What’s the Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Wordpress.com or WordPress.org.jpg

Blogging and running a business can be pretty confusing sometimes, and one of the most common questions I see, for new bloggers and entrepreneurs is related to WordPress web hosting. In a nutshell, you can build a website with WordPress two ways.

WordPress.com is free to start and offers some low-cost basic options if you want to have your own domain.

Self hosted WordPress, or WordPress.org  has an upfront cost, and has a bigger learning curve, but has a lot more to offer in terms of site customization, ability to monetize your website, and distribution rights for your content.

Let’s back up a bit.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a piece of software, a computer program that allows users to build websites (blogs). In order to use the WordPress software, you have to have a place to store the things you write, like having a hard drive in your computer where all your documents go.

Back in the dark ages of the internet, if you wanted a WordPress website you had to go to WordPress.org, download the program, build your site, and then upload it all to a server on the internet.

So, How Do I Get A Website?

Nowadays, all you have to do is either:

  • Go to your hosting company’s website, log in, and click a button to install and use wordpress,
  • Go to WordPress.com and sign up for a free blog, which you can customize and later buy your own domain if you want to.

When we say “WordPress.com” we’re talking about the site where you can sign up for web address like “Yourprettyprincessblog.wordpress.com” and start blogging.


Once you’ve signed up, you can also buy your own domain and some other paid features from WordPress.com, but if you wanted to you could blog there for free.  (Not necessarily a good option if you want to start a business, but a lot of writers and artists start there and move to self-hosted sites later.

When we say “WordPress.org,” what we usually mean is a website that’s hosted through a company like Siteground or Bluehost where you’ve installed the wordpress software.


To get a self-hosted website, you have to buy space from a hosting company and build the site from scratch.  (Most modern web-hosts have a one-click install option to make this easier.)

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be looking at the pros and cons of both types of WordPress site. If you want to make sure you don’t miss the posts, you can like my Facebook page  to get a notification when the post goes live.

One thought on “What’s the Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

  1. Pingback: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: Pros and Cons, Part One | Rose B. Fischer

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