What is the difference? WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Illustrated WordPress infographic covering cost, SEO, hosting, and themes.


Choosing the right WordPress platform is crucial for the success of your website. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best fit for your needs. In this article, we will compare WordPress.com and WordPress.org, the two most popular WordPress platforms, to help you make an informed decision.

WordPress.com is a hosted platform that provides a range of plans for creating and hosting a website. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a self-hosted platform that requires you to purchase a domain name and hosting plan. Let’s dive into the differences between these two platforms.

CostFree (with paid plans for additional features)Free (but you pay for hosting and domain)
Custom ThemesAvailable with paid planUnlimited access to all themes
PluginsLimited to pre-approved pluginsUnlimited plugins
MonetizationPossible with paid plansComplete freedom to monetize
MaintenanceHandled by WordPress.comHandled by the user or developer
AnalyticsBasic with free plan, advanced with paid planUnlimited with plugins like Google Analytics
SEOBasic SEO with free plan, advanced with paid planComplete SEO control with plugins
SupportCommunity support for free plan, direct support with paid plansCommunity support forums and documentation

Pricing and Hosting


WordPress.com offers both free and paid plans. The free plan is limited in features and includes WordPress.com branding on your website. The paid plans range from $4 to $45 per month, depending on the features you need. All plans include hosting, but the higher-tier plans offer more storage space, custom domains, and advanced design options.


WordPress.org is free to use, but you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting plan. The cost of self-hosting varies depending on the hosting provider you choose. Popular hosting providers for WordPress.org include Hostinger, Cloudways, and WP Engine. Keep in mind that you will also need to maintain your website, including updates and backups.

Customization and Control


WordPress.com has limitations on customization options, including the use of custom themes and plugins. However, it does offer a range of predesigned templates that can be customized to fit your needs. The platform also restricts access to website code.


WordPress.org offers complete control over website customization. You can use custom themes and plugins, edit website code, and create a unique website design. This flexibility allows you to create a website that perfectly fits your needs.

Maintenance and Support


WordPress platform upgrade promotion with sample websites.

WordPress.com takes care of automatic updates and backups for your website. However, support options are limited, with only community forums available for assistance.


With WordPress.org, you are responsible for updates and backups. However, you have access to extensive support resources, including the WordPress community and forums.

E-commerce and Monetization


WordPress.com has restrictions on e-commerce functionality, with only limited payment options available. Monetization options are also limited, with no option to display third-party ads.


WordPress.org allows you to use e-commerce plugins, such as WooCommerce, to create an online store. It also offers flexibility in monetization options, including the ability to display third-party ads.

SEO and Analytics


WordPress.com has limited SEO options, with only basic settings available. It does offer built-in analytics, but restrictions on third-party analytics tools.


WordPress homepage promoting content publishing platform.

WordPress.org offers access to a range of SEO plugins, including Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. It also integrates with Google Analytics and allows the use of third-party analytics tools.


In summary, WordPress.com is a good option for those who want a simple, easy-to-use platform with limited customization options. WordPress.org is ideal for those who want complete control over their website design and functionality. It’s important to choose the platform that best fits your individual needs and goals.

Remember to make an informed decision and consider factors such as pricing, customization, maintenance, e-commerce, and SEO. With the right platform, you can create a successful website that meets your needs and achieves your goals.

Updated: February 2, 2024

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