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8 Factors to Consider Before Choosing Between WordPress.com & WordPress.org

There has always been this question about which one should I consider – WordPress.com or WordPress.org. There are valid factors that you need to consider before choosing the right one for you. We have listed some factors which are affected by both WordPress.com and WordPress.org and these factors will lead you to the right choice and make your struggle a lot easier.  

Here are the 8 important factors to consider before choosing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org 

1. Cost Comparison

WordPress.com provides both with free and premium services with the free plan being completely free with no extra or side costs but along with the free plan, your website will be a part of WordPress.com’s sub domain and you will be provided 3 GB of storage space with WordPress’s ads displayed on your website. While the premium plan comes with numerous features and benefits. There are different plan types like the personal plan, business plan, enterprise plan etc. 

On the other hand, WordPress.org software is completely but you will have to buy the web hosting services separately.

To conclude: If you are just wanting to get started with making websites for personal use, WordPress.com is cheaper but WordPress.org will be cheaper in the long run if you are passionate about it and have huge plans for it.

2. Setup Process

Getting started with WordPress.com is much more simpler, you just have to visit wordpress.com and get started with the initial process. There are some simple steps which will successfully help you set up your website by providing configurations and minimum requirement of details. Within a couple of minutes, you will have your very own functioning website which you can start using right away. 

But with WordPress.org, the setup process isn’t going to be as straightforward. You will have to at first choose a hosting service and with signing up there.

Most of the web hosting services provide one click installation of WordPress software with easy setup guidelines.

To conclude: WordPress.com has been built in such a way that the non techies can easily have their website set up with few simple clicks and steps while WordPress.org provides you with setup which is more detailed one but the installations can be much easier if you install wordpress software through web hosting services.  

3. Themes 

With WordPress.com, you will have access to the themes depending on the plan as there are free themes as well as premium themes available for you to choose. The free and personal plans provide you with 150+ free themes while the premium, business and ecommerce plans give you access to more than 200 premium themes.

While WordPress.org has a huge collection of both free and premium themes available for WordPress.org and it goes in thousands. At first, you will be able to pick from nearly 8K free themes from WordPress.org’s official directory. You will also be able to download themes from external sources and then install it in your website.  You can choose from thousands of premium themes from websites like theme forest which is a leaving marketplace for WordPress themes and it offers more than 11,000 themes.

To conclude: Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org offer users with multiple free and premium themes to choose from but with WordPress.com you will only have limited options but with WordPress.org you will have a wide variety of themes which can be further customized and made changes to. So here WordPress.org offers more customizable options making it better than WordPress.com 

4. Plugins

WordPress.com allows you to install WordPress Plugins only if you have a business or eCommerce plan. Only on these plans, you will have access to more than 50,000 plugins. WordPress.org takes the benefit here as no matter where you host your website, by default, you will have the access to the entire plugin repository of WordPress and you can install thousands of plugins from all around the internet. 

To conclude: WordPress.org is clearly a more preferred option as you don’t have to pay any extra cost to use plugins for your website while on wordpress.com, if you want to install plugins, it becomes mandatory to have either business or eCommerce plans. 

5. Customization Options

The customizations which are available for WordPress.com websites are merely a subset of the potential to run websites on WordPress.org software. With WordPress.org, as it is entirely open-source, you can customize your themes and website as much as you want and enhance your website’s appearance and layout. You can also install new sources and configure plugins, even hire WordPress professionals to carry out certain work on the website or you can also write custom codes to implement something new. 

In short, with WordPress.com you will only be able to do what it allows you to, with restricted freedom and capacities, you would only have access to limited customization options. 

When you make a website with WordPress.org, you will have access to a collection of materials that is available to solve issues and problems that you face. So the support with WordPress.org is much larger as compared to WordPress.org

To Conclude: Considering the fact that there is no official support from WordPress.org, the support from WordPress.com has an upper hand over this and is much beneficial to users. 

6. Backups & Security Options

When it comes to WordPress.com, you will get basic security options and backups which are by default provided by the company and you have to rely on internal security. WordPress.com will take care of the updates for the software.

WordPress.org is as transparent as it can be with the source code visible to anyone who wants to see it. WordPress.org has been created with modern security requirements and standards. A clean WordPress install is already secure enough and doesn’t make it hard for hackers to break in. But once you start installing themes and plugins recklessly, your website will start becoming more susceptible to threats and hacks.

To conclude: WordPress.org is better than WordPress.com in terms of backups and you can install security plugins and backup plugins which can prove beneficial for the website and fulfills the security and backup-related problems.   

7. Maintenance

When you are paying for all the services in WordPress.com, they will take care of all the maintenance related work leaving you with no hassle whatsoever while you have to manually set up everything and maintain the site, its updates, and issues when you choose WordPress, org but you will have the freedom to choose which update you want to consider and which to avoid. You can maintain your website at your own convenience. 

To conclude: WordPress.org is the clear winner here since no one likes to manually maintain their website and spend their valuable time doing something which isn’t productive.  Even though with WordPress.org you will be given choices and options, maintenance isn’t something which you would like to manually do. 

8. Monetization Options

Free and Personal websites cannot be monetized at all. If you want to earn from your WordPress.com website, you will need to have at least the premium plan. On top of that, on the free plans, WordPress.com will even display their own ads and you won’t be able to disable them on your site. 

With WordPress.org, you can monetize your website the way you want. There aren’t any limitations to it, since it is an open-source software. 

To conclude: For monetization of websites and products you will need to have business or eCommerce plans in WordPress.com while with WordPress.org you won’t have to pay anything to get started with monetizing your website. So in this factor, WordPress.org clearly is the preferred one. 

In Short

Both WordPress.com and WordPress.org have their own advantages and disadvantages and there cannot be a clear winner. In the end, it all comes down to what purpose does your website serves, what the budget is, and which kind of website you want to have. 

If you want to create a website for yourself as a form of hobby or a passion project just for yourself, WordPress.com can be the best option for you. Getting started will be easy with an easy setup and no maintenance hassle. 

If you are considering launching a serious website be it a business or an eCommerce website, WordPress.org is recommended. With unlimited customization options to choose from, plugins, and theme choices, you can create any sort of website you have in mind and make it do any sort of functions that you desire.