WordPress is such a huge platform that myths and questions always surrounded this community. One question that haunts every WordPress lover is whether to start a free WordPress blog or hosting your own WordPress blog? You must be confused that what are the difference between these two, further is the explanation.
Obtaining a Free WordPress blog is a cake walk as you just need to sign up in WordPress.com and you are ready to start your own blog, whereas a self hosted WordPress blog would be installed on domain of your website and you can manage your blogs using this WordPress software.
Lets look at the pros and cons of both of these platforms:
A free Wordpress.com blog
- No setup cost as this platform is free.
- No maintenance cost as WordPress regularly upgrades the security, backups and fixes bug in the software.
- If the blog is hosted on WordPress.com, it becomes a part of Wordpress community which can lead to increase in traffic.
- It’s free for upto 3GB of space. After that you will have to pay for space ($19.95 per year for 5GB) or ($289.97 per year for 100GB).
- They place ads on all free websites. Did you really think it was free without a catch? If you don’t want your users to see ads, then you can pay them $29.97 per year to keep your site ad-free.
- You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your site unless you receive 25,000 pageviews per month. In which case, you have to apply to try their feature called Ad control. The approval process doesn’t cost you any money, but you have to split your revenues 50/50 with them Ouch
- You can’t use any other plugins other than WordPress own plugins. Yup WordPress is well known for it’s flexibility due to the plugins. WordPress.com does not allow you to use plugins! If you want to use plugins, then you have to move to their VIP program which starts at $3750 per month. No joke.
- You cannot use custom themes. Yup, you have to be stuck with their choice of themes which is being used on hundreds of millions of sites. They do offer a “design upgrade” which should really be called CSS upgrade for $30 per year. Meaning, you can change the color of your site. But if you want to add something really custom, you cannot.
- You are restricted to their analytics. You cannot use custom analytics software because you cannot add custom codes.
- They can delete your site at anytime if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
- They will change your theme without your permission if the founder doesn’t like the theme developer (yup it happened).
- Even if you pay for their upgrades, you still have to tell others that your site is powered on WordPress.com
A self-hosted Wordpress.org blog
- It’s free and super easy to use.
- You own your data. You are in full control. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You are in control.
- Large numbers of plugins from developers around the globe.
- You can upload your custom themes and third party themes for your blogs. Customized themes give your blog a different look and feel altogether.
- You can make money from it by using your own ads, and doing things your way.
- Custom analytics and tracking.
- You have full control on your website. Wordpress.org gives you full control to manage your website and even when you violate any terms and conditions your website won’t shut down.
- You can monetize your blog and website by placing ads and adsense.
- To start your website one has to purchase domain name and hosting that costs a nominal fee.
- Like any other website, you need a good web hosting. This bits cost you money somewhere from around $3 – $7 per month (as your site grows, your hosting costs will too). But then you would be making enough money to cover the costs.
- You have to update the blog and software yourself but that is not a tedious task.
- You have to maintain your blog unlike in WordPress.com which includes spam control, security and backup on regular basis.
In our opinion, if you want to monetize your blog and want to earn money from it then self hosted WordPress blog is the right platform for you but if you want to increase your traffic and recognition in the WordPress community free WordPress blog will better suits your needs.
These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both the platforms to create your own WordPress blog, Now it is up to you which platforms will better suits your requirements and needs.