I’ve had many clients and customers ask me what the difference is between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (self-hosted version) so I thought I would put together a little blog post highlighting the key differences so you can choose the right platform for your needs.
- Limited Themes and Theme Support (You are limited to the themes offered in their repository.)
- No Plugins Allowed (You are not allowed to upload any free or paid plugins.)
- Pay to Remove Branding (Must display “Powered By” link and advertisements.)
- Limited SEO Control (Limited control due to lack of plugins.)
- Limited Analytics (Cannot install powerful 3rd party analytics.)
- Cannot Create an Online Store (Cannot create an online store on the free version.)
- Cannot Create a Membership Site (Cannot create a membership site on the free version.)
- No Maintenance (Automattic staff take care of all site maintenance.)
- Full Theme Support (Can use custom and commercial themes.)
- All Plugins Allowed (Can upload any free or paid plugins.)
- Branding Freedom (More customization options.)
- All SEO Features (Can install powerful SEO plugins.)
- Powerful Analytics (Can install google analytics or other.)
- Ecommerce Friendly (Can create an online store with just a few clicks of your mouse.)
- Membership Site (Can create member sites with restricted access.)
- Maintenance (You are responsible for all maintenance.)
The one major difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s actually hosting your website.
With WordPress.org, YOU host your own website.
WordPress.com takes care of the hosting for you.
If you’re not interested in paying for hosting, managing your server, and don’t need custom themes or an online store, then WordPress.com is for you.
If you require a totally custom website and an online store, then WordPress.org is for you.
And that’s all there is to it! I hope this quick guide helps you choose the right platform for your blogging needs.