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

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When we are consulting with clients by designing and developing a website for them, we recommend WordPress. According to W3Techs, WordPress is just used on 24.9% of the websites on the internet. Its popularity is predominately due to its ease of use, making it simple for anyone to maintain their own website. However, one of the confusing aspects of WordPress is that there is two different flavours – WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WordPress.com is hosted on WordPress’ servers whereas WordPress.org is self-hosted is hosted on your own server. A WordPress.com site is suited towards more a personal or family website, rather than WordPress.org, which is better a business or organisation.

WordPress.org keeps things simple. It enables you to experiment with your own website without the cost of having a server. The hosting, as well as required maintenance, such as backups and security updates, are performed automatically for you. In WordPress.com, this is managed by the website designer/developer and we often perform this service on behalf of our clients to ensure their website is kept up-to-date and maintained.

WordPress.org also provides some pre-built themes which have been designed, features such as contact forms, as well as social media functionality. However, there is less flexibility in using only the supported plugins and themes. If your website requires some additional features it is recommended to use the self-hosted version where you can choose and install custom themes. It allows the use of plugins to help customise and extend the website’s features further.

Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com provide support forms to get help when you need it. If you are learning WordPress, we encourage you to set up a free account on WordPress.org. You’ll find what you learn can be adapted easily into knowledge that can be used when you move to your own self-hosted version. We can transfer websites from WordPress.org to self-hosted platforms.

If you’d like how to make the most out of WordPress and use it on your organisation’s website, please contact us for more information.