WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – What’s the Difference?

Every website developer will know what wordpress is, but it may be hard to distinguish between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. They aren’t even made by the same organization, even though it’s comical how similar their names sound. Let us take a look at the features that distinguish these two platforms and how you can choose the right one for yourself.

Now that everything is becoming digitized, many people dive headfirst into the virtual world where possibilities are endless. Everyone wants to create their own unique identity in the digital space, and most start with creating profiles on social media and move on to creating their own websites. This is where wordpress steps in; it is currently the most popular way to develop a website, and it supports about 43.3% of all websites that are currently active on the internet. That’s almost half the content available on the World Wide Web.

So what exactly are wordpress.com and wordpress.org, and how can they be so different when they sound the same. If you’re keen on finding out the unique features that set them apart, you’ll have to keep reading.

Before getting into the difference between wordpress com and wordpress org we have to understand the two entities separately.

About WordPress

WordPress is one of the most powerful Content Management Systems (CMS), which is flexible and easy to use for hosting and building different kinds of websites. The platform offers a template system and holds plugin architecture to help you customize your website as per your business requirements.

According to recent studies by kinsta there are about 17 blogs published per second on wordpress and every month 409 million people view about 20 billion pages on wordpress. It is one of the fastest growing CMS with over 500 websites being built every day.

You can now start developing your very own website with the help of WordPress without years and years of developing software. It’s an innovative application that allows anyone to create their website.

What is wordpress.com?

What is wordpress.com?
source: WordPress.com

WordPress.com is operated by Automattic, led by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, and is a proprietary hosting service where you can register and start building your website.

You’ll receive a customized version of the WordPress software that’s relatively easy to install and use. With wordpress.com, you can focus solely on building your website since the platform takes care of the installation and hosting for you.

wordpress.com vs wordpress

WordPress.com and wordpress have a symbiotic relationship where Automattic uses WordPress software to operate wordpress.com, and in turn, wordpress.com provides data and back codes for the wordpress project.

Features of wordpress.com

  • It’s the perfect platform for hobbyists looking to start a blog or families that want to start blogging.
  • Automatic updates and backups
  • You get a free 3GB plan; if you require more, you can upgrade to any of the plans available on the platform.

What is wordpress org?

What is wordpress org?
source: WordPress.org

It is an open-source software that has been developed upon the wordpress platform. It is a free operating system that requires you to host your own sites, which means you’ll need your own domain name. It is also often known as the self-hosted WordPress.

wordpress.org vs wordpress

wordpress org builds upon the features provided by WordPress. In short, they are both open-source service providers that lets you host your own websites. So, there’s not much difference between wordpress and wordpress org.

Features of wordpress.org

  • It gives you complete control over your website.
  • You can use customized web designs along with different variations of WordPress plugins or apps on your website.
  • You can use your own ads to generate income from the website.
  • This platform allows you to use tools like Google Analytics to monitor and track your website.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
source: wpexplorer
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
source: g2.com

1. Themes

Both platforms can use the themes that are offered by wordpress, but the difference between wordpress com and wordpress org is in the number of themes you can access using each of these platforms. For instance, wordpress com can access only about a few hundred, while wordpress org has access to a few thousands of free themes.

2. Plugins

With wordpress.org, you have access to about 59,500 free and paid plugins or more. However, with wordpress com, the plugin availability will depend on which plan you have. Developers that have the free, personal, or premium plan will only have access to default features.

3. Customization

WordPress.org provides an endless supply of customizations that can be used to personalize your website. Plus, all the plugins and extensions can be adjusted to suit the needs of your website.

WordPress.com has limited customization possibilities, and these will depend on what subscription plan you have.

4. Price

For the wordpresss.org platform, all installations and updates are free since it is an open-source service. The only charges you will incur are for hosting, SSL certificate costs, and domain name.

WordPress.com follows a subscription-based system with different prices for different plans, which you have to pay monthly.

5. Accessibility

Since these are both website-developing platforms, you will need some basic understanding of how to use the software. But, wordpress.com has a friendlier user experience since you do not have to worry about hosting.

6. Ecommerce

Keeping in mind that WordPress was initially developed for blogs, there’s no feature built-in for e-commerce, but with the help of 3rd party plugins, you can optimize your website on wordpress.org and turn it into a digital store. For the wordpress.com sites, there’s a specific eCommerce plan that’s available for subscription

7. Support

Both platforms have an extensive FAQ section where you can resolve most queries, but wordpress.com offers email and chat support in case you need extra assistance. However, you’ll need to upgrade your subscription plan.


There are probably many similarities compared to differences when we look at discussions on wordpress.com vs .org or wordpress org vs com since they both are using the same domain to support their platforms. However, these two website creating platforms have specific feature differences that cater to different kinds of digital content creators. Hopefully, you’ve gained some insight on both and can now choose the one the right one for developing your website.

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