WordPress.com Review

Daniel Rosehill

In a Nutshell

If you’re thinking about setting up a website, then you’ve probably heard a recommendation (or 2) for WordPress. Although it’s a powerful open source script, you can also build on WordPress.com and never have to worry about web hosting. You can even use your own domain name. It’s revamped itself thoroughly over the years and WordPress.com users can get almost all of the same functionalities as those who host the script on their own servers.

pros

  • Fully hosted solution
  • Same features as the WordPress script
  • Very easy to connect domain

cons

  • Plugins allowed, but only on Business Plan
  • Select WordPress plugins are not compatible

WordPress.com WordPress.com Visit Site

What is the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress?

What’s the difference between WordPress.com and ‘WordPress’, you might be wondering? ‘WordPress’ is an open source script for creating websites. Users need to download it and install it on their own servers and are responsible for keeping it (the WordPress core) updated. WordPress.com is the same software offered as a hosted service. WordPress.com takes care of the hosting and all users need to do is build their websites. In exchange for a few advanced feature restrictions, this makes the process of building a site easier.

WordPress.com is Best for...

WordPress.com is the go-to solution for those that want to develop websites using WordPress but want everything needed to make the site work under one roof. By building on WordPress.com, you can buy a domain or use an existing one if you have it. All of the WordPress.com plans (even their free offering!) include hosting—so you don’t need to worry about finding a web host. 

Why Go With WordPress.com?

With WordPress.com, you get most of the benefits of building a site on WordPress. However, by cutting out the requirement to find a host for the site, you simplify the process of getting and keeping the site on the internet. Paid WordPress.com customers (Business plan or above) are able to access almost the full WordPress plugin library which consists of nearly 50,000 plugins

WordPress.com Features

Block Builder 

WordPress now sports a convenient block builder which lets users quickly add in blocks of content according to predefined uses. These can also be bundled into groups. For instance, users could add a block of text or split out part of the page into a 3-column layout. There’s a block for adding HTML so users can add in embed objects or custom code. Additionally, there’s a shortcode block which makes it easy to integrate plugin widgets to the page layout. As with previous versions of WordPress, users can easily switch between visual and code layout—allowing users to manually edit the HTML to achieve exactly the layout they want.

Domain and Hosting

WordPress.com can act as both a domain register and a host. All plans are automatically hosted by WordPress.com. Those on the free (unpaid) tier have to use a WordPress.com subdomain (ex: yoursite.wordpress.com). Those on paid plans get to connect their own domain to WordPress.com (ex: yoursite.com). Users can purchase a domain name during the setup process. Those that already have domain names through different registrars can point their domains to WordPress.com by simply updating the DNS nameservers. The change takes a few seconds to make, although the propagation time could be longer. 

Desktop Apps

Although the easiest way to work on a WordPress.com site is by editing it directly on the internet, WordPress.com also offers desktop and mobile apps for users that prefer to work on sites that way. Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS are currently supported.

Statistics

It’s vital that webmasters keep track of how many people are visiting their websites as well as other important information like the average time spent per page. These cues can help webmasters implement fixes and customizations to boost conversion rates and improve site performance. While users of the WordPress script typically need to add a plugin to embed a Google Analytics tracking code (or another analytics program), WordPress.com features statistics as part of its built in Jetpack module. Without needing to add anything to their sites, users can get real time information about impressions and views as well as cross-site engagement through comment counts. Still want Google Analytics? You can easily add it on Premium and Business Plans.

WordPress.com Cost

WordPress.com is available as a free tier but this doesn’t allow a custom domain. To use that vital functionality, users will need to opt for one of the company’s 4 paid plans: Personal, Premium, Business, and eCommerce.

Plan
Free
Personal
Premium 
Business
eCommerce
Monthly cost (billed yearly)
Free
$4
$8
$25
$45
Storage
3GB
6GB
13GB
200GB
200GB
Unlimited Premium Themes
-
-
Y
Y
Y
Install Plugins
-
-
-
Y
Y
Install Themes
-
-
-
Y
Y
SFTP Access
-
-
-
Y
Y

The plans differ in a few important respects. Firstly, the higher the tier, the more storage users get. The Business and eCommerce tiers both afford 200GB of disk storage while Premium only offers 13GB. Additionally, in order to install plugins and themes users will need to either be on the Business or eCommerce plans. For power users, SFTP access is only possible on the Business Plan or above. 

WordPress.com Customization

Plugin and Theme Library 

One of the main benefits of using WordPress is the fact that the content management system (CMS) is wildly popular: these days, the platform powers more than one third of the top 10 million sites on the internet. As a result of WordPress’s widespread adoption, an enormous community library of plugins, paid and free, has been developed. These expand upon the script’s basic functionalities. The same is true for patterns, formerly known as themes, which allow users to expand upon basic blog-centric designs. 

Paid WordPress.com customers (Business plan or above) are able to access almost 50,000 WordPress plugins. The company maintains a list of those WordPress community plugins that do not work on WordPress.com. These include plugins for caching, backup, database, and those which place heavy loads on SQL databases, and plugins that risk site security. However, the majority of WordPress’s considerable plugin ecosystem can be leveraged by those designing sites on WordPress.com. This allows webmasters to roll out impressive functionalities not offered by the core builder.

How Do I Accept Payments on my WordPress.com Site?

Selling products and services is possible on WordPress.com sites via the WooCommerce plugin. WordPress.com also offers an eCommerce version which is designed to provide eCommerce functionalities right out of the box. This plan includes features such as payment gateway integration, subscriber only content, and recurring billing management. It is suitable for use by merchants selling both physical and digital inventory.

WordPress.com SEO Tools

WordPress.com sites include a few basic SEO optimization tools that it recently rolled out as part of the platform. To access these, users don’t need to add additional plugins—although there are many excellent SEO plugins for WordPress including Yoast and the All in One SEO Pack. WordPress’s SEO tools give users the ability to write their own meta descriptions and titles. In addition, users can preview how their posts will look when shared on Google and social media sites. 

WordPress.com Customer Support Services

Unlimited email support is available on all paid plans. Live chat support is available on Premium plans and higher. 24/7 priority live chat support is available on Business and higher, and two complementary personalized expert support sessions are available to eCommerce plan customers.

WordPress.com WordPress.com Visit Site

WordPress.com Review in Short

WordPress.com makes it simple to take advantage of WordPress’s CMS, which is one of the most popular tools on the internet for building and maintaining websites. Users can point or buy domains through WordPress and the plans all include hosting—although the disk space and functionalities offered differ by tier.

About

Automattic is the owner of WordPress.com, which is a hosted version of the open source WordPress software with added features for security, speed and support. Automatic has more than 1,000 employees worldwide and has a headquarters in San Francisco.

Daniel Rosehill is a technology writer and reviewer whose experience includes leading marketing communications strategies at 2 SaaS companies. His interests include backups and disaster recovery, Linux and open source, and cloud computing.

WordPress.com customer reviews

Based on 26 reviews

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Top Reviews

Carlos, AZ
a year ago

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

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.

K, WI
10 months ago

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

Jo, CO
a year ago

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

TE, NJ
a year 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

CC, CA
9 months 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.

Kat, WA
10 months 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.

Jessica, TX
9 months ago

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

Krisalyn, OK
8 months 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.

Tony, PA
a year ago

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

David, TX
a year ago

It's not very intuitive for a novice; I had the website built by a professional and thought it would be easier to make small changes on selected web pages from time to time. Some pages of my business website are relatively easy to update; others not so much.

Charlie, GA
10 months ago

It's very powerful and widely utilized across the world wide web but requires some knowledge to use it properly

Clara, OH
10 months ago

While I enjoy the ease of their website builder overall, I found that it was almost Too simplified. I felt that it lacked the amount of customization that I needed, and while, of course, it would unfair of me in a way to complain about a service I was using for free, all the same it just wasn't *quite* what I was looking for Or expecting.

Craig, NC
9 months ago

Very simple and cheap to create a great website. It also looks very professional. Glad WordPress exists so I don't have to hire a web designer. All the tools are in my hand with this website.

Lee, VT
10 months ago

I'm still learning Gutenberg, which is mildly better than the previous OS. WordPress makes it possible for a non-coder like myself to edit and update my website and post a weekly blog without too much hassle. Wish there was better photo editing.

Dru, TX
a year ago

It's one of the best sites out there if you just need a website asap. Wix and Squarespace have too much fluff.

Joseph, CA
9 months ago

It was highly recommend by our company IT staff and colleagues I trust. There are many templates options to give the website a custom look.

Hope, NC
9 months ago

Overall I really like WordPress. I had WordPress.com for years, but then I was encouraged to move to WordPress.org to move my blog business forward. WP.com was super easy to use. WP.org is a lot harder. And now they are prepping to use a different blog format which I find extremely difficult. I'm thinking about going back to WP.org...and not renewing my host account.

Cheryl, CA
8 months ago

It pushes you to higher paid site services constantly. I personally don't like how they try to give you low priced domain services but don't mention it will be about twice what GoDaddy charges to renew and, of course, it's auto renewal.

Chris, NY
9 months ago

As long as I understand what I am doing all is well. It is not easy to get help from them. It is good software and keeps upgrading.

Mark, TN
a year ago

Word Press requires more specialized skill to update regularly than some of the other competing applications.

26 customer reviews