WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Which is the best fit for you?

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Published Date:  01 Jun, 2022 | Updated Date:  18 Nov, 2022

So, what is the main difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org? Read the final article in our comparison guide to learn which platform is best for your operations online.

This article is Part 3 of 3 in our guide to WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Which is best for your business website?. If you missed them, go back and read Part 2: What is WordPress.org? | WordPress Comparison Guide, and Part 1: What is WordPress.com | WordPress Comparison Guide.

“WordPress.com is similar to your WordPress.org website with the exception that you’re settling for a slower host with limitations that will hurt your leads and sales efforts.”

As we mentioned, the key difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com is who’s actually hosting your website. With wordpress.com, you don’t need to buy and host your website, while with wordpress.org, you benefit from a self hosted website.


Why is that so important? What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

Because if you have plans to include investors in your model, or if you hope to sell your business in the future, you will have full control over that sale without having to migrate your site first. You can pass along domain information and consider your exit hassle-free.

As well, while wordpress.com has limited security features, wordpress.org can be set up with as many security options as you need. We at The Digital Navigator recommend (and use) two firewalls, a dedicated protective option for plugins, and weekly updates to your hosting software.

It is also worth noting that while wordpress.com requires you to sign up for an account to create your website, that wordpress.org allows you to download their files without an account–so long as you have your own hosting platform.

That’s also why wordpress.org offers one-click installation, which we take pride in managing for our clients at The Digital Navigator.


WordPress.com versus WordPress.org: Cost Comparison

For any business owner, budget is key. There are cost options associated with both wordpress.com and wordpress.org, however, we recommend investing in good hosting through wordpress.org since it will far outweigh the prices you might pay with wordpress.com.

Nevertheless, let’s explore a brief comparison of costs for either option so you can move forward with a clear conscience (and help convince your accountant as well!).

WordPress.com Costs | WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

While you can explore the pricing options in full here for wordpress.com, know that your monthly bill will range anywhere from $0 dollars for basic plans with limited functionality, to about $59 a month for business services that include SEO tools, eCommerce options, and increased access to usability plugins.

When you’re looking for true business quality operations through wordpress.com however, we’ve seen clients come to us with bills as high as $2K a month since the $59 a month option is still incredibly slow where hosting is concerned, and has a ton of limitations.

WordPress.org Costs | WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

“A really great host and maintenance service should only cost you about what a coffee a day would cost. At The Digital Navigator, our most comprehensive plans run at about $347/ month, but even then, this rate far surpasses rates known to other hosting platforms.”

The WordPress.org software itself is 100% free; however, if you want to make your website public, good web hosting and a domain name comes at a reasonable price–particularly when you start to compare prices with the cost of running a physical storefront.

With our plans for example, a year’s worth of managed web hosting will run about $4100, which is really just a drop in the bucket for any serious business.

We truly believe that cutting corners here can end up reducing sales revenue, where owners will spend more time paying people to optimize an otherwise ‘free’ service.

Let Us Manage Your Site


WordPress.com or WordPress.org: Which is the best fit for you?

Now that you’ve seen the results of our comparison between wordpress.com vs wordpress.org, which one do you think is the best fit for your business?

Based on the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org, what deciding factors have made you lean in one direction or the other?

Wherever you stand, here are our final thoughts on the types of businesses that would benefit from using wordpress.com vs wordpress.org in a nutshell:

We recommend choosing WordPress.com for your business if you…

  • Are a hobbyist who is not focusing on a for-profit venture
  • Want to create a blog to share your thoughts and creative expressions without ad monetizing
  • Want to make a local website for organizations close to home, such as a neighborhood watch or community center
  • Are looking for an extremely simple website (about one to five pages total) to test whether you have a minimum viable product or service, before you start your sales stream

We recommend choosing WordPress.org for your business if you…

  • Operate a business and have sales income
  • Plan to scale your business in the future
  • Want to offer courses or membership services online
  • Want to monetize your website with ads or affiliate marketing
  • Want to collect leads for your business through website forms or grow your email marketing list
  • Plan to run digital marketing campaigns
  • Plan to include specific functionalities on your website such as chatbots, special pop-up tools or events listings and calendars


I need help with WordPress.org! | Self Host WordPress

For those who fall into the wordpress.org category, who may not have a ton of experience running a hosted platform or managing the customizations that come with optimizing your website online, we recommend finding a trustworthy website hosting service to streamline operations.

That’s one of the main services we provide at The Digital Navigator, and why we’re so confident that wordpress.org is best suited for tons of businesses just starting out online today.

Through interactive support and one-on-one learning, our customer service team of non-developers help make your first steps to website development easy to understand. They also help you learn how to host your own website.

Then, The Digital Navigator applies our expert team of developers to do all the behind-the-scenes work for you–so you don’t get bogged down with all the technical details described above.

Best of all, we reach out to third-party developers and plugin providers on your behalf when and if any issues arise. Due to our expertise in this area, we are able to pin-point specific problems and get simple solutions before you even know there was an issue in the first place–and we do this at no additional cost.

Make sure when you’re shopping around for a website management service that you look for options that provide speed optimization and security as well (which we do).

If on the other hand you just want to take advantage of our service and speak to us about how else we can help your website accrue the sales you’re dreaming of, go ahead and schedule a consultation with us right away!

Until then, we hope you found this article helpful, and that you feel confident in understanding the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org–though if you don’t we’re always around to answer your questions, and stick by your side for the long haul.

Talk soon!

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This article is Part 3 of 3 in our guide to WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: Which is best for your business website?. If you missed them, go back and read Part 2: What is WordPress.org? | WordPress Comparison Guide, and Part 1: What is WordPress.com | WordPress Comparison Guide.




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