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WordPress.com and WordPress.org: Which one should you use?

By: Mary Barbour

To continue our discussion of WordPress (WP) and it’s functionality, let’s break down the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The difference is actually pretty simple, but we get this question a lot.

The core difference: WordPress.com is a WP installation hosted by the folks behind WordPress. There are limitations as to what you have access to and can change, not to mention you’re limited to the templates they offer. WordPress.org offers a set of open source files you can download, place on whatever server you want and change the source code in whatever way your pretty little heart desires.

Both platforms have a similar administrative interface, both are easy to administer in terms of content. However, if you want to do any sort of customization, and, for that matter, have ownership over your source files, the .org option is the route to take. Because we specialize in building custom WP sites, this is what we work with.

Cost. Both options are free, at first glance. However, if you don’t have development chops, you’ll most likely need to hire a firm like us to build and install your site for you. The word “free” is tricky though. Time and time again, we’ve had clients come to us saying that they’ve spent hours upon hours trying to get their WordPress.com site to do what they want it to do, only to end up at the conclusion that it’s just too limited for their needs. So, time and frustration are good things to factor in when weighing the pros and cons.

Our mission is to make the web an easier, friendlier place, so we love the experience of building a site with the kind of options and possibility offered by WordPress.org.

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