What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress is the largest, most used website CMS on the market. WordPress started out as a small blogging platform that was open source, could be installed anywhere and extended by anyone to do all sorts of things. Because of how open it is, people have managed to turn WordPress from a simple blogging platform, into the swiss army knife of CMS’s that it is today.

There are some key differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com that many people just are not aware of when choosing a path for their new website build.

What is WordPress.org?

What's the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? 1

WordPress.org is the downloadable variant of WordPress. The idea here is your web developer will download WordPress and install it on a server of your choosing. This gives you full control over your website, so you can do whatever you please with it.

WordPress.org is 100% free to use and all you will need to get started is some basic hosting and a domain name.

WordPress.org Pros

WordPress.org Cons

What is WordPress.com

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WordPress.com is the commercial side of WordPress, run by a company called Automattic who are the creators of WordPress.

WordPress.com provides a hosted version of WordPress which allows you to get a website just by signing up and clicking a few buttons. This has the benefit of being easier for a complete rookie to click together a website, but has a few drawbacks over a more traditional custom install with a WordPress.org download.

WordPress.com is free for up to 3GB of space. After that you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space. (Personal plan $48 /year gives you 6GB, Premium plan $96/year gives you 13GB storage, or Business plan for $300/year for 200 GB storage).

WordPress.com Pros

WordPress.com Cons

Conclusion

There are some key differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, which I have hopefully cleared up. 

Typically if you are just looking for a basic blog site with a standard out of the box theme and functionality, then WordPress.com would probably do you fine. 

As soon as you require any sort of customizability without your website being plastered with unprofessional ads, then you will probably be looking to go the WordPress.org route, which will open you up to being able to do almost anything.