Host with WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org Self Hosted Site

Which WordPress is best for your new blog?

wordpress hosting

WordPress.com pros

(Hosting your site with WordPress.com)

  • The cost to start? FREE!
  • A blog, which you can turn into a full-on static or hybrid (part blog, part static) website.
  • 3GB of free storage for posts and media.
  • Publicize, a tool for connecting your blog with social networks.
  • Free statistics for tracking visitors.
  • Access to hundreds of non-premium (free) themes and paid premium themes.
  • Includes mobile responsive themes which can be viewed and READ from a desktop or mobile device.
    • Add a popup MailChimp email form.
  • WordPress.com access from mobile apps.
  • You don’t have to manage a hosting account.

WordPress.com cons

  • Your FREE blog may show ads … WordPress will get the revenue from these ads. To eliminate the free ads you’ll need to upgrade your blog to Premium at $99 a year or business at $299 per year.
  • On a FREE blog, you can’t add advertisements to your blog and receive the revenue. Can’t add affiliate links either.
  • A FREE Blog has a limited selection of approved themes. The approved themes only allow for minimal customization, background color, the header or the navigation menu. You can purchase an upgraded theme that will give you a more sophisticated design, but you’ll still have the customization restrictions. You can do a Custom Design Upgrade for $30 a year. This will give you upgraded fonts, and you can use your own CSS for additional styling. https://theme.wordpress.com/customize/help/
  • On FREE blog can’t change the site layout at all. So if you don’t like your social media icons in the footer, you can’t switch them to the header. You can’t alter the underlying structure of any of their themes. You can’t Javascript on your blog.
  • FREE blogs can’t have @domain name emails. Like amy@amyhall.me. The domain name email address gives a sense of professionalism.
  • With a FREE blog, you can’t use 3rd party plugins. – My favorite SEO plugin, Yoast SEO can’t be used on a FREE blog.
  • With a FREE blog, WordPress could shut down your blog if you violate their terms of service. It’s renting an apt vs. owning a house. https://en.wordpress.com/tos/
  • With WordPress.com hosting your site is always backed up and updates are always done. It’s pay and play.

Self-hosted WordPress pros

  • A self-hosted website is placed on your hosting (Siteground, DreamHost). With a self-hosted site, you don’t have the issues that you have with a WordPress.com hosted website.
  • More robust and flexible themes are available to purchase for self-hosted sites.
  • Sites can be customized to your own standards and liking.
  • More robust and flexible plug-ins can be used on self-hosted sites giving you access to higher level search engine optimization and automation.
  • You own the site. You own your search engine ranking. You’re not subject to the rules and regulations of WordPress.com.

Self-hosted WordPress cons

  • BUT… and this is a really big but… WordPress needs to be backed up and needs regular security and script updates, theme update, and plugin updates. If you are self-hosted you’ll need to do these tasks yourself or get managed hosting. You’ll pay a more each month for managed hosting, but if anything happens to your site your site will be fixed. Managed hosting companies: LiquidWeb, AmyHall.biz  Cost from $30 – $100 a month.
  • The cost will include the domain name, hosting, purchasing the theme, purchasing graphics & logos and developing the website.
  • Difficulty level: Medium – With a little help you can set up the site yourself or you may need to hire a designer/developer.

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