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What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Many users get confused when looking for information about WordPress. In fact, although they have the same name, WordPress.com e WordPress.org Are two different things.

To fully understand what we are talking about, we must first understand what is WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open source software created by Matt Mullenweg For the creation of a personal blog. Over time WordPress has been enriched with new features, becoming a comprehensive CMS thanks to the support of the developer community, which in addition to contributing to code development has created an ecosystem of plugins expanding its potential, as well as a vast repertoire of themes.

There are thousands of plugins for every need, they are free but there are also paid ones. I have also developed a plugin that allows you to view data from Google Search Console within the WordPress administration dashboard.

What is WordPress.org: the self-hosted version

As mentioned WordPress is an open source software that can be freely downloaded by everyone by going to the official website: you can install it on your own server, customize it and use its full potential.

This therefore implies that you have to have your own domain and one of your own server Where to install the software.

The requirements for installing WordPress on your server are minimal: you just need to have PHP and MySql enabled and you can proceed with the installation.

Almost all hosting services also allow you to install WordPress through a convenient server management panel, which in most cases is cPanel.

Even a beginner can easily create his or her own blog in minutes and take advantage of the full potential of WordPress.

In fact, even if you are a beginner, you will have no problem making your own professional blog completely independently.

As already mentioned you can choose your favorite theme with which to customize the appearance of your blog: there are free and paid themes, there is an almost unlimited choice.

In addition, you can extend your blog with an unlimited set of plugins that add a variety of features, the most diverse.

There are plugins for managing SEO, speeding up the site, creating forms and newsletters, turning the blog into an ecommerce, and more.

As mentioned you must have a domain and hosting on which to host your blog: currently the best hosting service is Siteground.

What is WordPress.com: the hosted version

WordPress.com is a service that allows you to create a WordPress blog without having to download anything. It is basically a SaaS (software as a service).

This means you won't have to install anything, WordPress is already installed.

Therefore, it is not necessary to have a domain and hosting plan.

This might seem like a good solution if you have few technical skills and a limited budget.

In reality you will have limitations that will prevent you from taking full advantage of the full potential of WordPress.

The differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

After a quick overview of the two versions, let's look at what the main differences are in more detail so you can make the right choice for starting your blog.

Domain

To start curating your online presence you will need a domain name.

WordPress.org

The cost of a domain is around 10€ per year. You can save the cost of the domain if you request it at the same time as activating a hosting plan on SiteGround: The domain is offered free of charge.

You can then have a site reachable at "ilmiosito.it“.

WordPress.com

On WordPress.com you will only be able to have a third-level domain: e.g. "ilmiosito.wordpress.com". Obviously it is less eye-catching than a domain with only the name you have chosen.

If you want to use your own custom domain on WordPress.com you will have to subscribe to a subscription plan costing €4 per month.

So you will spend 48€ plus the cost of the domain.

Hosting

WordPress.org

To run your blog independently you will need a hosting plan. Prices vary, but hover around €5 per month for good hosting.

Having your own hosting allows you to have so many advantages.

You will be able to independently manage all the files on your site, make changes to the CSS code, PHP or HTML.

Hosting offers can be very varied and with different prices, but if you want to have the best then I recommend using SiteGround: this hosting is emerging as one of the best, especially for running WordPress sites, as it offers great performance, lots of backup space and top 24/24h support service.

WordPress.com

On WordPress.com you will not need to buy hosting, because this is provided free of charge.

But you will not have access to edit files; you will be limited in making the customizations you want. To have some minimal control, you will have to subscribe to the business plan, which costs 8 euros per month.

You will understand that for the same cost, it is better to have your own hosting plan to take advantage of its full potential.

Memory space

WordPress.org

It varies depending on the hosting you choose. At SiteGround for example is of 10GB.

WordPress.com

The free version offers 3GB of space. To increase it, one must upgrade to the paid versions.

Plugins and Themes

Here is the sorest note of all.

At WordPress.com In fact, you won't be able to install any plugins. Suffice it to say that you won't even be able to use such basic plugins as Yoast Seo o WpForms.

You will also be limited in your use of Google Analytics unless you subscribe to a paid plan.

Same goes for themes. With the hosted version you will have so many limitations and you will not be able to install the best WordPress themes, but you will be limited to the free ones.

This infographic can simplify the points we have analyzed for you.

As you may have realized, my preference undoubtedly goes to the self-hosted version i.e. WordPress.org.

Unless you want to create a simple amateur blog to share your thoughts and have an online space without thinking about monetizing it, my advice is to definitely go for WordPress.org.

Also for the same price, should you decide to opt for WordPress.com, you will have less freedom to better manage your blog.

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