There are two different WordPress available today. One is .com and another one is .org. Most people don’t know deferent about both. Today in the world, most people know about WordPress. But what are the key differences between wordpress.com vs wordpress.org? and most importantly which one should you choose to build your website. let’s find out all.
Key Difference between WordPress.Com and WordPress.Org
You all know that WordPress is a website-building software. More specifically it’s a content management software or content management system. Which helps you build websites and manage the content of your website.
The key difference is wordpress.com is a hosted platform. wordpress.org is a self-hosted platform. If you don’t know what that means, let me explain that with an example.
Let’s say you want to open up a pizza shop in a location. You go to a popular pizza place and say “hey, I want to open up a franchise of your store”. So they say all right here’s the location. Here are the franchise fees and here’s the franchise branding and everything. Now you can open up your store. This would be compared to wordpress.com. Because they not only give you all the details or all the tools necessary to start the shop. But they also give you the necessary place or location.
So it is like wordpress.com hosted platform.
The store might say. okay, we’ll charge you a franchise fee and we’ll give you the tools and necessary to run your business. But you have to find the location where you want to open up the store yourself. This would be compared to wordpress.org.
Because you have the tool which is WordPress, the cms (content management system) behind It. But now you have to find hosting or server to host the website yourself. That is the key difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org.
And all the other differences between both of these platforms, happen because of this major difference.
Later in this article, we’ll talk about all the important differences.
Also, it’s free to get started with wordpress.com if you’re okay with a example.wordpress.com domain name. But it does come with some restrictions on how you can customize your website.
Let’s look at the plans and pricing for wordpress.com first, before going to wordpress.org.
Pricing for WordPress.com
As I said, it’s free to get started. And you have some additional plans that you can use if you want to build a more complex or feature-rich website.
Let’s look at the details of all these plans.
As you can see from the pricing on the image, if you pay for a yearly plan the price is $4 per month, billed yearly. Per month plan which is 7 dollars a month. With a yearly plan, you do get a free domain. You also get hosting, obviously which I mentioned. you also get to remove wordpress.com ads. That means the free plan does have ads that will be served by wordpress.com. You can also collect payments and you will get unlimited email support.
As the plan says it’s suitable for personal websites or best for personal use only.
Which is best for freelancers around $8 per month with the yearly plan. Which is 14 dollars a month if you pay for a monthly plan. Again with the yearly plan you have all the features that you had in the personal plan. But you also get live chat support, you can earn ad revenue or run ads on your website, upload videos to your site and also install google analytics to your website. This means you can track visitors or look at the traffic on your website and where the users are coming from.
This is best for small businesses. Which is $25 a month with the yearly plan. And it has all the features of the personal and premium plans. But it also installs plugins and extends functionality for your website. Also has some additional features. Let’s look at them.
You have advanced SEO options. That means you have search engine optimization tools that you can use on your website. You also have automated site backups and one-click restore features, which are pretty amazing and powerful, and obviously very very useful. You can also have SSH file transfers and database access to your website.
Going to the last plan which is the e-commerce plan
Which is obviously useful when you want to sell stuff online. It has all the features of Personal Premium, Business, and obviously some additional features. Let’s look at them.
So you can accept payments in around 60 plus countries which is amazing. You can also have integration with top shipping carriers and also have premium design options for online stores.
so these are the key differences between all these plans. And if I were to give my honest opinion, the personal plan is very restrictive, because you can’t even upload premium themes. And you can’t even have videos on your website, and you can’t even have google analytics, or you can’t even track visitors that are coming to your store.
So if you want a paid plan or and you’re serious about operating a website for your business, you should at least go for the premium plan which is $8 a month with the yearly plan.
So those are all the features that you need to know about for wordpress.com.
Details about WordPress.org
So the key difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org is that wordpress.org is a self-hosted solution. What that means is the software that you use to manage content on your website is the same in wordpress.com andwordpress.org. But here you get the software. You can download it to your computer and then upload it to a hosting provider or server of your choice. Install it and then start creating your website from scratch.
Now, this does have an advantage. But it also has a significant disadvantage. Depending on your skill level, you have the complete freedom to customize and build your website. You can technically do anything on your website. But you’re also responsible for everything that happens on your website.
If you remember in the premium plans of wordpress.com you had backup and security options directly bent into the plan. This means wordpress.com or the hosting provider for wordpress.com will take care of everything that happens on your website. It’ll automatically backup your website, and also install some security features on your website.
Now technically this is not difficult to do on wordpress.org. But you need to know how to do so. And still, you are the one who is responsible for anything that happens on your website. Again maybe it sounds scary. But it’s actually not. It’s pretty easy to install a backup and security solution on your website.
The best way to learn how to use wordpress.org or self-hosted websites is, visit our website ceeveeglobal.com or subscribe to our youtube channel CeeVee Global. Because we create content about WordPress on a regular basis. So make sure you subscribe to our channel to learn more about WordPress.
Another important difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org is the use of plugins and themes. Let’s go back to wordpress.com for a second and also if you notice only the last two plans have the option or the functionality to install plugins on your website to enhance the functionality of your website.
Now plugins are like apps for your website. If you want to add any kind of functionality to your website all you have to do is install a plugin. With wordpress.org no matter what kind of plan you have. You can have hosting for maybe five dollars a month. But you have access to thousands of themes. You can see 4488 commercial themes available in the WordPress repository.
And you also have access to thousands of website developers or theme developers and you can use those premium themes which have a lot more features you can use on your website.
And obviously the Astra theme, it’s one of the most popular themes out there apart from WordPress’s own themes. So if you’re looking for a premium theme then you should definitely check out the Astra theme. It’s used by over a million people around the world. It’s an amazing theme.
Plugin and Theme Usage
Let’s look at all the plugins that you have access to. So inside WordPress’s plugin repository, you have access to 59599 plugins. Can you imagine that number? Almost 60 000 plug-ins you get access to when you have a self-hosted solution. And you only get this feature when you pay for business plans and upward on wordpress.com. So that’s a powerful advantage to have if you want to operate a wordpress.org or a self-hosted website.
And as I mentioned with the themes this is these are not the only plugins that you can use access to. Thousands of plugin developers create amazing plugins for WordPress and you can install them, purchase them and many of them are available for free as well.
Let’s talk about the setup process or how difficult or easy it is to set up a website compared to wordpress.org and wordpress.com. Now the process to create a website with wordpress.com is pretty easy. Just sign up for a plan that you want to use. Just connect a domain if you need to. And start building your website. It also takes a few minutes.
On the other hand, wordpress.org is not as simple as wordpress.com. But there’s a catch. If you install WordPress on your own it doesn’t require too many technical skills. But compared to the process of wordpress.com I would say it’s a bit difficult. A lot of folks realize this problem.
That not everybody has the technical skills to install wordpress.org or WordPress software on their site. And they provide one-click solutions to install WordPress on your site or if you choose WordPress-specific hosting. Many hosts will install or pre-install WordPress for you. So you don’t have to take any steps. Just connect your domain and your site will be live in just a few clicks.
And our recommended hosting provider siteground also offers managed WordPress hosting. That means just choose the hosting plan and WordPress will automatically be installed for you instantly. There are no technical skills required.
Security and Backups
Let’s talk about security and backup options. As I mentioned in the premium plans of wordpress.com you do get security options and also backup options. Now with wordpress.org or self-hosted WordPress, you do not get security or backup options out of the box. But it’s very easy to install a security and backup plugin on your website.
Let me also tell you, our recommended solutions for security and backup on your site. So our recommended solution for security or securing your WordPress is Word Fence. You can check more about Word Fence from this article.
For backups, we recommend Updraft plus WordPress backup plugin. It’s an amazing plugin again. Also, find out more about updraft read this article.
Now let’s talk about monetization options or making money with your website.
If you remember wordpress.com, the free version as I mentioned, does come with ads. And you have to pay for at least the personal plan. So you can get rid of the ads that come on your website. Also, the free plan also has restrictions on how you can monetize your website. You can’t have affiliate links on your website if you’re using the free plan of your website. You’ll have to pay for a personal plan to start monetizing your website with ads. Obviously for e-commerce and also affiliate links.
Again with wordpress.org no matter what plan you have, no matter what hosting you have, no matter how much you are paying for hosting, you can start monetizing your website from day one. You have no restrictions. You can add affiliate links, ads on your website and you can also add eCommerce functionality on your website.
Cost Comparision between WP.com and WP.org
Now let’s talk about one of the most important points of consideration when you’re building a website. The price.
So we already saw the price of wordpress.com. You saw the personal plan, premium plan, business plan, and e-commerce plan. And if you’re a really big publisher, you can also use the WordPress VIP option which starts as just two thousand dollars a month. Let’s compare these plans with estimated numbers of setting up a self-hosted or a wordpress.org website.
So talking about hosting wordpress.com as I mentioned includes the hosting in its pricing plan. So if you’re getting started for free, then you’re not paying anything for hosting. But if you’re paying for a premium plan hosting is included in those plans. So technically there is no separate cost of hosting.
Comparing that pricing with wordpress.org, you can pay anywhere from 2.95 to approximately 20 dollars per month in hosting cost, depending on the complexity and the size of your website.
Talking about domain names, wordpress.com includes one year of a free domain with every purchase that you make for personal, premium, business, or e-commerce plans. And obviously, if you’re using the free version, then you do get an example.wordpress.com kind of domain for free as well.
Comparing that to wordpress.org, wordpress.org you’re going to pay anywhere from between 10 to 20 dollars a year for a domain name. Now keep in mind that wordpress.com will give you a free domain name just for the first year. From the next year onwards you’re going to pay the same price that you’ll probably play on a self-hosted website. And also many hosts when you buy hosting from them just bundle in a free domain. So technically the price of a domain for wordpress.com and wordpress.org is almost the same.
Talking about teams. If you want the option of installing premium themes on the wordpress.com website, then you’ll have to have at least the business plan of wordpress.com. which starts at 300 dollars a year. Apart from that if you want to install custom themes that are not available or not shortlisted by wordpress.com. You’ll have to pay the team’s cost as well.
With wordpress.org you don’t have any of those restrictions. You can install any of the themes available on the WordPress repository for free. and if you want to pay for a premium version or premium support for any theme. you’ll be spending anywhere between 20 to 100 dollars a year for a theme.
Talking about plugins on wordpress.com websites. If you just want the ability to install any of the plugins available on the WordPress repository then you’ll need to at least have the business plan on their website. And if you want to install a premium plugin that is not available in the repository. Then you’ll have to pay for the plugin and install or upload it just like you would do on your wordpress.org website.
Comparing that to wordpress.org websites you have no costs or you don’t pay anything to install any of the plugins available in the repository. So there’s a zero cost for that. But if you want to pay for custom plugins they can range anywhere from 5 dollars to 50 dollars each. So if you have multiple plugins or multiple premium plugins the cost can add up to maybe hundreds of dollars per year.
Development on wordpress.com it’s not possible to make changes to your theme files or even WordPress files directly. So any kind of custom development you want would happen only if you hire a developer and then they design a plugin just for you and you install it on your website. So obviously you’ll need at least a business plan to install the plugin on your website. And obviously, you’ll have to pay for the plugin development costs which can go anywhere from maybe a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
On wordpress.org the development is possible and the cost will totally depend on the amount of customization you want to get. So again the price may range from anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
With wordpress.com maintenance is usually included in all the plans. So you don’t have to pay anything to maintain your website.
Regularly with wordpress.org websites if you have any kind of or basic technical knowledge you can manage your website for free by just investing a bit of your time. But if you hire a custom developer you might pay somewhere between $20 or a hundred or even two hundred dollars to maintain your website. And that cost can add up to maybe a thousand dollars or somewhere in the four figures per year.
In this article, we discussed most of the things about WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. And I think you got the idea about both platforms.
Also, cost comparison, was an approximate cost comparison between a website that you host or decide to host with wordpress.com and wordpress.org. As I mentioned it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Because both the services are different. But if you’re deciding to build a website and confuse between wordpress.com and wordpress.org I hope that this price comparison gives you some clarity on what platform is the right choice for you.
If you have anything to know about this please comment below.