WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org or WordPress.com? If you’re new to WordPress, it’s a common question and often one that needs a little explanation since the two get confused.

In this post, we’ll compare the two and look at their pros and cons. We’ll explore:

  • The differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
  • Compare each of their:
    • Costs
    • Freedoms and limitations
    • Maintenance and development
  • How to decide between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

Say goodbye to confusion and hello to knowing which platform is right for you. Without further ado, let’s start comparing.

What is WordPress.com?

The front page of WordPress.com
The WordPress.com website.

WordPress.com is a commercial site where you can host your own site for free, but with some limitations. It runs on the open source WordPress platform co-created by Matt Mullenweg and his company called Automattic.

Hosting with WordPress.com means that your site will be free forever, but you can also pay to upgrade your site to achieve your specific needs. It also means your site will be well looked after with top of the line spam-fighting power and automatic security updates.

All you need to do is sign up and choose your blog name, then design your site. You won’t have to worry about installing the software since it’s all managed for you instantly.

What is WordPress.org?

The front page of WordPress.org.
The WordPress.org website.

WordPress.org is where you can grab your own copy of the WordPress blogging/Content Management System (CMS) software for free. It currently powers 24% of the web, including WPMU DEV (of course!).

With the software comes the responsibility of finding your own hosting company to house your WordPress site along with your own domain name to point visitors to it.

You’ll also have full control over the WordPress software and your site. The only limitation you might have could be the resources you’re allotted in the hosting package you pick.

WordPress.org also includes extensive documentation and a community forum where you can ask questions if you get stuck or help someone else. It’s also the site to go to if you would like to get involved and join many other volunteers in contributing to the WordPress core code, mobile apps, translations, and accessibility.

Comparing WordPress.com and WordPress.org

With these two great options ready to power your site, it can be difficult to know which one’s right for you. To remedy that, let’s compare three of the most important considerations when deciding between WordPress.org and WordPress.com: cost, freedoms and limitations, and maintenance and development.

Generally, there are less costs and more control associated with WordPress.org over WordPress.com.
Generally, there are less costs and more control associated with WordPress.org over WordPress.com.

Cost Comparison

When comparing the cost of WordPress.com versus WordPress.org, there are four areas to consider where there are different costs that are associated with each. They are: domain name, hosting, storage space, and ad removal.

A free, Basic WordPress.com plan is the least expensive option, particularly if you don’t want a custom domain name and don’t mind using their free themes with no modifications.

If you want a fully-featured site with your own domain name, unlimited storage for your videos and images, and no advertising, WordPress.com can become quite expensive.

If cost is your most important consideration, then downloading WordPress from WordPress.org will be your most affordable option.

Let’s break down these costs and explore them further to help better understand your choices.


No matter what, hosting your site on WordPress.com is free, but there are limitations that can be removed with upgrades or plans that can be applied separately to each of your sites.

Here are all the upgrades you could choose from to have more control over your site. All but the final two are annual subscriptions:

  • Domain registration – $5
  • Domain mapping – $13
  • Domain Privacy – $8, per domain
  • VideoPress – $60
  • Custom design – $30
  • Space upgrade – $20 – $290
  • No ads – $30
  • Site redirect – $13
  • Unlimited premium themes – $120
  • Premium theme – from $20, one-off fee
  • Guided transfer – $129, one-off fee

It might be important for you to know that in order for a newly registered domain to work, you also need the mapping upgrade as well.

Depending on the type of extension you want, the price may very. For example, a .com is $18 per year, but a .me extension is $25 and a .tv is $50 per year with both upgrades included.

If you find you need several upgrades, you may be able to save money by upgrading to one of the WordPress.com plans, instead.

The plan comparison chart for WordPress.com hosting.
A comparison of the current hosting plans at WordPress.com.

A premium plan includes domain registration and mapping, 13 GB of storage space, no ads, custom design capability, VideoPress and email support for $99 per year and per blog.

A business plan includes all the features of a premium plan, plus eCommerce capability, unlimited storage space, unlimited premium themes and live chat support for $299 per year and per blog.

A free Basic WordPress.com plan is the least expensive option, particularly if you don’t want a custom domain name and don’t mind using their free themes with no modifications.

You could save a bit of money and keep the free domain that comes with your site. It looks similar to your-site.wordpress.com, but if you need to look more professional, purchasing your own domain such as your-site.com might be a better option.

If you want a fully-featured site with your own domain name, unlimited storage for your videos and images, and no advertising, WordPress.com can become quite expensive.


On the other hand, you could opt for downloading a copy of the free, open source software, but it’s important to note that hosting your own WordPress site isn’t free, though, you can choose one of many hosting companies to house your site. You will also need to purchase a domain name as well.

Hosting can cost as low as around $5 a month for shared hosting packages depending on the company since many of them offer regular promotions.

You could also choose a more robust hosting plan with (Virtual Private Server) VPS and dedicated server packages. They cost a lot more, but the hosting is shared by much fewer people with VPS or none at all with a dedicated server.

Domain names can also be fairly inexpensive especially when many registrars offer regular promotions as well. Typically, the cost of a generic top level domain name (gTLD) such as a .com, .org or .net extension is around $10, but can vary depending on the type of extension you choose.

Newer gTLDs such as .rocks, .company, .ceo and hundreds more have also become available last year and range in price from about $10 to over $100.

No matter which hosting company or domain registrar you choose, you will have full control over your site, files, database and domain.

If you would like more information on the different types of web hosting available and how to set up your site, check out one of our other posts 4 Steps to Wrangling Your Web Host for WordPress.

Web hosts
There are many reliable hosts out there, but many of the features they offer differ greatly. It’s best to research them to find the best fit.

If you’re ready to choose a hosting company, but aren’t sure which one to choose yet, check out our posts Web Hosting Review: So Just Who is the Best? and Top Cloud Hosting Companies for WordPress.

Once you’ve got your site set up, then you need to think about themes and plugins. There are many free themes available at WordPress.org, but these usually lack the advanced features and functionality need for, say, an online store or a business/corporate site.

There are many premium theme and plugin stores around, like Elegant Themes or WooThemes and of course, WPMU DEV. There’s also the Themeforest and Codecanyon marketplaces that offer more choices than you can poke a stick at.

Each premium plugin and theme varies in price as well, but the good news is, there are lots to choose from.

Freedoms and Limitations

Limitations or no limitations?

The type of site you want to build can greatly influence the choice you make for hosting your site. Depending on your goals, you may need a lot of freedom and wiggle room from a custom design to tweaking your site’s files or database.

WordPress.com offers free site hosting, but not without restrictions. If you need to run a membership or eCommerce site, for example, you won’t be able to do this successfully unless you upgrade. On the flip side, WordPress.org has a lot of freedom and you could easily scale your server and hosting plan to make room for larger sites.

If having freedom and full control over your WordPress site is an important factor for you, consider setting up your own site with software from WordPress.org.

But what exactly can and can’t you do with WordPress.com and WordPress.org when it comes to running your site?


When you host your site with WordPress.com, it comes with limitations. The folks at WordPress.com are running a business. They provide the convenience of a WordPress environment all ready for you to use. They maintain the software so that you never have to touch code or worry about security or other such concerns.

In return, you must pay for any upgrades, from simply removing advertising to activating a different theme.

Limitations include:

  • Limited to WordPress.com themes – you can’t upload your own
  • No custom plugins
  • Limited storage space
  • Limited control of your content, i.e. you must pay to remove ads
  • No FTP access to your files

It’s also important to note that with WordPress.com you can’t use third-party advertising solutions, such as Google AdSense. You also can’t track your stats with Google Analytics.


When you set up a site using WordPress on your own server, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with it. You’re only limited to the amount of storage space you have and other similar features provided by the hosting package you choose.

You can use any plugin or theme whether free or paid and there are no ads included, but you can include your own if you want such as with Google Adsense. You can also add, edit or tweak your files and database via FTP, shell access, cPanel or whatever other options you are allowed in your hosting plan.

You’ll have full control of your WordPress site, but it comes with the responsibility of maintaining it, unlike the WordPress.com route.

Maintenance and Development

Updates available in Multisite.
With a self-hosted site, you’ll be responsible for regularly updating your site.

With WordPress.com, you don’t have to worry about maintenance since it’s all handled for you. With self-hosted sites, you’re on your own, though, there are managed hosting solutions available to help you out.

No matter which one you choose, you won’t have to worry about developing WordPress to continually improve it to match the ever-changing standards for sites over the internet. The Automattic team and the WordPress community work hard to provide regular updates to the WordPress core to ensure your site has a solid foundation.

If you would rather not deal with anything technical and don’t have the time to commit to ongoing maintenance and development, then WordPress.com would be the best option for you.

You might be wondering exactly what kind of maintenance is or isn’t involved with a WordPress.com or self-hosted site so let’s take a look at both to find out.


The folks at WordPress will take care of all maintenance and development for you. You won’t have to worry about plugins breaking after an upgrade or your site suddenly going down because of a problem with your host.

You won’t have to keep up-to-date with WordPress news and upgrade your site each time a major version of the software is released.

The decision on whether or not to maintain and develop your site yourself depends entirely on your skills ability, and also how much time and effort you want to put into looking after your site.


Hosting your own WordPress site isn’t without its difficulties. Unlike hosting with WordPress.com, you’re fully responsible for your own site.

Your responsibilities include:

  • Installing and setting up your WordPress site
  • Setting up your server for VPS and dedicated hosting
  • Regularly updating your themes and plugins
  • Updating your WordPress version when new versions roll out
  • Keeping your site secure for your visitors and protecting your site against hackers and spam
  • Backing up your whole site regularly in case it breaks
  • Resolving problems with your site and server if they arise

If you think you need the flexibility WordPress.org offers, but all this maintenance sounds overwhelming to you, there is another option. Consider using a managed WordPress hosting solution such as Pagely or WP Engine.

Pagely.com site
There are managed hosting services such as Pagely and WP Engine that can take care of the maintenance of your site for you.

These services look after all the backend maintenance for you, but, of course, it comes with an increased cost.

So … WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

Both are great options and the best one for you depends on the plans you have for your site, your skill level and how much time you can spend on maintaining and designing your site.

WordPress comparison
Do you need a self-hosted or WordPress.com site?

If you would like to create a simple site or blog, don’t want to fuss with regular maintenance or security and don’t want to customize your site too much, then WordPress.com may be your best bet.

If you’re on the opposite side of the scale and need full control over your site design, plugins, files and database with total freedom to change and tweak to your heart’s content and don’t mind maintaining and securing your site, then WordPress.org can provide the software you need.

This is also the case if you’re also planning on developing an eCommerce, membership, social media or large business site since a self-hosted WordPress site may be cheaper and offers more flexibility.

If you’re still not sure, check out this handy video we created comparing WordPress.org and WordPress.com

This video offers a quick overview of everything you will want to consider when deciding between the two options:

Our Recommendation: WordPress.org

When it comes down to cost, freedoms and limitations, and maintenance and development considerations, WordPress.org wins hands down.

It may take more time and effort to set up a WordPress site, but you will have full control over the look and feel of your site. You will be able to use custom themes and customize their look, and also upload custom plugins to add more functionality to your site.

If you plan to grow your site and increase traffic, then downloading WordPress from WordPress.org is our recommendation.

What is your experience of using WordPress.org and WordPress.com? Let us know in the comments below.

66 Responses

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Mayur,

      There are different ways you can go about this and it thoroughly depends on how much or how little you want to do to manage your site.

      Generally speaking, if you’re okay with adding your own themes and content, and just want someone to handle the WordPress updates, security, backups and the like, then a service like Pagely is usually the way to go.

      If you’re okay with having a bit more control, you could install various plugins to help you out: A security plugin (such as VaultPress, Wordfence, iThemes Security, etc.) and a backup plugin (such as Snapshot, VaultPress, Backup Buddy, etc.). With plugins like these, you can schedule security scans and backups automatically with minimal management.

      You would also be in complete control over your content and site design. Installing plugins like these would be the most affordable option. You would just need to look around for the best ones to fit your needs.

      If you want someone to design your site for you, then manage it completely for you and you can add the content you want from there, then your best option is to hire a WordPress developer.

      Hope this helps steer you in the right direction.



      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Erin,

      Sorry about the delay on a response.

      The easiest way to go about moving your site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is to pay for that service. You won’t have to handle it yourself and the developer should be able to have it done pretty quickly.

      You could alternatively get managed WordPress hosting. They likely have an extra fee for site migrations, but it may be more affordable depending on the company.

      WordPress.com also has an extra premium service where they can move the site for you as well.

      It’s helpful to do some shopping around in either case.

      Your third option is to do it yourself. Of course, this can be trickier if you don’t consider yourself to be a bit tech savvy, but we do have tutorials for just about any kind of migration you want to do. Here’s an example that would fit your needs best:

      Hope that helps and I wish you much luck on your site migration.




    Thank you so much for this article! I thought I had done enough research and knew which type of site I wanted to get for the needs of my blog. Then I read too many articles and was left confused. I do not have a tech savvy mind. Even worse, I had no idea which site I had, whether it was .com or .org. This article was so clear and concise that I finally get it. Thank you so much! Truly, a great article.

    Sarah B

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Sarah,

      I’m so glad you found this post helpful.

      It can certainly be a bit tricky at first. I remember when I first started with WordPress. I was definitely confused to say the least, but the good news is, WordPress is open source so there’s tons of free information out there along with help so you can learn what you need and even become an expert.

      Thanks for you feedback as well. :)





    I’m a digital designer but with zero coding knowledge…I’m designing a site for a friend and he wants it to be hosted on wordpress. Do you think he should use .org or .com if it’s going to be mainly a portfolio & blog site? Also, do you have any advice on places to get up to speed with .org for a complete beginner? I can design the site but have no idea how to actually make it happen on wordpress!

    Thanks, Sarah


    Hi Jenni,
    Thank you for this helpful article. Wish I had read it earlier ;-) Now I am with .org and working on my blog (which I am moving from Blogger), having quite some difficulties to adjust. However, I realize that lots of my book Blogger Friends seem to use .com. Now they always have that comment and Rating section at the end of their Posts (Like this Star) but I cannot “like” it that way as I do not have a .com account. Anything I can do with my .org account to use that Option as well, to “like” with my .org account ?? Or is it possible to Register for free at .com (or with an existing .org account)?

    Thanks a lot!
    Kind regards,

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Tes,

      Yes, you absolutely can start with a free WordPress.com blog and upgrade to premium later. If at some point you decide to self-host your site instead, you can do this as well with what’s called a site migration.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.




    Hi Jenni,

    thank you for breaking the .com and .org of wordpress down, this article overall was very helpful. however I have to wonder, would the benefits of having a premium paid wordpress.com website be more beneficial than a wordpress.org site?
    Im trying to do my research before i move my website from bigcommerce to wordpress with ecommerce solutions. I couldn’t quite distinguish whether your comparisons were from the free, less costly route, because with a paid .com you have unlimited storage.
    if i were to use a paid theme, can i not customize that theme with colors / images / text? is that the main reason to use .org over .com because i cannot change the themes at all?

    thank you for your time,
    missy thieman

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Missy,

      It depends on what you need for your ecommerce site. With a .com site, you can have all the updates automatically taken care of for you so you don’t have to worry about it. If you self-host, applying updates is your responsibility, unless you get managed WordPress hosting.

      Keep in mind that when it comes to “unlimited” storage for any kind of hosting, it’s not truly unlimited. There is in fact a limit and the amount depends on the hosting company’s terms. Since servers have a set amount of space to hold sites and their space isn’t infinite (just like your computer), there technically is no such thing as truly unlimited hosting. Usually, when hosting companies use that term for a plan, it means you get a ton of space, but you need to double check to make sure it’s enough space for your needs otherwise, you could run out of space quickly and your site could go down as a result,

      With a WordPress.com site, you can choose one of their available themes and apply basic customizations such as adjusting the color scheme, images and text, but if you need to make any major changes outside of that, you’re out of luck. If you self-host your site, you can create your own custom theme or choose one of thousands available in the WordPress Theme directory and customize it as much or as little as you want.

      With a self-hosted site, you can also choose from thousands of plugins that are available to enhance your site even more, whereas you cannot do this with a WordPress.com site, even if you choose to upgrade.

      Ultimately, you would choose to self-host your site (.org) if you want complete control over your site. If you feel more comfortable making only minor changes and leaving the rest up to the WordPress folks, then a WordPress.com site may be better suited for you.

      Hope that helps and let me know if you have anymore questions. :)



      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Kazip,

      Thank you SO much for the correction. I’ve been trying to find all the spots where I made this error and it looks like I missed one. I’ll update this post now.

      I’m definitely not offended and please feel free to correct me in the future. It definitely helps. Also, thanks for being so nice about it! :)




    Hi Jenni, I’m so pleased that I came across your site when I did because I was getting so confused and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t change anything within my ‘under development’ website nor install new plugins until I realised that there are differences between WordPress.co. and .org, so thank you for making that clear.

    Just to clarify one other point, am I right in saying that I can design a fully functioning website using WP.org but can have it hosted with an existing hosting company with a dmonain name I already own and that it is a relatively simply thing to achieve?

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Clive Read (UK)

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Clive,

      I’m so glad you found this post helpful.

      To answer all your questions in just two words: Yes, absolutely!

      Here on WPMU DEV, we have all the articles you need to guide you to make these changes. Feel free to browse our blog if you ever find you’re stuck.

      Hope this has helped clear things up for you. If you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to ask. :)




    With a BIG sigh of relief, I thank you from the bottom of my torn WordPress heart, Jenni! This is by far the most helpful article I’ve read regarding this slippery-as-a-snake content.

    Specifically, you have helped me to confidently move forward with my plan to stay with WordPress.com to create a new small business blog. I’ve been with WordPress.com for years, starting with the free version then moving to Premium and I love it. Really I do! Now that I’m ready to start a small business I was concerned that I was being loyal or lazy to stay with WordPress.com. But no. I really do need to just get this up and running as a 1st generation blog then when I get to the point of e-commerce, I’ll likely switch to WordPress.org within the year. Your clarity about being able to migrate through different means is the supportive information I needed.

    Also, thank you to those who shared helpful comments. In the spirit of sharing, I’ll add something I’ve learned recently. Eventually I want to use Infusionsoft for CRM. Infusionsoft recommends WordPress.org for their integration.

    Best ~
    Angie Mc

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Angie,

      I’m glad you found this article helpful and that you were able to come to a decision. That’s great!

      You’re right, you can certainly migrate to WordPress.org on a self-hosted installation at any point. We have many articles on WPMU DEV that cover many angles in this area so they’re there for you whenever you’re ready as well.

      Thanks for sharing everything and I wish you the best of luck!




    Thank you so much for this article. I’ve been researching on which option was best for me and I’ve decided the .org as it would Carter to my need as a photographer for private gallery viewing and ecommerce so clients can purchase photos.

    I just have one question. I really do not want to change my website address from e.g abcphotos.com to abcphotos.org. Is there anyway to still maintain this address? Thank you.

      Jenni McKinnon


      I’m glad you found this post helpful. Yes, you can use whatever domain you want. You wouldn’t be able to use the same domain for multiple sites (i.e. abcphotos.com), but you can definitely stop using it for one and attach it to another, such as your self-hosted site (WP.org).

      You could create a subdomain for the domain, though, and add it to the new site (e.x. newsite.abcphotos.com).

      Let me know if you have anymore questions.





    I am new to WordPress and would like to start somewhere with a new blog, just to give it a try. I understood from your very detailed post (thank you!) that WordPress.com is great to start with as a beginner. However, I am thinking about taking it to the next level later. So, I was wondering, is it possible to move content from .com to .org later?

    I am not sure if this has been covered. Thanks for your time.

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Pola,

      Yes, you can definitely move a site from WordPress.com to your own self-hosted site (WordPress.org) when you outgrow your original blog. I did mention in the post that WordPress.com also has a premium service where they can transfer the blog for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.

      Let me know if you have anymore questions.



      Jenni McKinnon


      WordPress.com and WordPress.org are both run by the non-profit organization Automattic (https://automattic.com). WordPress.com is their site for hosted WordPress blogs and WordPress.org is their site where they keep a copy of the platform so you can download it to create your own, self-hosted WordPress site.

      You can also get help or offer help in their free support forum on WordPress.org and search the WordPress Codex for all their documentation. They also list and host free plugins and themes there as well.

      Many people don’t notice these differences so you’re certainly not at all alone. That’s why we update this post every year or so to include the latest information and changes. :)





    Very informative post and it did solve my confusion to a larger extent. However, I would prefer your take on the same with regard to my position.

    We are into selling home healthcare products – http://www.kosmochem.com. It is an e-commerce website. We intend to provide more information with regard to our product ranges which include incontinence management and rehabilitation aids and the day to day problems / solutions of people using our products. This in turn can also help getting more visitors on our e-commerce website. Our main focus remains e-commerce. The Blog section in the website will be an informative place for our customers.

    As far as my literacy about coding goes, it is nil. If I were to go with .org, I will have to dedicate the job to some professional.

    Based on the information provided, I think I should start off with .com premium and then if need be switch to .org.

    Please do let me know what you think.

    Tyzoon Presswala

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Tyzoon,

      It really depends on a lot of factors. For example, how large your site is now, how much traffic you currently get, how big you expect it to grow in the next six months to a year and many other similar factors.

      If you’re getting a lot of traffic to your site now and your space and bandwidth you’re allotted for a premium, eCommerce plan from WordPress.com would quickly be exhausted, then a self-hosted (WordPress.org) site may be your best bet.

      If you also expect your site to grow rapidly in the next year and exhaust your plan’s resources, it’s also a good idea to go with a self-hosted site.

      It also may be important for you to consider what kind of functionality you need for your site, beyond eCommerce. There are so many plugins out there that can be used to extend the basic features of WordPress and if you want to use any of them, you would need to have a self-hosted site.

      For example, if you wanted to have a feature-rich comments area that includes logging in to comment from Facebook and Twitter like our Comments+ plugin, you want to optimize and speed up your site to rank higher on Google (such as with our Hummingbird and WP Smush Pro plugins), you want to create a n advanced membership system (such as with our Membership 2 Pro plugin) or you wanted to customize anything on your site past the color scheme (to name only a few changes you may want to make), you would need a self-hosted site.

      This isn’t to say that if you get a WordPress.com site, you’re stuck with it forever because that’s not the case. You could migrate it over to self-hosted site and WordPress.com also has a premium service for this as well in case you don’t want to do it yourself.

      Unfortunately, without seeing your back-end, I wouldn’t be able to definitely determine which option is best for you right now, but these are just some of the key points you should consider when choosing which way to go.

      It may be worth mentioning that if you wanted to sign up for a premium membership with WPMU DEV, you also would have access to our Jobs & Pros section where you can post a job, then hire a qualified WordPress developer from those that respond to your post. If you do decide to self-host your site with WordPress, this would be a good option to consider.

      It all depends on what your needs are, but hopefully this info can help you make the best decision.

      Let me know if you have anymore questions.




    Your explanation is very concise and clear. There is one thing, though, that I’m not clear on and that is how do you compare Wordpres.com PREMIUM with wordpress.org (specifically self hosting)? I started with a wordpress.com blog and wanted to add functionality with plugins. I read what I found and upgraded to the premium plan for $99. I was then advised to go to self hosting for even more flexibility but soon found out that I could NO LONGER access the decent WordPress.com editor/management system nor any of the premium plan features! It looks like for ease of use in WordPress.org I need a plugin.
    I think I’ve made a mess of the $$ end of things because I spent the $99, can’t use it, and now as I’m looking for plugins not only to enhance my blog I may have to buy plugins for that and editing/management features, too.
    Thanks, Linda…

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Linda,

      I definitely know what you mean. It can be frustrating to figure all this stuff out. I’m not sure if you saw it in the post, but I did mention plugins and how they aren’t available for WordPress.com sites and can cost money, although, it’s an overwhelming topic so it’s difficult to digest.

      You definitely can get a similar dashboard experience in a self-hosted site as you can with WordPress.com with the free Jetpack plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/

      It’s free and comes with the same features you would be used to having on WordPress.com. Hopefully, this helps at least a little.

      Good luck,



    Hello, I don’t know how to do all that. Do you think I can have my money back for The two things I’ve payd ?

    I really don’t even know what you ARE talking about and It’s getting weird to add some extra fifty or some extra sixty € when I payed something before.

    How can I get payed back please ?


    I’m recently started my first blog and there is so many difficulties I faced as a beginner like which hosting i need to use. There are several recommendations to use wordpress hosting for a blog. Which type of hosting is better web, linux or wordpress hosting and this question always stuck in my mind.
    Any suggestions and tips may be helpful.

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Marty,

      In terms of web hosting and Linux vs WordPress hosting, the difference is that Linux is a type of operating system for a server and WordPress hosting refers to hosting that has been optimized for use with WordPress and it’s often based on Linux.

      Generally speaking, Linux is usually the way to go when it comes to hosting a WordPress site. At the same time, WordPress hosting is already created with WordPress in mind so both are acceptable options. A company describing their plans as WordPress hosting is basically just a form of marketing and a way to inform users who don’t know the differences between the different types of server operating systems out there.

      Let me know if you have anymore questions.



    Mei Po

    Hi Jenni

    Thanks for outlining the differences between .org and .com in your article. In one of the illustrations, it shows that e-commerce functionality is not possible with the .com version. I currently have a blog with wordpress.com but would like to introduce online shopping for customers soon, and was thinking of doing this with a WooCommerce plug-in. Does this mean I will need to upgrade to a .org site first?

    Many thanks!


    Hi, your article is very clearly written. You pointed out the differences really well that I will keep in mind in future. Good job!!.

    I want to develop a website for providing virtual assistant services. I need to store client details who will be registering on my website. I have a doubt of how will I store and maintain my database.
    Can you please guide me whether building my site on wordpress.com will suit my needs or wordpress.org ?
    Please feel free to ask me further details about my website, if you feel this information isn’t sufficient in deciding which WordPress to use or you can contact me on my email address- [email protected]
    Thanks in advance,


        Thank you very much Jenni for your quick reply.
        I will go by your suggestion to use WordPress.org as I feel I will have full control on developing my website.
        I still have a doubt about the database. I need to store client details who will be registering on my website. How will I store and maintain my database ?

        Thanks again,

          Jenni McKinnon


          Sorry for the late reply!

          When a user registers for your site (on both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org sites), the information is automatically entered into the database and you can access the information (such as their username and email) through the admin dashboard in a user-friendly and human-readable way that only you (and other administrators) can see and have access to.

          Let me know if you have anymore questions. :)




    Hi Jenni

    This is a great article, thank you. We took out WordPress premium and then transferred over to self-hosting – am I right in thinking there’s now no need for WordPress premium and I can let it lapse at renewal? Also, if we don’t have WP premium, do I need to find a new registrar (domain expires in a year, premium much sooner)?

    Thanks in advance

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Fiona,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      To answer your questions, yes, you can cancel your WordPress Premium subscription as long as you have completely migrated everything over to your self-hosted site. If there’s something you forgot to move over, it may not be available for you to move once your subscription on WordPress.com lapses.

      If you purchased a domain from WordPress.com, you can transfer it over to a different company and point the DNS settings to your new site. If you let the domain expire, it may be expensive to get it back so if you want to keep it, you need to transfer it to a different company before the domain it set to expire.

      Sorry for the late reply! I hope this info is still helpful!




    Hi there ! I’ve chosen WordPress.org and I’m pretty happy about it – I’m running a blog about books in France. I’ve just noticed a funny thing : by default, all WordPress.com blogs display the Like button (and the gallery of Gravatars for bragging rights) under each post which I really like. But on my blog (WordPress.org) I can’t set it up. Why ? Do you know a plugin or a way to add it on the botton of each post ? Thanks !!!


    Hi Jenni,
    thanks a lot, really, THANK GOD, for this article… i have a question….I have a blog and domain with wordpress.com and im thinking on switching to wordpress.org because i want to start a small business, so i would like to use google adsense and all of that… but i think i can do that later on… maybe in a year when my blog is already known… what do you think? the only thing is that i would like to know the number of people that visits and read my blog… is that possible with my blog on wordpress.com?
    Please do let me know what you think.


      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Natalia,

      Sorry for the late reply!

      In your site, (.com) the dashboard has traffic statistics listed for you so you can track how many people are visiting your site. On a self-hosted WordPress site, (from .org) you can get the exact same traffic stats counter with the Jetpack plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/

      If you want something more robust to track more than just visits to your site, you can sign up for Google Analytics https://www.google.com/analytics

      If you want to get Google Analytics to show up in your self-hosted WordPress site’s dashboard, you can use a plugin for that, like our Google Analytics + plugin: https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/google-analytics-for-wordpress-mu-sitewide-and-single-blog-solution/

      In terms of using Google Adsense for your business site, I think it’s really important that you come up with a marketing plan that covers each stage of your business’ development and the marketing strategies you plan on using at each stage of your business. It’s difficult to say when exactly you should start doing specific marketing strategies since every business is different. It may be worth it to search Google for information and look into Marketing consultants or agencies that serve your kind of business to find more relevant information.

      Cheers from Canada (where I live),



    Hi there,
    Thank you so much for clear explanation of everything. I was wondering if you can provide me with some advice. I had a very successful .com blog, which I had great engagement from my readers and had built a great community. I had reached 1.5K subscribers in a very short amount of time, and I started noticing that wordpress was putting advertisements on my blog. I decided to get self hosting through bluehost, but then I learned that through self hosting, you don’t show up in the wordpress.com reader anymore. Since I was getting the majority of my readers there, now that I have moved to a self hosted site, very few of those people which get alerted by email, stop by my blog.
    1- I think I moved too early to self hosting, and needed a more solid following before doing that. Am I right?
    2 – Am I better off going back to the free .com, build my subscribers more, and then come back to a self hosted site?
    3 – Is there a way to move my subscribers back to the free .com account, keep building that, but then direct my readers to the self hosted site? In a way have the self hosted site MIRROR what is happening with the free .com account?

    I really miss the sense of community and engagement from all my amazing readers when I was posting on the free .com account, but I know ultimately to monetize my blog, I will need it to be self hosted.
    Sorry this was too long, but I would really appreciate your advice, as to what you think I should do at this stage. Thank you.

      Jenni McKinnon


      I think the earlier you could move your site, the better. If you wait until you have, say, 10k+ subscribers, then it’s a lot harder to convince everyone to switch over to your new site. The less people you need to convince, the easier it is for you to keep and grow your following.

      That being said, there is the Jetpack plugin maintained by the same folks that maintain the .com site. It has a lot of the same features that the .com blogs would have, including the follow button capability. https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/

      If you link your .com user through Jetpack on your self-hosted site, you should be able to access those features. As for migrating your followers through Jetpack, I’m not sure if that’s possible for sure, but you can contact the folks at Jetpack to find out: https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/jetpack

      In summary, I would switch to a self-hosted site and use the Jetpack plugin, then build your following from there.

      If you have anymore questions, let me know. :) Also, sorry for my late reply!




    I am trying to start a blog that includes content and my photos. I tried the free themes through wordpress.com but I’m having trouble customizing, and am therefore frozen!
    My goal is to write about great tourist info for visitors to NYC, but also showcase photos I’ve taken to illustrate the posts.
    Should I just spring for .org?

      Jenni McKinnon

      Hey France,

      It depends on what you’re trying to customize. If you just want to customize the text color or size, the background color and other similar options, for example, then you don’t need a self-hosted (.org) site for that.

      On the other hand, if you wanted to heavily customize the design and layout, you would need a self-hosted (.org) site for that.




    Hi Jenni,

    Great article. A colleague has been told they cannot use WordPress for their site as WordPress forces you to have ads AND owns the rights to the content. I pointed out that they are getting confused between .com and .org.

    If they hosted their own wordpress site on their own hosting package (i.e .org) and used (to begin with) the free template ‘Vogue’, am I right in telling them that there will be no ads added and their content (images etc) are completely their own?

    Many thanks for your help.

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