A question I get asked quite often is “What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?”
This is actually a really great question. In the beginning, I was confused about the difference between the two platforms as well.
Today, I want to discuss the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use and recommend.
WordPress.com is a free hosted version of WordPress.
When creating a WordPress.com blog, by default, your blog address will end with “wordpress.com.”
For example, if I were to create a blog on WordPress.com, my blog address would look like this “beautifuldawndesigns.wordpress.com.”
You have the option to purchase an upgrade that allows you to use your own domain name without the “wordpress.com” ending.
The themes available for WordPress.com are all pre-selected. You have the option to purchase an upgrade that allows you to customize the look of your theme (such as changing the colors and fonts), but you will not be able to upload any premium themes available from third-party websites.
These themes can only be used on self-hosted (WordPress.org) blogs.
If you want a free and simple way to get started blogging, WordPress.com may be a good choice for you.
Due to its limitations, I never recommend signing up for a WordPress.com blog.
WordPress.org is a free web software that you can download and use to create your blog or website.
This web software must be installed on a web server in order to work.
This means you will need to purchase hosting from a web host such as HostGator. Hosting prices can range anywhere from $5-$12 per month.
Once you purchase hosting, most hosts provide the option to install WordPress onto the server with a single click.
Once WordPress is installed, you will have full control as administrator of your WordPress blog or website.
This means you will have the ability to upload custom themes, install plugins, and edit the CSS and PHP to further customize your site.
WordPress is best for those who want full control of their website or blog.
If you’re just started out, I would recommend you create a blog using the Blogger publishing platform.
You will have far more customization options than you would with a WordPress.com blog.
I recommend checking out my post on the Pros and Cons of Blogger vs WordPress if you’re having trouble deciding between the two.
WordPress.org gives you complete control of your blog or website.
You are free to upload premium themes, install plugins to further increase the functionality of your blog, edit the CSS and PHP, and most importantly, make your blog or website reflect your unique style.