I am sure you have landed on this blog with excitement jogging through your veins.
We are conditioned to get on our toes as soon as we see this word flash. No, I am not selling any merchandise for free here.
Pardon me and get ready for some reality checks. Well, I am providing some priceless and free advice down below.
As I said,
Just this word has the power to make our hearts race!
Is this word worth all this hype?
We all love free stuff, don’t we? (I can see the grin on your face.)
It feels human to be free riders. We cherish free and discounted possessions more than any of our other belongings.
Unfortunately, marketers now know our weakness and exploit us by throwing around this word almost everywhere they can. It is no surprise to click on “Start free trial” and to land upon a page asking for credit card credentials.
Yet, many of us (including me) often just jump on to the bandwagon as soon as the “free” sign pops up! I love getting things for free only if they are truly free.
Or is this just another psychological game? Does anything at all that comes free of cost? Or are there more sinister reasons at play?
It breaks my heart as much as yours while telling you that this is not the case.
“No free lunches on the Wallstreet.”
I hope the next time you see this “free “tag, you know what you are being lured into.
Don’t be a mouse.
Deep down, we all know this, but are we willing to embrace this? Are we ready to understand this marketing strategy?
Let us get to the point, now. Well, this is precisely what WordPress.com is doing with you! Surprised? Here is science.
They lure you down to their platform and slowly condition you to pay. Remember all those “not-so-free free trials?”
I advise you to stop getting into this trap and learn from millions like me who have already been through this. It is really a pain. Take a step back—a few more. And then run towards wpengine.com as fast as you can!
Continue reading to know.
36% of the web is built on WordPress. Before this statistic puts you in another illusion, let me tell you that this also entails that 76% of the web is NOT hosted on WordPress.com. Simple math.
This blog unfolds all the darkest secrets, which explain why 76% of people chose better platforms like Sitegoround, Kinsta, and Wpengine over WordPress.com. Here is what makes me advocate against WordPress.com and in favor of user-friendly website-hosting platforms.
Why am I being charged for my creativity and style?
Is it a sin to think beyond the box?
I invested a hell lot of time looking for the perfect theme and then BOOM. All my time goes in vain because I am asked to pay for the minutest of detailing! By this time, I have already spent hours and hours on this and am ready to pay big bucks to get things rolling.
I would have been okay with it if this was a one-time investment. For every customization, WordPress.com throws a new purchase in your cart!
“Oh, do you want this section in a different color? Transfer your life-savings to WordPress to enjoy this feature.”
And then the famous $36 trap awaits you when the “free” myth has been thrown out of the window! $36/year is the bare minimum.
Don’t think you can get away with all these sorrows by giving up that amount. Slightly increase the number of blogs and see your bill skyrocketing!
Should I stop being a miser already?
Congrats, now you own the essential “Custom Design Upgrade.” Just look at it and be happy because all you get in return is a mere text editor for CSS. I could have gotten that anyways.
Where is my value for money? Is this for real? Is a visual editor too much to ask for?
Well, well, well. The list of surprises isn’t over yet. More surprises await you. Now, comes another tantrum. Please welcome the unconcealed copyright information on your theme.
This might work for my blog, but for my professional blog, this is a BIG NO. I would never want my copyright information to flash on my clients’ faces.
I love owning things.
Well, who owns my website?
The answer is not as apparent as it seems.
Wait, I paid for it, so I am the legitimate owner, no?
No! Unlike most WordPress users and internet users in general, I read the terms and conditions of using WordPress, and they have royalty-free access to all my data.
I did not sign up for that. Willingly or not, I have given them a non-exclusive license to access, modify, and publish my content to promote my blog.
I know terms and conditions are really an unpleasant read but have a look at that licensing clause. That also implies that even after I have removed some content from my website, caching may not be made immediately unavailable. WOW! That is just the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading for more revelations.
The perks of hosting your website on WordPress are not over yet. They will run the extra mile to make you regret your decision of not choosing wpengine.com. You also get this additional benefit of being terminated access to your website on WordPress. Also, expect no reasons and prior notices, whatsoever! That might seem like basic courtesy but shush!
Perks for your website viewers and users? Well, they get bombarded with unwanted advertisements from WordPress simply because you did not pay another $36 for going premium. MUCH WOW! I really feel for my online clients to pay up for my nonpayment!
Before getting impressed with all those colorful themes, read what this section reveals.
WordPress.com is famous for limiting your options for themes and plugins. Plugins are fundamental developer rights, no? I mean, what harm would my installed plugin bring to them? Yet another refusal is awaiting me if I wish to bring in a harmless plugin of my own! Don’t even get me started on more advanced features.
With a liberating hosting platform like Wpengine.com, I have all the choice to bring in any plugin and any theme from any open source. That really seems like a privilege.
Can WordPress.com please take some notes on user-friendliness?
Even websites that are made using the wordpress.org software are not accommodated by wordpress.com simply because they are customized.
I mean, why should I be limited to the options that are available on WordPress.com? Why can I not use the builders, themes, and interfaces that are not transferable to WordPress.com!
In simpler words, wordpress.com is a hosted platform. To host your website on this not-so-hospitable host, you need to settle with the basic features, builders, themes, and interfaces that they offer.
One of my friend, new to website development, told me
“To my horror, I was unable to upload a custom-built WordPress website on wordpress.com simply because it was technically impossible for some features to be accommodated in the limited scope of WordPress.com.
After burning the midnight fuel in EXI, front-end, and back-end development, I thought I had created a masterpiece of a website. All hosting platforms like Kinsta and Wpengine were welcoming my website with open arms. But for wordpress.com, my custom website was too much to handle!”
I am not disparagingly saying this. These are plain facts. Undoubtedly, several themes builders are available on WordPress, but only the most basic ones come free of cost. By basic, I mean very basic. Only newbies would settle for such bare minimum of features!
I mean, I would readily empty my pockets for a customized website but not for such an unaccommodating hosting platform! A quality website is an integral part of any start-up. Such an essential website would turn the users off and away!
I cannot believe why wordpress.com hosting is being used at all.
Now, you would ask why I simply cannot settle for the limited hosting at wordpress.com? As a start-up, I need value for each penny invested. Well, WordPress.com has predefined structures and features that hardly allow any room for my content to breathe. (suffocation alert!)
Instead of filling in the spaces provided, I want a professional website. Limitations of wordpress.com, cage my ability to express what I want to through my corporate website. As a client, if I had to go broke, I would instead go broke for a website host that can host a sophisticated website.
Other website hosts host my website along with all the personalization that I have embedded. On wordpress.com, you can never have your customized elements like headers, footers, and others. Either you compromise and settle for a dull website, or you shift your website to a more flexible host.
For clients and web developers who want a fully functional and customized website, wordpress.com is a no-no. Go for a website host that does not ask you for a tradeoff between layout, efficiency, visual appeal, and functionality.
Just to remind you, wordpress.com and wordpress.org are two entirely different things. I made a website using WordPress.org(self-hosted) and customized it according to my business needs. I was mistaken when I thought I could easily host my website on wordpress.com because:
These are just a few of the countless requirements that a site client comes looking for. If wordpress.com cannot provide these, what is it good for? I would say invest wisely in your website host because, for that price, you have got better options.
For custom modification and potential maximization of my website, I would pick any other host over wordpress.com any day! This may cost me more in the short-run (customized websites are hotcakes), but in the long run, these hosts will not eat up half of my business revenue!
As a start-up, I already have so many operational business aspects of being worried about it. A good website host like Kinsta or Wpengine is what I need.
As someone who likes taking charge of the website, WordPress is certainly not meant for me. The basic features might be suitable for newbies, but for aspiring start-ups, a lot more is needed.
For a corporate user, functionality might seem most essential, but designing is also a very integral part of the website experience. With so many limitations, I would never recommend WordPress for lively visuals.
As alternatives, I propose Siteground, Kinsta, and Wpengine. I hope you would give it a second thought before hosting your website on WordPress- for FREE!
Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.
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