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

I love to promote WordPress as the ultimate CMS (Content Management System) and Blog platform. I specifically use WordPress for my Worry Free Websites, because it is the BEST for search engine exposure and is continually improving due to the generous contributions of the open source community.

One thing I often forget to mention, however, is that there are actually two WordPress options – WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Let’s take a moment and consider the differences so you can make the best choice for your new blog or website.



  • You are limited to the available themes in the repository.
  • You are not able to modify the CSS (the code that changes styles such as colors, fonts, graphic styles, etc.) or other codes within the theme.


  • CSS editing is available for $30/year
  • Selected commercial themes can be purchased for a one-time fee.


  • You may not add any paid, free or custom plugins. There are a lot of common built-in "plugin-like" features.


  • Free for up to 3GB of storage space.
  • Text ads will be displayed to logged-out users.
  • Your domain will be a subdomain meaning it will end with .wordpress.com. Therefore instead of having www.MyBusiness.com it would be www.MyBusiness.WordPress.Com


  • $12 - $17 a year for your own domain instead of a subdomain
  • 5GB of storage for $19.97/year
  • 100GB of storage for $289.97/year
  • Ad-Free option - $29.97/year


  • You are not allowed to sell ads on your site unless you receive 25,000 page views per month. Then, you can apply for Ad Control. Ad Control is free, however you have to split revenue 50/50 with Automattic.


  • You do not have to worry about backups, updates, optimization and more. It is all taken care of for you.



  • You can choose from paid premium themes, custom themes, design your own theme, and more.
  • You are free to edit all code - HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.


  • You can add any free, paid, or custom plugins to your site, allowing you to maximize your website for content management and SEO results.


  • You have to pay a hosting fee to your webhost. These fees can range anywhere between $3 - $30/month depending on your usage, but really - steer clear of cheap hosting! You want a host that is fine-tuned specifically for WordPress hosting. $30 - $75/month will keep your site running like a well-oiled machine.
  • Yearly domain registration fee. Usually around $15.


  • You can sell as many ads as you want and use any ad service.
  • You get to keep 100% of your profits.



Our Opinion…

While none of the paid upgrades are required with WordPress.com, we do feel that having the many features available with WordPress.org only maximize your website’s potential for traffic, exposure and increased profitability. We also love that we can have unlimited options for site customization and design to further enhance your brand.



Kim Kopec

Kim has over 25 years of experience in marketing, design and communications. She loves to use her creative gifts to help Michigan small businesses (and start-ups) with their online presence and visual branding. Her motto is “Behind every great design, is a substantial amount of coffee!”

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