Key Variations and The right way to Select in 2022

Struggling to know the distinction between vs and which one is the perfect place to make your WordPress website?

This has lengthy been one of the crucial complicated issues for WordPress newbies. Belief me – you might be not alone.

To irritate the problem much more, the variations between vs have been blurring and slimming as time goes on, so the 2 are extra comparable than ever.

However on the identical time, there are nonetheless some essential variations between vs which may make one possibility higher than the opposite in your particular scenario.

On this put up, I’m going to attempt that will help you perceive the significant variations between them. Then, I’ll enable you to choose the fitting possibility in your web site in 2022 and past.

To perform that, I’m going to cowl the next data for each platforms:

That’s a number of floor to cowl, so let’s dig in! vs Primary Introductions

Right here’s the high-level distinction between vs

  • is the non-profit dwelling of the free, open-source WordPress software program. Anybody can obtain this software program totally free and use it to make an internet site. is run by the non-profit WordPress Basis.
  • is a for-profit enterprise that offers you a technique to create an internet site utilizing the WordPress software program. Nevertheless, is not the one technique to create an internet site with WordPress.

If you wish to make an internet site with, that you must set up the WordPress software program by yourself webhosting. Buying webhosting is basically renting house on a pc (known as a server) that you should utilize to energy the software program.

Due to this, you’ll additionally see known as self-hosted WordPress. For those who ever see somebody say “self-hosted WordPress”, they’re all the time referring to putting in the open-source WordPress software program by yourself webhosting.

Because it exists at the moment, you’ll be able to type of consider as one possibility for internet hosting the WordPress software program. Nevertheless, in contrast to an everyday net host, does lots to simplify the method of making and sustaining a WordPress web site. vs

I like to explain like this – “it’s just like the open-source software program and Squarespace had a child”.

All web sites use the WordPress software program, however not all websites that use the WordPress software program are constructed on

While you see stats like “43% of all web sites on the web use WordPress”, that stat is referring to the software program and not

Actually, most web sites constructed with WordPress are self-hosted web sites and don’t use

Why Do They Have The Identical Identify Then? That’s So Complicated!

For those who’re questioning why and have the identical title when one is an open-source non-profit mission and the opposite is a for-profit enterprise, you’re not alone.

The rationale behind the naming confusion actually comes all the way down to the individual/folks behind every mission.

In Might 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little launched the primary model of the open-source WordPress software program.

Then, in August 2005, Matt Mullenweg created Automattic, which is the corporate behind Mainly, it gave Matt an opportunity to monetize the open-source mission that he co-created with Mike Little.

Since Matt is each the co-founder of the mission and the founding father of the enterprise, that’s the place the naming confusion comes from.

As of 2022, and are purported to be separate entities (although there’s clearly some overlap, with a number of Automattic staff engaged on the open-source WordPress mission).

How You Make a Web site With vs

Right here’s a fast rundown of what it’s wish to create an internet site with each self-hosted and

I’ll begin with…

Self-Hosted Setup

To get began with self-hosted WordPress, you’ll first must buy webhosting from one of many many WordPress internet hosting suppliers.

We’ll focus on pricing afterward, however this could value underneath $5 monthly for a very low cost WordPress host.

After you have your internet hosting, that you must set up the WordPress software program on that internet hosting. Whereas that sounds complicated, it actually isn’t as a result of nearly all net hosts these days provide easy WordPress installers.

For instance, right here’s the WordPress installer at Kinsta, a host that we’ve reviewed:

Kinsta WordPress installer

As soon as you put in the WordPress software program, you’ll be able to log in to your WordPress dashboard to handle your website and begin creating content material:

Self-hosted WordPress dashboard

General, it’s fairly dang easy! Setup

Whereas establishing self-hosted is already fairly straightforward, makes issues even simpler by eliminating the internet hosting a part of the equation.

As an alternative of needing to buy internet hosting after which set up WordPress, you simply register for a account after which you’ll be able to immediately begin constructing your website.

While you register for, you’ll see a easy setup wizard that will help you configure the fundamentals of your website: setup wizard

You’ll be able to simply configure key fundamentals like your weblog title and design:

Choosing theme

After operating by means of this brief wizard, you’ll be able to handle your website from a dashboard that’s nearly precisely the identical as what you’d get with a self-hosted WordPress website: dashboard

Nevertheless, does make a couple of of its personal tweaks, reminiscent of altering the interface that you just use to handle photographs and different media information.


Right here’s a fast comparability of the options that you just get entry to between, Professional (the paid plan), and Free (the perpetually free plan). PRO FREE
Customized area
Set up plugins
Set up themes
Monetize web site
eCommerce retailer
Membership website
FTP entry
Full technical entry

As you’ll be able to see, the Free plan is extremely restricted and doesn’t actually provide you with entry to the complete flexibility of the WordPress software program. Nevertheless, the Professional plan offers you shut to the identical performance that you just get with self-hosted

Nevertheless, there are nonetheless some vital variations the place self-hosted is extra versatile…


Whereas beats in relation to simplicity, the massive benefit that self-hosted has is that it’s extra versatile.

Don’t get me improper – in case you pay for the Professional plan, you do get lots of the flexibleness of WordPress. You’ll be able to set up plugins and themes, add information through FTP, and so forth.

However you’re nonetheless utilizing’s platform, which implies you solely get the flexibleness that offers you.

With self-hosted, however, you will have just about limitless flexibility.

There are three ways in which this could affect you:

  1. Guidelines round monetization – this may be a problem in case your main purpose is to earn an revenue, particularly with online marketing or sponsored posts.
  2. Some blocked plugins – this received’t have an effect on most individuals, however it’s value checking earlier than you determine.
  3. Technical entry – it will actually solely have an effect on superior customers as most informal customers will probably be high-quality with the extent of entry that the Professional plan gives. Guidelines for Monetization

If you wish to use, you’ll must abide by the Phrases of Service, which incorporates some added restrictions for monetization:

  • Whilst you can add affiliate hyperlinks to your website, does “not permit websites that exist primarily to drive visitors to affiliate hyperlinks”.
  • Whilst you can promote sponsored posts, WordPress does “not permit websites the place the overwhelming majority of content material is sponsored content material”. monetization rules

How do you outline if a website “exists primarily to drive visitors to affiliate hyperlinks”? Nicely, in case you use, you’re leaving that definition as much as them.

All these restrictions are why I don’t suggest for web sites the place your main purpose is monetization.

You’ll be able to show adverts from third-party suppliers reminiscent of AdSense, Mediavine, and AdThrive, although. So in case you’re completely utilizing show promoting, you ought to be high-quality with both. Blocked Plugins

Whereas the Professional plan does allow you to set up customized plugins, does nonetheless ban some plugins from its platform.

Many of those bans are just because the plugin overlaps with options that gives (reminiscent of backups). Nevertheless, there are some plugins that bans for different causes.

Listed here are some examples:

  • Caching plugins
  • Backup plugins
  • SQL heavy plugins – e.g. WordPress Fashionable Posts, WordPress Classifieds Plugin, and others.
  • Computerized content material plugins – e.g. WP RSS Aggregator, Woozone, and others.
  • Database/file system altering plugins
  • Safety plugins

I encourage you to learn the complete record as a result of there are another incompatible plugins reminiscent of AliDropship, Occasion Espresso, WP Staging, and extra.

For those who particularly want one in all these plugins, you’ll need to use self-hosted

Restricted Technical Entry at

The final limitation is that doesn’t provide you with full entry to your website’s underlying internet hosting such as you’d get at a real net host.

This received’t actually have an effect on common WordPress customers, however superior customers is likely to be delay by it. Listed here are some examples of what you’ll not get with

  • SSH entry
  • WP-CLI
  • Customized databases (you do get phpMyAdmin, although).

Ease of Use (Upkeep and Safety)

Whether or not you employ or, you’ll use the identical fundamental dashboard to handle your website, so there aren’t any main variations by way of ease of use in relation to creating content material and managing settings.

Nevertheless, the place there are variations is in relation to sustaining and securing your web site. I’m speaking about issues like:

  • Backing up your knowledge
  • Making use of updates
  • Implementing safety hardening
  • Eradicating malware (if wanted)

With self-hosted, the accountability that you just’ll shoulder for sustaining and securing your website is determined by which host you select. 

With an inexpensive host, you might need to do a lot of that work your self. 

Alternatively, in case you use a kind of internet hosting known as managed WordPress internet hosting, the host will do a number of that for you (nevertheless it prices extra money).

With, nonetheless, you don’t want to fret about any of that stuff as a result of does it for you.

Actually, I believe that this is without doubt one of the greatest benefits of Whilst you do sacrifice some flexibility in change for this simplicity, not having to consider fundamental upkeep and safety might be very nice, particularly in case you’re not a really technical individual.


By way of vs pricing, I’m going to disregard the Free plan as a result of it’s not a viable possibility for a severe website. However clearly, if the Free plan works in your wants, goes to be cheaper.

By way of the paid plans, it’s a bit difficult:

  • might be cheaper than So in case you’re on the lookout for the most cost effective technique to make a WordPress web site, self-hosted is the winner.
  • However on the identical time, can even be cheaper than in sure conditions.

Actually, all of it comes all the way down to what you pay for internet hosting.

With the Professional plan, you already know precisely what you’ll pay – it’s $15 monthly, billed yearly at $180. pricing vs

With, it is determined by which host you select. An inexpensive WordPress host might value you ~$5 monthly, however a premium managed WordPress host might simply run $30+ monthly.

Right here’s a fast comparability desk of the yearly value:

Kind of internet hosting Yearly value
Low-cost internet hosting (GreenGeeks) $70 Professional plan $180
Premium managed WordPress internet hosting (Kinsta) $300

For low visitors websites and/or easy websites (e.g. a weblog or portfolio) an inexpensive WordPress host like GreenGeeks is all you want, by which case is cheaper.

However for higher-traffic websites and/or extra complicated websites (e.g. an eCommerce retailer), you’ll in all probability want internet hosting that prices greater than the $15 monthly Professional plan.

Distinctive Benefits of Every Platform

As we close to the tip of our vs comparability, let’s recap among the distinctive benefits that you just get with every platform.

If I needed to sum these variations up in a couple of phrases, I might say it like this:

  • Self-hosted offers you flexibility.
  • offers you simplicity.

However let’s go into a little bit extra element…

Benefits of self-hosted

  • Extra flexibility. You might have full entry to the flexibleness of the WordPress software program with zero restrictions on what edits you make, which plugins you put in, and so forth.
  • Monetize your website nonetheless you need. You should use any monetization technique and don’t want to fret about following any guidelines.
  • No content material restrictions. There aren’t any guidelines for the forms of content material that you just put up. Your host would possibly block sure content material, however you’ll be able to repair this by shifting to a bunch with completely different insurance policies.
  • Extra technical entry. For extra superior customers, you get a lot fuller technical entry to your website and internet hosting. For instance, you should utilize SSH, WP-CLI, and so forth.

Benefits of

  • Easier setup. You’ll be able to create an internet site simply by registering for a account.
  • Fear-free safety and upkeep. With, you just about don’t want to consider fundamental safety and upkeep as a result of the platform handles all of that for you.
  • Don’t take into consideration technical stuff. Tying with the purpose above, you simply actually don’t want to consider the technical features of your website with, which might be interesting for non-techies. Keep in mind – it’s like and Squarespace had a child.


To complete out our vs comparability, let’s run over a couple of widespread questions.

Are you able to switch a website to

Sure! For those who begin on and alter your thoughts afterward, you’ll be able to migrate to with minimal fuss. The identical holds true for shifting from to

Is free to make use of?

The WordPress software program that you just get from is 100% free and open-source. Nevertheless, to energy that software program and create a functioning web site, you’ll must buy webhosting.

For those who use an inexpensive net host, you’ll be able to pay just some {dollars} monthly, although.

Is free to make use of? does have a free plan, nevertheless it has very giant limitations so you’ll be able to’t use it for severe web sites. For instance, you’ll be able to’t set up plugins on the Free plan. Critical websites will want the paid Professional plan.

Remaining Suggestions on vs

Previously, I believed that just about everybody who needed to make a severe WordPress web site could be higher off utilizing (self-hosted WordPress).

In 2022 and past, although, I not assume that. 

Don’t get me improper, I nonetheless assume that self-hosted WordPress is sensible for lots of people. 

However the brand new Professional plan may provide actually good worth in sure conditions.

Mainly, right here’s how I see it:

When to Use (Self-Hosted WordPress)

For those who’re making a WordPress web site to construct some sort of enterprise that earns income, I might nonetheless suggest going with self-hosted as a result of it will provide you with extra flexibility and management over what you are promoting. Examples right here embrace…

  • A weblog the place your main purpose is to earn an revenue (somewhat than simply sharing your ideas with the world)
  • An internet course or membership website
  • An eCommerce retailer

Whereas utilizing self-hosted WordPress does add a little extra complexity vs the Professional plan, it’s nonetheless one thing {that a} non-technical individual can deal with.

By utilizing self-hosted WordPress, you make sure that you will have 100% management over the muse/platform of what you are promoting. You can also make any edits that you just want, monetize nonetheless you need, totally entry your internet hosting setting, and so forth.

If you wish to make a self-hosted WordPress website, take a look at these posts:

When to Use Professional Plan

Alternatively, in case you’re simply seeking to “hold your on-line shingle”, so to talk, then I believe the Professional plan is likely to be a greater possibility due to its simplicity. Examples right here embrace:

  • A easy restaurant web site with contact particulars, a menu, and so forth.
  • Any fundamental enterprise brochure web site. For instance, an internet site in your plumbing enterprise.
  • A easy private portfolio or on-line CV.

For some of these websites, you actually don’t want any flexibility past what the Professional plan gives. With the Professional plan, you’ll be able to nonetheless set up your personal themes and plugins, add information through FTP, and so forth.

By going with, you’ll profit from the simplicity of the platform in relation to sustaining and securing your web site.

And with the brand new pricing of simply $15 monthly, you’re actually not paying a lot of a premium.

If you wish to get began, simply join a account.

When to Use Free Plan

I do not suggest the Free plan for any sort of significant web site. The one scenario the place I might suggest the free plan is a few sort of pastime weblog the place you’re simply on the lookout for a easy technique to share your ideas or content material with folks (and you don’t have any plans for monetization).

Constructing a journey weblog with the intention to share photos and tales together with your family and friends? Certain – you should utilize the Free plan.

Constructing a journey weblog with the intention to earn money? Use self-hosted WordPress as an alternative.

And that wraps up my ideas on selecting between vs in your web site.

For those who nonetheless have any questions on your particular scenario, let me know within the feedback!