WordPress.com VS WordPress.org

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

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One of the most stressful elements to running a blog isn’t creating the site itself. It’s not writing the content. It isn’t even managing the occasional technical issues that inevitably crop up over time. It is getting started in the first place, a step that is especially anxiety inducing for the beginner who wants to launch a professional site.

For the total newcomer to WordPress, just figuring out the basics of the platform can be exhausting. For example, what is the difference between WordPress.com, and WordPress.org? When breaking down the features of the two, it becomes much less complicated and can help you decide which is best for you.



  • You don’t have to get your hands dirty. They do all of the technical work for you, allowing you to focus on your content.
  • WordPress.com offers hundreds of free themes to choose from, and you can customize most of them with new colors, headers and more.
  • Social media integration is easy with all major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
  • They offer hosting, security, backups, domains and domain transfers from WordPress, rather than needing third party services.
  • They provide basic analytics tools for monitoring how often your posts are viewed, where they are being linked from, how they are being shared and who likes or comments on each. This includes notifications of new activity.


  • Only basic tools are available, and this version does not support third party themes, full customization or any but a few plugins.
  •  You cannot connect your blog to advertising options like Adsense. They do have their own ad program, but reviews have not been very positive.
  •  Many affiliates will not agree to a deal with a WordPress.com blog.
  •  Gives you less control over your site.



  • Gives you full control over your site, including the ability to install third party themes. If you prefer, you can build your own theme using their customization tools.
  •  You can install the thousands of available plugins that turn your dashboard into a productive, thorough platform for all of your individual needs.
  •  Let’s you pick your own host, and there are plenty of good host companies out there that can give you additional features WordPress.com doesn’t offer.
  •  Gives you complete control over your site.


  • You have to be prepared to put in a lot of work, and some technical knowledge and coding ability are necessary. If you don’t have that knowledge, you will need to hire someone who does, or take the time to learn.
  •  It can be more expensive to go this route, since you are paying [cost of hosting] for the premium features that come along with it.


Anyone who has no knowledge of the technical side, or doesn’t want to hire someone who does, might be better served by the .com option. Those who need a more advanced and customizable site will want to go with .org.

Either way, you are going to be able to create a functional, professional site that meets your needs.

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Leisa Good

October 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

Good side-by-side explanations and comparisons, Miranda. Thanks for clearing that up for a lot of us!

Elliott Scott

October 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

I went with WordPress.com for a while in the past, and I have to admit that I don’t recommend it. Because there isn’t as much flexibility and room for creativity, it doesn’t offer a genuine learning experience to beginning bloggers. If you’re somebody looking into blogging for the first time, I would suggest going with Google’s Blogger platform.


November 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I used to write about Home based job in Philippines using wordpress.com option but, i don’t recommend it. As Elliott said, there’s no room for flexibility and you are only stuck on their option unless you upgrade and pay too much. That’s why i decided to buy a domain and hosting which is cheaper.

For beginners, i suggest go with .org