WordPress.com and WordPress.org explained

A few days ago I had a talk with a friend of mine who was looking into WordPress as a DIY tool for his website project.

As an architect, he is not really skilled in web development, yet he affirmed me that he already looked into WordPress website to found some information. For me, such case is a perfect chance to get fresh thoughts and impressions on WordPress and so on. And so I began.

– ‘Ok, tell me what you got.’
– ‘I visited WordPress.com and …’
– ‘Wait! You were supposed to …’

The answer came as a blast. It was funny and disturbing at the same time and as a good friend, I took responsibility to explain it. In less than 5 minutes (one WordPress installation away) my friend Rob was ‘an expert’ in WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

For people in the WordPress community, it is an obvious thing, a piece of cake. But for someone new to WordPress or with a different background, such things can be tricky and needs to be explained.

What is WordPress

Let’s skip .com and .org for a minute and look into WordPress in general. WordPress is named as the easiest and most powerful website content management system (CMS) on the market. It is a free, open source solution that everyone can use, no strings attached.

The idea of open source code allows WordPress to run one of the biggest web development communities. And this, of course, reflects in overall usage of WordPress – around 80% of all websites with content management system run on WordPress. These are huge numbers!

80% of all websites with content management system run on #WordPress. Click To Tweet

Now, if you are looking into having a website, WordPress should be among top choices as it will be simply easy to get help and find additional extensions.

What is WordPress.com

WordPress.com website by Automattic

WordPress.com is an online service that allows you to run your website on WordPress. It is using the WordPress content management system as a basis for their service and back it up with different extensions and WordPress themes. The price for hosting your blog may vary from zero to tens of dollars per month depending on your preferences.

WordPress.com is managed by Automattic, the company behind WordPress content management system. This also explains why they are having a more popular .com domain name for their commercial service instead of .org.

Is WordPress.com the right choice for you? It depends! Let me put it this way, if you are a very beginner, like my friend Rob, it is maybe a lot easier for you to go towards WordPress.com. There you will get a hassle-free service to get your blog up and running. On the other hand, you can always look into popular hosting companies for managed WordPress hosting, a similar service to WordPress.com.

What is WordPress.org

WordPress.org - official WordPress website

Now forget about services, WordPress.org is the place where WordPress really lives – a very heart of WordPress community. And this is the place where you can download your copy of WordPress content management system. Why do you need a copy? To build your own website on WordPress and keep it wherever you want, no obligations.

Apart from WordPress itself, WordPress.org is the place where you will discover lots of extensions (in WordPress we call them plugins) and themes – all for free.

Choosing a WordPress.org will allow you to take full control over your WordPress installation by selecting any theme, installing free or premium plugins and changing configuration without limitation. The downside of WordPress.org is that it will only give you the tool, but not the mechanism, so you will still need to look for a hosting and maybe have some technical skills (or use Google).


It is so easy to get misled with WordPress.com and WordPress.org so make sure to spread the world and explain things. Where you the one who was misled just like Rob? Or maybe know someone who was struggling? Jump into the conversation and let us know.

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  1. Thanks for the didactic of the blog now I already have clear the difference between one and the other me too
    greetings from Mexico
    An apology for my bad english

  2. Hi, I came to the blog to find out if wpbakery(visual composer) is for WordPress.com or WordPress.org? I have wordpress.com, but need to know before attempting to purchase. Please help!

    1. Hi,
      Yes, it will work on WordPress.com on a “Business” plan. On other plans, WordPress.com doesn’t allow to upload third-party plugins. Another option is using a self-hosted WordPress installation on a hosting of your choice.

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