As a WordPress blog and a WordPress theme author we’ve seen our fair share of confusion about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. This is completely understandable since both run on WordPress, both use themes and plugins and both are readily available for free online. But there are major differences between the two and those distinctions are what make WordPress.org our favorite flavor of WordPress.
We’ll share the main features of WordPress.com and WordPress.org below, as well as a handy dandy infographic to help visualize our points. We’ll also explain why we personally prefer and use WordPress.org, plus an easy 3 step guide if you want to give WordPress a try. So let’s dig in!
WordPress.com, Free Managed Websites
WordPress.com is a free platform for building a blog and website with WordPress. It’s fully managed by Automattic (the creators behind WordPress) and best of all it’s one of the easiest blogging platforms on the web. All you need to do is register for a free account, choose your subdomain (example: yourwebsite.wordpress.com), pick a free theme and start adding your content.
However nothing in life is ever totally perfect, so of course there are a few pros & cons of WordPress.com.
One of the most alluring features of WordPress.com is that for the majority of users it’s 100% free. Free accounts come with free hosting, a free subdomain name, pre-installed SSL, free themes, Jetpack essentials (related posts, site stats, downtime monitoring, brute force protection, and more), simple site customizer options (like a custom logo, and background color or image options) and 3GB of free storage space for your content and media.
In addition to affordability WordPress.com is also extremely easy to use. It’s ready to go from the time you signup, and even has the Gutenberg content builder ready for you to design custom pages. So after creating your account you get to jump right into blogging. Because the learning curve is so low pretty much anyone can get started blogging with WordPress.
If you do desire more features upgrading to a premium WordPress plan is just as easy as signing up for a free one. Paid plans range start at just $4 per month for a custom domain, no WordPress.com ads, subscriber only content and paid newsletters. However certain features are only available as you upgrade to higher plan levels. For example, to use WordPress.com premium themes, WordAds or Google Analytics you’ll need to have a Premium plan ($8/mo) or higher. To remove WordPress branding, upload third party themes or plugins, enable automatic backups and access your website database you’ll need a Business plan ($25/mo). And finally, for e-commerce support and options such a marketing tools, unlimited products, shipping integrations, and the ability to accept payments you must have an eCommerce plan, currently priced at $45/mo.
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This article was written by Kyla and originally published on WPExplorer.