Ask a SuperGeek: vs

There are some questions about WordPress that I get asked all the time. One of the most fundamental ones is:

What’s the difference between and

I can see why this is confusing for many people. You have heard all about this awesome WordPress thing, but when you Google it, you see results from both and

So if you’re still confused, let me lay it out for you. is a service that offers a hosted WordPress websites with a range of different pricing levels. You can start out with just a free blog, but if you want more powerful features then you can upgrade to a paid plan.

The benefits of include access to hundreds of great free themes, excellent support, and everything else you’d expect from managed hosting. The downside is that you don’t have complete control over installing themes or plugins, so your customisation options are limited (unless you pay for one of the more expensive plans)., on the other hand, offers open source software you can install at your own domain name.

You have a lot more control over your website, but the flip side of this is that you also need to troubleshoot and maintain your website yourself. If you want to install a premium third-party theme, or plugins to extend the features of your website, you’ll need this version.

No matter which version you use, the back end of your website is going to look pretty much the same. You will create and manage content in essentially the same manner.

If you aren’t terribly confident with coding customisations or managing website files, or if you don’t need functionality like eCommerce, I would suggest looking into

But if you want ultimate control and the ability to customise your website endlessly, go for

Still nervous to get started? Sign up for a free account at to check it out, or take my free course How to Install and Set up WordPress For Beginners to set up a website with

Leave a comment to let me know how you go!


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