What’s the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com?

WordPress is a very popular notion especially when it comes to a CMS enabling you to create websites quickly and easily. If you look for more information on “wordpress” online you will find two almost similar versions in the search results: wordpress.org and wordpress.com. Which one should you choose to create your website?

There is an obvious difference in the domain extensions – .org and .com. They provide two options for using the CMS platform WordPress. WordPress.org is the WordPress open source application and WordPress.com is WordPress as a service.

We have received many questions from our customers concerning the difference between the two WordPress variations. Usually, the reason for those questions is related to the WordPress tools in cPanel which we have custom developed for easy management of WordPress websites on our hosting accounts. Read the following lines to learn the differences between the two WordPress variations – wp.org and wp.com.

WordPress as an application (wordpress.org)

WordPress.org is the official website for downloading the CMS platform WordPress. This open source web application is free to download and can be used by anyone willing to create a website.

WordPress is used by beginners as well as by experienced developers. Users can easily add content to their websites as no in-depth knowledge in programming or complex technologies is required. Developers can change the application in detail since they are provided with full access and control over the system’s files and source code.

The GNU General Public License and open source of WordPress provide complete freedom to use the application for all types of purposes and modify it in various ways. If you have basic knowledge in PHP, HTML, CSS you can perform minor modifications on the website’s theme. This freedom puts in your hands the responsibility for adding features, supporting and updating the system.

To create a website with WordPress you do not need to register on wordpress.org. From wordpress.org you can download a WordPress installation package. Then this package can be installed on a server, for example on a hosting account.

If you still do not have such one, you need to first choose a hosting service together with a domain name for your website.

With SuperHosting.BG you can choose your own domain while purchasing a hosting service. The hosting service providing server space for your WordPress website includes additional services such as mail boxes, subdomains, databases and many more.

Installing WordPress onto your hosting account can be performed automatically through WordPress Manager by SuperHosting. You do not need to download WordPress from wordpress.org and upload it onto your account. The tool WordPress Manager by SuperHosting is included by default in your hosting service for free.

After WordPress is installed onto your hosting account, you can manage your website’s admin panel. You can access the admin panel by using your domain name, e.g. mysuperwpsite.com/wp-admin.

Your website's admin panel in WordPress
Your website’s admin panel in WordPress

Themes and plugins

WordPress developers provide a vast number of free or premium plugins and themes. You can find free plugins and themes for WordPress on the CMS’ official website: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ and https://wordpress.org/themes/. You can easily install all types of premium or free themes and plugins on your WordPress website.

Your own domain

Having your own domain enables you to choose your website’s name as it does not contain words of other websites, e.g. mysuperwpsite.wordpress.com. Examples of such names are: mysuperwpsite.com, mysite.online, mysite.info or others.

WordPress installation onto your hosting account

With the tool WordPress Manager by SuperHosting available in cPanel you will neither need to download the WordPress installation package from wordpress.org, nor to manually install it onto the account.

Manual WordPress installation onto the hosting account is possible, but not obligatory. Instead, the WordPress installation can be performed with just a few clicks through the New WordPress Installation option in WordPress Manager.

Automatic installation is performed in a single step where you need to fill in the website’s name and administrative data. You do not need to enter system data such as database name, username or password.

After the WordPress installation is automatically completed you will be able to start working on the website, log into the admin panel, create pages and posts, change the website’s theme, add new features through plugins. To customize your first WordPress website follow the next easy steps: Create Your First WordPress Website in Three Easy Steps.

WordPress as a service (wordpress.com)

WordPress.com is the official website of the online platform for creating blogs. Websites created on wordpress.com are hosted and loaded from the platform’s servers.

The WordPress.com platform uses modified version of the WordPress application (wordpress.org). The files and source code of this WordPress variation cannot be modified by users. The platform does not provide direct access to the system files and database of the website.

WordPress.com is described as a blog hosting or a blogging platform and is mainly used for creating and managing blogs. With premium plans it can actually be used for any type of websites.

To create a website on WordPress.com you need to register on wordpress.com. Website management is performed through the admin panel which is available after login on https://wordpress.com/wp-admin.

Your website's admin panel on wordpress.com
Your website’s admin panel on wordpress.com

When you use a free website from the platform, it will contain a wordpress.com caption and banners which you cannot control.

Themes and plugins

The platform offers free themes which can be installed on the website, but the opportunities with the free website are limited as you cannot add plugins.

Your own domain

The platform’s free plan offers a free name for the website which contains the wordpress.com domain (e.g. mysuperwpsite.wordpress.com).

What are the origins of the WordPress.com idea?

WordPress (wordpress.org) first appeared in 2003 as a free and open source web CMS platform. WordPress quickly became very popular and many users wanted to create their websites by using the platform. But for many of them creating a simple blog with WordPress, configuring it and then supporting and updating the blog was quite a difficult task. So in 2005 Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, decided to develop a platform enabling users to create a blog quickly and easily with no need to install, configure, support or update the CMS.

Transferring a website from wordpress.com to your own hosting account

If at the beginning you did not orient well through the two variations of WordPress and you created a blog with wordpress.com but now you would like to transfer it to your own domain we can assist you with this.

Websites created with the wordpress.com platform can be transferred to your own hosting account with your own domain. The transfer is only possible for the website’s contents. This can be performed with exporting and then importing the contents with the built-in plugin WordPress Importer. Settings, widgets, plugins and the theme cannot be transferred.

Short guide for transferring a website from wordpress.com to your own hosting account:

  1. Choose a WordPress hosting plan and a domain name for your website.
  2. With our WordPress hosting plans you will have a ready installed CMS onto your hosting account. You can install further WP copies through WordPress Manager » New WordPress Installation.
  3. Export your website’s content from your wordpress.com account (Settings » Export » Еxport All).
  4. Import the xml file on the WordPress website on your hosting account through the system’s administration panel – Tools » Import » WordPress.
  5. After successfully importing the content you can choose and install a suitable WordPress theme and add all necessary plugins.

At SuperHosting.BG you can install WordPress with only two clicks. This procedure provides you with your own domain and full control over everything happening with the website as data, configuration, development and setup. We keep developing and improving our WordPress Manager as we add new tools to make WordPress users happier and more satisfied. 🙂

Madlena Metodieva
Madlena Metodieva
Madlena is our super-support-guru. Madlena's SuperPower is that she can explain even the most complicated technologies in plain language.
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