com-vs-org-infographic-1WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress is the world’s most popular publishing platform. It makes it easy for anyone to have a website. It comes in two flavours: you can simply sign up on WordPress.com or you can set up your own site using WordPress.org. But which version is right for you? Here are some comparisons to help you decide.

 

For a smoother experience, use the ↑ and ↓ keys on your keyboard.

So what’s the difference?

It’s kinda like renting versus owning your home.

.com

When you rent, you aren’t responsible for any of the maintenance or repairs of your home. However, you can’t make any renovations or major remodeling either.

Renting
Renting

vs
.org

As an owner, you have the option of renovating by knocking down walls or adding new fixtures. You are responsible for your home’s maintenance.

Owning
Owning

Are updates automatic?

Choosing a site with WordPress.com means you don’t have to worry about updates. It’s done automatically for you. Setting up a WordPress.org site will require a bit of extra dedication on your part to keep on top of those updates.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Updated
.com
Yes
.org
No

Are security and backups included?

Your site crashing without a proper backup is a hard lesson to learn. With a WordPress.com site there’s no need to worry. It’s all taken care of for you. With WordPress.org on the other hand, setting up backups is your job. There are many plugins out there that do a great job of this. I personally use VaultPress.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Security
.com
Yes
.org
No

Can I install my own plugins?

Although WordPress.com has dozens of built-in plugins, installing your own isn’t possible. So if you want to customize your site without restrictions, WordPress.org is the way to go. But make sure your plugins come from reputable and well-rated authors!

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Plugin
.com
No
.org
Yes

Can I install my own theme?

WordPress.com has an impressive selection of themes. Each was carefully selected based on their design and features. Some are free, some are premium. On a WordPress.org sites, you can choose from almost any theme out there. But as with plugins, not all themes are created equal so make sure you go with a reputable theme seller.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Themes
.com
No
.org
Yes

Can I use my own custom domain?

When you register a site with WordPress.com your default domain will look something like yourgroovysite.wordpress.com. Upgrading to a premium account allows you to register your own domain (yourgroovysite.com). With a WordPress.org site, registering your own domain* is a must in order to get your site up and running.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Domain
.com
Yes
.org
Yes

Is hosting included?

Whichever version of WordPress you choose, just like the furniture in your home, your site will need somewhere to live. Once again, WordPress.com has you covered. Just create your account and you’re set. If you’re going the WordPress.org route, you’ll need your own hosting package* you’ll need your own host so your WordPress files and database have somewhere to live.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Hosting
.com
Yes
.org
No

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Why .com

  • You don’t need to be tech-savvy.
  • No need to worry about signing up for a domain and hosting.
  • Need help? They’ve got your back with their amazing customer support.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org - Why .org

  • Full rein over your site and its files.
  • Go crazy installing any plugin you want (but not too crazy).
  • Get the exact look you want for your site with the choice of any theme.
    Pst! Make sure it’s from a reputable site.

Grab the PDF version

Are you like me and love to keep things neatly tucked away so you can refer back to
it later? You can get the PDF version of this page below.

WP.com vs WP.org graphic

 

*I’m a proud affiliates of the companies I link to. If you use the links on this page, I may earn a small commission.

Intro

What’s the difference?

Update

Security

Plugins

Themes

Domain

Hosting

.com?

.org?

Disclaimer & Download