WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Platform to Choose?

Are you one of those who want to start blogging but are not sure where and how to get started? There are two different platforms, WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, and they may confuse you.

It’s okay, and I used to be in the same boat as you. The blogging business is popular these days.

I think 9 out of 10 people know the word “Blog.” It has the potential to reach anyone and everyone.

A blog is like an online platform where people share their ideas, stories, and knowledge by writing articles.

Getting to WordPress:

I started blogging out of my passion for writing. I wanted to share my journey, experiences, and learnings with others. To earn some income, I began to research.

I ended up on the very popular platform WordPress, where we can create blogs without coding or technical skills.

Nowadays, most people are willing to create a blog. Thanks to WordPress, the process is simple and hassle-free.

Likewise, it helped me to create my blog with ease. With its Content Management System, I created and maintained an organized blog.

Thus, I will help you select the right WordPress platform in this article.

Don’t worry; after reading this article, your confusion will disappear.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

1. What is WordPress.com?

So, let’s understand what WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org is.

As we all know, WordPress.com is a software that allows you and me to create and manage our blogs.

It also provides customized hosting services to host their WordPress blog for our Blogging business.

They’ve around six plans: Free, Personal, Premium, Business, Commerce, and Enterprise.

I’m asking you to start from a Personal plan of Rs.160/—per month because, as a beginner, a basic plan will suffice.

Then, in the Personal plan, we get all the Free version features along with a custom domain name given to us.

Specifically, this is so important to represent our brand in the blogging business.

So, later in the future, we can upgrade our plan at any point in time.

1.1. Advantages of WordPress.com

The platform is very easy to navigate. Compared with other platforms, WordPress.com has advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s look at some advantages below:

1.1.1. Easy to Use and Convenience

Basically, wordPress.com has a very easy and user-friendly interface that is suitable for all levels of users.

If you’re a complete beginner or have prior experience, this is an ideal platform to get started.

We can easily create and set up our blog with just a few clicks.

Also, if you want to change your blog’s appearance, you can drag and drop items, just like a jigsaw puzzle.

Everything is readily available for our convenience. It’s just that we need to use those as per our liking.

1.1.2. Hosting and Maintenance in WordPress.com

You can use hosting directly from WordPress.com. Further, you need not go for other hosting services separately.

It will be time-consuming to check out all the hosting providers and their available plans.

Using their hosting service is better than allowing other hosting on their server. Thus, WordPress started hosting, too.

This reduces their time in tuning and maintains the server for smooth functioning without hassle.

We need not worry about maintaining the server, which saves us time.

1.1.3. Customization and Design Options

WordPress is Free and comes with drag-and-drop options, so customizing and designing is simple.

With this, a newbie and any amateur can design and develop a beautiful-looking blog.

WordPress.com has many pre-designed themes and customizable templates, which allow us to personalize our blogs.

1.1.4. Community Support

Surprisingly, even though a platform is well structured and designed, sometimes anything may go wrong, and we may get stuck somewhere. Having backup support always has a positive impact on us.

WordPress.com has a vibrant community of users, bloggers, and developers through WordPress.org that offers support forums, tutorials, and resources.

We can seek assistance, share experiences, and connect with like-minded individuals through the community.
The support network provides valuable guidance throughout our blogging journey.

1.2. Disadvantages of WordPress.com

Along with the advantages, WordPress.com has certain limitations, too.

Let’s take a closer look at some disadvantages below:

1.2.1. Limited Customization

Certain limitations and restrictions always apply to FREE resources. Therefore, wordPress.com has the same restrictions.

We cannot upload any custom themes and plugins to the platform. This limits our customization options.

If we want to make our blog unique, it is impossible, as we cannot add any new plugins/themes other than the existing ones.

1.2.2. Monetization Limitation

We all want to monetize our blogs at some point. WordPress.com can run ads on our blogs using the WordAds program.

Running third-party ads (Google Adsense) is not possible here. In the FREE version of WordPress, we cannot run ads and cannot make money from them.

This affects newbie bloggers who want to create a side hustle or passive revenue through blogging.

1.2.3. Lack of Complete Control

Even though it is our blog, we may not have complete control. As WordPress itself provides hosting, we are allowed limited control over the backend services.

If we’re looking to have advanced features to manage our blog it is impossible, we cannot incorporate any additional control setup to manage our hosting server. So, we’ve to use what is available on WordPress.com

1.2.4. Branding and Advertising

Without our permission, no one would like to promote other brands or services for FREE on our blog. In this case, we have no options unless we allow WordPress to promote their ads.

This means they deserve to enjoy the rewards of our hard work. We may put hours into writing wonderful content and doing extreme marketing to promote and rank the blog. But WordPress.com enjoys the results in the end.

2. What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is a popular self-hosted CMS with more flexibility and freedom. We can create and customize our blogs to fit our goals and needs with it.

The main difference between WorPress.com and self-hosted WordPress is that we need to download the WordPress software and install it on our own. We will also be hosting our blog.

WordPress.org is so popular and helpful if we want to have complete control over our blog and need more customization options.

2.1. Advantages of WordPress.org

In comparison with WordPress.com, WordPress.org has certain benefits too. Let’s find out what they are:

2.1.1. Full Control

It gives us complete control over every aspect of our website. We have access to the underlying code, which allows us to modify the functionality, design, and features.

We can create a unique blog that meets our brand goals with our additional access. Who doesn’t like having complete control and freedom over everything we use? Even I prefer the same.

2.1.2. Extensive Customization

WordPress.org offers a wide variety of options for customizing our blog, including thousands of free and premium themes and plugins.

Using that, we can control our website’s appearance and functionality. You can also add custom colors based on the colors you’ve chosen for your brand.

2.1.3. Scalability and Growth

As we have complete control over our blog, we can always add new things whenever we need them in the future.

This platform is flexible and can handle more visitors and information. It does not slow down or make it hard for people to use.

2.1.4. Monetization Opportunities

Compared with WordPress.com, WordPress.org has a benefit of monetization: We can run third-party ads on our blogs.

With this flexibility, we can explore various revenue streams that suit our goals and needs to maximize our earning potential.

2.2. Disadvantages of WordPress.org

Along with the advantages, this has a few limitations, too. Which are:

2.2.1. Technical Knowledge Required

To use WordPress.org, we need some technical knowledge. Because we must choose and register our domain name, we should also take care of hosting.

This may be a challenge for newbies, as many people don’t want to be involved in technical stuff when they’re just starting out.

2.2.2. Hosting and Maintenance Responsibility

Here, we should find our web hosting and maintain our server. Extra effort is needed to understand which hosting is reliable and suitable for our blog needs.

We also need to know how to maintain our servers for our blog’s security. WordPress.org does not have any such option. It gives us all the resources, and it’s up to us how we use those.

But if you’re willing to maintain your blog’s security and performance, WordPress.org is very easy to use.

2.2.3. Cost of Hosting and Premium Addons

The Software is free. However, there are additional costs that we should take care which are web hosting and any premium themes or plugins we want to use to develop our blog.

However, these expenses are justified by the customization options it provides. If you want to purchase any premium theme, you will get the options for the amount you put in.

We can consider this a one-time investment. But you must carefully choose and decide on your theme before purchasing. I even invested in a premium theme and am using the Thrive theme.

2.2.4. Security and Update Management

As blog owners, we’re responsible for ensuring the security of our blog on WordPress.org. With the effort we put into creating our blog and content, it is also crucial to keep it secured.

If we fail to do so, our site may be prone to hacks. Also, we need to check our website constantly to see if every plugin/theme is up-to-date. If we forget to update, our blog’s performance may be affected.

2.2.5. Compatibility Issues

As many themes and plugins are available on WordPress.org, compatibility issues may arise.

Because one plugin may not work well on the other theme.

Due to this, we should carefully test each theme and plugin so that they work well together.

3. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Choose the Right Thing

Looking at all the pros and cons of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org, I find it confusing to choose which platform to use. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

But it’s really important to consider and understand all the factors before choosing the right platform to start our blogging journey.

I’m sharing some steps below. If you follow them, it will help you assess yourself and make a better decision. This guide will help you navigate the process of choosing the right platform.

Let’s dive deeper and look at the process.

3.1. Define your Blogging Goal

Having and defining a clear goal is the first step in choosing the right platform. We should clearly know what we aim for and want to achieve with our blog.

Example goals:

  • To share personal experiences
  • To educate readers
  • To showcase your portfolio
  • To generate income through monetization

Each goal we have requires specific functionalities for both WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

For instance, if you want to monetize your blog through advertisements, you’ll need a platform that supports ad integration.

Let’s take an example – You want to start a Travel blog where you’ll share your experiences and later monetize your blog through Affiliate marketing.

In this case, you should choose a platform that provides flawless integration with affiliate networks, has customizable templates to showcase your travel photos, and offers built-in SEO tools to increase your blog’s visibility.

So, there are many aspects and functionalities to consider before choosing the platform. Hence, defining our goal is the crucial step to take before anything else.

One way to decide on our blogging goal is based on our niche. See what you want to accomplish and what you want your readers to get from your blog.

3.2. Assess your Needs

We need to understand specific needs for selecting the right platform between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

The factors to consider are:

  1. Which Level of customization do you require
  2. Scalability
  3. Design options
  4. Ease of use
  5. Content Management System (CMS) capabilities.

See whether you’re looking for a simple and user-friendly platform with all the ready-made options or you want a more advanced platform so that you have complete control.

Example: If you’re a beginner blogger and are not looking to explore technical aspects, a platform like WordPress.com might be a good fit, as it offers pre-designed templates and a user-friendly CMS.

But, if you want more flexibility and control over your blog’s design, a self-hosted WordPress.org could be more suitable.

3.3. Evaluate your Technical Skills and Resources

Try to be honest with yourself regarding technical skills and available resources while choosing a blogging platform.

Check to see if you’re comfortable with HTML, CSS, and other programming languages. Don’t worry if you lack technical expertise.

We always have the option to opt for platforms that offer user-friendly interfaces and require minimal coding.

If you have limited technical skills, a platform like WordPress.com might be a suitable choice, as it allows you to focus more on your writing rather than the technical aspects.

However, if you’re tech-savvy or willing to invest time in learning, platforms like WordPress.org provide more advanced customization options and opportunities for growth.

3.4. Consider your Budget

One important factor to consider is the Budget. Look at your budget constraints and ensure that they align with your financial resources. First, decide whether you’re willing to invest in premium features, themes, or plugins.

While deciding on the above, consider the costs associated with domain registration, web hosting, and any additional services you may need for WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

Example: If you have a limited budget and prefer a free option, platforms like WordPress.com are better as they offer free plans with essential features and subdomains.

However, if you’re willing to invest in a professional-looking blog with a custom domain name, more customization options, and advanced features, you may consider using the self-hosted WordPress.org platform.

3.5. Seek Recommendations from Experts

Try to gain insights from experienced bloggers and industry experts, as this can significantly improve your decision-making process regarding WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

Also, seeking advice from other bloggers who share similar niches or objectives helps us understand better their experiences and learn from them.

I’ve taken a one-on-one mentorship from Myilraj G. from RajSoftech Solutions Pvt Ltd. Their website is https://www.rajsoftechsolutions.com. For more details, you can check their website.

In this program, beginners will get personalized learning and feedback, so you need not worry about technical aspects. Everything will be taught to you in a sequence.

You can also participate in blogging communities and join relevant forums or social media groups. By doing this, we get different perspectives and opinions to assess our goals and needs based on our situation.

Their recommendations can offer valuable insights into the platforms they’ve used, their experiences, and any challenges they’ve faced.

We can consider their suggestions, but also, we should evaluate them in terms of our unique requirements.

3.6. Talk With your Closest Friends

Tell your blogging goals and plans to your close friend. Ask them for their insights. They may be outside of the blogging community. But it will give us a fresh perspective.

If you’ve friends who are familiar with your goals and interests, ask for their input and suggestions.

You may get new input from them that you may not consider. With this, we can clear most of our confusion.

Remember, you may get so many inputs. Finally, you’re the one who decides the best for you. So, consider all the options and see which suits your goals and needs.

Conclusion – WordPress.com vs WordPress.org; What Did You Decide?

When I was thinking about starting a blog personally, I preferred the self-hosted WordPress.org platform, considering all the pros and cons of both the best blogging platforms.

Though it required technical knowledge, I thought it was worth learning more about the platform where I spend most of my time, my blog. This will help me if I have any problems in the future.

Installing WordPress seemed like a one-time setup for me. I wanted a more professional blog and needed more customizable features and options so that I could have complete control over it, including security measures.

That’s why I chose WordPress.org compared to WordPress.com. In my opinion, we should not consider only the initial hurdles that may come our way. Instead, look at the broader image of our future growth.

With this thinking, you can better understand things and make better decisions. By carefully evaluating the above aspects and considering practical examples, you’ll be better at making the right decision that sets the foundation for a successful blogging journey.

I hope this article helped you to understand better all the Pros and Cons of both WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

Also, with the above examples and my perspective, I believe you can assess yourself and make better decisions.

Happy Blogging!


About the Author

Meet Manogna, the creative force behind DesignandPen. With a background in Executive Customer Relations at Amazon and a passion for writing and design, I embarked on a journey to combine expertise and interests to empower others. As a working mom and dedicated blogger, I offer practical insights and inspiration in blogging, design, and personal growth. Join me on this journey towards creativity, productivity, and success.

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