WordPress.com or WordPress.org – Which to Choose? (Definitive Guide)

Last Updated on April 5, 2021 by Harsh Patel

Hey there!

Today I’m going to express my opinion on which WordPress platform you should choose to start a website, WordPress.com (Free Website) or WordPress.org (Self-Hosted Website)?

I will be elaborating my in depth knowledge that which WordPress to choose for your business’s or brand’s website.

Clarification Between WordPress.com & WordPress.org

When we talk about the CMS platform “WordPress”, it is very confusing because there are two meanings. It means WordPress.com which is a free, not independent platform for creating a blog with a subdomain (www.youdomain.WordPress.com). Whereas on the other side, it can mean WordPress.org, which is an open-source WordPress platform that is to be hosted on your hosting service platform. (i.e it is self-hosted website/blog).

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In this in-depth explanation, I will be using the terms self-hosted WordPress in place of WordPress.org so that you can get a clear picture of what is different between both the content publishing platforms.

Fact: Usually when marketers and bloggers talk about starting a website on WordPress then they mean WordPress.org – which is a free and open-source content management system.

Let me give you a real-life example of this real confusion between what is WordPress.com and WordPress.org

In the year 2016, when I was new to this digital marketing & blogging world. Earlier at that time, I used to run free blogs on Blogger.com with a subdomain (www.yourdomain.blogspot.com) and provide value to whatever amount of audience I was getting on social media only.

That’s it

One day, I thought that building a professional website is a must to take my passion to another level. Then I was very eagerly wanting to start a website on WordPress I used to think that we have to start a website on WordPress.com itself.

At that time in my mind, there was only a single WordPress. You might be laughing right?

But to clarify the same, I approached many of my in circle industry friends. Out them very few told me about WordPress.org

Every single person was confiding me that you have to directly start a WordPress website through WordPress.com

After that, I connected with a few popular bloggers of that time via social media.

I texted them and illustrated my problem to them, then also out of each 10 people 8 people we’re telling me to start with WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a very costly platform to build a profitable blog where don’t have any freedom to customize your blog or website.

Then I came to know about my inspirational blogger, Harsh Agrawal, Founder of ShoutMeLoud Blog

I saw one of his blog posts on how to start a self-hosted website.

I thought that the solution to my problem is here only. And trusted him and his way of explanation about WordPress.org blindly. And decided to purchase an affordable and reliable hosting service, then install WordPress.org CMS software on it and make my website live.

When you buy hosting, it is not necessary to buy a domain from the same service provider of hosting.

Both of them can be of your choice. To start a WordPress website step by step you can read this beginner guide.

Today I’m going to introduce in detail both the platforms.

So let’s dive into it to understand.

Introduction to WordPress.com & WordPress.org

I will be telling you about some more differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org in-depth later on but first, let’s talk about both platforms briefly.

  • WordPress.com: It is one of the most popular websites builders in the world with different plans including free and paid versions. The website is hosted by WordPress.com itself which means you cannot have autonomy over the customization of your blog or website. In WordPress.com you have certain limitations. For example, say you cannot download plugins, themes, or modify coding files in the WordPress dashboard. For that, you will have to purchase a highly expensive business or enterprise solutions which may cost you around $70-$80 per month. It is NOT A SELF HOSTED WEBSITE.
  • WordPress.org: Whereas on the other hand, WordPress.org is home to free and open-source content management system software. When we talk about domain and hosting, in which there is a custom domain for your website or blog which is offered to you at zero cost along with the BlueHost hosting plan. Over here you have full control over your WordPress Dashboard. You can do anything and everything with the help of WordPress.org, this is a SELF HOSTED WEBSITE.

WordPress.com is the parent website service platform of WordPress.org which they have launched for creating a profit-making blog and websites.

In WordPress.com you can start away just by creating an account do the payment process and start curating content right away without any installation of hosting.

Pro tip: We recommend you to start a website with WordPress.org ONLY if you’re thinking that installing WordPress on hosting, configuring domain name system (DNS) all this consumes a lot of time.

Then don’t worry BlueHost will do everything by themselves and make your website live within minutes.

As they have a feature called One-click WordPress (.org) installation, this means that just after creating an account and filling up the billing details you will be redirected to selecting themes page in the Blue Host dashboard

So what are you waiting for?

Let’s Get Started with BlueHost

For entrepreneurs and businesses in India, who want to start a website then Get Started With BlueHost India (Plans starting at Rs 175/mo* only

Why Both the Blogging Platforms Have the Same Names?

Yes, it’s a bit confusing that why both of them has the same names?

I have got the answer for you to proceed with reading below

WordPress.org was the first open-source content management system software which was founded by a group of two entrepreneurs, Mike Little & Matt Mullenweg in the year 2003. WordPress.org was the first version of WordPress

After 2 years, Matt Mullenweg who is one of the founders of WordPress.org started a company Automattic, and under that company, he launched the second version of WordPress which was the WordPress.com

WordPress.com is very expensive as compared to WordPress.org in terms of website setup charges.

Fact: WordPress.com pricing is 10x more than WordPress.org hosting and domain cost.

Reason Behind Starting WordPress.com After WordPress.org

The main fundamental behind launching the free (not free) and paid version of WordPress (.com) was to just monetize and make a way to earn money from WordPress.org – which is a FREE Open Source CMS software.

Conclusion

In this article, I discussed the key differences and clarified doubts between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

We prefer you to use a self-hosted website that means go with WordPress.org

Install WordPress.org by clicking here

Important step: Buying hosting, on the beginning basis you can start with BlueHost’s Shared Hosting plan for small business and writers.

But if you’re willing to start a business website, e-commerce online store then you can refer to the below article on BlueHost Hosting Plans (all the plans are here).

BlueHost Hosting Plans: Features & Pricing (Review) Save up to 63% off

Still, you have any questions about which platform of WordPress to Choose? WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

Then let me know in the comments section 🙂

Cheers,

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