WordPress.com vs. Self Hosted WordPress – Which one is Better?

So you consider yourself as a serious blogger, and you already own a free WordPress blog or a blogspot one. You usually share your great ideas on a regular basis with the world.

Good for you.

I am not going to stop you to do so.

The only things which bother me is the platform you opted for displaying your talent to the world. Big concern….

Well, you hear it right, you are a budding blogger and you wanted to build a mark, but the free platform which you opted for your blog is not the right one which can allow you to become a serious blogger.

Though I am not going to discuss about the drawbacks of the blogger or blogspot platform over here, in this blog I will only discuss about some of the things which might stop you to become a good blogger with WordPress platform and how you can come out of this situation too.

WordPress being the number one blogging platform throughout the blogging world, you would obviously ask me that what wrong I made when I decided to start a free WordPress blog.

Some of the big names of the world of internet use the same platform and they are highly successful too. How can I then say that you made some mistake?

Well, to be very precise I am not at all against the WordPress platform, I myself use the same for my blogs. The concern is that I would never suggest someone to opt for the free WordPress option, which is the blog which comes with wordpress.com site; rather I would always suggest someone who seriously wants to become a successful blogger, to go for self hosted WordPress blog which comes through wordpress.org site.

Free WordPress.com vs. Self Hosted WordPress?

Free WordPress.com vs. Self Hosted WordPress?

Free WordPress.com vs. Self Hosted WordPress?

Well, to be very frank with you, wordpress.com provides you the opportunity to get your own blog, at the cost of nothing, and quite easily as well. You just need to create an account and chose a domain name for your blog and it will be ready.

It does not need some brain to customize and develop a blog with the help of wordpress.com.

Benefits associated with WordPress.com Blog?

Well, the major benefits associated with having a wordpress.com blog is that it comes free. Here are a few benefits associated with wordpress.com blog:

1. Free Blog: Obviously as it is free, it becomes the USP for the free wordpress.com blogs.

2. WordPress Benefits: The other benefits which you are getting is that you are getting the platform for your blogging need from the guys who themselves developed WordPress, the world no. 1 blogging platform, thus you need not to worry about anything.

3. Convenient: Once you decided to have a free WordPress blog, you need not to give a damn about the technical stuffs you really need to know to manage a blog by your own. Thus you are sure to become tension free and you can own a blog without having any hassle.

Am I mad who is then saying that Self Hosted WordPress blogs are better than free WordPress blogs?

I am quite sure many of my readers are thinking the above line.

Well read this blog further to understand why exactly free WordPress blogs sucks?

I won’t deny the fact that wordpress.com is an awesome option for some people, but still in my opinion people won’t take free blogs as a serious blog. If you too will find a link in any SERP, which is from a sub-domain of wordpress.com or blogspot.com, I am quite sure you too will prefer not to visit the blog at first instance.

Though these days you can also use your own domain name to host free wordpress.com blogging platform, but still using free WordPress comes with some limitations. So the first drawbacks which you might have with free wordpress.com blogs is:

Limited Themes for your Blog

Well, one of the best benefits which you might have with self hosted WordPress blog (wordpress.org) is that you have plenty of options to customize your blog with so many options of themes available there. On the other hand with free wordpress.com blogs, you are forced to choose from a very limited option of themes.

Well, the design of your blog is something which is the beauty of your blog and which differentiates your blog from many other blogs in this world. With self hosted blogs you will have plenty of options to design the look and feel of your blog; especially paid themes are also available which will help you to design your site in a very good manner. Some of the most popular websites which provide quality WordPress themes are Woothemes, StudioPress, and MyThemeShop (my favorite).

Those who already started their blogging career with free wordpress.com blog will obviously feel sorry about these awesome looking blogs, as they won’t be able to use them on their blog.

So if you are putting so much effort in developing a quality blog, then obviously put it at the right place, which will help you to gain something too.

Frankly speaking wordpress.com does not support the use of the themes developed by the third party developers, which force it to live with some limited options only.

Though these days themes of wordpress.com can also be upgraded (plan might starting with $50), but then again those are also coming with so many restrictions only, which will further bound your blog to look similar to many other blogs.

But then they also allow you to opt for an additional benefit which will cost you around $30 and through which you can get a customized design for your blog, which will allow you to opt for your own CSS settings, and customized fonts.

Unable to Change Site’s Layout

With the free WordPress blog options you are forced to accept the things as it is there with the theme. You are actually have very limited access to make any change in the layout of your blog.

On the other hand with self hosted WordPress blogs you can easily make changes in the layout of your site, and you can customize it as per your need.

Just for an example, you want to change the social media icons from sidebar to a better location, but with free WordPress options you won’t be able to do so. Similarly, if you want to use JavaScript for some particular features on wordpress.com site, you won’t be allowed to use them over there.

Thus, basically with free WordPress blog, you are getting the blog, but you are forced enough to not make it the blogs of your dream.

Limited Space for your Blogs

Well, one of the major concerns with growing blogs is the hosting space associated with it. With self hosted WordPress blogs you can easily increase your hosting space, but with free WordPress blogs you are having the restricted options.

As far as hosting is concerned, I usually like hostgator for hosting my WordPress blogs, as they are quite tension free. As far as other options are concerned, you might also go with Godaddy as these days they are also providing full support to host WordPress blogs.

On the other hand these days I also came to know about a hosting platform, especially for our Indian bloggers, you might also like to use them to host your self hosted WordPress blogs with Hosting Raja:

The limited options of web hosting space with free WordPress blogs can be removed by paying them some handsome amount. On the other hand if you pay that amount as well, you won’t be able to upload some heavy files like any audio file or video one to that. Thus you will feel yourself bounded with space constraint with free WordPress options.

Unable to Load Video Files

As I said already even if you paid for some extra hosting space, you won’t be able to upload any video files without paying them further for it.

Though you might have the solution for this problem, as you can use some external sites like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. to upload your videos over there and then you might share the same on your blog. But it won’t look professional at all.

So if you really have the talent to make quality videos then it is better to go for self hosting (either from hostgator, iPage, BlueHost or hosting raja) and host your own WordPress blog over there.

Restricted Options of using Plugins

Well, one of the major benefits associated with using WordPress for blogging is the huge options of plugins available with them, through which you can do magical things. A plugin will always give you some added functionality, through which you can make your blog more user friendly and interesting.

While with the option of free WordPress options, you are restricted to use a few plugins only, you are not allowed to use any custom plugin, or third-party plugins for your free WordPress blog.

On the other hand for self hosted blog, you might use some plugin for the SEO of your blog, for automated backup of your blog, and much other useful functionality can also be used with the plugins.

Restricted Email Facility

Normally if you are going for self hosting, then you will also get the email hosting along with it. On the other hand with free WordPress blog, you might either have to use your personal email ids, either from gmail, yahoo or hotmail, etc. or you might need to purchase separate email hosting from any service provider. Using personal email ids won’t look professional with blogs.

The above six restrictions were not enough, there are two major restrictions also there with free WordPress blogs which actually means a lot for a professional blogger, and those are:

Your Blog Can be Terminated Any Time

Well, to be very precise, as per the TOS of wordpress.com your blog might be terminated by them at any time, without giving you any notice, or without any cause as well.

This is something which is actually too frustrating. You might invest so much time and efforts to make your blog popular, and out of sudden on a particular morning you saw it is nowhere. Thus all your efforts, energy and time go into vein.

I am sure you will always use all the fair means, not to violate any TOS, but then will you allow someone else to have the key to shut down your blog that too without giving you any notice or cause?

I am sure many of you won’t prefer it.

Restrictive Options of Earning Money

Well precisely every bloggers want to earn some money with the increasing popularity of their blog. Those who invest so much time to write quality blog posts will obviously look for ways to earn money from it. But with free WordPress blogs, you are quite restrictive to earn money through them.

You won’t get a chance to show Google Adsense, or display third-party affiliate ads with your blog. They can even shut down your account if they think you are using affiliate links with your blog.

The Bottom Line

So those two points were something which strongly stops me to suggest anyone to go for the free wordpress.com blog. Well, to be very precise opting a free wordpres.com blog is like having a rented home, while with self hosted blog is like you are living in your own home. I am quite sure you all will opt for living in your own home only.

So guys and girls, it is purely in your hand that what kind of blogger do you want to be in future? If you do have any confusions, simply get in touch with me at my gmail id vatsalok@gmail.com (or inews@inewsindia.com) and I will definitely help you to set up a blog to fulfill your dreams.

Some more related articles of mine on some other blog of mine:

Why to Choose WordPress as Your Blogging Platform!
What to Choose for – Self Hosted WordPress Or Free WordPress?

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