WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

Recently I’ve had some questions about WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

WordPress, the software, is always free. However at WordPress.com you can get hosting for free too. (WordPress.org is like download central. You can download the software, themes, and plugins.) There are caveats to the free hosting though. For example, in the free version you won’t have a “regular” URL. You’ll have NameHere.WordPress.com. That’s not good for branding. You also can’t use custom themes, there are less themes to chose from and you can’t upload plugins. They’ll also sometimes put their ads on your blog.

You can pay fees at WordPress.com to not have ads and to have a regular domain name. But the thing that people love about WordPress. com is the free hosting. So once you start paying for features you might as well go somewhere else.

So why not start out with another host to begin with? That gives you immediate access to all the free themes and plugins available at WordPress.org.

If  that seems overwhelming then I’ve got three suggestions for you.

  1. It’s really not that hard to install WordPress and if you start with the right website host.  I recommend BlueHost.  They’ve got some great features that make installing WordPress a breeze.  They’ve also got a fantastic technical support department.
  2. The first is to buy the book I co-wrote on with WordPress.  The point of the book is to make it easy to set up a blog using the downloads from WordPress.org.
  3. Contact me.  I’ll be glad to help you get everything set up.  I even will give you WordPress coaching over the telephone.

While it may seem scary to go the WordPress.org route, it’s a lot better in the end. And it’s not really that difficult. It’s like anything else, it only seems difficult until you know how to do it.


  1. I established my website above on WordPress.com, establishing my own domain, etc. The article above is of interest but I am wondering if it’s possible to transfer my current webiste over to another blog-hoster, e.g.,Blue Host, without losing what I’ve spent more than a year writing for. Plus, I’ve paid for upgrades which may or may not transfer to a different host.

    1. Author

      Hi Irene,

      All of your posts, pages, images and comments can easily be moved to another website host. It should also be fairly easy to replicate the look and feel of your existing website. WordPress.com may have some features that aren’t available elsewhere, but I would think the changes would be minimal. There’s even a WordPress plugin (that’s additional software, kind of like a cell phone app) called JetPack that replicates the functionality of sites on WordPress.com.

      I’d have to talk with you to find out more about your upgrades. Feel free to send me an email and we can set up an appointment to talk about it.

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