WordPress.com: It’s Not Really Free

While a basic WordPress.com blog at yourname.wordpress.com is free, if you need more features, they charge extra! The following functionality is charged as a WordPress.com premium upgrade – the true cost of a FREE WordPress.com blog / website account:

  1. Domain Name Mapping & Registration: Remove ‘wordpress’ from your URL and use your own domain. Note: you still have NO FTP access to your files or ability to add 3rd party themes, plugins or code. Cost $13.00 – $25 per domain p.a.
  2. Custom Design Font + CSS Editor: Lets you customize fonts + stylesheets, but not edit PHP or template files. Cost $30.00 p.a.
  3. No-Ads: Remove WordPress adverts from your blog. You are still not permitted to add your own ads e.g. AdSense, affiliate links, sponsored / paid posts or any kind of prohibited code. Cost $30.00 per annum.
  4. Video Upload: Embed video in your blog posts and pages. You may need a space upgrade too! Cost $60.00 per annum.
  5. Space: Increase from 3GB to 10GB, 25GB, 50GB, 100GB, 200GB + add ability to upload audio / music. Cost $20 – $290 p.a.
  6. Bundles: A combination of upgrades 1 – 5 above at a discounted price. Cost from $99 p.a. depending on space required.
  7. Premium Themes: Add options for site customization + a limited selection of premium themes. Note: You are still not permitted to upload your own or 3rd party premium themes or plugins. One-time cost typically $50 per theme.
  8. Site Redirect: Have WordPress.com redirect yourblogname.wordpress.com pages & posts to a new domain. Cost $13.00 p.a.
  9. Guided Transfer: Have WordPress.com move your blog permanently to your self-hosted website. Cost $129.00 per transfer.

By now it should be obvious that, unless you are happy with no ‘bells and whistles’ and for ads for other websites and services to appear alongside your own content, a WordPress.com blog / website is NOT FREE. More important: if you want to brand your blog and use your own domain name (why wouldn’t you?), add extra functionality and use a premium theme, it’s going to cost you!

In fact, a self-hosted WordPress website with a $50 premium theme on a $9.99 per month hosting plan that you own and control 100%, will cost you less in year 1 than a WordPress.com blog with a $99 upgrade bundle & $50 premium theme! So if you are serious about your business and your business website, WordPress.com may not the best choice for several reasons, not least price!

If the thought of getting your own hosting and setting up your own WordPress website using your own domain name is daunting – don’t worry! We offer either a free WordPress set-up service when you purchase hosting through our affiliate links (they pay us a commission to cover our costs), or a low-cost paid WordPress set-up service if you already have your own hosting and want to use a premium domain and theme.