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WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which Platform We Recommend

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Updated July 7, 2024

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Do I need a hosting provider for WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source software/ content management system (CMS) that is free to use, but there are two different ways to create a WordPress blog or website: you can go through WordPress.com or create your own self-hosted WordPress website through WordPress.org. 

  1. If you use WordPress.com, you do NOT need to sign up with a third-party hosting company because WordPress will host your website on their servers. 
  2. If you’re using WordPress.org, you must get WordPress installed on a third-party hosting server. 

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – What’s the difference?

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a managed hosting service that allows you to build a blog or website using WordPress without using a separate hosting server or domain URL

With this platform, you can get started with a free plan using a WordPress domain (like https://yourname.wordpress.com), but to cover the cost of allowing your site to be online for free, WordPress will display ads on your site. 

You could upgrade to a paid plan for as little as $4 per month to get a free domain for a year and remove the ad experience, but even with an upgraded plan, the platform still comes with a lot of limitations! For instance, you can’t install premium themes or plugins, monetize your site through e-commerce shop/ online store, or make money through display ads.

If you just want to start a journal online, using WordPress.com may be fine for you, but if your goal is to build a business and monetize your website, don’t use WordPress.com!

WordPress.org (referred to as Self-Hosted WordPress)

WordPress.org is where you can download the WordPress software to use on your own WordPress hosting service. 

If you go to WordPress.org, you won’t be able to set up a website that will be accessible online, like you can with WordPress.com. To get your site online this way, you would have to sign up for your own hosting server, install WordPress on it, and then connect a domain URL for it to be visible on the internet.

While a self-hosted blog or website requires a little more setup, the advantage is that you can have full control over your website. You’ll have endless customization options to do whatever you want with it, including building more complex sites with advanced features! 

You can choose your website hosting plan, get a custom domain, and hand-pick the best WordPress plugins and themes to get the right functionality for your blog or business!

If you go with a good web hosting platform, you won’t have to go to WordPress.org, download it, and upload it to the server; the host will pre-install WordPress for you, so the setup isn’t nearly as intimidating as it may sound.

📌 Self-Hosted WordPress – All tutorials on our site are about building your website on a self-hosted server because it will allow you to have the most flexibility over what you design and how you manage and monetize your site.

If you’re ready to start your WordPress website, read the post: How To Choose The Best WordPress Web Host and I’ll guide you through next steps.

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