Before reading this post FREE WORDPRESS.COM BLOG Vs SELF HOSTED WORDPRESS BLOG – AN AUTHENTIC COMPARISON, read the following posts to know the basics of blogging:
Many starters who like to start blogging may have this doubt. Whether to start with the Free wordpress.com or go for self hosted wordpress blog.
To help them without any bias for gaining monetary benefits, this article is written.
(1) HOSTING PROVIDER
Free wordpress blogs are hosted by www.wordpress.com in its own hosting environment. It is instantly available without any installations. We need not have any hosting account separately.
Whereas, Self hosted wordpress blogs are hosted in our own hosting account. We have to download the latest wordpress software free of cost from www.wordpress.org and upload it in our own hosting account. To do this, we should subscribe for a suitable hosting account in a hosting provider. You would have heard the names of Godaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator, etc through advertisements in internet. There are many hosting providers that I will introduce in some other posts.
After opening a hosting account with a hosting provider, we should upload the downloaded wordpress software. Most of the hosting companies have the easy option of installing the wordpress by just through a click, popularly called “One Click Installation”. Most of the hosting companies offer “Wordpress Preinstalled Hosting Accounts” popularly called “Wordpress Hosting”. There are also a plan of “Managed WordPress Hosting”.
We will discuss these hosting plans separately.
(2) BLOG OWNERSHIP
Free WordPress.com blogs are hosted by wordpress.com free of cost and hence the blog is owned by wordpress.com. They have printed many rules and regulations for running a blog in their website. They can be read by Clicking HERE. If we violate these rules, our blog can be suspended or terminated at any time without the obligation of intimation to us.
Whereas, Self Hosted Blogs are owned by us. We are using the WordPress Software free of cost. That’s all. To continue the ownership we have to continue or maintain our hosting account in a hosting provider. There are no strict rules and regulations except the limits provided by the hosting provider and the rules/ laws existing in all the countries that govern the publication of contents in the media. Some contents are allowed in some countries and not allowed in some other countries. Therefore if we publish harmless contents that really helps the readers, we need not worry for any violations.
(3) BACK UP AND TRANSFER
In Free wordpress.com blogs the back up is not possible and at the same time our contents can be expected to be safe with them since they have their own security features. Whereas in the Self Hosted WordPress blogs, we should take regular back ups of our site database.
(4) UPDATING THE WORDPRESS
In Free wordpress.com blogs, updating of wordpress software is done automatically by wordpress itself. Whereas in Self hosted wordpress blogs, we have to update the software regularly and also follow the compatibility of the plugins with the new version of wordpress. However, it will not be a tough job.
(5) BLOG SECURITY
Our blogs will always be targeted by the viruses, malwares, hackers etc. In some cases, the blog itself may be taken away by the hackers unless the blog has been provided sufficient security features.
In Free wordpress.com blogs, the security of our blogs is automatically taken care by the wordpress itself. Whereas in Self hosted wordpress blogs, we have to make strict arrangements to ensure that our blog is secure. There are many security threats and the ways to protect our blogs. We will see them in another post.
(6) ADDITIONAL FEATURES
In Free wordpress.com blog, we have very limited choices of features such as plugins, templates, layout changes, etc. We can’t add new features beyond the level permitted. In brief, we have to be satisfied with the features provided by wordpress itself.
Whereas in Self hosted wordpress blogs, only the sky is the limit for adding the features. We can add whatever features we want such as thousands of plugins for additional designing features, security, cleaning the database, backing up the database, adding widgets, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), etc. Whatever you want to do for your site, you can find many free and premium plugins from the wordpress repository.
In brief you can make your self hosted wordpress blog in whatever way you want upto your satisfaction without compromise.
(7) MONETIZATION (EARNING)
In Free wordpress.com blogs, there is no way of monetization. Only when we reach a certain number of traffic we are allowed adding WORDADS that offers small income. You can’t run any other ads, we can not add affiliate links and we can not sell our own products. If we need to earn through wordpress.com blogs, we should switch from Free plan to WordPress.com VIP or Enterprise Plan by paying monthly cost.
Whereas in Self hosted wordpress blogs, we have no controls in monetizing since the blog is owned by us. We can add any earning feature without annoying the readers. For example, adsense ads by google, other media companies ads, online store links, affiliate links, your own ads, etc. You can also sell your own products through an online store.
(8) LIMITS IN FREE WORDPRESS.COM BLOG
In Free wordpress.com blog, we have very limited space of just 3 GB for every blog. If we cross the limit of 3 GB, we have to switch to paid plans.
Whereas in Self hosted wordpress blogs, there is no limit for the space. If you want more space, you can choose a plan accordingly. You can start with a simple shared hosting and later switch to VPS or dedicated hosting when you grow big in size.
(9) GROWTH COMES WITH A PRESSURE TO SHIFT
When we grow big in size and popularity, we can’t manage free blog of wordpresss.com that comes with many limitations. We will have to monetize the traffic in whatever way we want and manage the cost of our man power that is used to promote our blog and if we like to make blogging our career, we will need a control-free platform that is offered by our self managed wordpress blog.
(10) NOT ALWAYS FREE
When you use free wordpress.com blog, one day YOU WILL BE FORCED TO SWITCH TO PAID PREMIUM VERSIONS, when you cross the limit of 3 GB.
I hope that you have got all the details comparing the free and self hosted wordpress blogs. Now, you would have understood that instead of moving to premium plans later, you can choose either the premium plans of wordpress.com now itself or go for Self Hosted wordpress blog now itself. This will be a wise choice.
However, if earning is not your target, you can take free wordpress.com blog itself. In such cases, you can go for blogger blogspot blog.
Hope you got my unbiased views.