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It may be common knowledge now that WordPress has taken over the majority of online websites through its platform. What you may not know is that there is a HUGE difference between the WordPress.com that everyone is familiar with and the self-hosted WordPress.org platform. It’s true; you could be using WordPress’ free .com platform when, in fact, your business would benefit on the self-hosted platform – and vice versa.
So how do you know which one is better to host your website? The first thing you should do is understand the real differences between the two so that you can make a more informed decision as to how your website I best represented online.
For a basic hosting plan with self-hosted WordPress, you are looking at around $3 a month. While WordPress.com is entirely free to use, their limitations make it almost impossible to run a business website through. They do not let you use a private domain, and they display ad’s on your website from which you do not profit. They also do not let you upload custom themes. You can pay to upgrade to a personal or a business account, but this will cost you $10-32 a month, so which way works out cheaper now?
based on your own experience in web design as well as what works best for your business. While you can use the free themes in both self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com, it’s nice to have the option to upload your custom themes. This makes you website future proof for anything you advance onto in the future. You’re probably better off using the self-hosted platform.
If you do not require specific plug-ins to aid you in your business or website management, you will probably be okay with the free platform. However, even if you’ve been alright with these restrictions but feel that your business could do better with a broader range of plug-ins, you may want to consider at least trying WordPress.org.
SEO is the backbone of attracting traffic and leads to your website. If you require inbound traffic to profit from your business, the offerings through a standard, free WordPress.com website may not be adequate. The self-hosted platform lets you use third-party plug-ins on top of its already extensive SEO options and analytical features (which is also lacking in the WordPress.com platform) so that you can better engage your audience and grow conversions. You can read more about WordPress SEO here.
There is much difference between both WordPress platforms that could fill its book. Still, the biggest takeaway from us is the recommendation that you do your best to research the benefits and pitfalls of both and weigh the overall cost you may be paying in the long run by choosing to start by going with the easiest and cheapest option.