WordPress.com is not directly linked to WordPress.org, which is the most popular CMS open source software on the market. Although WordPress.com actually uses WordPress.org to work since it is a huge installation of WordPress in multisite.
The advantage of creating a site on WordPress.com is that you can start creating content right away. You won't have to worry about hosting, installation, or other technical details.
There are 5 different plans available:
- Personal at €4 per month or €48 per year.
- Premium at €8 per month, or €96 per year.
- Business at €25 per month, or €300 per year.
- eCommerce at €45 per month, or €540 per year.
There are various limitations for sites created on WordPress.com:
- The free offer does not allow you to have a custom domain name, nor does it allow you to remove ads from your site.
- You will not be able to install plugins.
- There are a limited number of themes available, some are free, some are not. You will not be able to download others or modify them.
- You will not be able to monetize your blog.
Depending on the price plan you choose, you will unlock options that will give you a little more autonomy, but in the end, the formula is quite expensive.
Another disadvantage is that you don't really own your site. If you violate any of the conditions of use, you may simply see the fruits of your labor disappear.
WordPress.com can be a good, easy-to-use solution if you just want a blog to express yourself. But if you want to develop your site into a real business tool, then it's better to use WordPress.org.
To go further and understand the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, read this article.