At her WordCamp North Canton session, Automattic Happiness Engineer Jacklyn Stachurski highlighted the features, functionality, and what to consider for WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org (self-hosted) websites.
- Free site and blog
- Free hosting
- All you need to setup is your email, password, and user name
- Unlimited page views
- 3GB of storage space
- Built in plugins
- Free themes
- Maintenance and backups done free (if you need backups, just message support)
- Monitored for you
- Automatic bug fixes
- Automatic updates
- Added security – integrates with Google two-factor authentication 2FA
- Plugins can’t be added to WordPress.com, but features from plugins have been integrated into WordPress.com
- Features and functionality includes music players, Eventbrite, Akismet, and many others
- Is great!
- Questions on the forums are answered in a day or less by Automattic staff
- If you have a feature or functionality you want, ask. Send or post a message.
Different plans for WordPress.com
- Basic: $0
- Premium: $99/year, custom domain, advanced customization, no premium themes, 13GB space
- Business: $299/year comes with live chat support, premium themes, lots of extras
Things to Consider
- Can’t do a membership site
- Terms of service regulations (no adult sites!, can’t remove footer with WordPRess.com)
- No access to theme files
- No Ad Sense
- Can’t install Google Analytics, you use the Site Stats that are included Jetpack
- Choose and pay for your host
- Custom domain (again, you will pay for domain)
- Free and paid (premium) themes
- Free and paid (premium) plugins
- Many hosts have one-step WordPress install
- Over 2,500 free themes
- Over 30,000 plugins
- Forum support by other WordPress users (not from Automattic staff)
Things to Consider
- Reliable hosting: check out your hosts carefully, it’s your business
- Backups: do regular backups. If themes, plugins have new versions, before you update, be sure to backup
- Maintenance: you’re responsible for updating WordPress, theme, and plugins.
There are many benefits and features for both WordPress.com and WordPress.org; consider what your requirements are as you make your decision about where to host your site.