [ .org ] software, it is only available to WordPress.com users. Calypso not only powers the web interface for administration tasks, it is also available as a downloadable desktop application for Mac and Windows.

Features of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

Themes / Design                                          WordPress.com and WordPress.org

A blog or website created using the self-hosted version of WordPress has very few, if any, limitations when it comes to design, and many well-known companies and individuals make use of the software. However, creating a custom theme from scratch has a relatively steep learning curve, with the need to know HTML / CSS and in some cases have a basic or advanced knowledge of JavaScript, PHP, MySQL and other concepts, tools or concepts. advanced. Plugins As such, many choose to use the free or premium themes that are already available on the web, even though these often have some drawbacks when they don’t include the desired features or make potentially dangerous security mistakes.

WordPress.com has almost 200 free themes and more than 150 premium themes. [1] Users with a paid WordPress.com plan have advanced customization options with full ability to edit CSS and fonts, and the WordPress.com Business plan level includes more than 50 premium themes as well as e-commerce capabilities. Users with no knowledge of HTML / CSS and PHP benefit from the functionality and security of premium paid themes, while also having access to knowledgeable and professional support services. Choosing a premium theme allows users a much more unique site design with access to customization tools and updates provided by the developer.

It is important to note that custom themes can never be uploaded to the WordPress.com service, even with a premium or business plan. [2] When it comes to design, there is a trade-off in using the WordPress.com service: fewer customization rights for a simpler and easier user experience.

Advanced customization and add-ons

For a price, users get the ability to edit their HTML / CSS from WordPress.com and some JavaScript, but they don’t have access to FTP or the ability to edit more advanced programming (i.e. PHP, MySQL). When WordPress software is self-hosted, it can be edited to fit the needs of a site owner and use any custom theme or plugin. New or edited files can be uploaded via FTP, cPanel, or whatever a user’s web host allows. Self-hosting a website comes with the added benefit of being able to configure the web server to meet certain high-performance specifications, integration with a content delivery network (CDN).                                      WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Plugins allow users to extend WordPress functionality with custom features or coding. Users with the relevant knowledge can also create and customize plugins for WordPress software, but the use of plugins with the WordPress.com service is totally restricted. Some of the best self-hosted WordPress plugins include Advanced Custom Fields, which make data management easy; Yoast SEO, a search engine optimization tool that helps increase traffic to a user’s site; and W3 Total Cache, which improves the overall performance and speed of a WordPress site.

Without plugin support, WordPress.com is severely restricted in this area. However, there is a range of advanced features, such as e-commerce support, for premium users.

Storage space                                              WordPress.com and WordPress.org

When it comes to self-hosting WordPress, storage space is limited only by the hosting service provider (internet server). The WordPress.com service kicks off users at 3GB for free, then charges for different packages of storage space.

Unless the site has a large amount of video content to host, the 3GB storage space is generally more than enough. With self-managed WordPress, storage space is almost never a restriction because web hosting providers offer quite generous storage plans (much more than 3GB).


Self-managing WordPress users provide their own storage, which means uploading large photos, audio, or video content is just a matter of how much space your host offers. Users of the WordPress.com service can upload images and documents (for example, Word files) for free, as long as they stay below the allotted 3GB. Users of the Premium and Business plans have more freedom and can upload audio and video content directly.

Social community

While WordPress.com and self-managed WordPress support comments on blog posts and pages, WordPress.com already has a large and active community that can comment on all the blogs on their platform. The WordPress.com service is also well integrated with social media services and provides polling functions.

Self-hosted WordPress users can make use of the built-in commenting feature or third-party plugins like Disqus for comments.

Mobile blogging

Whether you’re using the services of WordPress.com or the WordPress software provider, it’s just as easy to publish and manage content on the go via phone or tablet. Users of both versions of the software actually use the same application, which can be downloaded here. Currently, there is only support for Android and iOS platforms.

Screenshots of the official WordPress apps for Android (left) and iOS (right).

Security and maintenance

WordPress Core

With WordPress.com, site owners don’t have to worry about updating WordPress software when a new version is released. Whether it’s a security update or a general update, it is applied automatically and immediately to all websites on the WordPress.com platform.

When you download WordPress from wordpress.org and it is self-powered or managed, you are responsible for updating the software when new versions are released. In the past, this was a cumbersome process and many site owners did not do it, leaving their website vulnerable to attacks and security compromises. The update process for WordPress has now become much simpler, with updates now requiring just one click. More tech-savvy users can also choose to set up automatic background updates for WordPress.

Themes and plugins

Custom themes and plugins are the biggest threat to the security of a WordPress instance. The core software is generally battle tested; Security vulnerabilities in the WordPress core are rare. Most of the security vulnerabilities that affect WordPress sites use plugins or themes as the attack vector. Sometimes hackers find vulnerabilities and loopholes in popular plugins, and sometimes malicious software is bundled with “free” themes or plugins available online.

WordPress hosting also allows you to download and install any plugin or theme of your choice, or even develop your own plugins and themes. Consequently, the security risks of a vulnerability that is introduced into the system are greater with self-managed sites.

WordPress.com blocks the number of themes and plugins available, minimizing the surface area for attacks.

As with the main software, WordPress plugins and themes are continually updated as well. When site owners choose to self-manage a WordPress instance, they are responsible for these updates. It is not uncommon for sites to be compromised because they cannot update a vulnerable plugin even weeks after the vulnerability has been made public and fixed by a newer version of the plugin.

WordPress.com manages updates on behalf of the site owners, so the security risks are lower.

For self-managed WordPress instances, it is highly recommended to use security plugins such as Theme Authenticity Checker, WordFence, and Exploit Scanner for ongoing security monitoring.

Comment Spam

WordPress offers a built-in commenting system but is vulnerable to spam. Site owners should configure their commenting system to combat comment spam. They can disable comments entirely, use a third-party comment plugin, or use Akismet, an included anti-spam plugin. However, they do need to register to get an Akismet key.

With WordPress.com, this is handled automatically for each site on the platform.


With WordPress.com, backups are handled automatically for users on a paid plan.

With self-managed WordPress, users must manage their own backups. Add-ons are available, such as UpdraftPlus, that run automatic and scheduled backups and save them online for storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

Support                                                        WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com offers different levels of support, from free support with its basic plan, to live chat support with its business plan. Community support and forums are available to all WordPress.com users, and tutorials available online provide valuable assistance.

Users hosting WordPress can use the Codex and WordPress.org forums, as well as countless third-party communities and tutorials across the web. Since WordPress software is open source, there is a vibrant community that surrounds it and tends to support its users. However, the one-to-one special support is likely to come at a cost and require one to search for web designers and developers.


WordPress has many advantages over its competitors, such as Blogger, when it comes to search engine optimization. Out of the box, WordPress software makes it easy to customize page titles, page URLs (aka, permalinks), and more. These features are found by default in both the hosted and self-hosted versions of WordPress and provide a solid foundation on which to drive traffic to a website.

However, for more control, the site owner will want to host WordPress, as advanced SEO plugins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast and All-in-One SEO Pack are only available to those who host WordPress software. .

Monetization                                          WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Users of self-hosted WordPress software can use advertising and affiliate programs on their site, including options like Google AdSense and the Amazon affiliate program, to generate income. They can also use plugins, like WooCommerce, to sell products to users directly. Users are responsible for installing and maintaining all money-making efforts and have to abide by the specific terms and conditions of the advertising programs, although there are many plugins available to help, and most of the associated plugins and ad services do. make it as easy as possible for WordPress software users to host the ads.                                                   WordPress.com and WordPress.org

While WordPress.com does Allow Affiliate Links and Sponsored Posts, it does. no Allow third-party advertising or display ads. Additionally, WordPress.com advertises itself on free accounts, displaying a small, unobtrusive WordPress “watermark” / branded link in the footer. Users of the WordPress.com service with a high amount of site traffic per month (thousands of page views) can apply for the WordAds service, which splits advertising revenue in half with WordPress.com. For high-traffic business websites, there are WordPress Enterprise ($ 500 / month) and WordPress VIP ($ 5,000 / month), neither of which restricts advertising of any kind and comes with a host of additional customization features.

Prices and Hosting

The WordPress software provided by WordPress.org is free, but users must pay for their own domains and web hosting. While the self-hosted option will incur costs, the options on offer are much broader, and users who want much of the functionality that WordPress software offers will likely find WordPress to be the cheapest option. For a list of web servers that WordPress.org recommends, see here.

Although the basic WordPress.com plan is free, it comes with several restrictions. e.g. the site must be hosted on a wordpress.com subdomain and you cannot use a custom domain name, there is only 3GB of storage space available, the site will display ads and the site author will not get any revenue from these ads.

WordPress.com Premium plans start at $ 36 per year and go up to $ 299 per year. Features and restrictions for all WordPress.com plans are listed in the chart below:

                                     Current WordPress.com plans. Source.

Domain name

WordPress.com offers users a free subdomain name with .wordpress.com in the URL (eg.,http://sitename.wordpress.com). Users do not have the option to use their own domain with WordPress.com (eg.,http://yoursite.com), Unless they pay for a premium plan. To use WordPress software successfully on a self-hosted website, the user must purchase a domain from scratch.

Managed Hosting

Several web hosts specialize in WordPress and offer managed WordPress hosting solutions. These services manage most of the technical aspects of WordPress software, such as security, backups, updates, and performance quality; They also offer premium support. Of course, these managed services come at a cost, as basic plans generally start at around $ 29 per month, as opposed to shared hosting plans – that is, those without support that users manage themselves – at roughly $ 29. 4 per month.                                                                                         WordPress.com and WordPress.org

While managed hosting provides users with various web development tools, some providers limit users to running only WordPress-based sites (making it impossible to switch from WordPress to another system), and users cannot run all WordPress plugins such as plugins that decrease the performance of a site can be blocked. Thus, users have less control with the technical management of their outsourced site.

Newbies are unlikely to need managed WordPress hosting as most hosting services make it easy to set up WordPress via one-click install interfaces. Businesses, on the other hand, may not want to worry about any of the technicalities, even when they are simple. In this case, there are numerous managed WordPress hosting providers to choose from, including Pagely, SiteGround, and WP Engine, among others.

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