Wanting to start a blog is common now-a-days and it’s easy to start one, however a common question is how to go about it – should I use a hosted service or a self-hosted solution? – Ater you’ve decided to use WordPress as the blogging software.Now, where does WordPress.com and WordPress.org come into the mix? Both are powered by WordPress. WordPress.com is a hosted WordPress service and WordPress.org provides the software you need to run your own WordPress powered blog but not the hosting or back-end related management, i.e. security.

You can also think of it as .com standing for “commercial” and .org as standing for “non-profit organization;” which they technically do.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org Chart

WordPress.com WordPress.org
Price Free Free
License Terms of Service GNU GPL 2.0
**General** **WordPress.com** **WordPress.org**
Hosting included ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png) ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png)
DNS included ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png) ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png)
Install Plugins ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png) ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
Sell Ads ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png) ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
Ad Free ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png) ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
Custom Design No; Add-on available $20+ ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
Your Own Theme ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png) ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
Multi-site ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png) ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
**Hosting** **WordPress.com** **WordPress.org**
Hosting Cost Free Depends
Managed Security ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png) ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png)
Control Panel Proprietary Depends; usually cPanel
Domain Name $13 /yr+ Depends on Registrar
Storage 3 GB Depends on hosting plan
Extra Storage +$20 /yr Depends on hosting provider
Use a CDN ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png) ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
**Other** **WordPress.com** **WordPress.org**
Required Technical Knowledge None Limited
Source Code Customization ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png) ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png)
Predictable Costs ![Yes](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/yes.png) ![No](http://i1.wp.com/cdn.himpfen.com/upload/no.png)

The pricing of a self-hosted blog depends and as your blog grows, so will your expenses. To start, I would budget $10 /yr for a domain name and around $5 or more per month for a quality hosting provider. I would avoid hosting providers that provide unlimited disk space, as there is no such thing as unlimited disk space. Yes, storage is cheap now-a-days but not free. What these hosting providers are counting on is that your blog will be small and therefore server resources will be minimal and when your blog grows you will upgrade to higher paid plan. Because of this, these unlimited disk space hosting providers are usually, if not always, oversold – leading to poor quality.

So, which one should I choose, WordPress.com or WordPress.org? It really depends on your blog and your plans with your blog. If you have no technical knowledge, WordPress.com is a great option, but don’t forget that you can hire someone or a company to manage your WordPress installation for you. If you are not planning on making money with your blog, building custom functionality or want a custom appearance, then WordPress.com is probably for you. WordPress.org really offers great potential on extending your blog and making money off of it.