Is There A Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Updated March 11, 2021
There are many differences between the .com and .org sites, the services available and when each is the one you might need.
At the very core, WordPress is web publishing software used for building websites, blogs, online shops and a variety of other types of websites. WordPress has been built as a system for managing and delivering content (a Content Management System or CMS).
Read on to see the differences between the two sites and why you would visit one over the other.
If you just want the main WordPress software, which is free and open source, it can be downloaded from the .org website. That’s also where themes and plugins can be found, in massive numbers as well.
The .org website doesn’t just attract visitors who are looking for files, but also those wanting to find information for learning what to do with WordPress and how to get it done. As such, there are active discussions as well as helpful documentation pages that go into great detail on the inner workings of WordPress, themes, plugins and more.
When using software from WordPress.org you will need a web hosting account in order to take advantage of it (or host it on your own computer). In other words, you need more than just software from the .org site or you won’t actually have WordPress running and usable.
Being a .com site generally means it’s for commercial purposes. WordPress.com is no exception in this regard. WordPress.com seeks to provide you with a hosted website that’s running on the WordPress platform. The .com site is looking to make money by providing hosting, themes and plugins, for a fee.
The .com site is owned and operated by Automattic as a commercial venture and includes 1400+ employees across nearly 80 countries, many of whom provide hosting management and support services.
Keep in mind that WordPress.com is similar to many hosting companies in the world, particularly those that offer specialty WordPress web hosting. The .com site lists plans and the restrictions which go along with each. Don’t expect to do the same things with budget accounts that you might want to do with premium paid or business class plans.
By limiting features and functions, WordPress.com have created a streamlined (simple) interface for people who want to have a WordPress website without needing to know as much about how to install, manage and administer such a site.
WordPress.com Hosting Plans – Pros and Cons
At the lowest end of the totem pole is the Free Plan. It actually is free. However, you’ll be limited to hosting on a subdomain, only have access to a small selection of theme choices and won’t be able to install other themes and plugins. Being free, it doesn’t include support outside of the discussion forums. You’ll also be hosted on a subdomain and won’t be able to use your own domain name.
On the upside, the free plan could be ideal for someone looking to learn and experiment, getting to know how websites running WordPress function, keeping in mind that there will be ads inserted on pages you publish. 3GB of storage is included with the free plan.
Personal Plan (paid)
By paying a few bucks a month you’ll have access to email support, get double the storage space, have a domain for a year, no ads and a bit more control over customization.
The limitations mean you won’t have Google Analytics integrated, won’t be able to add PayPal buttons or get the advanced social media features like scheduled social updates when you’ve made a post on site.
Premium Plan (paid)
In paying double the price of the Personal Plan, you’ll unlock some handy features like live chat support, premium themes, more storage, PayPal buttons, Analytics integration and much more design customization capabilities.
Unfortunately, this level still doesn’t include plugin uploads, custom theme installation, SEO tools or the ability to remove the WordPress.com branding. You won’t have ads inserted, but you will have their branding still shown.
Business Plan (paid)
At about triple the price of the Premium Plan, you’ll see those previously locked features become available. It means 24×7 live chat and email support, 200GB of storage, SEO tools, theme and plugin install capabilities, automated backups and more.
eCommerce Plan (paid)
Almost double the Business Plan is the eCommerce Plan which comes with features designed with online sellers in mind, such as payment processing in 60+ countries, shipping service integration, social and email service provider integrations for boosted marketing and unlimited products/services.
The social network integration feature means Facebook. The email integration means MailChimp. If you’re wanting the same type of integrations with other social networks or email marketing sites, sorry, it’s not happening here.
WordPress.com vs KnownHost.com
The limitations of WordPress.com hosting plans are not the limitations of KnownHost!
KnownHost WordPress specialty hosting plans enable you to use your own domain names, themes, plugins and customizations so that the site does what you want and looks how you decide it should look.
Featuring full server management and round the clock support, you’ll be in expert hands at KnownHost and be able to rely on pre-bundled features like automated backup systems, SSD drives with speed-optimized software like LSCache plus Imunify360 security.
At $5.98 for Entry Level WordPress or $9.98 per month for Business Level WordPress hosting, KnownHost provides industry-best uptime, loads of features and outstanding performance
See the full details on KnownHost WordPress hosting for all the facts.
If you’ve got more than one website, it might be worth considering KnownHost Reseller hosting which starts at just $6.97 per month and gives the ability to host several sites, each with their own cPanel login and password. With Reseller plans, you can have some sites running WordPress, others running eCommerce, forums, and other software platforms. Greater flexibility, definitely.