You’re not seeing double because they are different types of wordpress. Wordpress exists in two versions,wordpress.com vs wordpress.org.

What’s the difference between the both of them?

Placed simply, wordpress.com  is catered for blogs while wordpress.org is more than just a blogging platform, it’s a CMS (Content Management System) with plenty of potential.

This is the simpler form of wordpress that is most suitable if you’re looking at authoring a blog in a quick and fast manner.

What is free on this platform?

  • you get to host your blog online for free
  • get to choose from a bunch of free themes
  • up to 3GB of  storage space for all of your content

What do you need to pay to get?

  • Premium Themes
  • Any Additional Features
  • Custom Domain

Of course, if you’re looking at getting a custom domain name, having your blog ad-free and having other features, then you’ll probably have to sign up for one of their wordpress plans.

So when do you use wordpress.com?

In my opinion
1) If you’re not picky about design, and your main goal is to churn content out.
2) Your aim of setting up of the blog is purely for the recording of your thoughts/ideas.

This is because if you need anything more than that, you’ll have to pay, which is a recurring charge. Also you probably need to pay for the most expensive tier plan to get certain features such as doing SEO with google analytics. The paid themes, don’t provide much flexibility in design as well, which you need to get a paid plain to customise your design. When I say customise, it only means gaining access to alter the CSS stylesheet.

You can take a look at these few examples for reference on how far you can go on wordpress.com

Wordpress.com Pricing
WordPress.com Pricing

This other wordpress is the older brother that has the freedom to do whatever it wants. Think of this wordpress as a software, that you’re free to download, however to host this it online you need to get your own servers to run it.

What is free on this platform?

What do you need to pay to get?

  • Themes, technically there are free themes out there.
  • Plugins, if its a sophisticated function, you might need to pay the author.
  • Server + Domain

Themes and plugins are both the best part of wordpress.org, because you get full control over it and you can decide what to install.


These are usually functions written in a package. So you can just add on to your site, if you find anything suitable out there. If there’s any feature you’re looking out for, chances are someone has already written a plugin for that. Just to name a few useful plugins, such a google analytics to track your SEO performance, mail chimp plugin to integrate your mailing list. You don’t have to pay for all these, unlike in wordpress.com where you need to pay a monthly in order to gain access to these features.


There’s a lot of theme authors out there and what they are able to do is amazing, besides just building the theme, they build flexibility into the theme to allow you to customise your site. You would not need programming knowledge for that. Theme authors come up with theme panels where users can control the look and feel of the site. Of course, if you’re not much of a designer, you can take a look at the theme’s demos, and if you’ll like to use whatever layout you see, you can install the demo, and change the content from there.


As wordpress updates its core quite regularly, it is important you update your software regularly, and also to update the theme. Paid theme authors, would usually update the theme to support the newest wordpress update. Thus you just have to update your theme accordingly and you’re good to go.

So when do you use wordpress.org?

In my opinion, If you’re looking at a more complex CMS, such as a corporate website /e-commerce store/ newletter etc the possibilities here are endless

These are examples of what wordpress.org can bring you
you can use this tool http://builtwith.com/ to check whether a site is powered by wordpress. if yes they’ll usually you return with WordPress under the tab of Content Management System.

So if you’re interested on working on your first wordpress.org site, you can take a look at my upcoming series on how to set up your first wordpress site.

Check out the first article on “Setting up WordPress on Localhost”

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