$2.90 per month
E-commerce (low-priced plan)
$1.95 per month
E-commerce (low-priced plan)
Cost and Domain Names
WordPress.com is free for most users, but for advanced features, you must use a paid plan. These start at $7 per month and go up to $59 per month. While the free version comes with a custom subdomain (such as mysitehere.wordpress.com), you must pay for a domain name if you want full customization (mysitehere.com). With WordPress.org, most host companies provide a free, custom domain name for the first year.
Monetization and Rights
One could argue WordPress.com offers enough monetization options, but there’s a glaring difference compared to WordPress.org in ad options. With .com, you can only use WordAds, which is WordPress’ official advertising network. A self-hosted account allows for any ad network, such as Google AdSense, Mediavine or AdThrive.
For bloggers, in particular, you must have a self-hosted blog via WordPress.org if you want to make money blogging. This is because the vast majority of influencer networks require you to self-host so you own the content you produce without giving WordPress the blanket right to use your content as they see fit.
Similarly, let’s say you want to publish a book traditionally, and you build your audience via a blog (or website) by sharing excerpts from your book. Whether you use .com or .org, a traditional publisher won’t take any content you’ve posted online. This is because you’ve already “published” the content, even if it was just on your own website.
Google Analytics is the tool used to measure site traffic, and you can install it on a self-hosted site. If you want the option for your WordPress.com site, you must purchase a Premium plan or above. Most influencer networks and brands require a blogger or influencer to have Google Analytics installed on their site.
If you don’t need advanced customization nor monetization tools, and are okay with display ads, you may enjoy using WordPress.com. An example is someone keeping a journal online about a family member’s health updates; you don’t plan on making money off this, and just need a place to share updates with friends and family.
The amount of backup and storage available on WordPress.com depends on the plan you choose. Free plans get 3 GB, and with its paid plans you can have up to 200 GB of storage. For WordPress.org, the amount of storage available depends on your host company package. Many offer unlimited storage, particularly with higher-tiered packages.
WordPress.com offers an e-commerce option for $59 per month, so users can accept payments in over 60 countries, integrate with shipping carriers and have better design options. With plugins, WordPress.org users can integrate their site with e-commerce solutions, as well as choose themes best suited for selling online.