One fine day you decide to start a blog or website of your own to share your thoughts, your views or your skills and interests. Be it your personal blog or your business site, you go through a lot of research and reviews before starting off. The first thing that I heard while starting my blog was obviously wordpress. I happily downloaded wordpress app in my smartphone and in no time had my blog up and running even before batting my eyelid twice. No sooner I already attained about 200 followers too !
Phew, that sounds easy! However as you become a mature player in the field of blogging, you start noticing tiny details. For example, my site was named as kashyapeesays.wordpress.com rather than the kashyapeesays.com as one can see now. You also notice that you can’t install plugins. Of course there’s pre installed Jet Pack which is like boon to newbie bloggers. And I seriously loved jetpack because it does everything for me without any efforts from my side. But then again you can’t monetize your site unless you upgrade to their highest plan which itself is quite expensive. And then reality hits ! things are deeper than you actually thought ha ?
What is going on?
Only then you will start questioning the choice of choosing a free platform (i.e wordpres.com) over paid (wordpress.org). You start researching again and find out that you should have rather started with wordpress.org at the first place.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is the “self-hosted WordPress”. When people refer to having created their site “using WordPress”, they are usually referring to WordPress.org.
Since the WordPress CMS exists on your own server, you are free to customize it as much as you want. You are also responsible for installing and hosting the WordPress platform on your own server that you pay for. This includes installing any theme you want (free or paid themes are available), installing any plugin you want (free or paid options as well), and customizing any code.
What is WordPress.com?
In WordPress.com you do not control the server or hosting, which is why you cannot customize a WordPress.com site beyond choosing from a selection of free themes.
This is also the reason why default WordPress.com sites contain advertisements and exist on a “subdomain”.
WordPress.com does offer a WordPress.com Premium package at a cost. It is somewhat customizable, but nowhere near the level of a self-hosted WordPress.org site that too at a lower cost.
Why WordPress.org Over WordPress.com?
There are several reasons why I strongly advocate hosting your own WordPress website from WordPress.org over a wordpress.com account. I have learnt it the hard way and therefore I want to help others who are as naive as I was when I started blogging. Hope it helps at least one who reads my blog post.
Complete Theme & Plugin Control:
Select and customize any WordPress themes and plugins you like. You can install free themes and plugins or use paid premium themes and plugins. Then you are free to modify and customize those themes and plugins in any way you like.
With WordPress.com you are limited to only a select set of free WordPress themes. You are not allowed to modify any fonts, colors, styles, or layots on your site.
Whether you plan to launch an ecommerce site or a simple personal blog to share your thoughts and interests, you are going to want to market yourself somehow to grow an audience, traffic, or customer base.
Marketing a website can mean many things, including sign-up forms to get people to subscribe to your blog posts or newsletter or account creation capabilities to allow people to purchase your products.
With a self-hosted site, all of these options are available to you via theme features and plugins. With a free WordPress.com website, your options are extremely limited, mostly to a small blog subscription or contact form.
Size & Speed
By hosting your own WordPress site, you can select the best web hosting for you. This means you can choose how much space you want to purchase for your site, how fast your server will be (site speed is vital for SEO), how you want to handle your email, and how secure your website will be.
As we mentioned earlier, using WordPress.com’s free site option means your site is going to be on a subdomain like mysite.wordpress.com rather than a primary domain you own such as mysite.com.
Data shows that subdomains and free website platforms do not perform as well as primary domains. Think about the last time you saw a subdomain ranking on a search engine for any keyword as opposed to a primary domain?
While having a free site as a subdomain on the wordpress.com network does drive traffic to a site thanks to the exposure the wordpress.com domain brings, it is rare when a subdomain out-ranks a primary domain website.
Additionally, a self-hosted website can be fully customized. Meaning you can optimize every single page on your site to make it more attractive to search engines for the keywords you want to rank for. With a free WordPress.com website, you are not able to customize at that level.
Make Money From Your Site
Free WordPress.com sites do not allow you to place any advertising on your website. With a self-hosted site you can advertise in any way you wish. You can place Google AdSense ads or any other type of text-based, link-based, or display advertising anywhere you like. The ability to implement this type of advertising can offset hosting and domain costs, making your website more profitable.
I hope this post has shown you why a self-hosted WordPress.org site is preferable over the free WordPress.com version.
Stay tuned to know more !
Feel free to ask me any questions regarding web hosting or blogging. Happy to help !
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