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Did you know that and are actually two very different platforms?

Often beginners confuse and, which leads them to choose the wrong blogging platform for their needs. Even those who know that they are two different platforms are not aware of the differences between them.

We’re often asked by our users which is the better platform: vs To help answer that, we have created the most comprehensive comparison of free vs (self-hosted version).

Our goal is to highlight the key differences between vs, so you can choose the right platform for your needs.

Self hosted vs free

Since choosing the right platform is crucial for your online success, we have created the most detailed comparison of vs (text comparison, table-based comparison, and a full infographic). You can use the links below to jump to a specific section:

If you just want to start a blog or make a website the RIGHT way, then you can skip this article and head over to our guides here:

Having said that, let’s take a look at the differences between self-hosted vs vs (Infographic)

Self-hosted vs Free

Note: This infographic and article compare the powerful self-hosted with the free website hosting service. You can unlock additional functionality in by upgrading to their paid service. We have highlighted those features as well.

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If you’d prefer written comparisons, please keep reading. vs Comparison

The best way to understand the difference between vs is to take a look at each platform individually.

Here’s a comparison of both versions of WordPress: aka “the real WordPress”, is the popular website platform that you have heard all the great things about.

It is an open-source software, and it’s 100% free for anyone to use. All you need is a domain name and web hosting. This is why it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress.

Below are the pros and cons of using the self-hosted to build your website or blog. Benefits

With, you have full control of your website. You are free to do anything you want and customize it as much as you need.

Here are some of the benefits of choosing to build your website, and the reason why it is our #1 pick for the best website builder.

  • The WordPress software is free, open-source, and super easy to use. WordPress is used by over 43% of all websites on the internet (See why is WordPress free?).
  • You own your website and all its data. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You are in full control.
  • You can add free, paid, and custom WordPress plugins / apps to your website.
  • You can customize your website design as needed. You can add any free or premium WordPress theme that you want. You can also create completely custom designs or modify anything that you want.
  • You can actually make money from your WordPress site by running your own ads without sharing revenue with anyone.
  • You can use powerful tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking.
  • You can use self-hosted WordPress to create an online store to sell digital or physical products, accept credit card payments, and deliver / ship the goods directly from your website.
  • You can also create membership sites and sell memberships for premium content, courses, forums, etc., and build an online community around your website. Cons

There are very few cons of using the self-hosted site.

  • Like all websites, you will need web hosting. This is where your website files are stored on the internet. Initially, the cost is around $3-$10 per month. However, as your website grows and gets more traffic, the web hosting plan costs will increase as expected, but then you will be making enough money to cover the costs.
  • You will need to install WordPress. Luckily, most popular WordPress hosting companies offer 1-click WordPress installation options. You can also follow our comprehensive tutorial on how to properly install WordPress.
  • You are responsible for updates. You can easily update your WordPress site by simply clicking on the update button (one click), so it’s not too much work.
  • You are responsible for backups. Thankfully, there are tons of WordPress backup plugins that let you set up automatic backups.

The real cost of the website varies based on what you are trying to build (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc). There are also other factors like free templates vs premium templates, free plugins vs premium plugins, etc.

On a low budget, you can build your website for as little as $46 per year. See our guide on how much does it really cost to build a WordPress website for full details.

For 99% of users, our recommendation is always to use See our guide on how to start a website.

Bonus: The team at Bluehost is offering our readers a 61% discount on web hosting + a free domain name. They’re an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider. is a hosting service created by Automattic, the company led by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Because of the same founder, users often confuse with the popular software.

The hosting service has six pricing plans:

  • Free – Very limited and restrictive in terms of features.
  • Starter – $48 per year
  • Explorer – $96 per year
  • Creator – $300 per year
  • Entreprenuer – $540 per year (Suitable for eCommerce sites using WooCommerce)
  • VIP – starting at $25000 per year

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Benefits

The free platform is a good choice for hobby bloggers and those starting a blog for their family. Here are some of the benefits of using

  • It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that, you will have to switch to a paid plan for more storage space. (Starter plan $48 /year, gives you 6GB, Explorer plan $96/year, gives you 13GB storage, Creator plan for $300/year comes with 50GB storage).
  • You will not have to worry about updates or backups. will take care of that. Cons

There are several limitations of free, which differentiate it from Here are some of the disadvantages of using

  • They place ads on all free websites. Your users see those ads, and you don’t make money from them. If you don’t want your users to see their ads, then you can upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $48 per year).
  • You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your website, which severely limits ways to monetize your site. If you run a high-traffic site, then you can apply for their advertising program called WordAds where you share revenue with them. Explorer and above plan users can use WordAds right away.
  • You cannot upload plugins. Free plan users get built-in Jetpack features pre-activated. Creator plan users can install from a selection of compatible plugins ($300 / year). VIP program lets you install plugins, and it starts from $5000 per month.
  • You cannot upload custom themes. Free plan users can only install from the limited free themes collection. Explorer and Creator plan users can also select premium themes and use custom CSS with those themes. There are limited customization options for the free version.
  • You are restricted to their stats. You cannot add Google Analytics or install any other powerful tracking platform. Creator plan users can install Google Analytics.
  • Free sites come with a subdomain (e.g. You’ll need a paid plan to get a custom domain name (e.g.
  • They can delete your site at any time if they think that it violates their terms of service.
  • Your site will display a powered by link. It can be removed by upgrading to the Creator plan.
  • does not offer any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways unless you switch to the Entrepreneur plan.
  • You cannot build membership websites with

As you can see, the hosting platform is quite limited when you’re on the free, personal, or even premium plan. To unlock some of the more advanced features, you have to be on the Business plan ($300 per year) or on the VIP plan ($5000 per month). vs (FAQs)

Since this is a popular topic, and WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners, we get tons of questions regarding vs

We have done our best to answer the most frequently asked questions below: vs – Which is Better?

If you are a personal blogger and you don’t care about making money from your website, then go with the free

If you are a business or a blogger who wants to make money from your site, then we recommend using the self-hosted It gives you the freedom and flexibility to grow your website the way you want.

While you can get several advanced features with the Creator plan ($300 / year for each website), you can make that money go much further on a self-hosted WordPress site which costs $46 per year.

In our expert opinion, is hands down the better platform. That’s the platform that every professional blogger, small business owner, and even big name brands like Disney uses.

Can I Monetize Free Website? does not allow you to run ads on free websites. If you run a high traffic website, then you can join their own WordAds program and share your ad revenue with

You can put some affiliate links on your website, but that’s about it.

Basically, you have very limited options to monetize content on your website.

Whereas with, you have full control over content management system, so you have unlimited monetization options for your new website. vs – Which one is better for Ecommerce? offers the easiest way to build an eCommerce website. You can use WooCommerce to build your store or choose from many other WordPress eCommerce, membership, and LMS plugins. also offers an eCommerce plan starting at $540 per year which is a hefty amount if you are just getting started. It is still limited in terms of features, and you’ll have to follow’s terms of services for your eCommerce store.

See our guide on how to start an online store without a high budget. It includes how to get your own domain for free along with all the powerful features that you need to grow online.

How do I start a Website?

To start a self-hosted WordPress website, you need a domain name and WordPress hosting.

A domain name is the address of your website on the internet, such as,, etc. Web hosting is where your website files are stored on the internet.

We recommend using Bluehost to host your website because they are one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. They’re also an official recommended web host. Last but not least, they’re offering our users a free domain + free SSL + 61% off on hosting.

For step-by-step instructions, you can check out our free guide on how to make a website.

If you need help, WPBeginner team can even install WordPress and build your website for free. Learn more about how our free WordPress blog setup works.

Can I move from to

Often new users who don’t know the difference between vs end up starting with the free service. Once they see the limitations of the platform, they want to switch to “the Real WordPress” aka

Yes, you can definitely switch from to and fairly easily move all of your content.

We have created a step by step guide on how to move your blog from to, or you can take advantage of our free blog setup service, and we will transfer your blog for free. vs. – Summary

The best way to think about the differences between vs. is the analogy of renting a house vs. owning a house. is similar to renting a house. You have limited power and control over what you can and cannot do. is like owning a house. Where you have full control, no one can kick you out, and you can do anything that you want.

Below is the summary of everything we discussed above in our self-hosted vs comparison: (Platform) (Free) (Premium) (Business)
Cost$46 - $100 / yearFree$96 / year$300/ year
Custom DomainYesNoYesYes
Hosting StorageUnlimited3 GB13 GB200 GB
Monetization FreedomYesNoYes (with rev/share)Yes (with rev / share)
Branding FreedomYesNoNoYes
All SEO FeaturesYesNoNoYes
Powerful AnalyticsYesNoNoYes
Full Theme SupportYesNoLimitedYes
Full Plugin SupportYesNoNoYes
Ecommerce StoreYesNoNoNo
Membership SiteYesNoNoNo
Full ControlYesNoNoNo

Final Thoughts

The confusion created by similar domains: vs is quite unfortunate for beginners. There is a lot of history behind the decisions, and you can read more about that in our article how and are related.

Our hope is that you found this article helpful in understanding the main differences between and

We wish you all the best with your website and hope that you chose the right platform:

If so, you may want to follow these useful guides:

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

506 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
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  2. Ashley H says

    So I want to make the switch from to Can HOST a I plan to go with a different domain as well. Complete rebranding.
    Its been said over and over that wordpress has the best SEO. I want to make sure that whatever host I use has the best SEO. Thank you.

  3. Natasha says

    Thanks for such an insightful article. I have been going back and forth trying to decide on a platform to start on for blogging and ecommerce. This article cleared up a lot of the confusion I had between and, and has helped me make a decision on which would be the best route to take. I have been back and forth with the many different sites such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, etc. for ecommerce and didn’t feel like any of those had exactly what I was looking for. I felt like they were still missing something. WordPress kept coming up and I was very hesitant on whether or not WP would give me the freedom of customization that I was searching for to make the site truly mine. Cost to get started was also something that was an issue and looking at this nice breakdown that you’ve provided makes it clear for me to choose which would be the best option to accomplish my goals!

  4. Louise says

    Thank you so much for this article. I am now clear on which site to choose. I am a total beginner. I have made a note to come back and click through to bluehost through this article once I am ready!

  5. Gage Bauer says

    I am in the process of freelancing websites for small businesses.

    When it comes to hosting a bit ignorant on the topic though.

    How does self-hosting with Bluehost, for example, work as it relates to plugins, themes and maintenance.

    I am assuming I still have access to those things and how much extra maintenance is there are on my end if I self-host?

  6. Daniel says

    I got a homework from my teacher, it is to make a vlog about making a blog (sooo stupid for me…. Especially when you are an introvert). i don’t want to waste money, so which one that is better for me? :/

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Daniel,

      If you just want to use it for homework, then you can go for If you want to grow your website in the future, then you may want to go for


  7. Romina says

    Hi, if I’ve got a Personal plan on, do I lose the subscription fee if I migrate to Also, am I guaranteed to get the same domain name when I migrate to the new host? Thanks!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Romina,

      If you recently signed up for, then you can contact them to see if you are eligible for a refund. As for domain name, you can use your custom domain on your self-hosted site.


  8. Li Chee says

    Thank you for your in-depth comparisson between these two platform.This is exactly what i have been looking for.
    But,why would some one use if they can get almost anything they needs for free with
    I am confused…

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Li Chee, is free as a software, you will still need to purchase domain and hosting. It offers more features and freedoms. offers a basic free account with limitations. You can upgrade to get more features but it will still not have the same freedom as installing a self hosted website.


      • Kat says

        Is the wordpress app for android for or Also I am about to be allowed to switch over to I dont have bluehost I have siteground..when I switch who installs on my domain? Me or siteground?

        • WPBeginner Support says

          Hi Kat,

          The app is for however it works for self hosted WordPress websites as well. You can contact SiteGround support and they will install WordPress on your domain.

  9. Farouq Adegboyega says

    Thank you for the posts, they’ve been really educating.

    I just started my blog on a site and I’m looking forward to taking things to the next level. My questions are:

    1. Which plan is best for me. And why?

    2. Must i have a backup plan on my site?

    3. Must I pay for privacy and hacking, no mater the plan I go for?

    Thank you for the support

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Farouq,

      Please see website for details of the plans they offer. Remember, that if you are using then only the Business plan will give you access to upload themes and plugins.


  10. Marilyn Mutsune says

    Hey, thanks for your support it is thoroughly comprehensive.

    However, I need your help on the way forward. I am torn between website and blog.

    I want to show case my portfolio and attract clients. Meanwhile, I work on various small projects so don’t have the time to throw myself fully into blogging.

    Next, I first want to put up my portfolio before I go live. Please help work this out.

    I have already installed the WordPress via But, I can’t rename the file wamp64 in the program file. Keeps telling me the file/folder is open in another location.

    Can I work on my platform without going live? I feel comfortable testing it locally before going out bold.

    Please help me.

  11. graynoize says

    Hey there, thanks for the guide.

    Just wondering, let say I have subscribed to the personal plan on

    If I consider moving to self-hosting, can I bring along the domain name purchased from over? How will that work for the transfer?

  12. Jo says

    “While you can get several advanced features with the Business plan ($299 / year for each website), you can make that money go much further on a self-hosted WordPress site which costs $46 per year.”

    Does this mean if you buy from Bluehost you can have access to the plugins or do you still have to buy the business plan from WordPress in order to install those plugins, which costs around $245 a year up front? A bit confused about this. As a complete newbie it looks like I can buy web hosting BUT I still have to buy the business plan in order to use the plugins.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Jo,

      No. If you buy self hosted plan from Bluehost, then you will not have to pay for business plan to use plugins. You will be able to install all WordPress plugins available.


  13. Genevieve says

    My client has a WordPress dot org account, but there is no “Plugin” option in the left column. Nor can I find it anywhere on the dashboard. Any ideas?

  14. Sharon says

    Hi and thanks so much for your insights and extremely helpful resources.
    Just wondering how you know which of the themes available in a market is v .com. I searched specifically for theme but they were limited in comparison to general search. However I did notice themes I had seen previously in general market searches for best themes in that niche; but only one.. I want to start a food blog using In choosing this does it limit my choice of theme. I may be looking in the wrong place and if so maybe you can point me in the right direction?
    Thanks once again for great work.

    • Madeleine says doesn’t allow for custom themes, so all the themes that you see when searching on markets and other places are to be used with So no, using doesn’t limit your options, it expands them.

  15. Elisa says

    I’m a writer, and want to start a blog about a personal subject in order to reach out to others with the same challenges. I have never written a blog before.

    There’s nothing more annoying than website ads, so I would prefer not to have them.

    On the other hand, I want to own my Blog & my Domain Name.

    You’ve often recommended Blue Host. Do you own this hosting site as well? What is the difference between your hosting & theirs.

    What type of hosting would you recommend?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Elisa,

      No. We do not own Bluehost or any other hosting company. WPBeginner is a WordPress resource site for beginners.

      If you want to own your blog and your own domain name, then you will need a self hosted website. Please see our step by step guide on how to start a blog.


  16. Calum Labrador says

    Hello! I want to migrate to but temporarily, I would like to try out the personal plan of as I cannot afford hosting yet. If I migrate to, will I still have to pay for the plan I was using prior to the transfer in Thanks!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Calum,

      If you signed up for a self-hosted site and wanted to move it to, then you’ll have to pay for the domain name. Most hosting companies do not offer trial plans. So make sure you understand their policies before signing up.

      Similarly, if you signed up for’s free plan and bought a domain name, then you will have to pay for the domain name. The personal plan is free so you can migrate to a self hosted site when you are ready to do so.

      Hope this helps :)


  17. Saviour Erim says

    Wow! Am Most impressed with this article, but my question is, will my hosted blog provide auto email respoder services for my blog subscribers?

    • WPBeginner Support says


      Auto email sending feature is not built-in to the WordPress core itself. However, there are plenty of third party services and plugins that you can use for that.


  18. Evelyn Ofori says


    Thanks for this article super helpful!

    I have a personal plan with a G Suite account attached to it on If I want to transfer it to a self hosted site, will my G Suite account be ‘transferred’ as well or will I have to cancel the subscription I ordered on and set up a new G suite account for my site? I hope that makes sense.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Evelyn,

      You Gsuite account uses your domain name which is currently managed by You can manage your domain name on and point it to your hosting provider. You can also move your domain to your new host. You will have to add G Suite A records to your domain settings. Contact Google,, and your new self hosted hosting provider to ensure smooth transition and detailed instructions.


  19. Nitz says

    Hi, I have a self hosted wordpress site hosted by hostmonster. If I sign up for bluehost services, how can I migrate my site’s content from hostmonster to bluehost? Thank you.

  20. Daniel U says


    i’m new to the whole wordpress and website scene but am considering to do some work on a website for my comapny myself to learn the basics and to have full control over the process.

    We do already have a domain and a host – does it make sense to purchase a theme and use it with as a simple way of creating a decent website? Our website is super outdated and was created over 10 years ago by a former employee.

    Many thanks!

  21. Emily says

    I currently have a blogspot blog but am wanting to rebrand transfer over and have been considering WordPress. I’m trying to decide between com and org. Everyone is cautioning me against org because I am far from tech savvy…how do I know if org is something I will be able to “handle?”

  22. Thomas says

    I currently have a blog on and find the reader and tags very good to gain more readers and followers.

    Does the ‘reader’ become unavailable on self hosted and can people still follow you on self hosted?

    Are there any limitions on the WordPress app for iOS between Self Hosted and Hosted?

  23. Vizi says

    If I switch to + Blue Host – let’s say , Would I be able to start e-mail marketing for my blog? Would I have tools for this? Would I have to pay extra money for e-mail marketing tools?

  24. vo thang says

    I’m using bluehost.Because it’s free,so it’s some not convinience.
    Such as,Google can crawl your website.But bot of another SEO services can’t crawl it.It always have error.

    And another services : Ahref…are also.

  25. Midge says

    Excellent info – thank you! I started on and bought my domain through them with the premium package. Can I transfer that to or do I need to start over with a new domain name?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hey Midge,

      You can use the same domain with your self hosted site. You will just need to change your domain name settings and point them to your new host’s name servers.


  26. Shacree Marr says

    Thank you sooooooooo much for this article! You guys helped me make the switch from to .org!

  27. Lotara Charles says turned to be something different. I paid $35 to upgrade but since then, I can’t even install plugins and my site is struggling to survive. Is it daylight robbery? Please work for the betterment of your clients.

  28. tengkuputeh says

    so I cannot install instant article because use even i pay 99 dollars a year (premium)

  29. Val says

    I currently am blogging at Blogger but would like to migrate over to . It seems like all the comments below are about Is there an easy way to switch from Blogger?

  30. Anastasia says

    Thank you for this useful article. I’m trying to create a site but find that I’m being moved every move I make.
    How do I even create account? I went to their website and was forced to download the app, which I think is .com , and also asked me for $129 to use my ow n domain.

  31. Karen says

    So for someone who just wants a blog that friends can read and does not want to make money from it, I would be OK with I understand from your notes above that the free version will show adverts but if I pay, I can elect not to have these. However, you quote the cost as dollars. I am in the UK, so if I set up my blog, will I get an option to pay in Sterling? Thanks

  32. Sonny says


    Great article! However, I have a question which some other readers may also experience. I have purchased Go Daddy’s WordPress Website product which includes hosting. Is having this product as good as using or more comparable to

    Thank you

      • Mohua says

        Hi! Thanks for the informative article. I have the same question as above and would like more clarity on it. I have purchased Go Daddy’s WordPress Website product which includes hosting (I think!) and if this is same as a site (as mentioned above) why am I always being prompted to upgrade to Personal, Premium or Business plans? Why not the plan? And if I am on and if I make the shift to how will it affect my URL? Will it be .org? I cannot remember visiting any blog with this sort of URL. Any response to my queries will be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

        • WPBeginner Support says

          Hi Mohua,

          Most likely you are using a self-hosted site. The easiest way to check this is by installing a plugin, if you can install a plugin then you are using self-hosted site. For detailed explanation please contact GoDaddy support and they will be able to help you understand.

    • Dave says

      That’s correct Okoto, you can only use your adsense on a standalone website you own

      Best Regards

  33. Susan says


    I read the differences between vs. What if you don’t care about making money from your site but you do want to post blogs regularly, add plugins etc.

    What would be the best suitable option?

  34. Prilan says

    I have some question
    1. Is cost money for build a site? will I pay the money?
    3.IF I don’t pay money what will they do?

    • Talha says

      You cant be able to build a website using, if you are talking about the blog, then yes you can. For this you have nothing to pay.

  35. Gail says

    Thanks so much for your wonderful advice here! I am wanting to set up a webhost on Blue Host and then use for blogging. I will be moving my Blogger blog over. I have always worked from another computer (other than my home or phone) on my lunch hour and before and after office hours through my gmail account. If I set everything up that way – from another location than my home computer – will it all actually still be hosted only from my home computer? (I hate to sound so dumb – but I really don’t know or understand how these things work, I just use them.) I don’t want to do anything wrong or illegal, but have time limitations for setting things up at home and want them to work primarily from my homebase but be accessible everywhere that I go. Can I set it all up remotely or do I have to set up from home originally?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hey Gail,

      It will work just like your Blogger blog. Your WordPress site will live on your Bluehost hosting account it will be your website’s home on the internet. You will use your own domain name to access your website like ( or You will be able to access your site on the internet from anywhere, using any device or computer.


  36. Johnny says


    Thanks so much for this great explanation… I didn’t even realize there were 2 different wordpresses… lol… Man..

    Sounds like is definitely the way to go for a serious commercial or sem-commercial web site…

    So of course the big thing today is building a “responsive web site”…

    I’ve read things about wordpress that say, yeah you can… but… if have to do this and you have to do that type answers…

    I’m not sure what an answer like that means…

    So if I want to build a site that works on desktop and mobil, is it easy to do with wordpress..?

    Do you build say, a desktop site and just push a button and it converts it into mobil..?

    Any thoughts about this are greatly appreciated..!

    I used to use NetObjects Fusion which was great back when there was no mobil but things are way different now..

    Thanks very much..

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Johnny,

      Yes your WordPress site will work on both mobile and desktop. You will need to use responsive design template and most modern WordPress templates are responsive by default.


      • Dave says

        Just to make this crystal clear for Johnny.
        Wordpress sites don’t work on mobile by default (rather they can look horrible with loads of scrolling).
        To have a site work (look good) on mobile is all about which THEME YOU USE and purchase. Although you’d think most themes should now work well on mobiles, there are still many out there that do not.

        So when choosing a theme, ensure it is ‘Responsive’ because not all of them are. And ideally check it out live or at least view screenshots of the theme on mobile devices to double check it looks good on mobile, before you buy.

        Some themes are better than others for mobile, and although they may say responsive, some cater better for all screen sizes than others do.

        So just take a few minutes to check out the theme first before buying it

        All the best

  37. Robert says

    My church created a website on “” The administrator is handing over the administration duties to me because I have some web training. He created a New User and checked the “Administrator” role for me. He emailed me the password. I am able to log in to the /wordpress/wp-admin/profile.php Profile page and the /wordpress/wp-admin/index.php Dashboard page. When I am in the Dashboard page, I do not have any tools or controls present in the left-hand navigation pane. In the main body of the page, I have (2) text sentences with a vertical red bar to the left of them. The first message says “You’re using W3 Total Cache plugin. If Captcha by BestWebSoft doesn’t work properly, please clear the cache in W3 Total Cache plugin and turn on ‘Show CAPTCHA after the end of the page loading’ option on the plugin settings page.” When I click on the hyperlinked settings page, a new page is displayed with the message “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.” The second text sentence with the vertical red bar to the left says” No valid license key has been entered, so automatic updates for Envira Gallery have been turned off. Please click here to enter your license key and begin receiving automatic updates.” When I click on the blue hyperlink a new page is displayed that says, “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.” I have read several hours worth of help and FAQ’s and haven’t seen this scenario. Any help or suggestions about this matter will be greatly appreciated. My administrator and I are stumped for now.

    • Elizabeth nelson says

      Go to the theme in the dashboard and re enter the license key/product purchase. That should help.

  38. Prasoon says

    Can you add custom javascript in self hosted WP site?, I know doesn’t allow it for security reasons

  39. Sagar Chauhan says

    Hello,Thanks for this comparison, it helped alot. However I’m still confused about one thing: what if I buy a domain and host my site through a different company (so I don’t go through wordpress itself), and then download WordPress from WordPress.ORG, can I then download a theme from WordPress.COM and use plugins? Ordoes it not matter when you’re hosted somewhere else, as long as you use a WordPress.COM theme, plugins are unavailable?Thank you for your answer!

  40. Alexandra says

    Hello! I’ve been using for some time the free and now I want to go to next level. Normally I was planning to buy a domain and to upgrade my WP to the premium plan. Two days ago I received an email from for collaboration. I’ve read a bit on their site, look like is Self-Hosted WordPress, they have the Blue Host option and they move all your content on the new page. I don’t know what to do! Can I trust this site? Someone knows them? Thank you!

  41. Heather says

    This is an informative post. So, thank you for all the detail. I have been looking at WordPress dot com and they appear to have changed their hosting packages. Before you could not monetize but now you can if you have the premium package or above. Do all the above cons you listed still stand or just some of them? I did look at the forum and plug-ins are still not allowed. WordPress dot org does not host anything but rather directs the user to potential hosting companies. It almost looks like WordPress dot com is competing some with those hosts, but maybe not if the only con they appear to have removed is no monetization.

  42. Gabrielle says

    Thanks for this comparison, it helped a lot. However I’m still confused about one thing: what if I buy a domain and host my site through a different company (so I don’t go through wordpress itself), and then download WordPress from WordPress.ORG, can I then download a theme from WordPress.COM and use plugins? Or does it not matter when you’re hosted somewhere else, as long as you use a WordPress.COM theme, plugins are unavailable?
    Thank you for your answer!

  43. A V Koshy says

    I blog at . And I can make out that I am on However, I cannot add plugins. Why is this so? Do revert. Thanks and regs…

    • A V Koshy says

      Er, my blog address was removed by the moderator. How are the commentators going to help me if you don’t know my blog address? I understand that you do not want to direct traffic to my site, which is understandably fine, but I also hope that you guys would help me out with my problem. Just in case, you need the blog address it www dot india hypen travels dot com. Here’s sincerely hoping that you don’t delete this. Once my query is answered, probably I myself can delete this post. Thanks

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