Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

I am damn sure that most WordPress beginners are unaware of the thing that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are two different platforms. Failure to understand the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com will end up in choosing the wrong platform (WordPress.com) most of the time.

It is natural for one to think that .com is associated with the original platform. But in this case .org is the real deal. Unfortunately self also one of the victims of this confusion and started my blog with WordPress.com at the beginning. 😀 Now let’s jump in to see what is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com!

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org WordPress.org
This is the popular CMS – Content Management System that people always talk about.This is a Web Hosting Service that provides a modified version of the real WordPress.
It is the real WordPress that offers powerful features.It is a closed Platform with a lot of restrictions on features.
You can create any type of website.It suits better for blogging sites only.
WordPress.org is owned by WordPress Foundation which is founded by Matt Mullenweg.WordPress.com is owned by Automattic which is also founded by the same person Matt Mullenweg.

The person responsible for this confusion in naming is none other than Matt Mullenweg, the man behind both platforms. To understand better, a quick recap of WordPress history will help a lot.

History of WordPress.org and WordPress.com

2001: b2 Cafelog

b2 Cafelog– blogging platform launched by Michel Valdrighi, a French developer.

2002: Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg started to use b2 Cafelog, but Michel Valdrighi abandoned the project.

1st April 2003: WordPress

Matt along with Mike Little started a new branch of b2 Cafelog on Sourceforge to create his own version. Matt’s friend Christine Tremoulet suggested the name WordPress.

27th May 2003: First Version

The First Version of WordPress.org (Version-0.7) was released.

Aug 2005: Automattic

Matt filed the trademark registration for WordPress and Logo through Automattic.

Aug 2006: Registered Trademark

Matt founded the new company Automattic and launched WordPress.com to provide a web hosting services for WordPress Bloggers.

9th Sep 2010: WordPress Foundation

Matt created WordPress Foundation a non-profit organization to manage WordPress.org and donated the WordPress trademark and logo to it.

Why Matt Created WordPress Foundation and transfer the Trademark…?

By now, I guess you are familiar with the history of WordPress and came up with the above question. Go ahead to know the answer below.

In the beginning, the open-source project WordPress.org didn’t really yield any business. So Matt registered the WordPress trademark through Automattic for WordPress.com at first.

As time passes by, WordPress.org gained popularity. So, Matt created the WordPress Foundation with a vision to protect the open-source project for the long run.

Extract from WordPress Foundation Site:

The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software.
The point of the foundation is to ensure free access, in perpetuity, to the software projects we support. People and businesses may come and go, so it is important to ensure that the source code for these projects will survive beyond the current contributor base, that we may create a stable platform for web publishing for generations to come. As part of this mission, the Foundation will be responsible for protecting WordPress, WordCamp, and related trademarks. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the WordPress Foundation pursues a charter to educate the public about WordPress and related open-source software.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com: Which one to choose?

Of course, the answer is WordPress.org. We strongly recommend our readers to choose WordPress.org over WordPress.com for any type of site. Just to understand better the power of WordPress.org, compare WordPress.org to an Own House and WordPress.com to a Rented House.

WordPress.Org: In your own house, you can do whatever you want {provided your wife/husband is not at home 😀 }. You will have full freedom for everything.


WordPress.Com: In the case of a rented house, you are restricted to certain things and you cannot do whatever you want.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com: Quick Comparison Table

This Quick comparison table will help you to understand the difference between WordPress.Org and WordPress.Com & why WordPress.Org is considered better than WordPress.Com:

Running Cost$36-100+ (per year)Free$48-300 (per year)
Storage LimitUltd.3 GB6-200 GB
Theme Support ✔️ ✔️
Plugin Support ✔️ ✔️
Branding ✔️ ✔️
Monetization ✔️ Rstd.
SEO features ✔️ ✔️
Analytics ✔️ ✔️
Full Control ✔️

Final Thoughts

Just to recapitulate the above-said things,

WordPress.org is an Open Source Software maintained by a Non-profit Organization called WordPress Foundation.

WordPress.com is a Web hosting service built upon WordPress.org to yield profitable business and owned by Automattic.

Even though both are officially different platforms, the line between them is blurred because of Matt Mullenweg whose is the founder of Automattic as well as WordPress Foundation.

I hope this post should have cleared your confusion between WordPress.org and WordPress.com positively. And also I highly recommend using WordPress.org to enjoy full control over the Site. Do let me know your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.

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