Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by James Wilson
Before we begin, I want to clarify that this WordPress review is based on WordPress.com, not WordPress.org. Yes, they are two different things!
You may be wondering whether WordPress.com or WordPress.org is better. Well, this review will thoroughly test WordPress.com to see how it compares to other website builders.
WordPress is a popular platform; it powers over 35% of all websites on the internet.
WordPress.org was developed in 2003. WordPress.com was actually developed after the .org version, essentially on top of WordPress.org, inheriting some of its awesome features.
When people talk about WordPress, they’re often referring to WordPress.org, which is a content management system (CMS) used to create websites.
WordPress.com focusses more on blogging and is closer to a website builder than WordPress.org is.
Actual website builders like Wix and Weebly don’t require any coding experience as you can create a website without the use of HTML or CSS. However, WordPress is slightly more complicated to use and to get the hang of, as basic coding knowledge is a benefit.
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|A great choice for a blogging platform as WordPress.com offers templates specifically designed for blogs||Templates from WordPress.com focus heavily on blogging, so if you’re looking to create anything else, you may struggle|
|WordPress.com offers a wealth of features to help design your blog or website||Not as beginner-friendly as other website builders, but still easier to use than WordPress.org|
|You can build your website for free, or there are affordable pricing plans to scale and grow your website with|
I’ve briefly mentioned the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Depending on your needs, you may decide that either one is the better choice.
WordPress.com is free, but there are paid plans too, which we’ll go into more later on.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform, meaning you’ll have to choose the best WordPress hosting for your website, yourself. Unless you choose managed WordPress hosting, you’ll also need to manage your own website updates and security.
WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress, so you won’t have to worry about hosting your site.
If you plan to create a blogging website, I’d personally recommend WordPress.com. However, if you want more features, plugins, and control, WordPress.org may be better.
If you’re still not sure, continue reading my WordPress.com review to uncover more behind the blogging giant. Alternatively, you could start hosting your own WordPress.org website from Hostinger from as little as 80p per month.
When it comes to choosing the best website builder, there are many things to take into consideration.
A big factor for me, and others, is how easy a platform is to use. After all, website builders are designed to make it possible to create a website from scratch, with little to no skill.
WordPress.com is by far not the easiest website builder to use. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go. I’m going to tell you why WordPress.com didn’t fair too well in this section.
WordPress.com isn’t a website builder, it’s a blogging platform, but it is more of a website builder than its counterpart, WordPress.org.
Unlike Wix, WordPress.com doesn’t use drag and drop functionality or WYSIWYG. Design customisation and content editing are done separately.
At first, WordPress.com is hard to get your head around, I won’t lie. However, once you get used to it, it’s powerful, customisable, and packed with features. If you do get stuck, the beauty of WordPress is so many people use it, so there are plenty of support resources and expert help ready and waiting.
In comparison to WordPress.org, WordPress.com is much easier to use. You don’t have to worry about web hosting or security. However, if I were to compare it to other website builders like SquareSpace or Wix, it definitely has a learning curve.
Now we’ve arrived at one of the most exciting aspects of WordPress; its themes.
WordPress.com comes packed with thousands of themes to get your blog off to a great start. You can easily filter between paid and free themes, and preview each one.
If you have a specific feature, style, or layout in mind, you can filter by these requirements too. For example, if I was an author and wanted to create a blog, I might want to include an author bio on my website.
You can preview each theme in a live demo, or simply find out more information.
All WordPress.com themes come with instructions as to how to install, customise, and edit content. There’s a detailed guide as to how to set up your homepage, add your logo, and lots more.
Because WordPress is so popular, there’s plenty of designers out there who create WordPress.com themes for others to use.
WordPress.com has the benefit of offering its customers plenty of tools and features to use.
As we nestle our way firmly into 2020, social media is becoming an even bigger part of all our lives. Social media connects people, promotes businesses, and is a perfect way to engage with potential website and blog visitors.
WordPress.com allows you to connect your website with your social media accounts. The minute you publish a blog post, it will get shared to your social feeds.
There’s also a wealth of widgets you can use to display your social feeds on your website. E.g. Instagram posts, twitter feed, etc.
One of the features that many website builders miss the mark with is backups. If you’ve not been in a situation where you need a backup, that’s great. However, it’s something that can strike at any moment.
Whether you’ve made a mistake, lost all your work, or your site crashes, it’s imperative to have backup functionality, so you can restore your files.
Thankfully WordPress.com has a handy restore feature, meaning you can recover your website at any point in time.
WordPress.com has a free plan and four paid plans. All premium plans are billed yearly, with monthly equivalent figures to entice you in.
|Jetpack Essential Features||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Pre‑Installed SSL Certificate||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Free Domain for One Year||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Email & Basic Live Chat Support||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|24/7 Priority Live Chat Support||✔||✔|
|Dozens of Free Themes||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Unlimited Premium Themes||✔||✔||✔|
|Advanced Design Customization||✔||✔||✔|
|Remove WordPress.com Ads||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Advanced Social Media||✔||✔||✔|
|Google Analytics Integration||✔||✔||✔|
|Get Personalized Help||✔||✔|
|Remove WordPress.com Branding||✔||✔|
|Automated Backup & One‑Click Rewind||✔||✔|
|SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) and Database Access||✔||✔|
|Accept Payments in 60+ Countries||✔|
|Integrations with Top Shipping Carriers||✔|
|Unlimited Products or Services||✔|
|eCommerce Marketing Tools||✔|
|Premium Customizable Starter Themes||✔|
WordPress.com’s free plan is great for people who want to experience WordPress, but aren’t ready to commit. You’ll get to experiment with its themes, test out the features, and publish your site live to the worldwide web. Of course, there are some restrictions as you’ll have a WordPress.com domain and WordPress adverts.
If you want to remove WordPress ads, you’ll need to upgrade to the personal plan.
The premium, business, and eCommerce plans are appropriate for larger websites, and for those wanting more marketing features, analytical tools, and more.
Whether you want to create a small personal site or a larger scale website, you should be able to rely on great customer support.
WordPress.com is insanely popular, meaning there’s plenty of support and WordPress experts worldwide.
WordPress has a huge knowledgebase with plenty of topics. There’s a handy search feature and starting points if you feel a bit lost.
If you click on a starting point, you’ll be directed to useful guides and articles. There’s a wealth of video tutorials, online courses, and so much more.
Struggling to find the answer to your question? Simply submit a question to the WordPress.com forum and wait for a friendly expert face to answer.
WordPress.com deals with the majority of SEO work, which is a bonus. Their themes are specifically designed to ensure your website design is as optimised as it can be.
If you’re ready to take on the bigger guns, it’s worth upgrading to their business plan. You’ll get access to their SEO tools which means you can create and customise metadata, increasing your chance to be found on search engines.
The SEO basics are covered initially with WordPress.com, but if you want to be found, you will need to invest in their premium plans to get the added benefits.
Creating an SEO strategy is one thing, but first, you’ll need to learn who is visiting your site, where from, and how to improve on things.
WordPress.com has a built-in analytics feature. The best part about it is that you won’t have to set up anything to view your analytics.
Analytics gives you a look into a breakdown of your website’s traffic. You’ll be able to compile data on when people visit your site, how many followers you have, etc. This is great if you want to know how to improve your traffic and also what to avoid.
Hopefully, this WordPress.com review has given you enough insight into WordPress’s blogging sibling.
We know that WordPress.com is built on the foundations of WordPress.org, so it’s going to pack a powerful punch, whether you’re creating a blog or website.
However, does it offer enough to keep you interested? Here’s my recommendation. If you want an awesome blog and a simple platform, I’d choose WordPress.com. But if you want a website or more features, WordPress.org undoubtedly offers more, with a larger learning curve.
Compared to other website builders, WordPress.com is more difficult to use. But, and it really is a but, once you do get to grips with it, WordPress.com is pretty incredible. However, only if you want to create a blog.
If you want to build a website, other website builders actually let you do this, with more themes, greater flexibility, and without the need of any extra help or support. After all, website builders are meant to be simple.
With WordPress.com, you’ve got nothing to lose. Its free plan gives you enough access to decide whether you can get on well enough with the platform or not. So, give it a try; there’s definitely got to be a reason why over 30 million people use WordPress.com
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