I am presuming that you are looking at setting up your first blog online, and are not sure what the differences are between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. My article is intended to look at the individual features of both types of software and depending on what you are setting up your blog for, you should then be able to make an informative opinion.
WordPress.com is a free software blogging tool that allows you to create a blog with little or no fuss. It is easy to use, and comes with great tutorials to walk you through the features around the back end. You can get up and blogging in next to no time. There are no hosting fees required for WordPress.com, and therefore it is straightforward to use. As this is a free software, there are limitations to using WordPress.com. There are limited themes or ‘looks’ for WordPress.com blogs and you have little scope to make changes for yourself, you are therefore restricted to what your blog can look like. If you are looking to monetise your blog with your own affiliate links or banner ads this is a ‘no,no’ with WordPress.com. Advertising on WordPress.com is definitely not allowed.
WordPress.org is also free, but you would need to find a separate hosting facility to host this blog for you. In other words your blog will not have a server attached to it, therefore no server, no way of being shows online. You also need a separate ‘URL’ which you can purchase from ‘Go Daddy’ or other similar site. You will need to give your dedicated URL link to your host provider so that they can link it to your blog on their server. Once they have done this you are up and running.
Having a WordPress.org blog does demand a bit more understanding of setting up, but as a non-technical person I managed to do this pretty well on my own. I found a good facilitator to host my blog for me, it is a paid service and one that you can chose to pay monthly or yearly. I use Hostgator and I find that their customer support is really helpful if you are stuck or have issues with your blog. With WordPress.org there are a number of themes that you can get online free, but there are also paid themes and templates out there such as i-themes. These will make your blog look different to what is already out there.
With WordPress.org you are able to monetise your blog, and if you want to make money out of your blogging then this is the ideal way to go. You are not restricted to your advertising with WordPress.org. WordPress.org is much more configurable that the.com version, but you do need to be a bit more technical, but there is so much information out there on the web for you to research what it is you want to do on your blog and easy steps for you to follow to customise it yourself.
You have to therefore look at why you are setting up your blog in the first place in order to select WordPress.com or WordPress.org. I would personally recommend starting out with WordPress.com to familiarise yourself with the admin features in the back end, as it is identical on both platforms before progressing to the .org version where you would start to incur a monthly fee for a hosting agent.