Self hosted WordPress.org vs free WordPress.com

Did you know there are significant differences between the two platforms, WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Beginners often mix up WordPress.com and WordPress.org, which makes them pick the wrong blogging platform for their requirements. Even those aware that both platforms are distinct are unaware of their distinctions.

People frequently ask which platform—WordPress.com or WordPress.org—is superior. To assist with the answer, we have put together the most thorough comparison between the free WordPress.com and WordPress.org (self-hosted version).

We want to ensure you understand the key distinctions between WordPress.com and WordPress.org so you can pick the platform that best suits your requirements.

We have produced the most thorough comparison between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (text comparison and table-based comparison) because selecting the right platform is essential for your online success.

Let's examine the differences between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org Comparison

We will look at each platform separately to understand the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.


You've probably heard great things about the well-appreciated website platform known as "the real WordPress" or WordPress.org.

It is completely free to use for everyone and it is open-source. All you require is web hosting and a domain name. Hence it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress.

The benefits and drawbacks of using self-hosted WordPress.org to create your website or blog are listed below.

WordPress.org Benefits

You have total command over your website with WordPress.org. You can make as many changes as possible and do whatever you want.

Here are some advantages of using WordPress.org to create your website and why it is the best website builder, in our opinion.

  • Over 43% of all the websites on the internet use free, open-source WordPress software because it is so simple to use.
  • Your website and all its content are yours. As long as you are not breaking the law, your site won't be blocked just because someone decides it is against their terms of service. You are in total control.
  • To your website, you can add free, premium, and unique WordPress plugins/apps.
  • Your website's design can be changed as necessary. You can include any WordPress theme, whether it is free or expensive. Additionally, you can alter anything or design something entirely from scratch.
  • Without sharing your earnings with anyone, you can generate income from your WordPress website by running advertisements.
  • You can use potent tools like Google Analytics for specialized tracking and analytics.
  • Self-hosted WordPress allows you set up an online store to sell physical or digital goods, accept credit card payments, and deliver products to customers from your website.
  • As you develop an online community around your website, you can create membership sites and sell memberships to access premium content, courses, etc.

WordPress.org Drawbacks

The self-hosted WordPress.org website has very few drawbacks.

  • You will require web hosting, just like all websites. This is where the files for your website are kept online. The initial price ranges between $3 and $10 per month. However, as your website expands and receives more visitors, the cost of your hosting plan will rise as expected, but you will still make enough money to pay the expenses.
  • WordPress must be installed. Fortunately, most WordPress hosting providers provide one-click WordPress installation options.
  • You are in charge of your updates. And it's not a complex tax to update your WordPress site because you just need to click the update button once.
  • You are responsible for backups. Fortunately, there are a ton of WordPress backup plugins that let you set up automatic backups.

Depending on the type of website you want to create (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc.), the price of a WordPress.org website varies. Free vs. premium templates, free vs. premium plugins, etc., are some additional considerations.

You can build your own website for as little as $46 a year.

Our advice is always to use WordPress.org for 99% of users. Check out our article on how to launch a website.


WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg's company, Automattic, launched the hosting service WordPress.com. Users frequently mistake WordPress.com for the well-known WordPress.org software due to the shared founder.

There are 6 pricing tiers for the WordPress.com hosting service:

  • Free – Very limited.
  • Personal – $48 per year
  • Premium – $96 per year
  • Business – $300 per year
  • eCommerce – $540 per year
  • VIP – starting at $5000 per month

Let's examine the benefits and drawbacks of WordPress.com.

WordPress.com Benefits

Those starting a blog for their families or as a hobby should use the free WordPress.com platform. The pros of using WordPress.com:

  • For about 3GB of space, it's free. (You get 6GB of storage with the Personal plan, $48/year; 13GB of storage with the Premium plan, $96/year; or 200 GB of storage with the Business plan, $300/year.) For additional storage space after that, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan.
  • WordPress.com handles backups and updates, so you won't need to worry about them.

WordPress.com drawbacks

Free WordPress.com differs from WordPress.org in that it has several restrictions. Here are some disadvantages of using WordPress.com:

  • Every free website has ads. Your users see these ads, but you are not compensated for them. Upgrade to a paid plan (starting at $48 per year) if you don't want people to see their ads.
  • Your website cannot sell advertisements, which severely restricts how it can be monetized. If you manage a popular website, you can sign up for WordAds, their revenue-sharing advertising program. WordAds is used by Premium and Business plan subscribers.
  • Plugins cannot be uploaded. Jetpack features that are preactivated are available to free plan users. Users of the business plan can install various compatible plugins for $300 per year. You can install plugins through the WordPress.com VIP program starting at $5000 per month.
  • The free version only offers a few customization options. Users of the little-stocked free themes can only install them; those with the premium and business plans can also choose from the premium themes. Users of the Premium and Business plans can use unique CSS.
  • Users of the Business Plan can install Google Analytics, but you are limited to their statistics.
  • Free WordPress.com sites include a subdomain bearing the WordPress.com logo, such as https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com. You must purchase a plan to obtain a custom domain name, such as https://www.yourwebsite.com.
  • If they believe your site violates their terms of service, they may delete it at any time.
  • By upgrading to a Business plan, you can get rid of the powered-by-WordPress.com link on your website.
  • Unless you upgrade to the eCommerce plan, WordPress.com does not offer eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.
  • WordPress.com cannot be used to develop membership websites.

From these, we see that the WordPress.com hosting platform is limited when on the free, personal, or even premium plan. To unlock some more advanced features, you must be on the VIP plan ($5000 per month) or the Business plan ($300 per year).

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org (FAQs)

Since WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org is a hot topic, questions frequently arise on this subject.

Below, we've attempted to address the most frequently asked questions:

Which is better, WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

Choose the free WordPress.com if you are a personal blogger and don't want to make money from your website.

We advise using self-hosted WordPress.org if you are a business or blogger who wants to monetize your website. You have the choice and flexibility to develop your website how you want.

While the WordPress.com Business plan, which costs $300 annually for each website, comes with several advanced features, you can get more for your money using a self-hosted WordPress website, which costs only $46 annually.

In our opinion, WordPress.org is unquestionably the superior platform. Every seasoned blogger, an entrepreneur running a small business, and even a household name like Disney uses that platform.

Can I Monetize The Free WordPress.com Website?

If you receive a lot of traffic on your website, you can sign up for their WordAds program and share your advertising revenue with WordPress.com.

On your WordPress.com website, you have limited options for monetizing content.

Unlike WordPress.org, which gives you total control over the content management system, your new website's monetization options are virtually limitless.

Which is better for eCommerce: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

The most straightforward platform to create an e-commerce website is WordPress.org. You can use WooCommerce or many other WordPress eCommerce, LMS plugins, and memberships to create your store.

WordPress.com also has eCommerce plans but starts at a hefty $540 per year if you're creating. You must abide by WordPress.com's terms of service for your eCommerce store, which still has a few features.

What is the best way to start a WordPress.org website?

A domain name and WordPress hosting are required to launch a self-hosted WordPress website.

A domain name, such as google.com, hubtolearn.com, etc., is the online address of your website. Web hosting is where your website files live on the internet.

There are numerous web hosting providers in the world. You can check our article on the Top 5 best web hosting to know the best provider to host your website.

Can I switch over to WordPress.org from WordPress.com?

New users frequently begin using the free WordPress.com service because they are unaware of the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. When they become aware of the platform's shortcomings, they want to switch to WordPress.org.

You can move all of your content by switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org – Summary

Comparing renting a house vs. owning one is the most effective way to understand the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Using WordPress.com is like renting a house. You only have a certain amount of authority and control over your actions.

WordPress.org is comparable to owning a house. No one can eject you from a situation where you have total control and are free to do whatever you want.

What we covered above in WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com is summarized below:

WP.org (Platform)WP.com (Free)WP.com (Premium)WP.com (Business)
Cost$46 - $100 / yearFree$96 / year$300/ year
Custom DomainYesNoYessYes
Hosting StorageUnlimited3 GB13 GB200 GB
Monetization FreedomYesNoYes (with rev/share)Yes (with rev/share)
Branding FreedomYesNoNoYes
All SEO FeaturesYesNoNoYes
Powerful AnalyticsYesNoNoYes
Full Theme SupportYesNoLimitedYes
Full Plugin SupportYesNoNoYes
Ecommerce StoreYesNoNoNo
Membership SiteYesNoNoNo
Full ControlYesNoNoNo

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are similar enough to confuse new users. There's a lot of history behind the decisions.

We trust that this article helped you understand the distinctions between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

We wish you success with your website and trust that WordPress.org is the right platform for it.