Having a blog at WordPress.com is free and easy to start. However, customers would have less control on their sites. In this article, we carefully analyze the pros and cons of having a blog at WordPress.com, and readers could make a decision as having a blog at WordPress.com or on a self-hosted hosting.
The Pros of Having a Blog at WordPress.com
The first thing is to learn the pros of having a blog at WordPress.com. This addresses the question why WordPress.com becomes a popular choice for bloggers.
The major advantage of having a blog at WordPress.com is the blog hosting and domain name are totally free. There is no extra cost if customers use sub domains and take less than 3 GB storage. However, for customers who want to have a top domain name or make a better blog they could pay for the premium upgrades.
Ease of Use.
At WordPress.com, customers don’t need any technical knowledge to start blogging. They could personalize the website appearances with numerous themes, and easily change the color and logo pictures with simple clicks.
Additionally, with the easy to understand dashboard, even the beginners could easily create a post and publish it. Especially, WordPresss.com allows customers paste text from a Microsoft Word document that makes the layout simply.
Security and Reliability.
For customers at WordPress.com, they are in a big and good company. Their blogs are hosted on WordPress.com servers, which spread across multiple data centers and keeps the sites fast. In addition, Akismet takes away the hassle of unwanted comments by automatically zapping spammers.
Customers won’t be confined to the desk. WordPress.com allows them to publish posts near and far with mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Andriod, and Blackberry.
The Cons of Having a Blog at WordPress.com
Just like a coin, WordPress.com has two sides. Though it has many pros, there are still some limitations which should have your attention before using WordPress.com.
Customers have limited control for their blogs at WordPress.com. They could not add any ads like Google Adsense or any other types of affiliate ads on their blogs to make money. Instead, WordPress.com may show their own ads on the free blogs. With the goal to remove these ads, you are required to upgrade your plans. Otherwise, WordPress will limit the possibility to monetize your blog. This is the major downside of WordPress.com.
Although customers could choose themes freely, they have to be stuck with the WordPress.com list themes which are used by millions of sites. Customers cannot upload their own themes or edit HTML, CSS or PHP code to personalize the blog. If customer really need to custom themes, they have to pay for the “design upgrade” for $30 per year.
Though the plugin is a great feature of WordPress blogs, WordPress.com don’t allow customers to use any plugins. That is to way, you can only choose from the pool of themes and plugins WordPresss.com provides. Or, they need to move to the VIP program and pay for $3750 per month.
Not Good Performance.
The free blog at WordPress.com should be considered as a sandbox. The maximum concurrency of the blog is limited, and the loading speed is really not good. Without the permission of the top tier premium plan, Google analytics cannot be available for you to analyze your website, for example, track your traffic. After all, as a commercial organization, WordPress.com is trying to persuade the users for the expensive premium service for making money.
No Support for Multisite.
WordPress.com is a multisite to include everything you have created for your website. However, you have no capability to create your own network of websites. From this perspective, WordPress website is not a good option for those who want to create a multisite. With WordPress.com, a single website can be created.
No eCommerce Option.
Since WordPress.com is not support for eCommerce, you are not able to create an online store. If you have the need, you should be on the way to look for alternatives to WordPress.com.
Who Go WordPress.com?
For the bloggers who intend only to try blogging, WordPress.com may be a good choice. However, for the bloggers who want to have a personal or business web presence, we recommend going with a self-hosted WordPress hosting service such as BlueHost (http://www.bluehost.com).
BlueHost is a reputable hosting provider recommended by WordPress.org officially. With 63% discount on the regular price $7.99/mo, BlueHost WordPress hosting is available for $2.95/mo for customers going through the exclusive promotional link. Additionally, it also comes with 1 free domain name, hundreds of WordPress themes & plugins, Google AdWords credits, and more features. Customers could 1-click install the WordPress websites with the application installer SimpleScripts, and fully control the websites with the cPanel control panel.