This is probably one of the most asked questions I get...
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Isn't it all just WordPress? The short answer is No. Here are some points to keep in mind to help understand the differences.
Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of both WordPress (the software) and Automattic (his company). The WordPress software is an open-source project, meaning that anyone can freely take the source code and do whatever they want with it. In fact, this is how WordPress was born, in a way, when Matt and Mike Little decided to 'fork' a blogging platform called 'b2' that had been abandoned by its developer.
Once WordPress was released, a community of bloggers and developers began to grow around the platform and contribute to its development. Since then, it has grown from being just a blogging platform, to a full-fledged Content Management System (CMS) that now powers almost 25% of all websites on the internet.
At some point, 2 separate organizations formed to each take a different role in the stewardship of WordPress.
Matt's for-profit company, Automattic, oversees and 'owns' the WordPress.com flavor of WordPress. The non-profit WordPress Foundation at WordPress.org is the official home responsible for the continued development of the WordPress CMS.
While both WordPress.com and WordPress.org still offer WordPress for free, WordPress.com hosts a closed version of WordPress on their own servers that do not allow users to fully customize the program or extend functioanlity by adding plugins.
The full open source WordPress CMS continues to be freely available for download on WordPress.org for those wishing to create their own self-hosted websites.
For more information on the more detailed differences between the two, please visit: