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Make the Right Choice: WordPress.com vs Self Hosted WordPress

Quick launch websites have taken over the world. You have WordPress.com, Shopify, Wix, and a ton of other options. They promise to be fast, easy, and cheap. I’d like to debunk some myths here, as we often work with clients migrating off of these fast and easy tools for self hosted WordPress. I refer to this as real WordPress.

What is WordPress.com

We are only focusing on WordPress in this post, but know that we recommend you also ditch Wix and Shopify. They just aren’t as robust as WordPress and the “ease of use” tools are actually a roadblock to your site’s growth. You’re also paying a premium to be locked down.

What is WordPress.com? Well, this is the self-serve version of WordPress. It is based on monthly memberships and a pay to play model. For example, you can sign up for free, but to get the free domain, and access to a few plugins you need to update to a basic plan. This comes out to $49 per year. After that first year, you’re also going to pay for your custom domain, which often is around $18 per year.

Now, if you want to harness the real power of WordPress, you need access to the thousands of plugins available to you. That’s another plan upgrade and you’ll now be paying $300 per year.

Also want to add eCommerce for your storefront? Another upgrade! You’re now up to $540 per year.

Not convinced? See the prices for yourself here.

What is [real] Self Hosted WordPress

This scares people off because it means you need to pay for your hosting, pay for your domain and install WordPress on your own. People think this has to be super painful. It doesn’t!

Let’s start with pricing from a Digitiv perspective. For a small website of up to 20 pages, we can set a client up with hosting for $130 per year. You still have the cost of your domain. However, we don’t up-charge. Say you bought your domain through GoDaddy [or anywhere else] and it’s only $10 per year. Great. Keep that deal, we’ll connect it to your site. If we’re building your site, we don’t charge to install WordPress. Say you just need it moved off of WordPress.com, Shopify or Wix… guess what, if you want our hosting, we don’t charge to migrate a site as-is.

But what is the real value? All the stuff that was going to cost you $540 per year with WordPress.com is available to you at no charge. It’s not a too good to be true deal. It’s what comes with self hosted WordPress. The reality, sadly,  is that self hosted scares people off and WordPress can make more money off you if you sign up through them.

Only you can decide what’s best for you and your website. We think self hosted WordPress is always the right choice. It’s a little confusing to understand the two, and if you need help deciphering one from the other, please reach out, we’d love to consult. That’s another thing we offer for free.

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