Submit a enquiry

    Back to all posts

    What is the difference between and

    by James Holloway Partnership Director

    It’s easy to get confused with, but what actually is the difference between the two and how do you know which one is the right one to use? is where you will find the hugely popular open-source content management system – the ‘real’ WordPress – and it is completely free for anyone to download and use. The WordPress software can be downloaded from which then needs to be installed on a web server. It is also known as ‘self-hosted WordPress’, meaning that you set up WordPress with your own hosting provider and use it on your own website. gives you complete control to do whatever you want to do with your website. You can spend a little or a lot and you will get out of it what you put in. With it, you can build online shops, create membership sites, and install powerful analytics tools including Google Analytics to help you to make the most of your site.

    Ideal for:

    • More flexibility
    • Better for businesses
    • Full control
    • Can monetise your site via ads


    • You need to find your own web hosting (which has associated costs)
    • You are responsible for updates and backups is a hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress. It allows you to set up a website for free by signing up for a account with options to upgrade to Personal, Premium, Business or VIP plans.

    Ideal for:

    • Blogging as a hobby
    • Low maintenance starter-sites


    • Your site must be under a subdomain unless you upgrade to a business plan
    • You have to pay a fee if you want to use your site commercially as the free version is very limited
    • The free version will have ads places on it so your visitors will see ads without you making any money from it.
    • You aren’t allowed to sell ad space even on the paid premium plans but you can use WordAds which splits ad revenue with them.
    • You cannot install Google Analytics unless you are on a business plan
    • No eCommerce or integrated payment features

    Choose if…

    …you are just looking to set up a personal blog, and aren’t fussed about making money from your site. It’s easy to use and you don’t have to worry about hosting or updates.

    Build a site on if…

    …you are a business or a blogger looking to make money from your website. The WordPress platform offers true freedom and flexibility to create whatever you want, you can improve and amend it over time, and you can scale as your traffic increases.

    Do you need help with a WordPress build? We are a white label development, specialising in front end WordPress and Magento builds, as well as HTML email. Contact us to see how we can help.