Difference Between Self Hosted WordPress.org & Free WordPress.com

When starting a blog as a beginner, this question crops up in everyone’s mind. Which one do I use? Is it better to pick the Self Hosted WordPress.org, or is it better to use Free WordPress.com? In this blog post, we explain and compare the difference and what features you have with each one.

WordPress.org

  • It’s really easy to use and FREE!
  • You own your content and data. You have full control. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service unless you are doing something illegal.
  • You can install and use any plugin you like.
  • You can upload your own themes and modify them in design and style.
  • You can make money from it by using your own ads, and doing things your way.
  • You can add Tracking and Custom Analytics.
  • Like any other website, you need great web hosting. This costs anything from £0.99 to £7 a month. When your website gets bigger the price of your hosting will also increase.  At this point you should be making enough money to cover it.
  • You are responsible for updates. WordPress upgrades are super simple and require just 1 click.
  • You are responsible for backups, but there are loads of amazing plugins created that can backup your website automatically on a schedule.
  • You are liable for preventing spam, but there are also plugins for this too. Akismet, which comes built-in with WordPress.org, is the main one to use.

WordPress.com 

  • It’s free with the option to buy premium features.
  • WordPress will make regular backups of your site.
  • You cannot sell ads on your free website, as it is forbidden under their terms and conditions. They have an Ad Control feature you could apply for, but you need to have at least 25,000 page views a month. You will also have to give WordPress 50% of your earnings.
  • WordPress will place ads on all free websites. Nothing is really free without a catch. There is also the option to pay for those ads to be removed.
  • You cannot use plugins. WordPress.com does not allow you to use plugins! If you want to use plugins, then you have to move to their VIP program which is priced at over £4000 per month. For real!
  • You cannot use custom themes you are restricted in their choice of themes which is being used by hundreds and thousands of sites. They do offer a “design upgrade” for an annual price, however you still can’t change theme files. Only ad additional css. It’s great if all you want to do is change your website colour.
  • You cannot use other analytics software because you cannot add custom codes.
  • Your site can be deleted by WordPress at anytime, if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
  • Powered on WordPress.com has to be displayed on your website even if you purchase the upgrades.

Which one is Better for You?

If you are a personal blogger that does not care about making money from their sites, then WordPress.com is the best choice. If you are looking to make blogging a career, then you want to use self hosted WordPress.org. Often people will say, self-hosted WordPress costs a lot. For a small enough site, it is actually cheaper.

Let’s say you use WordPress.com, buy their custom domain, pay for their ad-free option, and get a custom design upgrade. That total is a little less, and you are still not in full control.

For WordPress.org, you can use Surpass Hosting which has hosting plans that start from $8 per month. If you go with other hosting companies, then you will pay a similar price. You will have full control over everything.

The interface of both are very similar. Neither are easier to use.

We always recommend everyone to use WordPress.org, so you have full control of your site and content. The choice is, of course, yours.

We hope this helps you to choose the version of WordPress which is best for you. If you do need assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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