The Differences Between and

Logo for and

WordPress was launched in 2003 as an open-source content management system built for blogging.  Since then, WordPress has become the most popular way to build a website. According to W3Techs, WordPress powers 35.4% of the world’s websites as of December 2019.  This includes both and which leads us to the question – what’s the difference between two?


Both and give you the ability to create and edit pages, posts, add photos and PDFs through the dashboard without seeing any of the underlying code.

This leads us to the question: What’s the difference between and

While the code is free, putting your website into the world requires you to purchase hosting from a hosting company. gives you loads of customization options and the responsibility of maintaining the code.  In a nutshell:

  • You need a web hosting account to run your WordPress site (most hosts offer one-click installation though we recommend hosting specifically for WordPress with daily backups of your site)
  • You can add plugins to extend the functionality
  • Access all backend code, database, and files for more control of how the website looks and performs
  • Use free, premium or custom themes (website layouts)
  • Forums where you can post questions but no email or live chat support
  • You’ll need to purchase your domain name, about $15/year.

There are loads of companies that can host WordPress websites.  We look for companies that have 24/7 phone support, are U.S. based (including tech support), provide daily backups and easy site restore features.  The backup and restore features make your day better in case a plugin update doesn’t work well, you’ll be able to get your site back online quickly.  This hosting usually runs between $72/year and $150/year. is based on code. You sign up for a account and have a working website right away. allows you to set up a website for free:

  • Your domain name will be something like instead of
  • will have its logo at the bottom of the page
  • Is best for small websites & blogs (no online store)
  • You can only use the themes (website layout) and plugins (add new functions) that are preinstalled for you
  • You have access to email and live chat support
  • Your premium plan comes with an SSL certificate (this hides the login information when logging into the dashboard)

If you want a business website with, you will have to pay at least $96 a year plus your domain name registration which usually costs about $15/year.  This means to have the premium plan with, you’ll be paying about $111/year to keep your website on the internet. also offers a business plan for $300/year which would be similar to hosting your website using the code from  Even with the paid premium plan, you’ll:

  • Have limited access to plugins and themes (paid themes are available)
  • No ability to tweak backend code if you’re feeling adventurous

When to use

If you’re not interested in paying for hosting, managing your code and plugin updates or paying someone to take care of that for you and do not need a highly customized website, can be a good solution for you. 

When to use

If you want to have a highly customized website, with functionality beyond a contact form (i.e. photo gallery, search engine optimization tools, etc.) then is the way to go. 

We also recommend you purchase an SSL certificate for several reasons:

  • When you log into your dashboard, your username and password are encrypted
  • Google now factors this in its algorithm
  • It’s considered best practices for websites