WordPress.com is a website builder that enables users to create personal blogs, business sites, and more. Its features include free hosting, theme and plugin libraries, and a pre-installed secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate. It has a free option and paid plans that are billed annually and range from $4 to over $1,700 per month. It is best for bloggers and those who don’t want to worry about third-party hosting.
WordPress.com Pros and Cons
Wide selection of themes
Mixed reviews on ease of use
Limited customization options with some themes
Who WordPress.com is Best For
- Bloggers who are nurturing their brand: WordPress.com is popular among bloggers as it is easy to create an account and begin posting articles. Those who are just starting out may enjoy the software for free, as long as they stay within the 3GB storage limit—and this is ideal if your blog is not going to be heavy on media content such as high resolution images and videos.
- Those who need an all-in-one web builder and hosting solution: Unlike WordPress.org, all websites on WordPress.com include free hosting. You won’t have to make a separate account or pay for any third-party hosting services since all you need to do is publish your website.
WordPress.com’s pricing guide shows a free plan and five annual subscriptions with fees that range from $4 to over $1,700 per month. The main differences between the plans include ecommerce capabilities, advanced design customization, WordPress.com branding, automated backup, and the amount of storage space.
Starts at $1,700
Looking for something easier to use? Check out Weebly.
All plans come with dozens of free themes, a pre-installed SSL certificate, and Jetpack Essential features, which include solutions for improving site performance and search engine optimization (SEO), keeping detailed records, and automating social media sharing.
This plan offers the most basic features and limits your storage capabilities to just 3GB. However, if you’re putting up a blog and won’t mind keeping the WordPress.com branding, then this plan will do just fine.
You get a free domain name for a year, basic live chat and email support, and the ability to remove WordPress.com ads.
More site customization options are made available starting at this subscription. You are given access to unlimited premium themes, advanced design options, and marketing and monetization tools such as recurring payments and Google Analytics integration.
The most notable addition to this plan is access to advanced SEO tools. Aside from that, you get access to WordPress.com’s business class features, which include automated backup, database access, and the ability to upload your own themes and remove WordPress.com’s branding.
This subscription is specifically for online merchants. Its advanced ecommerce features include accepting payments from 60+ countries, shipping integrations, ecommerce marketing tools, premium customizable starter themes, and the ability to accommodate unlimited products and/or services.
If you’re in need of enterprise-grade solutions, then this option is for you. This plan is great for large-scale operations that require a custom set of tools and features. Those interested are encouraged to contact WordPress.com to learn more.
WordPress.com Alternatives 2020
Boutiques, restaurants, and other businesses that prefer an elegant look and an easy-to-use interface
Users who need an intuitive website builder that also provides web hosting services
Retail shops with an online store that require an end-to-end ecommerce solution
Companies that need extensive site design options but lack engineering know-how
Those who use data-driven recommendations and accessible reporting metrics to optimize their website's effectiveness
Tech-savvy people who want to create websites with password-protected content
WordPress.com offers solutions for streamlining the process of creating and hosting a website along with regularly publishing new content. Let’s take a look at some of its most essential features.
Load Time: 0.7–1.0 seconds (Please note that this varies depending on internet speed server status.)
Based on the reviews I found online, WordPress.com’s apps and plugins rarely experience downtime. Its servers aim for 100% uptime, and its customer support team is available to assist in case there are any glitches.
Even though it offers payment features in its Personal plan, only the ecommerce subscription provides specific tools for online merchants, and its built-in payment processing integrations include Stripe and PayPal. You can also optimize your store for sales by utilizing email and social integrations with Facebook, Mailchimp, and other social channels.
At the most basic level, your site is already optimized for search engines. However, the Business plan gives you access to more advanced SEO tools such as built-in sitemaps. You can also learn more about your visitors with rich stats that tell you where they’re from, what they read on your website, and when they prefer to visit.
A lot of users find that WordPress.com’s editor is fast and easy to work with. You can upload images into your blog entries, set up photo galleries, embed audio and/or video, and more. You can also update your website from anywhere as there are apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.
There are dozens of free WordPress.com themes and even more premium themes for a fee. These are categorized into “portfolio,” “magazine,” “blog,” “business,” “wedding,” “travel,” “food,” “music,” and further into elements like layout and style. Check out some of them below:
Which Website Builder Software is Best for You?
Most Helpful WordPress.com Reviews
Users who left positive WordPress.com reviews complimented its wide selection of free and paid themes. And though there are not a lot of negative WordPress.com reviews, there are conflicting comments regarding its ease of use.
Great selection of themes; useful add-ons
“WordPress is super robust and has tons of add-ons that you can use to make your site better. It also has many themes (some premium, for a fee) that help you pick just the right look for your site.”
For some, it’s not easy to learn and use
“My company’s website is on the WordPress.com platform and has been for about seven years. I use the software to update my blog, but my custom theme makes it impossible to update a lot of things on the site—and that is my biggest disappointment with the platform. It is not 100% user-friendly, so I just always pay a WordPress person to update certain things on my site.”
WordPress.com Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I link my WordPress.com website to my social channels?
Yes, you can. WordPress.com enables you to sync your content and cross-post to multiple channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
Are users required to buy a domain from WordPress.com?
No, they are not; and though purchasing and registering a new domain is an option, you can also link your WordPress.com website to an existing domain.
Can users import blog data from an old website?
Yes, they can. Aside from the ability to import from a self-hosted website, you can import from other blogging platforms such as Blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, and Wix.
Our Top Website Builder Software Picks
If you aren’t sure if WordPress.com is right for you, then this article on the best website builders is a review of our top choices. Our team looked at a variety of solutions and narrowed our recommendations down based on the price and features such as the editor’s ease of use and website performance.