As an entrepreneur, you gather ideas of what would be needed to get your business going. A website is what pops into mind usually to the list of biz needs. You know you need one and as a new entrepreneur your budget may not be sufficient to hire someone to get one. There are lots of options of free website platforms. How do you know which one will be best?
I had this same question run through my mind a little over a year ago. I knew I HAD to have a website sometime. Many people said they started their online biz without a website and solely got their business from social media. It was all really confusing as I entered the entrepreneurial world. I thought an awesome website would be first on the list and now I was told that it’s not a big deal right away?
I had to do some research about websites and the cost. Of course since I was new at the whole online entrepreneur thing, I had to really dig to find out if I can afford a website on a budget of… ZERO. Haha Like I said, I was just starting out!
WordPress was all over the internet. I thought, “Okay cool! I’m going to get a WordPress website, it says it’s free and people are raving about it.”
Wait a minute…Huh?! Why is there a WordPress.com and WordPress.org? I did more researching and I found this article from WPBeginner. Take a look at the comments! I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one confused.
WordPress.com or WordPress.org – Which is best for a new entrepreneur?
As I read more and more articles about WordPress.org, I found that they all said the same thing. WordPress.org gives you more freedom to do what you want. As a new entrepreneur, I wasn’t sure what that meant however it certainly sounded good. Then I kept reading about plugins, hosting, domains… I panicked and thought how could I do all of that? With 0 dollars in the budget, WordPress.com was the site I chose and here’s why.
Reasons for Choosing WordPress.com as a New Entrepreneur
- It was FREE
- No hosting is needed (This means WordPress.com already handles it for you and there is no fee)
- Purchase a custom domain name directly with them (Fast & Easy – it was about $25 with privacy, which means no one has access to personal address information)
- I can customize the site with the color scheme that I want and add a custom background (for an additional fee about $30).
- This was something I can do completely by myself.
Reasons for Not Choosing WordPress.org as a New Entrepreneur
- You have to download their software and I did. What I was supposed to do with it, I was unsure of. Confusing… Couldn’t find any directions and if they were there they were not in layman’s terms.
- You have to pay for hosting (there are a TON of hosting service companies all ranging from pricing of $3.95 to $20 a month) and it was difficult to really choose one.
- You have to pay for the domain separately through GoDaddy or other site. – Not a big deal but it was an extra step.
- You should have some basic concept of code, which at the time I had none.
- Plugins – What the heck is that?! They say there are fees for plugins too. Okay… that’s a NO.
As you can see from my reasoning, I felt compelled to go with WordPress.com because it felt economically and technically “safe”. All has been good with WordPress.com; I really have no complaints. It has been pretty easy to navigate and start a blog.
Then as I got my business going I realized that there are limitations to WordPress.com:
- Remember those plugin things I was talking about, well you need those to do opt-in pages and other fun stuff to get people interested in your business to purchase things from your site. WordPress.com does not allow plugins for basic (free members).
- I created an ebook and was excited to place on Amazon and sell it on my site. Nope! You cannot sell off of your WordPress.com site without getting the ecommerce plan.
Take a look at the added features for additional cost by clicking the images below.
As you can see there is a business and enterprise plan, which offers you a more robust package to sell on an ecommerce site or in the premium plan it offers plugins. It’s kind of pricey after reviewing the hosting fee being $3.95 and many plugins I’ve seen are free or for a small fee for WordPress.org. Take a look at this awesome plugin list HERE.
This is why I have chosen to go with WordPress.org for my new site. I really look forward to showing it to you in the next few weeks.
I hope my experience has helped you decide if WordPress.com is a good match for you and your business.
For more details, I have a video tutorial below for your viewing pleasure on how to navigate WordPress.com. It’s a bit lengthy but I want to highlight many important steps.
Questions for you:
What do you use currently for a website?
Have you transferred a WordPress.com site to a WordPress.org site?
If you use WordPress.org, have you had trouble with it?
Let me know in the comments!
Lillian De Jesus
12 thoughts on “WordPress.com or WordPress.org – Which is best for a new entrepreneur?”
I didn’t realize that a WordPress.com site could get so expensive if you add all that you really need to run a business. I need to make that a selling point for my own WP installation services which would work out cheaper 🙂
I started off with blogspot over 10 years ago and moved over to my own hosted WordPress.site a couple of years later. It’s much simpler to transfer over these days because of the inbuilt import feature.
Using WP.com is good way to have a try at blogging for free before committing to your own site. You can practice and learn the interface. When it comes to your own site you can then concentrate on learning how to do other things, such as adding plugins and finding and adding themes. Hosts do automatic installs of WP so setting up is simple.
I don’t like the idea of another party owning my site and being restricted in what I can do.
I’m glad this will help you to discuss the benefits of WordPress.org to your clients. WordPress.com has been a very good experience for me and I do realize a self-hosted site will be best for me in the long run. Thanks for sharing your insight and experiences.
Oh boy do I remember when … years ago I started a WP.com site, went to Homestead.com and was with them for about 10 years. It was an easy drag and drop program because I didn’t know html. But then I learned about owning my own blog through WP.org and have been doing so ever since because nothing will happen to it, unless the server dies – which is unlikely. Excellent post for people just starting out …
Thanks for sharing your experience going from WordPress.com to .org. Now you’re a WP PRO!
Quite a turbulent thought process Lillian, but fantastic that you have recorded that for others to follow through with the pros and cons when starting out, and then what you discover further down the business journey.
Researching is good, but I’m sure you have saved some time here for your new blogging readers!
Look forward to your new site 🙂
I hope it does save some people time and they can decide what is best for them.
Thank you for a good comparison. Your advice helped me a lot.
I’m so glad the comparison helped you!
This is so great what you have here,
very helpful information. I would be so happy if
I found this post when I first started 🙂
Thank you for sharing,
Have a wonderful week!
Thanks Emi! I’m glad you stopped by.
Take care & have a wonderful week as well,
Good overview Lillian.
I know managing a website for new business people can be challenging but I would never recommend a hosted wordpress.com option for running the client facing side. Entrepreneurs will be limited and will need to experiment and implement new things as strategies change and the .com doesn’t support this. I started my journey years ago by using the .com hosted solution as a testing ground to get comfortable and find my voice. Then when I was at a certain comfort level, I launched out with a self hosted solution. You simply have greater control with self hosted and you’ll want nothing holding you back once you get started.
Thanks for commenting! It is quite difficult when an entrepreneur starts off in the online world as to which platform will be best for them. I must say I am grateful that I started with the WordPress.com site to get my blogging feet wet however I knew eventually I’d have to get a self-hosted solution due to the limited abilities. I like the way you mention “you’ll want nothing holding you back”, that’s so true but having a self-hosted site comes with many of its own challenges and it can be quite intimidating. I now have my self-hosted website and I feel very happy with it.