WordPress.com is a website where you can sign up for a free WordPress site that will get entirely hosted on their servers. In contrast, WordPress.org is a site that offers downloads of the software, themes, and plugins to use on your own paid hosting. If you would like to start a business website with WordPress, which option is better?
WordPress-Hosted vs. Self-Hosted WordPress Websites
If you are totally new to website development, need to do everything yourself from scratch without a big learning curve, and have absolutely no money to spend, you might consider letting WordPress.com host your new website. Almost anybody who has ever used email and a simple word processor should be able to follow the instructions to set up a simple site in a couple of hours. A basic account is totally free, so you never have to pay unless you want extras.
However, hosting your own WordPress website is not that much more difficult. In fact, most inexpensive web hosting plans come with one-click installs that will enable you to add a basic and functional WordPress website within a few minutes. Once inside of your admin panel, you should be able to add themes and plugins from the administrative panels, and you are also free to have custom themes and plugins created by a website developer.
If you plan to hire a website developer, he or she will have many more options on a self-hosted WordPress website. Anybody who even thinks they may want custom features in the future should definitely host their own site.
Is WordPress.com or WordPress.org Cheaper?
You do have to pay for hosting for a self-hosted site, but many basic hosting plans are very inexpensive. Plus, if you want to upgrade your WordPress.com service to add features like your own domain name and direct email accounts, Premium and Business plans range from $99 to $299 a year. For that amount, you could easily buy your own website and email hosting and pay for a domain. While the basics are free with WordPress.com, extras are expensive.
WordPress.com is Limited
WordPress.com has strict rules about advertising, so you if you decide you would like to run certain kinds of ads on your site, it may be forbidden by their TOC. You don’t have these limits when you host your own site. In fact, WordPress.com may decide that your website does not follow their strict rules, and they could remove it at any time. When you host your own site, you have total control, and that is what you want if you are going to invest your time and money.