WordPress.com is a service that allows you to build a blog or website. It is known for its ease of use, letting users focus on content creation since no technical knowledge is required to create and maintain the site.
This platform is often confused with WordPress.org due to their similar names. If you’re a newcomer to website development, it’s essential to know how they differ so you can choose the best one for your projects.
WordPress.org, or self-hosted WordPress, is an open-source Content Management System (CMS). It is free for everyone to download, but you need a web hosting and domain name to have a website. Websites built with WordPress.org are fully yours, and you have full control over them.
Meanwhile, WordPress.com is a paid platform that is built with the WordPress software. It is a fully-hosted platform, so you don’t have to download software, purchase a hosting service, and perform maintenance like backups security.
Features and Limitations of WordPress.com
At its core, WordPress.com provides a quick and easy way to build a website. After signing up, you’ll get instant access to dozens of free WordPress themes that you can use. There’s an option for everyone — whether it’s to create a blog, business, or portfolio site.
The platform will also give you a free pre-installed SSL certificate. With it, the data transferred between your visitors and the server will be encrypted, and any sensitive data will not fall into the wrong hands.
Other than that, WordPress.com also has desktop and mobile apps to help you manage your site. With the app, you can write posts, track analytics, and get notifications about new activities on the go.
There are many other features available, such as SEO tools, Google Analytics integration, and eCommerce marketing tools. However, those advanced functionalities are only available on the premium plans. We’ll talk more about this later.
If you’re using the free plan, there are some limitations that you need to consider:
- Monetization options — you cannot put ads on your free site since the platform’s official advertising program, WordAds, are for premium plans only. In contrast, WordPress.org allows you to put any ads that you want.
- Plugins — WordPress plugins are the highlight of the platform since they can add additional functions to your site. Unfortunately, the free plan does not allow you to install plugins, and you have to stick to the default features. Even if you upgrade to one of the premium plans, the available plugins are very limited, unlike WordPress.org that has thousands of options.
- Themes — while it’s true that you have access to various WordPress themes, you cannot upload themes from third-party sources.
- WordPress subdomain — free websites will use yoursite.wordpress.com subdomain.
- Account suspension — if your site violates their terms of service, you risk losing your website.
- WordPress trademark and advertisements — the trademark is placed on your site’s footer, while the ads can be found between posts. The former might not bother you much, but the latter can put the readers off.
Aside from the free plan, WordPress.com offers four fixed premium plans that range from $8 to $45/month, billed yearly. For large businesses and organizations, the platform also has an Enterprise plan that starts from $1,700/month.
Let’s take a closer look at all of the pricing plans and their features:
- Personal plan ($4/month) — custom domain name, WordPress.com advertisement removal, and email and live chat support.
- Premium plan ($8/month) — unlimited premium themes, Google Analytics support, ability to monetize with advertisements, and custom CSS.
- Business plan ($25/month) — custom plugins and themes, unlimited premium and business themes, 200GB storage, option to remove WordPress.com trademark.
- eCommerce plan ($45/month) — advanced eCommerce features like accepting payments from more than 60 countries and integration with top shipping carriers.
- Enterprise — custom features and resources that are adjusted to your site’s needs.
Example of Websites Using WordPress.com
Due to a wide range of prices, users can choose a plan that works best for them. Therefore, it’s no surprise that bloggers and big brands alike are using this fully-hosted WordPress.
As you can see, you can build any type of website with WordPress.com. You just need to choose the right plan that will meet your wants and needs.
How to Create a Website With WordPress.com
With WordPress.com, creating a new website is as simple as signing up for an account on social media platforms.
Here are the steps to create a website using WordPress.com:
- Go to WordPress.com, click the ‘Start your website’ button, and sign up using your email.
- Choose the kind of site you are building: blog, business, professional, or online store. The difference between the four site types lies in their theme layout and price plan. If you want to create an online store, for instance, then you’ll sign up for the eCommerce plan.
- Enter a domain name. You can purchase one from WordPress, transfer your domain if you already have one, or use the free subdomain name.
- Select a plan. Choose ‘Start with a free site’ if you want to explore the features before upgrading to the premium plans.
- Once you’re in the WordPress dashboard, feel free to customize the site to your liking. Head over to Design if you want to select a theme, and click Site to add new posts, pages, and images.
WordPress.com is a service platform used to build blogs and websites with little to no technical hassle. Some of its core features are access to free themes, free SSL certificates, built-in analytics, and desktop and mobile apps.
That said, the platform offers many other features you can enjoy if you subscribe to one of its premium plans. For instance, you can use the official advertising program, integrate your site with Google Analytics, and get priority live chat support.
If you want to start a WordPress site, all you need to do is go to their website, sign up for an account, and choose a plan.
I hope this article has helped you to understand the platform better, and now you can start building a website of your own.