The difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com has to do with who is actually hosting your website.
You host your own website or blog on WordPress.org, through a third-party hosting provider. You also have to download your WordPress software, buy a domain name on a third-party site, and manage your server. It’s a much more hands-on experience than with WordPress.com.
WordPress.com offers to host your website for you. You also don’t need to download any software or manage a server. If you choose WordPress.com, your website’s URL will look like this: www.mywebsite.wordpress.com. However, you have the option to also upgrade your WordPress.com account and buy a custom domain from a third-party provider (meaning your URL will look like this: www.mywebsite.com).
You may be wondering whether WordPress.org or WordPress.com would be a better fit. Let’s review a few more of the pros and cons that come with both options, so you can make an informed decision.
WordPress.org is ideal if you want full power over customizing and controlling your website. However, there is a lot more responsibility that comes with managing a WordPress.org website. You have to purchase and set up your own domain name, upload and install plugins and a theme, edit your website’s code, and manage your website’s security. WordPress.org is free to use, but you have to pay for everything else that goes into having a website.
WordPress.com is preferable if you’re looking for an all-in-one option that has most of the hard work done for you. You’ll never need to manage your server, pay for your hosting, or buy a domain. There are also a number of customization options that come with a WordPress.com plan to help you make your website look the way you want it to.
WordPress.com has a free and paid version. If you stick with the free version, you can’t upload any custom themes or plugins, and you will have a WordPress subdomain. However, there is always the option to pay for premium upgrades and other plans that provide you with even more features and control, as well as the option to buy a custom domain through a third-party site.
There are a number of ways for you to create your dream website with WordPress. Users generally find the software easy to use, but getting started can be understandably intimidating if you’re completely new to the process. That’s why we have built this “WordPress for Beginners” guide. Want a quick introduction before you dive deep? Check out this helpful video:
For even more resources, we’ve also compiled some of the best websites for learning about WordPress — these can be incredibly valuable sources of information as you start you journey.