Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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

Do I have WordPress.com or am I using WordPress.org?

This question is frequently asked by people who are beginning their first WordPress website. 

They are excited about creating a blog or opening an online store, and have listened to all the hype about "WordPress."

Newcomers are sometimes confused about where to find "WordPress" and naturally expect to find it at dot-com.

That's the wrong place to look for it. Let me explain: 


Yes, "WordPress" is definitely the way to go. It is used at over a third of the one billion websites on the Internet.

"WordPress" itself is free. It is available from WordPress.org: Free.

Many web hosting providers such as GoDaddy and HostGator offer free access to WordPress.  They charge for their service, but the WordPress add-on is free.

Typically, the steps to creating a website is this:
  1. Get a domain name...
  2. Buy web hosting...
  3. Install WordPress...
  4. Configure WordPress to meet your specific expectations (blog, ecommerce, etc.)...
  5. Market your website (blog/products/services) through social media...
Those are the individual steps, but often they are combined as a single product.

Specifically, web hosting companies often bundle a domain name and a one-click installation of WordPress (steps 1-3 in my list) so that customers think of it as a continuous process.


WordPress.com is a web hosting company! It just happens to have "WordPress" in its name.

WordPress.com will help you get a domain name, and it will offer a 1-click installation of WordPress software.

The bottom line is that WordPress.com offers the same bundle of service(s) as other web hosting company. 

[Update October 2020: I have written another analogy that explains this a little better: ABCInc.pw/2020/10/wordpresscom-vs-wordpressorg-again.html]

Whether or not to use WordPress.com as your hosting company is the subject of hundreds of articles on the Internet (e.g. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better?).  Do your own research!

Bibliography & Reading

  1. 40+ Most Notable Big Name Brands that are Using WordPress 
  2. Search Google for "Domain Registration Companies" Examples:
    • Network Solutions
    • GoDaddy
    • NameCheap (my favorite)
  3. Search Google for "Web Hosting Companies" Examples:
    • Bluehost
    • HostGator
    • Hostinger
    • GreenGeeks
    • DreamHost
    • SiteGround
    • A2 Hosting
    • WestHost
  4. Search YouTube for "Installing WordPress"
    • Too many examples to list!
  5. Search Google for "Should I use WordPress.com"

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