WordPress.com is a great way to get started publishing your content online, but you might eventually want more flexibility and control than WordPress.com offers. In this movie, Carrie shares some signals of when you can know if it's time to either upgrade your account or move on to self-hosted WordPress.org.
- [Voiceover] As awesome as WordPress.com is, it's possible that your needs can outgrow the service. We touched on some of the limitations of WordPress.com earlier in the course, but now that you're more familiar with the service, let's take a look in more detail. With WordPress.com, you have limited theme options, you can't use plugins, you're limited to that three gigabytes of storage, at least on the free plan. You'd have to pay to remove ads by upgrading to the premium, or business plans, and you have little to no technical control over your actual site files.
WordPress.org on the other hand enables you to fully customize themes, and use any plugins, including custom created plugins. Your storage will vary by host, but you can run your own ads, and you have full control over your files and your database. The reality is there are many, many people that simply aren't bothered by the limitations of WordPress.com. In fact, those limitations could be seen as benefits for those who want a more streamlined experience without the hassle of technical details.
That said, how do you know if it's time for you to move on? Well, I have a few thoughts I'd like to share. Are you frustrated with the lack of customization options? In other words, have there been times when you've said, "I wish my site could do this." Or, "I wish my site could do that." If so, just ask yourself, how critical is it to your business and your website that you have those capabilities? If it's very important, it's time to move on. What if you want to incorporate e-commerce, or run a membership site? Those are things you can't presently do with WordPress.com, but could definitely do with a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
Do you want to run an AdWords campaign, or participate in affiliate networks without restriction? There are guidelines that dictate the use of these things on WordPress.com, and if you've found yourself hitting up against them, it might be time to move on. Should you decide that moving to WordPress.org is right for you, you can find instructions to help you on the WordPress.com support site. Also, there are many professionals who make their living creating custom WordPress.org websites, and one of them could also help you with the transition. At the end of the day, both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are amazing tools.
They put the power of self-publishing into the hands of millions of users, and that's an incredible thing.
- Creating a WordPress.com account
- Updating your profile
- Importing content
- Publishing posts
- Applying categories and tags to posts
- Inserting images, videos, and other media
- Creating a new page
- Customizing your site with themes and widgets
- Managing users, notifications, and comments
- Using WordPress.com apps
- The limits of WordPress.com and the benefits of self-hosting