What is wordpress.COM, and why is there a WordPress.ORG? The former is a self-publishing platform while the latter is self-hosting. This no-nonsense piece makes sense of it all.
WordPress.COM and .ORG are not directly related, although the latter powers the former. Still, they serve a different clientele. This article looks at what makes the .COM program so popular.
Free and Fee-based Site Builder
WordPress.ORG is 100% free open source software. WordPress.COM does have a free plan, but it’s primarily a for-profit platform. The free option is ideal if you’re someone who’s keen to run a personal blog for the first time. You can always opt for the premium plans or even change over to WordPress.ORG later if you feel the need.
Why Choose WordPress.com?
WordPress is not the only player in town nowadays. There’s been a lot of healthy competition to it in recent years like Wix and Squarespace, to name two of several. Even so, WordPress continues to dominate with its massive market share of 37% of all websites. That figure alone tells us something of its popularity among site owners and administrators.
The support community is another of WordPress’ main attractions and includes:
- WP blogs for news and updates
- Plethora of text and video tutorials
- Support forums
- Facebook groups
The beauty of the .COM version of WordPress is that most of what you need is in-house. The global community is still helpful for those who want to swap ideas and share tips.
Who Uses WordPress?
The WP.com plans serve a broad clientele. That includes personal bloggers, freelancers, small businesses, and online stores. The appeal is its simplicity to create sites and ultra-low-maintenance, thanks to in-house support.
Here are the 5 WordPress.COM plans and prices currently on offer:
- Free plan $0/mo.
- Personal Plan, $4/mo.
- Premium plan, $8/mo.
- Business plan, $25/mo.
- eCommerce, $45/mo.
Note that WordPress quotes all plans per month, but its charges are annual. Below is a short description of who the company targets each of its self-publishing packages at.
#1 WordPress free plan
This is the one for first-time dabblers and blogging. Those who exploit it have minimal needs and quite low expectations. Many amateur bloggers start with the free option. It’s also popular with students who want to showcase their work or keep track of assignments online. You get a unique domain (but not custom), free hosting, 3GB of storage, and access to selected themes.
The price you pay for the “free” plan is limited storage, tools, customisations, and ads. You don’t own anything. WordPress can remove your site without notice if it feels you violate its TOS.
It takes only 3 steps to sign up for a WordPress 100% free plan.
#2 WordPress personal plan
The affordable Personal Plan gives users a lot more than the free option. For only $4, you can use a custom domain, get online support, 6GB of storage, dozens of themes, and no ads. There are a few marketing tools too. You can take online payments, use newsletters, and provide subscriber-only content. The Personal Plan is an excellent value upgrade from the free one.
#3 WordPress premium plan
Freelancers tend to opt for the WordPress Premium option. For twice the cost of the personal plan, you get 13GB of storage and access to unlimited themes. Another benefit is the advanced design customisation, which is invaluable for creating unique projects. There are also other marketing and monetisation tools at your disposal, though nothing for SEO..
#4 WordPress business plan
The company aims its 200GB storage Business Plan at small-scale companies. It has everything included in the premium offer with the addition of SEO tools and a few business features. You also get to install custom plugins, upload third-party themes, and manage databases. It’s an excellent package for anyone who wants to run an online store using WooCommerce.
#5 WordPress eCommerce plan
The price difference between the business and eCommerce Plans is $20. It checks the same boxes, but with the addition of extra features and tools. The tools are specific to the selling of electronic goods and or services. Plus, this platform accepts payments in over 60 countries and has integrations with top shipping carriers. There are no restrictions on the number of sales.
There’s a sixth plan called WordPress VIP. It’s a high-cost hosting and support service for established large-scale sites and enterprise. This is an incredibly fast, safe, and secure options for those who need and can afford it. It wants to be, with a starting cost of around $1,700/mo.
Here’s an example of the kind of business that benefits from WP-VIP:
- New York Post
- Dow Jones
- The Sun online
- Many others
The typical client for WordPress VIP demands ultimate security and unrivalled performance. It’s intended to cater for feature-rich websites with high volumes of web traffic. Those who benefit from this service get millions of page views and can thus justify the high cost.
Pros and Cons of WordPress.COM
WordPress.COM offers the perfect solution for millions of people and companies. But its plans are not for everyone, and there are reasons why some prefer to give it a miss.
The Pros of WordPress.COM
- Quick, painless sign-up procedure
- All-in-one hassle-free solution
- Drag-n-drop site builder (no code skills needed)
- Offers a 100% free plan
- Range of premium plans to suit individuals and business
- In-house support (paid plans only)
- Everything is compatible, it all works seamlessly
- Users are not overwhelmed by too much choice
- Automated backups, updates, and in-house maintenance
The Cons of WordPress.COM
- Available storage is somewhat limited compared to competitors
- Competitive pricing though not exceptional
- Cheaper plans have limited tools, features, and functionality
- Free plan displays ads and has lots of restrictions
- No SEO tools for Free, Personal, or Premium plans
- No Google analytics integration for Free or Personal plans
- Third-party plugins/themes not allowed with Free, Personal, or Premium plans
- No monthly subscription offers; must pay annually
- WP can delete any site at any time that violates their terms of service (TOS).
- No option to build membership sites with any of the plans
Remember, pros and cons mean different things to different people. Thus, certain advantages and disadvantages above apply to some people and not others. WordPress.COM plans are perfect for individuals or businesses that want a hassle-free experience. That means easy to build, low maintenance, and a secured environment to host their web content.