We get asked all the time about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Oddly enough, the differences between the two are almost the opposite of what you would expect. The .com version is actually the “free” version while the .org is the more commercial or self-hosted version.
The main difference?
WordPress.org is hosted on your own hosting account (like a GoDaddy or a Host Gator) while WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress. The differences are significant and you should understand the implications of both before committing to one or the other. My recommendation has always been to own as much of your own business as possible which goes double for your own website. For hobbyists on a budget it might make sense to go with the free .com version but for a bona fide business, well, the small investment in owning your own WordPress site and being able to control your own hosting situation is essentially priceless.
Here’s a good video tutorial that explains the differences between the two WordPress versions more clearly: