WordPress.org & WordPress.com

What are all these WordPresses?

When first starting out with WordPress the difference between WordPress, WordPress.org and WordPress.com, or more specifically WordPress the software/content management system (CMS) vs. WordPress the website platform/hosting provider can be confusing. It can be useful for individuals new to WordPress to define these entities.


It makes sense initially to define WordPress itself. WordPress is a free, open source software, and content management system (CMS) for building all types and sizes of websites. It is a software that you install on your server and use to create a website. When people refer to “WordPress” they are commonly referring to the underlying software that powers websites.


WordPress.com is the website which offers a service that uses the WordPress software to provide a framework for its customers to build websites. WordPress.com is similar in its offerings to companies like SquareSpace and WIX, in that you can sign up for a hosted account, chose a template or theme, and have access to a builder to develop your website. Wordpress.com has both free and paid account options. Similar to other services, there are features you can pay to upgrade and receive.


WordPress.org often referred to as “self-hosted WordPress” or simply “WordPress” is actually the website you go to to download the WordPress software. This is a free download. Once you have the software you must purchase a domain name and hosting where you can then install the WordPress software and use it to build a website.


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