If you are planning to start a WordPress website or blog, the first decision you will have to make is whether to opt for WordPress.com or to use self hosted wordpress. To put it simply, WordPress.com provides you free/low-price hosting for creating and publishing content on a WordPress website.
In comparison to free hosting, you get your own servers where you can install the WordPress site.
To give you a better idea out of this comparison, I will consider a self hosted wordpress site which is installed on a shared web hosting and the free plan on WordPress.com as they are similar in terms of costs.
Benefits of Using Self Hosted WordPress for your website
01 You Have Full Control over your site
There are various limitations on WordPress.com plans, even on paid ones. You must have noticed that you donâ€™t have control over a lot of things in wordpress.com like you cannot upload your themes, plugin, storage, FTP access, stats and advertising.
On the other hand, self hosted wordpress provides you complete control over your site. You can install any theme, plugin or customize it according to your needs if you have the knowledge of coding skills. Everything on your website is yours and you can design it according to your choice.
02 Ensure the Security of your websites
If you start your website with WordPress.com then you have to take care of the security of your site because it uses the common security and backup strategies. Due to its normal security the attackers can easily find vulnerabilities and exploit them.
On the contrary, on a self hosted WordPress site you will have to take care of the security yourself using plugins from the WordPress.org directory or with third party security plugins that can provide you better security. In this way the attackers will have less chances of exploiting you.
With self hosted wordpress sites you can take a backup of your data to some safe external location and the hackers and attackers will have no clue about it.
Most of the bloggers website owners and entrepreneurs consider it as a disadvantage to keep external security and backup services.
In today’s digital world cybersecurity is one of the most important things which you should consider while purchasing hosting plans in order to keep your files in a confidential and secure server.
Although in most of the cases automatic backup and security are provided by the domain and hosting providers. However, having a third-party security service is always a good idea.
03 You will have Flexibility for Monetization
Let me clear you that WordPress.com does not allow you to monetize your site on a free platform and if you want to monetize your website, you have to purchase their premium hosting plans. On the other hand, a self hosted WordPresss website has no restrictions and you can monetize your sites whatever manner you want.
WordPress.com restricts displaying advertisements on their own platforms. However, self hosted WordPress sites give you freedom to display third party advertisements on your sites such as Google Adsense,OpenX and BuySellAds etc.
In self hosted WordPress sites you have complete control over the types of advertisement that you want to display unlike on WordPress.com
04 You have freedom to Track Your Siteâ€™s Visitors with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an essential and free tool for the bloggers, website owners, digital marketers, entrepreneurs, irrespective of the size of the websites. And you can only leverage the power of this amazing free toll on a self hosted WordPress.
Google Analytics provides you the insights of your website regarding traffic and visitors behaviour. With this amazing tool you can make your strategies depending upon how your website is performing.
There are many other similar tools like Google Analytics which are supported by a self-hosted wordpress website.
With WordPress.com you will not be able to leverage this benefit.
05 You can make Your Website/blog SEO-Friendly
With WordPress.com you only get basic ad default SEO optimisation and it doesnâ€™t provide much flexibility for anything else. You will not face this issue with a self-hosted WordPress site.
A self-hosted WordPress site allows you to leverage the power of plugins though which you can use optimize your website in a better manner with the help of proper keywords, online marketing, writing awesome content and link building that increases the value of your website.
Additionally, with self hosted wordpress sites you can optimize the speed of your website using caching plugins or other tools. It is a key factor for Search Engine Ranking.
Furthermore, with a self-hosted WordPress you can access the Google Search Console, which helps you to identify the issues related to your website such as broken links and the keywords for which your website is ranking in Google.
06 You have the Control of What You Spend on Your Website
WordPress.com provides you with a site with its own free domain name. However, self-hosted WordPress might cost you a few dollars monthly or annually for hosting and domain.
The amazing benefits of a self-hosted wordpress site is that you have your own registered domain, your own design and customization, more storage and no third-party advertisements on your site which is of considerable value.
To enjoy these benefits from WordPress.com you have to purchase a plan which is higher than what other hosting companies offer for a self-hosted site.
Letâ€™s consider a hosting plan from WordPress.com which will cost you around $48/year. The same kind of benefits on a self-hosted site would cost you much lease for the first year, as at the initial stage you need to spend on shared hosting only.
Letâ€™s consider the Personal plan from WordPress, it will cost you around $48/year. The same setup on self-hosted WordPress would cost you much less for the first year, as you may only need to spend for shared hosting.
Itâ€™s not only $48/year, you have to buy a domain and an SSL which is one of the important factors. That means your cost for the first year is likely to be much more than 48 dollars.
So it is better to purchase a shared hosting plan and start a self hosted WordPress. If you buy any shared hosting plan, you get free domain and SSL for one year which is literally awesome.
It seems like a self-hosted site would cost you more, but that is not the case. Here you are in control of costs compared with platforms like WordPress.com.
The worst thing about WordPress.com is that for every upgrade you will be charged a considerable amount. These upgrades are removing advertisements, email hosting, custom domains, customization and design, plugins and even more like adding storage.
07 Facility of E-Commerce
WordPress.com does not support any kind of ecommerce features, neither does it have any payment system. If you want to use these services then you have to purchase a high pricing plan, but still you will have to pay for the plugins.
So I would suggest you to go with the self-hosted WordPress site which has a collection of more than 54,000 plugins and you have the full freedom of choosing between free and premium.
Additionally, you can also include payment getaways with the help of plugins like PayPal in a convenient manner unlike in WordPress.com
08 Your site will be Responsive in Mobile, Desktop and Tablets
WordPress.coma and a self-hosted wordpress supports managing your sites and content using smartphones as well tablets. You can download the official mobile application form their site and the same can be used to manage the both Self-hosted wordpress site and Wordpres.com.
So it is the same irrespective of which platform you choose. In order to improve the SEO, your website should be responsive on mobile, tablet and desktop. If your site is not responsive or optimised for the mobile devices, your SEarch Engine Ranking will be higher compared to the otherâ€™s who are not using responsive websites.
In order to make your website Mobile responsiveness you have to choose a better responsive theme. WordPress.com has some restrictions on themes and customization, you may not be able to make your website mobile friendly compared to self hosted wordpress where you have a vast collection of free and paid responsive themes.
09 Benefits of professional Email name with Your Domain Name
Email is also an important benefit that you will get with a self-hosted wordpress website, whether you get it through a hosting provider or set up your own email server it is up to you. It is something cool that you cannot do with WordPress.com website.
To enjoy this benefit, you will need to purchase a higher plan, but still you will get a limited number of email accounts and if you want more you have to pay more.
The other alternative is to obtain them through premium plan upgrades on the free plan which will cost you a lot because a professional email requires that you get a custom domain as well.
So you will be spending a lot on WordPress.com compared to a self-hosted wordpress site where every hosting provider gives you free emails.
To be honest but with a free WordPress.com site you will get nothing but a WordPress dashboard where you can publish the article and do nothing else. And in order to get the premium benefits you have to pay more for each and every upgrade.
On the other hand with a self hosted wordpress site you just have to pay for hosting and you get a free domain, free SSL certificate, subdomains and email accounts at the same price.
Although everything is possible with a Free WordPress.com plan, you will need to spend a lot every month for every upgrade you seek.
So I would suggest going for a self-hosted website where overall cost will be much lower compared to WordPress.com, and you will be able to control everything on your own.
With a self-hosted wordpress website you can take care of the security, content, design and customization, SEO, Email account etc without any hassle.
One more important thing is that with a free WordPress.com site your website grows little slower compared to a self-hosted wordpress site where you have privilege of everything.
I hope now you have understood everything, if you still have any doubts don’t forget to mention in the comment section below. I will be happy to answer.