It took my a long time to get my head around the difference between the two – but actually it’s pretty simple.
The main difference is where your website is hosted (this means where the files are saved). For WordPress.com WordPress themselves keep all your files for you. WordPress.org allows you to host your site files anywhere. This usually means with an external host such as Siteground (who I use and thoroughly recommend). Although this is a more expensive option, in my opinion, it is well worth the investment.
If you use WordPress.com your domain (your website name and address eg ibeatdebt.com) will include wordpress.com (so if I went with that option it would have been ibeatdebt.wordpress.com).
WordPress.org allows you to have any domain you like, and there are also far more customisation options (themes and plugins etc) available for you. You can even access the files that are the core of your database and make changes to the code (if that’s your thing)!
If your blog is for you, your mum and your Aunty then you will get on really well with WordPress.com – however if even remotely in the back of your mind you want this to become your business, or part of it, or you just want more creative control, I would suggest getting a domain and paying for hosting from day 1. It just looks more professional and will allow you to build your blog quicker. I use Siteground, having previously been with a different provider. I think they are fantastic. There is 24 hour live chat support, and they always solve things first time (in my experience anyway).
To purchase a domain, and for a year’s hosting, as well as privacy (which I thoroughly recommend and which basically means your contact details are hidden on the domain register and prevents an insane amount of spam) you can get going with them for (as at 14 January 2018) Just over £60! Please note that their offers change all the time, and the random domain name I pretended I wanted was only £9.95, some are more expensive than this.
Please note that my links to Siteground are Affiliate links. This means that if you click through them and choose to make a purchase, I will get a small commission from them. This in no way affects my views about them – I genuinely think they are brilliant, and their support has been a life saver on many occasions. I will show you later on in the course how to set up your account and site with them.