What's The Difference Between Free WordPress.com & Self Hosted WordPress.org?

This is the question we get asked a lot.

Which one is better?

I guess the easiest way to explain the difference is - one is like renting an apartment in a large complex, and the other is owning your own home on a massive block of land.

And in case that doesn't clear it all up, well here's a comparison for you...

WordPress.org Benefits

  • It’s free and super easy to use.
  • You own your data. You are in full control. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You are in control.
  • You can upload and use plugins.
  • You can upload custom themes. Modify theme files (not just styles) if needed.
  • You can make money from it by using your own ads, and doing things your way.
  • Custom Analytics and Tracking

WordPress.org Cons

  • Like any other website, you need a good web hosting. This bits cost you money somewhere starting from around $7 per month (as your site grows, your hosting costs will too). But then you would be making enough money to cover the costs :)
  • You are responsible for updates. WordPress upgrades require 1 click (Not too hard eh).
    Sistas in Success take care of this for you .. .so it's not really a 'Con' at all!
  • You are responsible for backups, but thankfully the Sistas take care of that for you too 😉
  • You are responsible to prevent SPAM, and yep you guessed it ... the Sistas handle this as well, so you don’t have to worry about it.

WordPress.com Benefits

  • It’s free for upto 3GB of space. After that you will have to pay for space ($19.95 per year for 5GB) or ($289.97 per year for 100GB).
  • They make regular backups of your site.

WordPress.com Cons

  • They place ads on all free websites. Did you really think it was free without a catch? If you don’t want your users to see ads, then you can pay them $29.97 per year to keep your site ad-free.
  • You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your site unless you receive 25,000 pageviews per month. In which case, you have to apply to try their feature called Ad control. The approval process doesn’t cost you any money, but you have to split your revenues 50/50 with them *Ouch*
  • You cannot use plugins. Yup WordPress is well known for it’s flexibility due to the plugins. WordPress.com does not allow you to use plugins! If you want to use plugins, then you have to move to their VIP program which starts at $3750 per month. No joke.
  • You cannot use custom themes. Yup, you have to be stuck with their choice of themes which is being used on hundreds of millions of sites. They do offer a “design upgrade” which should really be called CSS upgrade for $30 per year. Meaning, you can change the color of your site. But if you want to add something really custom, you cannot.
  • You are restricted to their analytics. You cannot use custom analytics software because you cannot add custom codes.
  • They can delete your site at anytime if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
  • They will change your theme without your permission if the founder doesn’t like the theme developer (yup it happened).
  • Even if you pay for their upgrades, you still have to tell others that your site is powered on WordPress.com

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (Which one is Better for You?)

If you are a personal blogger who doesn't care about making money from their sites, then go with WordPress.com.

If you are anything other than a non-money-making-blogger, then you want to use self hosted WordPress.org. Often people will say, self-hosted WordPress will cost you money. For a small enough site, it is actually cheaper.

Let’s say you use WordPress.com, buy their custom domain ($17 per year), pay for ad-free option ($29.97 per year), and get custom design upgrade ($30 per year). That total is $76.97, and you are still not in full control.

Is one easier than the other?


The interface is pretty much the same.  And we have video tutorials to guide you through the whole dashboard.

As we work with business owners, the only option is WordPress Self Hosted so you are in full control of your website and therefore your business.

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