About WordPress.com Hosting
Owned by Automattic Inc.WordPress.com is a platform for website building. In August 2005, WordPress.com was launched by Matt Mullenweg who was also the founder of Automattic Inc. This platform was opened for the public to deal with. Due to this, anyone can easily create as well as publish their website live within minutes that too for free. Open source content management system is used by all the WordPress.com websites. There is no limit on the number of websites that one wishes to create by using WordPress.com. If the users want to access premium features then the company also provide upgraded plans to them. These features include:
• Increased storage space
• Live tech support
• Custom domains
In this review, we will now discuss all the important aspects of WordPress.com which will help you in choosing and taking the right decision for your website while choosing a web host.
Summary of WordPress.com
As what most people think, WordPress.com is not a WordPress. Usually, people know WordPress as WordPress.org which is a well-known open source content management system (CMS). Although WordPress.com is developed on WordPress, it’s not the same thing. The difference between these two platforms is key.
WordPress.com is different from WordPress by its user interface which is different from each other. It has a very simple and streamlined interface. It has all that one can expect in a mainline website builder. As in most of the website builder, WordPress.com does not have a drag and drop option and a visual editor. Instead, WordPress.com is a form-based editor in which design is separated by the content of pages. The downfall of this form based editor is that its pages are not designed within context.
Although WordPress began as a blogging platform whereas WordPress.com itself has some mind-blowing features to offer their customers. The company has the best blog features to offer their customers as compared to any website builder. Squarespace is the main competitor of WordPress.com.
In the last decade, an ecosystem of third-party plugin creators has been formed by WordPress. Those plugins are allowed to install by WordPress.com. The functionality increases dramatically with the help of these plugins such as maps, membership systems, podcasts and much more.
Review on Features of WordPress.com
We will now discuss some important features provided by WordPress.com to their clients in this review.
WordPress.com comes with excellent features such as tags, drafts, categories, posts in the future, automatic post sharing, featured images, custom permalinks and many more which is perfect for blogging purpose. WordPress.com also allows you to add a team of writers who can contribute to your blog with their articles. For any website builder that need blogging, WordPress.com provide the best.
The company provides flexible promotions which allow you to add coupons and discounts if certain rules are met. The company allows categorization of products and also has variations in them. For your e-commerce website, you can choose from Stripe or PayPal Standard as your payment provider. Although the company does not allows you to customize the emails and receipts that are sent to your customers by the payment providers.
3. Form Builder
If you want a form builder for your website than it is required to install a plugin known as Contact Form 7. For different fields like checkbox, dropdown, text area and radio there are options. There is also no field for uploading files. Although the company permits you to customize what email address form results are sent to the company does not allow you to customize the message for “successful form submission” or let you choose where to send visitors after they fill out a form.
4. iOS & Android Apps
You can check analytics through Android and iOS apps. The company also allows you to write the blog posts as well as to respond to all the comments.
5. Membership System
BuddyPress is a well-known WordPress membership system plugin which you can install. BuddyPress is a great feature for any website builder that will blow the water out of any membership program. You can develop an entire social network with the help of the tools provided by BuddyPress. Also, you can customize Buddypress with the help of the extensions. All you need is to wade into WP-Admin.
A third party donation plugin is known as “Give” can also be installed. Powerful donation forms and donor management forms are also included along with it. The features provided by WordPress.com cannot be matched by any other website builder. Also, as it is a plugin of the third party, so it requires many features to purchase as an Add-on. A separate amount is charged for the same. Similar to the other WordPress.com plugins, you need to go to WP-Admin to use “Give”.
In order to add the podcast feed to your website a WordPress plugin named as “Blubrry” needs to be install. It has embeddable subscribe widgets, multiple audio players and much more. Similar to the other WordPress.com plugins, you need to go to WP-Admin to use “Blubrry”.
Pros of Using WordPress
Every company provides a number of benefits to their customers. Here in this review, we will now discuss the important pros that the WordPress provide their customers and which help you in making the right decision of whether to go with them or not.
1. WordPress.com comes free of cost and provide you the complete control of your website. You, in turn, become the in charge of all the files and data of your website. You are free to move your website anywhere you want as per your choice as you are not tied to any web hosting company.
2. WordPress.com provide you access to a wide variety of extensions, plugins, and add-ons which help you in extending your website. You can make anything as per your choice through this wide access to professional applications.
3. As WordPress.com gives you the charge of your entire website which helps you in deciding whether you want to keep it simple and add new features to your website only when it grows. Your website can become superfast as per your choice. You can control the pace of it. Also, you can use the raw SEO practices which helps you in growing your visitors in a natural way.
4. It is very easy to customize the templates and website design that you choose from thousands. Every theme and website design has different options for customizing which helps you to create a unique website as per your imagination and choice.
5. As WordPress.com is very popular in the market due to which integrations are available for WordPress of all the popular third-party tools. This enables your CRM software, SEO tools, lead generation tools, email marketing tools and payment gateways to integrate with your WordPress website.
Cons of Using WordPress
Nobody is perfect, WordPress is no different. In this review, we will now discuss some of the cons of WordPress. These will help you in taking the right decision for your website.
1. For your website, you are the sole responsibility for it. This simply means that the security, backups, making an update installation of your website is all your responsibility. Although the company provides you an option to make all these tasks happen automatically still it requires your attention unless you opt for one of the managed WordPress hosting companies.
2. There is no built-in drag and drop website builder that comes with WordPress. So due to this, beginners face some problems in using it and take some time to get familiar with it and learn the basics. Although you can use one of the famous drag and drop page builder plugins for WordPress.
3. WordPress does not require any coding to operate it. Only some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is more than enough to make all the things easier for you. Most beginners have these basic skills in them when they use WordPress. But, certainly, for coders, WordPress does not have much for them to do.
Pricing of WordPress.com
WordPress.com provide their customers with all the set of features in the world. But, all these features come at a price that may be as much as your life savings. The company although ranks third in overall for value for money. The company has the second cheapest pricing after Wix which is quite appreciable. All the plans that are offered by WordPress.com come with a great set of features and upgrade options. The plans come at a great price which makes them value for money.
The company provides one free plan and three paid plans. All the plans are billed on the yearly basis so you don’t need to surprise when you see the prices. We will now discuss all the plans provided by the company in this review so that you can make out if they are value for money for you.
1. Free plan ($0) – Who does not like free things to use and when you get some web hosting plan for free then it like a cherry on the cake. This plan is certainly a great pick to start with. You can easily choose from a variety of templates and themes for your website. Without paying a penny you can even publish your website online and see how it looks like.This plan comes with a number of features such as 3 GB of storage space, basic design customization, community support, and free themes.
2. Personal Plan ($48 a year i.e. $4 a month, billed yearly) – As per the name says, this plan is best suitable for personal use. This plan will come with a feature which includes a custom domain name, live chat support, email support as well as removal of WordPress ads.
3. Premium Plan: ($96 a year i.e. $8 a month, billed yearly) – This plan is best suitable for the freelancers as well as an entrepreneur who needs a website for them. This plan has all the features that the previous plan has with some more features to add. This plan comes with unlimited premium themes, 13 GB of storage space, advanced customization as well as a number of options to monetize your website. In addition to this, it has VideoPress support and also allows selling through simple payments.
4. Business Plan: ($300 a year i.e. $25 a month, billed yearly) – This plan as the name suggests is best for small businesses. Along with all the features that a premium plan has, this plan also comes with unlimited storage space, SEO tools, live courses, plugins, uploadable themes as well as Google Analytics integration.
These are all the four plans provided by WordPress.com. Now, which plan to go for that really depends on your budget as well as on the kind of website you need for your business. Although the low price plans have certain limitations on the features certainly it is a great option to choose for beginners.
Do we recommend WordPress.com?
After reviewing on the WordPress.com we can simply conclude that WordPress.com is a built on WordPress.org which makes it stand high among the competitors especially when it comes to blogging. If you seriously need to run a blog and require a simple interface as compare to WordPress.org than WordPress.com is the right option for you to choose.
But, when we come to compare WordPress.com to actual website builders in terms of ease of use then certainly WordPress.com does not rank on top. WordPress.com is recommended to beginners as it does not have a beginner friendly interface. Also, you will feel quite restricted when you will create a website which is not about blogging. Also, WordPress.com is a big turn off for people who need to use a basic coding for developing or expanding your website. So, WordPress.com is not recommended for those who want a high or fully customizable website and want to set up their website easily. But definitely, those who are starting a blog and want a good set of features in fair amount then WordPress.com is for you.