WordPress.com or WordPress.org – Which is Better?

If you are new to WordPress, you will definitely have this question in mind – WordPress.com or WordPress.org? This question is quite common but, coming up to a good decision is difficult. You need to answer a few questions and make some comparisons before you can come down to a decision. Here are details about both these platforms and comparisons between them.
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What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is a commercial site that runs on an open source WordPress platform, where you can host your own site for free. Your site will be free forever if you host with WordPress.com but, you can also pay to upgrade your site if required. This will let you have a site with automatic security updates and spam-fighters. All you have to do is sign up and choose a blog name before designing your site.

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is a platform where you can get your own free copy of the WordPress CMS but, you will need to find your own hosting company to house your site along with your domain name to point visitors to it. Here, you can have full control over the WordPress software and your site.

Comparing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

Costs involved

There are four main costs involved while comparing WordPress.com and WordPress.org, which include hosting, domain name, storage space and ad removal.

WordPress.com This is a completely free basic version but, you compromise on not having a custom domain name and using its free themes with no modifications.

WordPress.org – You can download a free copy here but, hosting will not be free. You need to hire a hosting company to house your site and purchase a domain name too. You can opt from free themes but, they lack advanced features and functionality. There are other plugins and themes you can purchase.

Control over your site

The amount of control you have on your site is one of the most important factors while building a website.

WordPress.com – There are many restrictions with this free hosting site. If you want to run a membership or eCommerce site, you will have to pay for upgrades. You won’t be able to upload your own theme or plugins. There will be limited control you will have over your content and there will be limited storage space, which will be free for upto 3GB, after which you will have to pay for space. Neither can you use third party advertising solutions nor can you track your stats with WordPress.com.

WordPress.org – Here, you have complete freedom to do whatever you want. You can easily scale your hosting plan and server if you want to build larger sites. You can have full control over your site and can use any plugin or theme. You can edit your files and database too, which is not possible with WordPress.com. The only restriction here is that you have a limited amount of storage space.

Other comparisons

Maintenance and backup – If you use WordPress.com, the maintenance of your site is taken care of and regular backups are taken. WordPress.org will have you responsible for maintaining you site and taking backups. You will be responsible for prevention of spam in case of WordPress.org.

Ads on your site – WordPress.com will have a number of ads on the site. You need to pay if you want the ads removed. You cannot sell your ads on WordPress.com but, with WordPress.org, you have the liberty to do so.

Site deletion – Your site can be deleted at any time if you are caught violating the terms of service, unlike WordPress.org where nobody can turn off your site as long as you don’t do something illegal.

Now that you have all the important features about both WordPress.com and WordPress.org, you will be able to take a better decision weighing the pros and cons of both. So, think twice before taking a decision. Good Luck!