WordPress.org or WordPress.com – which should you choose?

Andy Holland


If you’re considering using WordPress for your website, one of the first things you’ll have to think about is whether you should go for WordPress.com or WordPress.org.

People new to the platform may get confused between the two so we at Elementary Digital have come up with this handy guide to make sure that you can make an informed decision.

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress is the internet’s most popular content management system (CMS). WordPress.org lets you download the software that sits on the server at the back-end of your website. This is what allows you to create and update your website.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. It’s a website where you can host your WordPress site using a wordpress.com domain, or can pay a small fee for a custom URL. It runs the same software that WordPress.org runs, but this is hosted on their servers, meaning you don’t have to worry about upkeep, maintenance, or installation of the software.

So how do they compare?

There are three main points of comparison to consider when trying to decide whether you should use WordPress.com or WordPress.org. These are: cost, limitations, and maintenance.


WordPress.org offer free downloads of their software. However, this free software has to be hosted on a server somewhere.

There are a number of options with hosting. You can use providers such as Go Daddy or Bluehost who offer reasonable rates for hosting. Domains cost about $10 a year.

There can be additional costs involved with WordPress.org. Custom themes and additional plugins can cost you money, but for a business, it is better to choose one of these paid themes as they have more functionality and are more customisable for your exact requirements than the free themes on offer. You can find premium themes suitable for all sorts of sites on WooThemes and Elegant Themes.

WordPress.com on the other hand offer a variety of plans and upgrades for your site. The basic site with a wordpress.com domain name is free and includes a blog, free theme options, no ecommerce, no video storage and 3 GB of space. The premium upgrade offers the same with a custom domain, extra customisation, 10Gb extra space, no ads and email support for £70, and the business pack has a free blog, a custom domain, advanced customisation, over 50 premium themes included, an ecommerce option with unlimited videos, unlimited space, and live chat support to help with any issues that you may have. This is only £210 a year.


WordPress.org lets you do what you want. It’s your site on your server, whereas WordPress.com has limitation to what you can do. With WordPress.com, there’s no option to add additional functionality with plugins as you have no access to the code. If you want full control, then WordPress.org is best.


Hosting your own site means that you have to keep on top of updates, spam and security. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is run by people over at WordPress.com. You don’t have to worry about anything. If you want the easiest option, then WordPress.com is the best option.

For businesses looking at a WordPress site, it makes more sense to host your own or choose a digital agency that can help you with the maintenance and design of the site for you – contact us for help & advice.