It is quite easy to get these quite separate products mixed up especially when at the core they are very similar.
Let’s start with WordPress.org.
Chances are that when someone says they have a WordPress website then they mean they have used the open source software available from WordPress which you can download from WordPress.org or uploaded by their web host as part of their hosting deal.
You download this software from the WordPress.org site and upload it to your own webspace to give to a free installation of the WP CMS (Content Management System).
This is essentially your WP site but it’s not really complete till you add a theme which controls what it looks like on the front end.
What about WordPress.org?
On the other hand with WordPress.com, you enter a few details and you get a preset up version of WP which is based on the WordPress servers and has far less customisation options available to you.
The software is actually the same but you are just using a pre installed version on WordPress.com where if you download the software you get to use your own version of it.
In other words you are gaining access to a hosted solution in the same way as you would with the likes of SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly.com.
WordPress.com is far easier to use than WordPress.org because you are presented by far less customisation options.
From the WordPress website –
“WordPress.com is a service that helps you build a website using the WordPress software, while WordPress.org is the software itself, which you can use to build and maintain a website on your own.”
If you use the WordPress.org version then the website is yours and you have infinite possibilities on how to customise it, but using the .com is far easier as a lot of the work on hosting and security is done for you.