So as you learned earlier, WordPress is a 100% free blogging platform. The software itself is available for free – All you then need is a server to run it. That can either be WordPress.com or going self-hosted.
What is WordPress.com?
Since WordPress is also a business, they of course need to earn money. Offering the software alone for free, won’t make them any money. The way they do this, is through WordPress.com – Here they have made a convenient and easy way for you to setup a blog for free, on their domain and hosting server. However, in order to make money they have limited most of the functionality in order to force you to upgrade to one of their paid plans.
What you probably didn’t know, is that all those “premium” features they offer in their Business plan ($299 per year!) isn’t actually limited in the software itself. They have just limited it on your blog as a clever way for them to charge you for something that’s actually free.
Even when you’re using their free plan, they still make money because they put advertisements on your blog posts which you won’t earn any money from. But in all fairness, they supply you with something completely free, so it’s not that bad – you wouldn’t want to work for free either I suppose.
What is Self-hosted WordPress?
Self-hosted WordPress is really just taking WordPress (the software) and installing it on your own host. That means you get full access to all the functionalities of WordPress, that they would otherwise charge you for on WordPress.com.
The 2 most important features of going self-hosted is that you are able to use custom designs and plugins! That means, if you find a design (like on PipDig / Themeforest), you can easily add it to your self-hosted blog without any trouble. On WordPress.com, you won’t even be able to, because you can ONLY choose from their selection of (not so good) designs.
We recommend any blogger, that instead of using WordPress.com you simply install WordPress on your own. This way you can use your own domain, you can install and use any blog-design you want, you don’t have any forced ads on your blog and more importantly, you get access to all features of WordPress.com that they would charge you up to $299 per year for!
These features include:
- Custom Domain Name
- Live Chat Support
- Unlimited Premium Themes
- Advanced Design Customization
- Unlimited Storage Space
- Monetize Your Site
- SEO Tools
- Google Analytics Integration
- Sell products directly on your site!
And much more!
How to Self-host WordPress explained
The only thing you need is to find a webhost that offers WordPress. Luckily that won’t be a problem, as there are plenty of those! Almost everyone even offer a “one-click” installer, so you literally only need to click on a button to get WordPress setup for you. The prices for hosting range between $3,95 – $9,95, but that’s still a lot cheaper than using the premium plans on WordPress.com!
As far as choosing a host, we highly recommend SiteGround for a 3 simple reasons:
1. SiteGround is officially recommended by WordPress! What is very important to note here, is that they recommend them without receiving compensation! Typically when someone recommends a product, they are often affiliated with them – this is not the case here! They simply get the recommendation because they are truly a GREAT host!
2. We use SiteGround ourselves and have been using them for years! We’re web-developers so we definitely know better than anyone if a webhost is good or not, and they are by far the best host we have used. Now a lot of people that recommend hosts say “we use them ourselves” but a quick look-up of their server often reveals they actually use a different host – this is not the case with us! You are free to look up our domain name to confirm that we are truly using them!
3. We have moved more than 400 blogs in the last year and during that, we have worked with almost every host out there: SiteGround, iPage, BlueHost, HostGator, 1&1, Godaddy and MANY others, and they are hands down the best performing host (loading-speed+cache) between them all.
To read our full review and learn more you can click this link.