If you read my previous post and decided you would like to go with WordPress.com for your site, here’s a basic explanation of which plan will suit your needs the best. Let’s assume that you are an author named Silo Brickers and you want to use your name as your website.
Also understand that WordPress.com offers what’s considered managed hosting. You don’t upload and install the WordPress code. It’s already there. No fiddling with databases or troubleshooting bandwidth requirements. You just manage your theme and content.
The trade-off is if you want control over more of the process, you won’t have it. If that’s the case, this post is not for you. Otherwise, read on.
The Free Plan
First of all, nothing is free. Really. Somewhere along the line, somebody pays for it. In the case of the free plan, your site is paid for with advertising. The free plan includes ads and a domain that will look like silobrickers.wordpress.com.
Be aware you will have a limited choice of themes and you cannot install plugins. If you’re happy with the stock WordPress and the basic features of Jetpack … and if you don’t mind ads you can’t control and a non-optimal domain name, this is the plan for you.
$5/month removes WordPress branding and lets you use your own domain. Now you can use silobrickers.com. You also get more storage space.
If you’re happy with stock WordPress and the basic features of Jetpack, this is the plan for you.
Next Level Up
$8/month adds premium themes, advanced design customization (extra theme options, CSS, etc) and additional storage.
If the $5 plan was almost enough for you, but you need more theme options and better customization, this is the plan for you
You still can’t install plugins.
The Best Plan
I don’t know why WordPress.com decided to go from $8 to $25, but that’s what they did. There is nothing in between. The $25/month plan includes all the features of the $8 plan. In addition, it removes storage limits and finally gives you the ability to install plugins. If you need to be able to install plugins and use whatever theme you like, this is the plan for you.
On the other hand, you can get all of this from many other hosting companies at a much lower price.
All of these plans include the Jetpack plugin, which is maintained by WordPress. It also has multiple tiers and you can sign up for more features if you like. It’s outside the scope of this post, but you can see their offerings at jetpack.com.
Tune in for the next in this series where I will present some other hosting options for those of you who want more control over your site.