Let’s compare the two smallest WordPress.com plans. WordPress Free Vs Personal is a close battle but I believe there is a clear better option.
We will compare features, price, support, and more and I will help you to start your blogging journey today!
As humans, we are simple people. When we hear the word free we like to find out what the commotion is all about. Sometimes we can run to the freebies and not think about the future. In the world of website building free is usually never the best option.
For example, free themes usually result in poor SEO for your website. Free hosting usually means a slow website with awful uptime. Professional bloggers don’t choose free plans. I wrote an article Tumblr vs WordPress for your personal blog.
In this article, I stated to never choose a free platform it’s going to cost you more in the long run. It’s going to cost you profit that could have been yours and also it will affect brandability.
The WordPress.com Personal plan for your blog is not much better than the free option in terms of SEO. Even if you choose the WordPress.com Premium plan for your blog, you still are not given any SEO benefits.
WordPress.com sites do not rank well in the search engines. Who cares if you have a site if no one can find it. Most of the top blog posts are self-hosted WordPress.org sites like mine. This is why most bloggers self-host instead. Notice that when searching for performance features there is nothing that differentiates the two plans.
If you self-host you will be given more SEO features than when you select one of their plans. Even the themes are not SEO optimized compared to the big names such as the Genesis Framework vs Thesis Framework which are only available for those who self-host.
Obviously, there is a pricing difference but it’s not an enormous difference. One plan is free and one is not free, but $36 a year with Personal is nothing. The price is such a small factor that you are better off finding a hosting company.
You can find many cheap yearly hosting plans for WordPress. The top performing company which is SiteGround is only $11 more a year than the Personal plan. It is wiser to choose SiteGround which gives you the SEO that you need to rank well.
The Free plan only allows for 3GB of web space. If you have large expectations, then the Free plan doesn’t really give you much to work with. The Personal plan increases your storage space to 6GB.
With this space increase you can now think about adding audio, videos, images, and more. Is 3 or 6GB of space a good amount for the future? If we are honest with ourselves the answer is no.
If you self-host with SiteGround you will be given 10GB or more in storage space. This allows you to do much more with your blog such as implement a store or add podcasts.
When it comes to features there is not a huge difference between these two plans. With the Personal plan, you are basically paying for a custom domain and the removal of the WordPress ads. WordPress.com plans are not rich in features.
If you want access to the real features you have to self-host and install WordPress. When you do that you will be given over 50,000 WordPress plugins to build the website of your dreams without being a techie. It takes one second to install a plugin and then your blog will be able to do things that you never dreamed of.
Plugins are one of the top reasons that I self-host. You have to ask yourself, why have a platform if you can’t use it to the full extent? When you use SiteGround web hosting you are getting their huge feature list along with WordPress.
- Community Support
- 3GB Storage Space
- Jetpack Essential Features
- Custom Domain Name
- Email & Live Chat Support
- 6GB Storage Space
- Jetpack Essential Features
WordPress will make money off of your site with the Free plan. With the Free plan, you give WP the ability to place advertisement on your blog. When you choose the Personal plan or any other plan, then WordPress.com ads will be removed.
For your business, you want these ads removed because they can be annoying and distracting to your readers. These ads will also drop your revenue. The only time that you should have ads on your website is if you are capitalizing on it.
Domain names matter! Never neglect your URL structure which can affect your SEO in a negative or positive way. The Free option offers only a WordPress.com Subdomain. Your site address will have a domain such as “myuglydomain.wordpress.com.” As you can see this domain is not only ridiculously long but it is also unprofessional. If you try to promote your brand you will also be promoting the WordPress brand which is not what you want to do.
The Personal plan gives you a free custom domain name which is clearly the better option. Instead of “myuglydomain.wordpress.com” your domain can be “mygoodlookingdomain.com.” This is more brandable, it looks better, it will receive more clicks, and Google is going to respect it more in the search engines. When you self host with SiteGround you can create a domain within the setup process as well.
With the Free platform you will only get support through their user community forum. When you upgrade to their Personal plan you will receive the forum as well. However, you will also receive email and live chat for your website.
I want to take a second to compare these plans to an actual web hosting company. Why have only live chat and email when you can have 24/7 phone, email, and live chat with SiteGround? Imagine if something happens to your site. If you are like me you hate waiting for messages when you’re anxious. You would rather want to be on the phone with your support team while they fix your blog issues. SiteGround offers expert WordPress support for their customers.
The WordPress Free plan and Personal plan are similar in many ways. Although Personal is a wiser option than Free, it is not the best option. I strongly recommend that you self-host with SiteGround.
Although you are paying $11 more which is nothing if you really think about it, you will get the full benefits of WP. SiteGround gives you SSD drives, free Cloudflare CDN, and NGINX for faster load speed which will help you in the search engines.
You will receive more storage space, unlimited emails, the easy cPanel control panel, and more. It would be foolish to choose any WordPress plan when you can self-host and be on your own servers. It’s just as easy to setup when you host your own site. Below I will walk you through the 5 minute process.
5 minute WordPress setup process.
Start SiteGround here (60% off discount)
- Go to WordPress hosting.
- Click on one of their plans.
- Enter your domain
- Add personal info and proceed.
- SiteGround’s preinstall wizard will install WordPress.
- Create your login password and login.