Is WordPress.com the ultimate solution for getting your website up for free? Most people think so. But is it a reality? In today’s competitive business world, having an online presence gives you a significant edge over your competition. That having been said, it may be quite expensive to have your own website or make a blog to show your presence. Cost and features remain the most important features which may make or break a decision to setup a website. While WordPress.com allows you to start a free blog, everything is not as rosy as it may seem. Although their website lists most of their features and tries to be as transparent as possible, it may be quite a treasure hunt for those trying to seek out the “hidden costs” of their system. Do note that WordPress is an unmatched platform which is open source. They need to make their money in some way or the other. They do it best by offering premium services and features with the WordPress.com account. This article deals with common myths about how the free WordPress.com maybe the ideal solution for a novice, but may leave a lot to be desired for a more experienced webmaster.
WordPress.com offers unlimited space
This is not completely true. WordPress.com is not completely free. The free plan only allows you to store upto 3 GB of files. This does not include video or music files. For music or video files you need to upgrade your account to a premium plan of either $99 or $299 annually. This implies that besides text and image files, you cannot store anything else. Although most starter blogs
The free account offers Ad-Free hosting
When you take a free WordPress account, your website may also randomly have advertisement content displayed with it. The advertisements include text and image based ads targeting your website visitors. These ads can show up randomly and sometimes not at all. WordPress also offers a feature called WordAds, with which you can share in the WordPress ad revenue. But for WordAds, you need to have a minimum plan of $99. The WordPress.com website says that:
“From time to time, we display ads on your blog to logged-out users who aren’t regular visitors. Doing this allows us to keep bringing you the free features you love. However, if you’d prefer your readers didn’t see ads, you have the control to turn them off.”
To Go Ad-Free you need to pay $30 per year over and above any other charges that you maybe paying for the domain name.
You can use your own domain name with a free account
You can use a custom domain name only with a paid account. Free accounts will have to bear with the “.wordpress.com” in their website name. This means that it may not be suitable for a business or professional use. This is what the WordPress.com site mentions about using a domain name that you have already registered from another domain name provider:
“Domain mapping is a paid upgrade that costs $13.00 per domain, per year. This fee is unrelated to the amount you pay your registrar for your domain itself. You will need to remember to continue renewing your domain with your existing registrar even after you have mapped it to WordPress dot com”
You can upload music and videos to a free account
You can only upload image and Text files to a free WordPress account. To upload music and videos, you will need to upgrade to a premium paid account. Although you can always embed a YouTube or Vimeo video using iframes, you cannot host your own video in a free WordPress account. This can be a limitation for a few categories of users who have a vlog as well.
We hope this article was helpful and allows you to make an informed decision.