by Team RobertMening

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

Before we explain the differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org let’s quickly go over what exactly WordPress is. WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS), that means it’s a piece of software that everyone can use to create a websites. It´s a open source platform and it’s maintained by volunteers around the globe and not owned by a specific company. NB! Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org use the this open  source platform.

Let´s now explain the principal difference between them.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a platform created by company Automattic and by his owner Matt Mullenweg. Matt Mullenweg is also the co-founder of the WordPress software, which is another reason why there is so much confusement around the WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Automattic is also a big contributor to the WordPress open source improvements.

WordPress.com is a hosting service and they allow others to create their own web presence hosted and maintained on Automattic’s servers. Yes, they use WordPress as the open source software to run their business.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org, on the other hand, is the home of that software and it´s managed by the non-profit WordPress Foundation. At WordPress.org anyone can download WordPress and use it for whatever purposes they want.

In WordPress.org you need to find your own hosting provider (or check TOP 10 hosting providers) and get a domain to install your WordPress site on. That is why WordPress.org is also often referred to as “self-hosted” WordPress, while WordPress.com is called the “hosted” variety where they do the hosting for you.

That is also the main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org: Who hosts your site,  in one case, it’s a company, in the other it is service provider chosen by you.

Are both Platforms for FREE?

WordPress.com is not for FREE. The “free” only applies to the limited basic plan. When you choose it, you get your own site on a WordPress.com subdomain (e.g. http://yoursitename.wordpress.com), access to dozens of free themes, basic design customization options and 3GB of storage space.

However if you want more advanced features (for example your own domain name), you will have to pay for them:

Prices for the “normal” plans are between $48 and $300 a year.

With WordPress.org, you can build as many websites as you want for free. However are still expenses involved with running a self-hosted WordPress site. You have to pay for the hosting service and for the domain.

In general, these costs are much lower and with better features. For example we use very often Bluehost  or A2 Hosting as  hosting provider. You can start a WordPress site for as little as $2.96/month and it will include free domain name (worth $10/year) (NB! How to pick the right domain name).

Yes, handling WordPress.org is not only cheaper than WordPress.com but also comes with a lot more possibilities. Learn how to setup a website, start a blog or open an online store.