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You have heard of many blogging platforms including the most popular WordPress.

The most asked question about WordPress is – What to choose between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Or say you already have a blog on another blogging platform and now you want to migrate to WordPress. In this scenario this too you face the rather obvious dilemma of choosing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is an Open-source, Free, Content Management System [CMS] which is used worldwide and Billions of Websites/Blogs have WordPress as its CMS.

Though there are many blogging platforms such as Blogger, Joomla, etc. – WordPress was and still remains the biggest brand in the CMS industry.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Key Differences

  • Custom Domain

If you use WordPress.com, then you have a subdomain .wordpress.com and you won’t be able to remove this subdomain unless and until you upgrade your plan.

Since you do not host your site on WordPress.com, you are not bound by a specific subdomain. You are free to have your WordPress site on your custom domain. WordPress.org only works with a custom domain.

  • Hosting

WordPress.com provides free hosting only up to a limited capacity. Thereafter you need to upgrade and buy a package/plan if you need to increase your hosting limits. Check the pricing here https://wordpress.com/pricing/

WordPress.org requires you to have your own hosting, i.e., you need to have a hosting plan from a third party to host your WordPress blog/site.

  • Themes

At WordPress.com, you get hundreds of free themes to use. But unfortunately, you cannot add your own custom theme. You need to upgrade your plan if you want to use custom/premium themes.

At WordPress.org you are always free to upload and use your custom themes. You can even upload multiple themes and do a lot more…

  • Plugins

You cannot add any custom plugin to WordPress.com. To add a plugin you need to upgrade your plan.

WordPress.org permits you to add any number of plugins basis your requirement.

  • Backup

You don’t need to worry about the backing up of your data,Wordpress.com does this by default.

At WordPress.org you need to daily, weekly or monthly backup your data. However, there are several available plugins which does this for you.

  • Ads

If you use WordPress.com, the platform serves its own ads, which can somehow affect the site’s appearance. If you don’t want to serve WordPress.com ads, then you need to upgrade your plan.

At WordPress.org you have a clean site with no ads from WordPress. You are free to serve your own ads.

  • Revenue

WordPress.com does not allow you to display ads from other ad networks if you are using a Free or a Personal plan.  However, if you are to display ads from other ad networks, you need to do a revenue share with WordPress. If you don’t want a revenue share with WordPress.com and still want to monetize your site with third-party ads, you are required to be a Premium User.

At WordPress.org you are free to monetize your site with third-party ads, the way you want, you are not required to share your revenue with WordPress at all.

  • Analytics

WordPress.com doesn’t allow the use of third-party analytics services such as Google Analytics, etc. You need to be in the Premium plan to be able to deploy and use third-party analytics. Else you can only use the default analytics of WordPress.com.

WordPress.org allows you to add third-party analytics as plugins.

  • SEO

In WordPress.com you can’t use SEO tools since plugins can’t be installed, thus impacting your SEO.  However, you can always upgrade your plan to install, deploy and use SEO plugins on WordPress.com.

WordPress.org loves SEO. You can install, deploy and use as many SEO tools as you need to.

  • Branding

‘Proudly powered by WordPress’ is what is displayed on WordPress.com, unless and until you pay up and upgrade to a Premium plan.

‘Proudly powered by WordPress’ is not displayed on WordPress.org platform, thus resulting in a more professional look and feel.

Our Take –

When you start out with blogging you can choose WordPress.com. Though WordPress.com has limited features, you do not face any server downtimes due to custom hosting. Moreover, it does not even cost you a dime to start up. As you progress you can easily shift to WordPress.org; you can then easily import all of the content either through WordPress.org or through any of the several plugins available for this.

wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org

Hope this post on WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org was helpful. If you have any questions please do let us know through the comment section below.

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