WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com – How Are They Different?

In a broad view, it is safe to say that WordPress.org Vs. WordPress.com are two sides of a coin, which means the source is the same, but both are different, leading to many questions and explanations. We can understand their differences by comparing them with each other to conclude.

WordPress appeared in 2003, and now in 2023, it powers 455 million websites worldwide, including ours. WordPress has a dominating edge over its competitors, with 42% market share and 67% share of all websites running CMS. Since the year of its introduction, it’s been improved innumerable times by thousands of contributors and making it a system that gives you complete control of your content and flexibility.

Maybe most of you are already aware of WordPress. But confusion arises when we come across the two platforms, WordPress.org and WordPress.com. If you want to choose anyone, you must know them; otherwise, you may get into trouble. We must compare them to certain parameters to know which is better for you. The parameters are as follows.

  1. Cost
  2. Simplicity
  3. Flexibility
  4. Security

Cost – WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com


Building any website costs money, but WordPress allows you to build your website virtually free. Since it is a self-hosted platform, you only need to arrange a hosting plan according to your budget.

WordPress.org allows you to use free available themes, which you can use as they are or freely customize to your needs. You can also have the luxury of downloading a plugin to optimize the functionalities of your CMS website. But this does not limit you to spending some money. You can also use commercial paid themes and plugins within your budget.


Although WordPress.com is free to download and install, the free version restricts you from using themes available in the WordPress themes repository. The other downside is you cannot customize an existing theme, and it also limits you from uploading any customized theme.

But you can always become a premium user by paying 96$/year. Now you can download premium themes, which you can customize using CSS. There is also an option business plan which allows you to use third-party themes and plugins for big businesses. The cost can go up to 300$/year, but you get unlimited customization options.

Simplicity Of Use – WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com


You can start by downloading the software from WordPress.org for free, and installing is very simple, but this cannot enable you to run your site on the internet. Moreover, it comes without hosting services. Being a self-hosted platform, you are responsible for hosting, which you can easily get from many reputed providers, but it requires a steep learning curve.

You can build your site and customize it with the help of comprehensive documented help available at WordPress.org. You can also seek help from numerous available forums.


You can start setting up an account for free by filling out some personal details, which you can use to sign in. With WordPress.com, your website is ready to run in a few minutes. Since it does not require hosting, you can publish whatever you want online.

Customization – WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com


When it comes to customization, it holds a fair advantage over its compatriot by allowing you to use any plugins and themes for your site and customize them to your needs. An experienced developer can do wonders with WordPress.org. They can even play around to make their themes. Unfortunately, you don’t have that liberty with WordPress.com.


With WordPress.com, you can also straightaway customize the theme of your site. It also offers hundreds of free themes and options. If you want, you can always go for premium or business themes for more flexibility. WordPress is loved for its plugins. You can add any functionality to your website through these plugins; the beauty is that you don’t need to hire a professional. But these plugins don’t come with a free plan, so you need to upgrade to a premium or business plan, which is unsuitable for everyone.

Security – WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com


Dependable security plays a pivotal role in running your website. It may seem WordPress.org sites security depends on the hosting provider, so one ensures that the provider has a good reputation and runs good security practices. You can employ a security plugin to make your website more secure by adding two-factor identification. Hence, you have more flexibility to work out the best security plan for your website.


You don’t have to do much on this platform because it is closed. You don’t need to worry about the flaws in your security because there aren’t any. Furthermore, a team of an expert at WordPress.com is handling this aspect. So you can focus on your business matters and take your mind off this issue.

There are many reasons that WordPress is popular, but some salient advantages of both platforms are listed below.

Pros of WordPress.org

  • An open-source platform giving you flexibility and total control of your website.
  • It gives you reach to thousands of themes and plugins, which enables you to add various functionalities to your site.
  • It provides easy access to the dashboard, which is easy to use and gives you many options.
  • WordPress.org allows you to use any hosting service you like, and you are not bound to any one option.

Pros of WordPress.com

  • This platform makes it exceptionally easy to set up any website.
  • The dashboard is easy to use, but its features are limited.
  • You can get dozens of themes but must upgrade your subscription for more options.
  • With this platform, you don’t need to worry about the security and performance of your website.


On Superficial evaluation, both platforms may look very similar because they came from the same tree. But our analysis revealed that WordPress.org has an edge as an open-source platform.

There are certain scenarios where WordPress.com can be a platform of choice. If you want to run a simple site and don’t want to manage hosting, functionalities, etc., on your own, but if you want more out of the website regarding flexibility, control, and customization, WordPress.org is your mate. We hope this article helped!

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