Is WordPress.com Really Free?
Is WordPress.com Really Free?
So you’re ready to make a dent inside the universe.
You have high-quality thoughts to percentage with the arena, and you learned a way to start a blog to do it.
Good for you.
Of course, there’s more to starting a weblog than simply having extraordinary ideas, however you’ve already made an crucial selection.
You’re going with WordPress.
After all, Internet bigwigs like Jon Morrow, Brian Clark, Chris Brogan, Amy Porterfield, Marie Forleo, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mari Smith, Michael Hyatt and Darren Rowse all use WordPress.
In reality, the extra you read, the greater it seems like you’d be a total fool to go along with something else.
There are masses of professional WordPress subject matters to make your blog look appropriate. Thousands of smart plugins to add a myriad of different features. And countless skilled WordPress experts who can help in case you get out of your intensity.
So you’re positive it’s a WordPress weblog you want, but the huge question is:
Where do you get one?
The Seductive Lure of WordPress.Com
The easiest manner to get your own WordPress weblog – palms down – is to create one totally free over at WordPress.Com.
And at the start it looks as if a no brainer.
Firstly, you’re getting WordPress from the men who at the beginning created WordPress. That’s got to be top, proper?
Secondly, they manage all at the back of-the-scenes technical belongings you without a doubt don’t need to have to fear about your self. Which is a massive remedy.
And thirdly, it’s unfastened! (Did I point out it’s loose?)
But whilst it’s an undeniably candy deal for a few, let’s consider, less extreme bloggers, there are a few stuff you should recognise before selecting to host your universe-denting weblog at WordPress.Com.
7 Reasons to Think Twice earlier than Choosing WordPress.Com
Credit where credit’s due, WordPress.Com is an excellent alternative for some human beings. It’s super for private blogs, network web sites and coffee-key running a blog experiments.
But the reality is that to provide a dependable carrier – at no cost – to a huge variety of human beings with exclusive desires and ability ranges, you need to lock things down a chunk. You simply can’t provide completely fledged WordPress to each person.
So the taste of WordPress you get at WordPress.Com is kind of like a dumbed down WordPress. It’s the blogging equivalent of those protection scissors with rounded recommendations they come up with as a child. They don’t reduce so exquisite, however at the least no-one’s getting harm.
And if you want to “un-dumb” it, there’s often a price connected. But hiya, the guys at WordPress.Com need to position food on the table like absolutely everyone else.
So that you can start your blogging journey with eyes wide open, here are a few unexpected regulations you have to recognise approximately WordPress.Com before website hosting your blog there.
1. You’re forced to choose from a restricted selection of “accepted” issues
If you’ve already been thinking about the design of your blog, you’ve possibly been salivating on the huge choice of professionally designed WordPress issues to be had to you.
Gorgeous topics from trusted assets like:
ElegantThemes (affiliate link)
StudioPress (associate hyperlink)
If you had your heart set on this kind of, too awful so sad. You’re out of success.
WordPress.Com doesn’t guide the full-size majority of issues to be had from 3rd-birthday celebration developers. So you’re just going to must get the nearest match possible from the lots smaller selection of issues that WordPress.Com does offer.
And whilst they do allow a few minor modifications to their topics together with converting the heritage coloration, the header or the navigation menu, that’s approximately it. So your weblog will end up looking like quite a few different blogs obtainable.
Of route, you could take gain of the top class subject enhancements (starting at $50) that provide you with a more sophisticated layout, however you continue to have the same customization restrictions as with their loose subject matters.
Unless you want to spend another $30/year, due to the fact WordPress.Com gives a Custom Design Upgrade that permits you to regulate your fonts and use your very own CSS code for added styling.
2. You can’t change your web page’s layout
As you develop and evolve, you’ll want your weblog to evolve, too.
Problem is, WordPress.Com possibly received’t can help you.
For instance, permit’s say you go along with loose web hosting over at WordPress.Com and you want the entirety approximately the subject matter you picked, besides you’re simply not loopy about the position of your social media icons. Perhaps you need them to appear to your header in place of within the sidebar.
If that’s the case, you’re kind of stuck because WordPress.Com does now not let you adjust the underlying structure of any of their issues.
three. You’ll need to pay for numerous “optionally available” extras
Although WordPress.Com permits you to get began without spending a dime, it’s a earnings-making commercial enterprise and deep down they’re hoping that you’ll quickly outgrow the limited functionality of your unfastened weblog and improve to a number of their paid capabilities.
I’ve already stated top class issues but here are some different paid enhancements that WordPress.Com offers:
Want a custom area name?
For $thirteen/12 months you can host your website to your personal area as opposed to a subdomain of WordPress.Com, i.E. Yourblog.Com, rather than yourblog.Wordpress.Com
Need a little more area to your blog?
Starting at $20/12 months you may add greater area to the 3GB you get free of charge. 3GB may sound like plenty but you’re handiest allowed to upload pix, files, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint shows.You might not add audio files with out the gap upgrade. (So that’s your podcast out of the window.)http://en.Assist.Wordpress.Com/area-improve
Want to host motion pictures at once for your blog?
That’ll cost you an additional $60/12 months and you could’t upload any video documents without the upgrade – even in case you’ve paid for added space. Without the improve you’ll want to host your videos on an external web page like YouTube or Vimeo, then embed those videos onto your weblog. Which is probably first-rate, however it doesn’t study professional as using your very own video player.Http://en.Guide.Wordpress.Com/videopress
Don’t want third-birthday celebration adverts appearing for your weblog?
WordPress.Com reserves the proper to display advertisements for your web page. But for an additional $30/yr you could get the “No Ads” choice and preserve your weblog ad-unfastened.However despite this improve, you continue to must preserve copyright hyperlinks which includes “Blog at WordPress.Com” for your web page. Per WordPress.Com, “All WordPress.Com bloggers are required to hold the credit score hyperlinks, even our VIP bloggers. “http://en.Assist.Wordpress.Com/custom-layout
For the extreme blogger, many of those paid improvements are not elective at all. You without a doubt do want them in case you’re to keep away from looking like a total beginner.
four. You’ll have to manipulate your own area electronic mail
Web-based totally e mail providers like Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail are high-quality in your personal emails. But to your professional email communication, you’re going to want a employer-branded e mail like “[email protected]” to reveal people you’re severe.
Unfortunately WordPress.Com does not offer email hosting of any kind. Therefore, you’re going to ought to set up your e-mail hosting outdoor of WordPress.Com.
To give you an example of pricing, GoDaddy offers e mail web hosting for $7/month for up to 10 emails. If you want greater email accounts, extra fees will apply.
If you choose to host your blog somewhere other than WordPress.Com, email web hosting generally comes as a part of your net web hosting package. There’s no additional rate. You can set up an infinite range of organization-branded emails, speedy and without difficulty, from within your net web hosting dashboard. It’s one-forestall shopping.
5. You can’t earn cash from different humans’s merchandise
If you intend on creating wealth through setting affiliate links in your blog, you’re out of good fortune because WordPress.Com doesn’t permit them.
As stated on WordPress.Com, the exception would be in case you “write an authentic e book, movie or game evaluate and link to Amazon” or “link for your personal merchandise on ETSY”. But that’s quite restrictive.
If WordPress.Com catches you setting affiliate links to your blog, even if you assume you’re playing with the aid of the rules, your penalty could be any of following: (a) they may disable your links, (b) they may problem a warning advising you to put off the affiliate links or (c) they could simply suspend your account and close you down.
6. You’re banned from the use of custom plugins
A plugin is a software module that you “plug in” to WordPress to present your blog brought capability. No understanding of coding is essential to install and use a plugin – it certainly takes some clicks.
You can get plugins that will help you with search engine marketing, plugins for backing up your weblog, plugins for creating custom paperwork, plugins to improve the velocity of your weblog, plugins to create club sites. The listing is large. Right now the quantity of WordPress plugins to be had from unbiased developers is 27,000 and counting.
But for security motives you’re no longer allowed to use any 1/3-party plugins when you host your site without cost on WordPress.Com.
The capacity to apply custom plugins for introduced capability is one of the notable strengths of WordPress. Without custom plugins, you’ve basically crippled WordPress.
You do have the choice, but, of upgrading to WordPress.Com’s VIP website hosting package deal which starts offevolved at a trifling $three,750 / month (not a misprint). Then they’ll be happy to let you use plugins. Which is right of them.
7. Your blog can be shut down at any time
This one trumps all the others.
If you host your blog at WordPress.Com, their Terms Of Service (TOS) very without a doubt states that WordPress.Com “may terminate your access to any or all part of the Website at any time, without or with purpose, with or without observe, powerful without delay.”
You might think you run a squeaky-easy weblog and that you’d by no means come close to a TOS violation, however do you really want to present a person that lots manipulate over your livelihood?
Mistakes get made. Accidents occur. And your weblog should get close down as a result. Fair or not, it’s a part of the agreement whilst you host your site on WordPress.Com.
For maximum critical bloggers, the possibility of an unintentional TOS violation (but remote) and surprising shutdown is purpose sufficient to appearance somewhere else. Why go away the door open even just a crack? It’s simply not worth it.
The Smart Alternative for Bloggers Who Really Mean Business
While WordPress.Com sincerely makes is easy to get a WordPress weblog up and running, you need to ask yourself if you can placed up with the compromises that come at the side of it.
It’s like having a present day Ferrari and being advised you could handiest pressure it 30 mph. And only on weekends.
But thankfully there is an alternative: self-hosted WordPress.
And it’s not as horrifying as some people would have you ever agree with.
What the Hell is “Self-hosted” WordPress?
Self-hosted WordPress virtually means that you set up the unfastened WordPress software program for your own web server as opposed to having WordPress.Com host your blog for you.
And after I say your own internet server, I’m not talking about shopping for a few supercomputer and hiding it away on your storage. I’m just talking approximately shopping for website hosting services from one of the masses of legit net hosts out there.
So don’t freak out if you’re now not a techie. It’s really not that difficult to self-host.
There are heaps of tutorials at the net to assist you with self-hosting your blog. And if you ever come upon an obstacle, there are lots of less expensive WordPress experts available on-line.
To self-host your weblog, all you need to do is get a web hosting account from a employer like SiteGround (associate hyperlink — 60% off all WordPress plans), which costs less than $10/month.
And due to the fact WordPress is so famous, many hosts have pre-configured “1-click on installs” that allow you to put in WordPress on your web server in much less than 10 minutes.
What Kind Of Blogger Do You Want To Be?
It all boils down to this.
What you want to do together with your blog and what form of blogger you want to be?
If all you want is a place to explicit your self at the internet, then a unfastened blog at WordPress.Com might be simply best.
But if your purpose is to be taken seriously as a blogger and subsequently make cash together with your blog, you’re going to need unfastened rein to do anything you need along with your blog. That way having the ability to trade the page format, upload custom plugins or deploy e-mail decide-in containers in your website online.
And the handiest way you’re going to accomplish these things is by self-web hosting your weblog.
But don’t simply take my word for it.
WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, sums up the distinction among WordPress.Com and a self-hosted WordPress weblog like this:
Hosting your web page on WordPress.Com is like renting an apartment, instead of a self-hosted WordPress weblog which you very own outright.
With a self-hosted WordPress weblog, you can do some thing you need. Knock down partitions. Redecorate it any way you need. But you’re responsible for the protection as well. (i.E. Security replace, backups, characteristic upgrades)
Whereas with WordPress.Com the whole lot is completed for you. But you lose some manage. Can’t have a yard. Can’t tear down walls, and many others.Http://wordpress.Tv/2009/10/29/matt-mullenweg-wordpress-now
So, do you need to hire your blog, or personal it?
The Bottom Line
If you’re severe approximately blogging you’re going to need to have the freedom and control to do some thing you want, however you want, without demanding that you’ll all at once hit a brick wall or that the rug might sooner or later be arbitrarily pulled out from underneath you.
And the simplest way to make sure that is to self-host your WordPress weblog.
So that’s some other selection made.
Time to get on with making that dent inside the universe.