Which WordPress Blog Platform Is Right For You? Self-Hosted or Not
What you plan to do with a WordPress website has a lot to do with the version of the software you use. WordPress can be found online with both an “org” and a “com” extension, but they are both different even though each is free to use.
If you just want a sounding board where you can voice an opinion and receive comments, the “com” version of WordPress is probably the best for you. You won’t need to spend time designing the site because you will choose from the limited themes that WordPress has to offer.
The hosting is on the WordPress site, so your only expense is the internet connection you use to go to the website and maintain your blog. There are thousands of people who prefer the simplicity and ease of a site of this type.
It is mainly for people who don’t plan to monetize their website (not allowed on WordPress hosted blogs) and just have a topic of interest they like to blog about.
It is more expensive to have this version of WordPress than the other because you must host it yourself. If you already pay hosting to someone for server space, you probably won’t be out any more when you add a non-WordPress hosted site.
The most obvious difference is that you can do a lot more with a self-hosted WordPress blog. You own the site, not WordPress, and you can monetize it with ads or perform other commercial revenue earning activities. An attempt to use the “com” platform for financial gain can result in your site being shut down, meaning all your work lost.
You have freedom to design the site any way you want on a self-hosted blog. You are not limited by the themes offered by WordPress; you can design your own or use many of the free or purchased ones available.
You have unlimited flexibility using the huge number of WordPress plug-ins available. Many of these are free to use and there are some select plug-ins that have an associated fee. With some of the paid versions, you may also be limited by the number of sites you are licensed to use it on.
Ease of Use
Naturally, because it is so much more powerful the self-hosted WordPress blog has the larger learning curve, even though it is still easy to master. Most people find that a WordPress crash course works well that shows them how to set up a site from scratch in less than a day.
Again, it all boils down to what you plan to use the blog for, and if it involves any commercial activity whatsoever, definitely go with the self-hosted option.