Yes, there is a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, a big difference!
They may share the same name but they are not one in the same. They are owned by two different entities. They share similar platforms, yet have very different rules.
Let’s take a look at each.
|WordPress.com Pros.||WordPress.com Cons.|
|100% Free to sign-up and start blogging.||Any and all content you post on your subdomain belongs to WordPress.com. You do not own it.|
|Free hosting, free subdomain (sub being the key word here).||This is a subdomain of WordPress.com. You do not own it.|
|Once signed up they offer free themes (selected themes).||Themes and plugins are restricted to the chosen few.|
|For a fee you can upgrade various options.||You cannot monetize your subdomain.|
|WordPress.com places ads on your site that you cannot remove.|
|Ecommerce is not supported.|
|You cannot create any subdomain (Multiple websites).|
|Your site is the subdomain of WordPress.com.|
|WordPress.org Pros.||WordPress.org Cons.|
|You own the domain and everything in it. You have full and total control.||There is a fee. My last renewal in 2019 was a fee of about $250 for a year.|
|You own everything from your subscriber list to the products you sell (Because you can sell!)||If you bring in a plugin or theme with a virus it can affect your site. It is your problem.|
|You have the choice of literally hundreds of plugins and themes.||You need to be diligent about security, bots, crawlers, etc. and use appropriate plugins for protection.|
|You can bring plugins and themes into your website from anywhere.|
|You can set up whatever kind of website your heart desires!|
|You can bring in your own domains and create multiple subdomains!|
If you’re looking to play around with a website, test the waters, and waves, of the internet then WordPress.com would suit your purpose. Your website is a subdomain of WordPress.com and they retain the rights to it.
If you’re looking to start up an eCommerce website you will need to use WordPress.org, they are the one that support it. YOU own the site and everything in it!
For me it was an easy choice. I have several domains, and now, I have several subdomains to go along with them!