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Wordpress.com Website Builder Review 2021

A reliable website builder with thousands of themes and plugins

Richard Sutherland Author image

In a Nutshell

WordPress.com is great for quickly getting a blogging site off the ground, and you can extend your website with WordPress add-ons that cover just about everything you could imagine. But for sites where blogging isn’t the focus, you’ll need to spend a lot of time bending the system to your will. And even if you love the WordPress software, you can easily get WordPress hosting for cheaper elsewhere.

pros

  • Great blogging features
  • Massive list of plugins
  • Free plan

cons

  • Designs favor blog sites
  • A bit difficult to learn
  • Expensive for e-commerce

WordPress.com WordPress.com Visit Site

WordPress.com Video Review


What Is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is a website builder based on the popular WordPress content management system (available at WordPress.org). With WordPress.com, you can get a fully functioning WordPress website up and running in minutes by using its drag-and-drop editing tools. It’s best for websites centered around a blog because of its excellent blogging features.

Screenshot showing WordPress page editor

Using WordPress.com Website Builder

If you already plan to use WordPress to power your website, WordPress.com makes for an easy way to go about it. Instead of worrying about getting a hosting plan and domain name and building a WordPress website from scratch, WordPress.com bundles this all into a monthly payment and includes a drag-and-drop editor for rapid website deployment.

WordPress.com Features and tools

Website hosting

All WordPress.com plans include website hosting as part of the monthly or annual payment. Free accounts start with 3GB of storage space, while the cheapest paid plan includes 6GB of storage space, and the most expensive plans include 200GB.

SSL certificate

All sites hosted at WordPress.com include an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt that ensures the privacy of all traffic sent to and from your site. Competitors like Web.com charge hefty fees for an SSL certificate.

The WordPress ecosystem

The WordPress content management system has long been the most dominant blogging platform used on the web. Because of this, tens of thousands of themes and plugins have been developed for WordPress, and almost all of them are available to use on a website hosted at WordPress.com.

Creating a website with WordPress.com

Screenshot of WordPress plugins available for download

How to Create, Design, & Edit Your WordPress.com website

WordPress.com takes you through a short website-building wizard where you choose your site’s name and template. Then you’re taken to the drag-and-drop website visual editor.

Compared to most website editors we’ve reviewed, the WordPress.com visual editor feels somewhat old-school, often requiring more steps to perform an action than required. It uses a block system, where you can drag and drop elements onto each page and move them around on a virtual grid.

WordPress.com’s hundreds of built-in themes are responsive, so they'll work well on mobile devices. With an E-commerce plan you can install any WordPress CMS theme you find. As there are tens of thousands of these, you’re spoilt for choice. 

A grid showing WordPress template designs

WordPress.com’s website editor isn’t immediately intuitive to use. If you haven’t used the WordPress system before, the onboarding wizard doesn’t help much. Instead, you’ll likely need to spend some time at learn.wordpress.com reading the tutorials on how everything works.

But once you get the hang of it, WordPress.com’s editor is actually very powerful and offers you more options than most other website builders on the market.

Adding Multimedia to Your WordPress.com website

You can upload your own images to WordPress.com via the browser wizard. Videos and audio files can be uploaded on all paid plans. Documents like PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and Word documents can be uploaded to the media library to be shared on your pages as well.

WordPress.com also offers a free photo library with over 40,000 copyright-free photos. You can connect your Google Photos account with WordPress.com and import photos from there. Overall, WordPress.com makes working with media easy.

Marketing Functionality with WordPress.com Websites

WordPress.com only has a few built-in marketing tools. You can advertise your brand on Facebook and Instagram (Business and eCommerce plans only), connect social media accounts, and track user engagement with Google Analytics. This feels like the bare minimum.

Instead, WordPress.com directs you to third-party tools for marketing your website and building user engagement. Support documentation suggests the use of MailerLite for email marketing, for example.

SEO Functionality & Add-Ons with WordPress.com Websites

WordPress.com websites are very well optimized for search engines by default. URLs, site maps, and page code are all automatically created in a way that should help raise your site’s search engine rankings. Pages include all the basics to make your site search engine optimized. There are also many SEO plugins for WordPress, including the popular Yoast SEO.

WordPress.com’s plugin system is one of its biggest strengths. You’ll need a Business or eCommerce plan to use them, but there are over 50,000 free and premium plugins for WordPress that can extend and even transform the functionality of your website.

E-commerce

E-commerce on WordPress.com comes via the WooCommerce plugin, available on Business and eCommerce plans. These plans are relatively expensive, but WooCommerce is one of the most powerful and versatile E-commerce platforms available today.

You can sell unlimited variations of products (color, size, etc.) and organize products by tags, categories, and attributes. WooCommerce supports physical and digital goods, affiliate sales, and multiple shipping options. 

This complexity means it takes a little longer to set up a WooCommerce store than say, a Wix store, but it could be the better option for a company looking to sell a lot of different types of products.

How Much Does WordPress.com Cost?

You can get started with an ad-supported free WordPress.com website, but you won’t be able to customize your site much. There are four paid plans that are a little pricier than most of the competition. You can pay monthly or annually, and get up to a 43% discount for paying annually.

Plan type / Feature
Free
Personal
Premium
Business
eCommerce

Cost per month

Free

$7

$14

$33

$59

No ads

X

Video content

X

Install plugins

X

X

X

Accept payments in 60+ countries

X

X

X

X

Help and Support

WordPress.com has a fantastic list of support articles, online tutorials, video content, and email courses to teach you every facet of the WordPress system.

Human support depends on your plan. Personal plans include unlimited email support, and Premium plans add basic live chat. If you have a Business plan, you’ll get 24/7 live chat, and eCommerce plans include some one-on-one personalized help sessions.

How WordPress.com Compares to Other Website Builders


WordPress.com
Wix
Jimdo
Squarespace

Pricing

$7 to $59 per month

$14 to $49 per month

$9 to $40 per month

$16 to $54 per month

Hosting included?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Number of templates

31,000+

950+

100+

60+

Blogging functionality

Advanced

Good

Limited

Advanced

E-commerce functionality

Advanced

Advanced

Good

Good

Email marketing functionality

Limited

Advanced

Limited

Good

Responsive design

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Analytics & Reporting

Basic

Limited

Good

Good

WordPress.com vs Wix

Wix offers a much more intuitive editor than WordPress.com. It’s also more flexible, allowing you to drag and drop elements anywhere you like on the page. Wix has a strong add-on library, too, and nearly 1,000 themes, but it still can’t compete with WordPress.com in terms of how far you can take your website with third-party add-ons.

WordPress.com vs Jimdo

Jimdo is extremely easy to use, but it’s also very limited. WordPress.com sits at the other end of the market, offering the most flexibility and complexity. If you’re not particularly technical and only need to create a small, simple website, Jimdo may be a better option.

WordPress.com vs Squarespace

Squarespace offers a more streamlined set of features than WordPress.com. In particular, there are far fewer add-ons and themes from which to choose, limiting your options somewhat. But the Squarespace editor is much easier to use and the workflow is more intuitive.

Bottom Line

WordPress.com is a good place to create a WordPress website, such as a site with a focus on blogging. E-commerce is also handled well if you’re willing to pay for it, thanks to the powerful WooCommerce plugin.

Competitors like Wix and Squarespace have more user-friendly website-building tools and are overall easier to get started with, particularly if your site is not blog-focused. But the thousands of templates, massive plugin library, responsive designs, and great E-commerce tools make WordPress.com a good alternative option.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
-
+
WordPress.org is where you can download the WordPress content management software (CMS) used by over 42% of all websites today. The WordPress CMS is free and open-source, and you can install it on your own web hosting. WordPress.com is a website-building tool from the original creators of the WordPress CMS. WordPress.com is based on WordPress, so it will be familiar to the many users of WordPress, and it adds a drag-and-drop editor for your pages. Your website will be hosted on WordPress.com’s servers.
Is Wordpress.com free?
-
+
WordPress.com has a free plan, but it’s quite limited. You only get 3GB of storage space, and you can only choose from a small set of free themes. You don’t get a domain name, technical support, or the ability to take payments, and ads will be displayed on all your website’s pages. You can use the free plan indefinitely before upgrading to one of the four paid plans.
Is WordPress.com good for a small business?
-
+
WordPress.com can be good for a small business. For corporate websites not looking to sell products online, the Personal and Premium plans work fine. Most of WordPress.com’s best features are found in the Business and eCommerce tiers, though. This is where you can leverage the power of plugins, themes, and WooCommerce. We’d suggest WordPress.com to small businesses over other website builders mainly for the extra functionality you get from WordPress plugins. No other website builder has such a rich collection of add-ons. Otherwise, it’s just simpler to make a small business website with competitors like Wix or Squarespace that offer more intuitive editors.
Richard brings 20+ years of web development, SEO, and marketing to the table. After graduating in Computer Science, Richard spent time lecturing in Java programming and building software for companies like Samsung and ASDA. Today, he writes for TechRadar, Top10.com, Creative Bloq, and other tech-heavy-hitters."

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Top Reviews

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a year ago

I started up my own website over 2 years ago. For not being technically inclined, they walked me through the process. One happy customer

a year ago

I have been with WordPress for about 6 years now, from having an excellent array of plug-ins to being fairly on top of their security, they have had a rather consistent performance in those 6 years.

1 years ago

Easy transaction setup. This is very useful it has the value of money and because of that customer is satisfied with the product.

1 years ago

I like WordPress and have used it for many years. It is my blog platform that I use to write about music that I enjoy. I sell my music there and the ecommerce plug ins work nicely.

1 years ago

I thought WordPress was user friendly, easy to follow, great overall appearance. There could be improvement in the program navigation.

1 years ago

It's a good service that is relatively easy to use for a beginner such as myself. I was able to build a decent website from it and make sales across it

1 years ago

It had all that I needed to run my business successfully. They have excellent customer service and the system is intuitive.

1 years ago

Good. Easy customizable. Cheap option and free option. Easy to backup and move sites if needed

1 years ago

WordPress is a strong content management system because of its origin in blogging. It is very easy for an admin to navigate through the backend of their WordPress site, edit pages and upload new content. WordPress makes it simple to organize content without a lot of website management knowledge.

1 years ago

I think it's an awesome software to have it's really good for the company you work for depending on what it is. We use it for ecommerce and it runs smoothly

1 years ago

Easy to use software that is very effective to use when creating documents on an as needed basis.

1 years ago

WordPress is pretty easy to use and figure out. I really like the options so far for it. That's all

1 years ago

There is so much customization available, both with pre built options and fully customizable options. There is a pretty large learning curve

1 years ago

I like that word press auto updates and is relatively easy to use. I did use a developer who helped me with the original creation of the site. The addons are usually pretty easy to use and install.

1 years ago

I love everything about WordPress it let's you write anything you want and correct grammar for you unlike other websites that let you make mistakes

1 years ago

I had an overall satisfactory experience. Nothing that I disliked. Despite my first time using a website builder, it was simple to figure out the process.

1 years ago

Standard in the industry supported by hundreds of developers. Extremely flexible and easy to use. But need better anti virus and anti hacking protection.

1 years ago

WordPress is an Extremely easy to use builder with options to customize and even input your own coding.

1 years ago

For the most part WordPress is easy to use. However, some of their formatting is a little wonky. Also, I discovered I can't get any help unless I sign up for a more expensive plan. But, bottom line, I'm pretty happy with the program and really like my website.

1 years ago

Excellent product and very easy to use once you get familiar with it. In some cases it is too intuitive.

26 reviews