WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Why People Confuse?

As much as we fight to distinguish WordPress from wordpress.com there is someone who is not at all interested in that change .

For starters, Matt Matt , the Matt Mullenweg company, ceded the brands to the WordPress Foundation at the time, but it kept the wordpress.com domain in its sleeve, but that’s just the beginning , even if it’s the mother of All the problems.

What you are going to read next would not take place if Automattic, a company that does a lot and good, by WordPress and by itself, where many of us would love to work, did not have bull, comparative grievances with other companies.

I love the work philosophy of Automattic, I have good friends who work there and are delighted, and we all must recognize that it puts a lot of resources for WordPress to grow, that nobody doubts, I at least do not.

And it seems good that I benefit from that synergy . All of them do it, the specialized WordPress hosting companies, which offer WordPress services.

I myself dedicate at least 12 hours of my work week to help in the forums, to translate, meetups, WordCamps, whatever it takes. Do I also live in WordPress? Yes, and I’m happy about it, and that’s why I also try to give back to WordPress something of how much it gives me, like so many other collaborators and companies .

With this I say that thanks Automattic! , but also thanks StudioPress! Thanks WPMUDEV! Thanks HumanMade! Thanks SiteGround! Thanks to you who do WordPress daily!

What I do not agree with is that these other companies have to comply with some rules that there are for everyone, that only Automattic can be skipped . It is unfair, offensive, but above all unnecessary .

I do not have anything against Matt either . Moreover, we should all invite you to eat at our house once a month for having created with Mike Little this thing that allows us to make free websites and many other things.

What I do not agree is that all the property and privileges are arrogated, yes, privileges . And yes, he has yielded, donated, brands, everything, but it seems that it is difficult for him to let go . He decides on the core , presides over the Foundation that creates rules for all that he does not apply in his own company .


It is those ” small ” things that I consider unfair, offensive, but above all unnecessary .


That said, let’s see why I’m complaining about this, examples of such incongruities ..

And there are some details, which you can find in the same websites and WordPress applications (.org) that delve into the confusion. Do you want examples?


Local WordPress.org sites

On local WordPress.org sites, known as Rosetta by translators, just below the download button of the latest version of WordPress there are 2 links, one to the main site, wordpress.org, but also (and ahead) another wordpress .com.


Well, the administrators of the local site have no way to change or remove that link  to a proprietary service, for profit, of a company .


Neither in the translation is there any chain to remove it.


But not only on local sites, things get even more serious on the same WordPress website, wordpress.org . There we have several examples, namely …

At the foot of all the pages there is a link to wordpress.com,  a proprietary service, for profit, of a company .

But it is even more serious, because it delves into confusion, and incidentally makes promotion, the WordPress download page, where it is offered to  the owner service, for profit, of a company, Automattic, as an alternative to the WordPress download or the automatic installation to a click of WordPress in your hosting.


I do not know what they think in WPMUDEV that Automattic can publicize their blog service on the WordPress download page and they can not do the same with their comparable service, EduBlogs , which also offer free blogs.

Do you see the problem and the comparative grievance?


The domain policy page

And yes, look at where, in the information page on the use of the word wordpress in the domains of wordpress.org, the exception is also remembered .

For more fun, there is even a phrase that says ” many users have informed us that they find it confusing “, to then make the exception of wordpress.com, precisely the one that generates the most confusion, with immense, enormous, disproportionate, difference .

And what does the WordPress Foundation say about the use of the brand?

To begin with, permission will only be given to use the word wordpress in name / domain and the logo if it meets these criteria :

  • The main purpose of your project is to promote the improvement and dissemination of WordPress software –   No company has this as a purpose, nor does Automattic .
  • Your project is not commercial in nature (you can make money to cover your costs or contribute to non-profit entities, but it can not function as a profit-making project or a business). – Do I need to say something?
  • Your project neither promotes nor is associated with entities that do not comply with the GPL license under which WordPress is distributed. – There are precious debates in this regard , over time .
  • Under no circumstances is the use of WordPress or WordCamp permitted as part of a first level domain name. – Well, that’s it .
  • We do not allow the use of the brand in advertising, including AdSense / AdWords. –   Do I remember the one that got bundled with the wordpress.com ads for this?
  • Please note that it is not the purpose of this policy to limit commercial activity related to WordPress. We encourage WordPress-based businesses, and hundreds of them are doing so in compliance with this policy. (Automattic, CrowdFavorite and StudioPress are some examples). –  What will CrowdFavorite and StudioPress think about being compared with  the incomparable ? Does not sound a little like recochineo. Seriously, better not to say anything than to put it to the bottom.

Then do not complain that, rightly, give us a ZAS IN THE WHOLE MOUTH users of other software when they remind us that we have a Benevolent Dictator , that in reality the community does not own WordPress completely , others make decisions and others to work, contribute, but also to silence and abide by the funny decisions.


The WordPress mobile application

Another bleeding example is the mobile application WordPress, whose capture in the iTunes Store will tell you everything:

Okay, he’s the developer of the application, but he delves into confusion, do not you think?




Another well-known but not always observed case is that of the Akismet plugin, as it turns out to be installed by default in the installation of WordPress.


And it’s a payment plugin, from a profit-making company, Automattic, and you can not use it without signing up at wordpress.com. And on top of that they give you a bad face if you do not want to pay …


Would not you rather have another plugin included?

I can think of several completely free alternatives, which can be included in the WordPress installation package, which do not require you to register on the web of any payment or freemium service:

Any cache plugin totally free, the same WP Super Cache from Automattic, to give an example

Forms plugin, a basic, and totally free , Contact Form 7 for example.

Any spam plugin that is not freemium or requires registration in any company



For – I guess – finish, there we have the default avatars system of any WordPress installation, which is based by default on Gravatar, another Automattic service, yes, it’s free, but it also requires high on wordpress.com, a Automattic freemium service .


Do you know more cases? What do you think?

Team Xyling

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