To know the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, you will need to understand how both WordPress.org and WordPress.com works.
Let’s first understand how WordPress.org works
WordPress.org is a free open source software which you can download from the site itself.
You can then use it to design a site or a blog offline. Once you have designed it, you can then transfer all the WordPress files to a web hosting provider so that you can make the site or blog go live on the internet. WordPress.org is similar to Microsoft Word. If Microsoft Word is used to create documents from your desktop or laptop, then WordPress.org is used to create sites and blogs.
However, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of transferring the WordPress files to a web hosting provider, you can install WordPress directly from the web hosting provider. Most web hosting provider nowadays allow you to easily install WordPress to a domain name for free.
Now, let’s understand how WordPress.com works
WordPress.com is built using WordPress.org. In other words, they are the same thing. It’s just that you can’t download the software to your desktop or laptop. Which means that you will need to utilise the software in WordPress.com itself. Imagine using Microsoft Word in Microsoft.com.
The disadvantage of WordPress.org
You will need to purchase a web hosting plan and a domain name if you want the site or blog to go live on the internet. This will cost you between $60 – $100 a year.
Unlike WordPress.com, you are able to get your blog or site live on the internet with their Free plan.
The disadvantage of WordPress.com
You will not be able to utilise WordPress to it’s full potential unless you subscribe to their Business plan. Their Business plan is priced at $25 per month.
WordPress is known for it’s customisability. And for you to be able to customise a WordPress site from head to toe is when you are able to access the plugin repository and install themes. However, if you look closely at the plans which they have got to offer, the installation of plugins and themes are only made available with their Business plan.
This also means that you are not able to carry out any e-commerce activities unless you get the Business plan. This is because to enable e-commerce features you will need to install the WooCommerce plugin.
If you take websites and blogs seriously, then you should create it using WordPress.org, see our tutorial here – How to create a site or a blog with WordPress.org. However, if you are new to websites and blogs and would like to test how it works, then you should start with WordPress.com, see our tutorial here – How to create a site or a blog with WordPress.com.