This is an updated version of a post I first wrote back in 2016. Although not much has changed, I still get this question often. I thought I’d revisit the “WordPress.com vs WordPress.org” with some updated information.
If you’re just starting out with WordPress you’ve probably been asking yourself “what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?” Know that you are not alone. This is probably the number one question I get when I tell people I make WordPress sites.
There are several major differences between the two but a simple analogy is renting versus buying a home. Both have their advantages but knowing which fits your lifestyle will help you pick the right one.
Here’s a quick overview:
WordPress.com or Hosted is for you if…
All you really care about is creating your content. Maybe your tech-savviness is limited. Or the thought of having to do backups, maintenance and updates give you hives. If so, then take the simpler route and signup for a WordPress.com account. Now you can go focus on your writing.
WordPress.org or Self-hosted is for you if…
You want full control over everything on your site. You’re a bit more tech-savvy than the average person or are eager and open to learning how to set up your own site. You’ve also got the time to dedicate to maintaining and updating your site. If this sounds like something you’re up for, then a self-hosted version of WordPress is for you.
Still not sure?
I’ve put together an easy to understand chart which gives you a side by side comparison for each of the major features for WordPress. Hopefully, this helps you decide which is right for you.