Is WordPress good for a blog

WordPress.com experience & test (2021): The construction kit is really that good

WordPress is the most widely used system when it comes to creating a website.

However, there are two versions here: WordPress.com and WordPress.org

While WordPress.org is the self-hosted variant, in which you enjoy more freedom, but also leave a lot more work to yourself, WordPress.com offers you an “all-round carefree package”, so to speak.

In this detailed review, I would like to show you how good this package really is.

Together we will really put the website builder through its paces.

Here we go!

1. WordPress.com at a glance

WordPress.com is a website builder that, in addition to the actual CMS (Content Management System) WordPress, also provides you with a web space and your own domain.

When you register, you will receive a free subdomain (deinname.wordpress.com) and 3 GB of free web space. All the necessary software is also preinstalled so that you can theoretically start immediately after registering.

Incidentally, this is also the biggest difference to WordPress.org - but more on that later.

WordPress itself is THE system when it comes to creating a larger website.

And not only I see it that way, but also the majority of all website operators: With a market share of 38%, WordPress is the undisputed top dog and a system that even the largest corporations in the world, such as Microsoft, rely on.

What I like about WordPress.com:

WordPress.com is set up in seconds and you can theoretically start working on your website right away.

In addition, the website builder is free of charge. This gives you the opportunity to first take your first steps and explore whether a project with WordPress can even be implemented the way you imagine it.

If you've never used WordPress before, this is a real benefit.

Furthermore, at WordPress.com you don't have to worry about protecting your website from hackers or performing maintenance tasks on your side.

Thanks to the thousands of plugins available to you, you can also adapt your website very flexibly to your ideas (but only from the business or eCommerce tariff).

Last but not least: the customer service is really good! Beginners in particular benefit from this.

What I don't like about WordPress.com:

WordPress.com is a simple and practical solution to dare to approach the topics of website, WordPress and especially blogging and to try it out without having to invest countless hours of work or capital.

Now we come to the but.

As the life of the website increases, so do the demands placed on your website. More visitors, a growing community and a growing blog require successive adjustments. And WordPress.com is very inflexible there.

So you can only install plugins with the premium tariffs upwards. The themes available in the standard scope are also rather limited.

The premium plans are unfortunately very expensive, which makes WordPress.com less than lucrative for professional users compared to the free WordPress.org version.

Who is WordPress.com for:

WordPress.com is suitable for beginners and can be a really great solution for you if you dare to use WordPress for the first time or even to create a website at all.

By relieving you of all the annoying additional work such as maintaining the site, you can concentrate fully on blogging.

Incidentally, this also applies to more experienced users: If you really don't feel like dealing with all the necessary technical implementations and want to concentrate 100% on creating content, then WordPress.com is definitely the right thing for you .

In particular, the available customer support makes WordPress.com attractive and particularly suitable for beginners.

2. WordPress.com Pricing & Costs

With WordPress.com you have various tariffs to choose from, which differ particularly in the degree of customization.

2.1 Free version from WordPress.com

The free version is really only suitable for absolute beginners who want to implement a hobby project.

The range of functions is very limited and limited to a WordPress installation that has to make do with a few standard themes.

Here you cannot install any plugins or make individual design adjustments. In addition, you only get the already mentioned WordPress.com subdomain, which conveys little professionalism.

Basically you can only recommend the free WordPress.com tariff if you have never worked with WordPress and want to take a quick look at the CMS to find out whether the system is something for you at all.

As soon as you want to create a website that you actually want to reach people with (actually the goal of every website, isn't it?) Then this tariff is definitely insufficient.

By the way: You get 3 GB of storage space with this tariff. However, free support is not included.

2.2 Which premium packages are there?

If you want to run a professional website with WordPress.com, you can choose from four different premium tariffs.

Personal - 4 euros / month

With the “Personal” plan, you give your website a free domain for one year and you also get access to free e-mail support.

The storage space is increased to 6 GB and the annoying WordPress.com advertising is no longer necessary.

You also get the opportunity to make exclusive content available to a limited group of users and to include a newsletter, which is a first step towards monetizing the website.

But that's about it with the other functions.

Premium - 8 euros / month

Basically, I would advise you not to enter under this tariff.

Premium contains all the functions of the “Personal” tariff, but is expanded to include some really essential features.

For example, the storage space is increased to 13 GB. In addition, you finally get the opportunity to install premium themes and incorporate advanced design adjustments via individual CSS,

This is a first step in the right direction.

What is still missing, however, is the ability to install plugins.

After all, you can receive payments via PayPal, which is particularly suitable for providing services. You can also install Google Analytics and use extended social media functions.

By the way: With this tariff you can also use the free live chat support on weekdays, which can be a great support, especially with acute problems.

What I, on the other hand, find almost outrageous is the fact that the WordPress.com branding in the footer cannot be removed even in the premium plan.

For this you need the next tariff ...

Business - 25 euros / month

You can only use WordPress effectively from the business tariff.

First of all, your available storage space will be expanded to 200 GB and finally you can also upload and install plugins.

There is no WordPress.com branding in the footer.

You will also have the option of accessing your website via SFTP and initializing automated backups.

Another plus point are the SEO tools, which you now have access to.

Oh yes: the live chat support will be extended to 24/7. An expert from WordPress.com is available to you at any time of the day or night.

2.3 Can I create an online store with WordPress.com?

Yes, you can create your own online store with WordPress.com.

However, you have to dig deep into your pocket for the e-commerce tariff required here, because it costs 45 euros per month.

In fairness, however, it has to be said that this is the best WordPress.com tariff and that you really get something for your money.

First of all, all the functions of the business tariff that I introduced to you in the previous chapter are included.

The following functions are also available:

  • Mega support package: Personalized support sessions on a split screen
  • Accept payment from 60 countries
  • Integration of leading shipping companies directly on your website
  • Online shop with unlimited products or services
  • E-commerce marketing tools like Mailchimp can be integrated in a flash

2.4 How much does a domain cost?

You can get your own domain at WordPress.com with the “Personal” tariff for which 4 euros per month are charged.

The term is initially one year.

If you wish, you can always renew the domain for one year at the regular price.

3. Test results in detail

3.1 Range of functions

Storage space and traffic

Compared to other website builders, WordPress.com only varies the storage space between the individual tariffs. How much traffic your site receives doesn't matter.

The graduations in storage space are as follows:

  • Free: 3 GB
  • Personal: 6 GB
  • Premium: 13 GB
  • Business: 200 GB
  • E-commerce: 200 GB

Own domains

One domain is already included in the free package.

However, this is only a subdomain and not a really separate address yourname.wordpress.com composed. A solution that I would definitely advise against if you want to run a professional business.

After all, the very inexpensive “personal” tariff already includes its own domain in the classic format.

Blog

WordPress is the blogging platform par excellence - a synonym for the term “blog”, so to speak.

New posts are drafted and published in seconds.

The new Gutenberg editor is available here, which is controversial, but gets better with each update.

To name a few of the many features you can:

  • Add categories, tags, and metadata to articles
  • Create profiles for authors
  • Create and save drafts
  • create custom links
  • Include extensive social media options
  • Set the publication date of a post individually

The design of your posts fits seamlessly into the design of the website.

Online shop

If your primary goal is to start your own online shop, then I advise you against WordPress.com, because honestly there are much simpler and better solutions here, such as Shopify.

WordPress.com is not only a bit awkward and complex here, but also really expensive.

Payment functions are only included from the expensive e-commerce tariff, which costs 45 euros per month.

So here other platforms are clearly ahead.

Should you still decide to use WordPress.com, there is of course a great online shop with many functions that you can use to sell physical and electronic products.

However, additional features, such as customer ratings, must be added via add-ons and are not included in the standard package.

SEO

Comprehensive SEO tools are only available to you at WordPress.com from the business tariff, which in my opinion is an absolute no-go.

And by that I don't mean special indexing settings, 301 redirects or other “professional measures”, but really basic things like META descriptions.

That is not how it works!

Search engine optimization is a topic that every blogger needs to address in order to be found on the internet.

However, not every hobby blogger is likely to be immediately ready to book one of the two most expensive plans to start a blog.

So big minus point.

If you have decided on the business or e-commerce tariffs, you have two options for implementing SEO measures for your blog:

  1. You use the integrated SEO function of WordPress.com
  2. You install an SEO plugin such as Yoast or Rank Math

Visitor statistics

WordPress.com provides you with a statistics tool that will probably be fine for most bloggers.

In any case, I find it sufficient, as I have never really dealt so much with the depths of Google Analytics or other tools.

You see immediately:

  • Which posts / pages were visited
  • How the visitor came to your site (search engine, referrer, etc.)
  • Where and how often was clicked

The already integrated statistics also make it much easier for you in terms of data protection, because there is no other data processor besides WordPress.com.

What I really like is the statistics function in the pages area. Here you can immediately see how many visitors a particular page had in the past.

contact form

With the Gutenberg editor, a simple contact form can be installed in no time at all on your website.

However, the emphasis here is on “simple”: Name, email address and message are the three fields available to you here.

If you want to enter a more extensive form, you need a plug-in such as Contact Form 7 - a possibility that is only available to you from the business tariff.

Password protection

The option of assigning a password to individual pages only comes with the business tariff.

What is already possible from the “Personal” tariff: to make individual pages available only to paying customers.

So you could create exclusive posts that will only be shown to the visitors who pay for them. This makes it relatively easy to set up a simple member area.

However, you have to connect your website to the payment service provider Stripe, which shouldn't be a major problem.

Extensibility (widgets, plugins, apps, etc.)

One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is its extensibility. With plugins you can expand your website with almost any desired function, because the WordPress app store offers you several 10,000 extensions.

You also have access to these plugins with Wordress.com.