Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

There are many differences ~ and many similarities.  WordPress.com is:

  • Free ~ it even comes with hosting
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Full featured
  • Comes with a set of tested plugins for your use
  • Comes with several Theme options


  • Needs to be installed on a hosting account that you purchase
  • Software is free (open source)
  • Full featured and fully extensible
  • Can use any WP Theme that is available (or make your own)
  • Can use any Plugin available (they do not all work however)
  • 100% customizable

Blog VS Website

If you are using WordPress as a Content Management System for your entire website then the .org version is a way better choice.  There are plugins that are available that will give your site more functionality and they are just not available in the .com variety.  The themes are also fully customizable with .org and not so much with .com.

If you are running a typical blog site then the .com version may be just right for you.  Since the software started out as a blogging platform it works “out of the box” for blogs much more seamlessly than it does for websites.

Here is a chart that shows the main differences:

  WordPress.com WordPress.org
Self Hosted   X
Easy to Use X X
Set Plugins X  
Unlimited Plugins   X
Preset Themes X  
Unlimited Themes   X
Create your Own Theme   X
Sub Domain X  
Your Own Domain   X
Change the CSS file X (paid) X
Fully Integrate with Social Media   X
Widget Ready X X
100% Customizable   X
Export Data and Theme Files   X

There are many more difference but these touch on the main ones. The bottom line is if you want a fully customizable and very flexible site then WordPress.org is the way to go. It will require more technical skill or hiring out the setup and customization. Once the site is set up then the 2 systems function and work much the same. Your choices will come with how many limitations you are willing or able to put up with.

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