Is it OK to use wordpress.com (instead of self-hosted WordPress)?

There are two “versions” of WordPress:

  • wordpress.com-powered websites
  • “self-hosted” WordPress sites, powered by wordpress.org and hosted on a popular web hosting provider such as WPEngine, Hostgator, etc.

If you’ve already set up your website or blog using wordpress.com, then there are a few things you should know.

Generally speaking, for Audience Ops clients, we don’t recommend using wordpress.com to power your site for these reasons:

  • WordPress.com doesn’t fully support installing 3rd-party plugins, unless you’re on their top tier, and even then not all plugins are confirmed to work on this platform.
  • WordPress.com often lacks custom design capabilities (you’d have to rely on their built-in themes).
  • Considering you’d need to upgrade to WordPress.com’s top pricing plan to unlock the capability to install plugins, that would make your price the same, if not more, than going with a self-hosted WordPress site.

Installing Plugins

For more information on the set of WordPress plugins that Audience Ops recommends we use and install on your site, and how we use them, see this page.

If you’re on wordpress.com, then in order for us to be able to install plugins, you will need to upgrade to their “Business” plan ($25/month as of this writing).

This is particularly important when it comes to us using Content Upgrades and the Content Upgrades WordPress plugin (for more information about this, see this page).

Your options if you’re on wordpress.com:

We recommend you go with one of these two options:

Option 1:  Stay on wordpress.com and upgrade to their “Business” plan.

Option 2:  Move to a self-hosted WordPress site, hosted on a popular web hosting provider such as WPEngine.com.  For more information about this, see this page.