WordPress Blog Pros and Cons. The pros outweigh the cons for this blogging software, but there are some downsides to using it as well. For small businesses and beginner bloggers, this blogging technology is a good fit because of its ease of use, large number of upgrades and plugins, and ability to customize the blog’s appearance to match an existing website or brand. Watch our video with pros and cons.
On a budget but want to start blogging? Do you wonder if you should build a blog on WordPress.com or self-host it? If you are looking for free tools so that you can start blogging now, check out the advantages and disadvantages to self-hosted WordPress vs. free WordPress.com blogs.
Limited Options for Monetizing free WordPress blog(& customizations too)
First things first. There are 6 different plans depending on the usage apart from the free WordPress blog. You cannot add Google Adsense code to your website since there is no way to edit your website from the backend. You get a basic theme, which has very basic customizations available. You cannot add any ads for that matter, including CPM ads, since all these ads need you to install custom code on your free WordPress blog to serve ads on your web pages.
However, you can include affiliates links, paid reviews, sell products on your blog. But this again requires a huge amount of traffic to your blog, which I don’t think is possible with a free WordPress blog, considering the limitations of the blog. You can also use WordAds as an alternative to Google Adsense. I used it for a year but I didn’t find it useful.
First, the domain extension. If you use a free blog, you’d have a domain name that looks something like this www.example.wordpress.com.
Second, there isn’t anything you can do as part of On-Page SEO, other than the traditional ways, which again are tough for beginners. This eliminates the hope of reaching the masses. This leaves you with two options, either upgrade your plan on wordpress.com (to the business plan at least, to reap some customization benefits) or move your blog to self-hosted WordPress, which is again tough for beginners.
Some of you might ask…
I think otherwise.
If your web pages aren’t optimized right, even the best keyword research won’t be fruitful.
Therefore, if you are serious about your blogging and have ideas to makes money online, I’d encourage you to either upgrade your plan at least to ‘business’ or migrate to self-hosted, which will be cheaper but requires a lot of work and you’ll need to manage everything. Including security, updates, management, administration, etc.
The cherry on the cake is that a free WordPress blog allows little to no customizations. Utmost you can customize is the basic look & feel of your blog, that’s it. No custom code, page structure, or features that you can add. Because you cannot alter the page structure of your blog, you are forced to rely on the pre-defined themes available, which is not cool. Furthermore, just to add custom design upgrade costs around $36/year.
Another thing I find a bit too much is the Terms of Service. Here’s a gist of strict TOS from the official TOS page.
“By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing, and promoting your blog. If you delete Content, Automattic will use reasonable efforts to remove it from the Website, but you acknowledge that caching or references to the Content may not be made immediately unavailable.”
Control and Flexibility Options with WordPress
WordPress is open source software, so you can easily extend it to add new features. You can add almost any feature imaginable to your WordPress blog with plugins and third-party integrations.
There are thousands of free and premium WordPress plugins that allow you to hugely modify and extend the default features.
For example, using plugins, you could:
- Add an online store to your website
- Create a portfolio
- Make a popup to capture visitors’ email addresses
- Add social sharing buttons
… and much more.
If you visit the plugins page on WordPress.org, you’ll find over 56,000+ free plugins there.
If you have coding skills, you can even create your own custom plugins and use them on your blog.
So how do WordPress vs Blogger compare for flexibility and customization options? WordPress is hands down the best long-term solution for any serious blogger who wants to grow their site or build an online business.
No Plugins for Free WordPress Blog
One of the best parts of using WordPress is its plugin directory. WordPress has well over 54 thousand plugins, so many that there are plugins for almost everything you need. If you don’t find the plugin that does something you want to do, you can always create a custom plugin.
I know so many people who migrate to self-hosted WordPress just to enjoy the benefits of plugins, both custom & from the directory. Plugins aren’t available on WordPress.com unless you upgrade to the Business plan, which costs around $12 a month.
The same thing applies to themes too. You get to choose from a set of basic WordPress themes, which has very little customization that’s actually meaningful. Custom themes are available only for business plans. Furthermore, theme customization is very expensive. I’m not sure of the exact reason, but theme developers have paid customizable features that are excruciatingly over-priced.
WordPress has thousands of themes available. Generally, these themes are very reliable when it comes to being responsive. With an increasing amount of internet surfing done on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly site with consistency across all devices is very important to the UX; WordPress does a good job with this. Get some guidance in selecting your theme with “How to choose the best WordPress theme for your needs.”
Free WordPress Blog Can be Suspended Anytime
WordPress.com is very strict when it comes to protecting its services from abuse. The company suspends blogs that perform prohibited activities on the platform. Visitors can also report a blog for any offensive content, which means there’s always a threat of losing your work.
Someone might report your blog to harm your reputation, even when you didn’t have any offensive content. Once a blog is suspended, the owner has little to no time to take the backup of their blogs. In worse cases, the company wouldn’t even inform the owner about the ban & simply block the domain (& its content) from being accessible by anyone.
Once the domain is blocked, it is no more accessible by anyone & is blocked forever.
No Development Possible
Sure, you must’ve heard me saying that WordPress is the best CMS in the world & is known for the customization it provides. But this doesn’t hold true for a free WordPress blogs, at least not until you upgrade to a business plan.
If you are someone with a plan of having a lot of customizations with custom plugins and tools, the free WordPress blog is not for you. You should either upgrade to choose self-hosted WordPress.
WordPress.com is for those who are either lazy to customize the blog as per their needs or for those who don’t know how to do it. Either way, it’s expensive to have a fully customizable blog on wordpress.com. I’ll discuss the reason in the subsequent section.
But for now, if you are looking for adding custom tools and develop something of your own, this platform isn’t for you. At least not until you upgrade to a paid plan, which brings customizations, custom domain, plugins, themes & more.
“WordPress is an open source software and any one can use, study, change and redistribute its source code” (WPBeginner). Many of the themes and plugins are free under the GPLv2 license and being an open-source software, WordPress programmers are able to openly share code online. The sharing of code can result in the ability to save a lot of developing time and costs by using an existing code.
Using an open source platform is also valuable when you’re working with a 3rd party partner or agency to develop your WordPress website. You won’t be stuck working with a proprietary software that only a small group of developers can work on. There are a number of different WordPress developers out there that have the ability to support your website if you ever need to change partners.
Your content is their key to business, so they must keep it safe. Here’s how they describe the backup feature.
“If a very large meteor were to hit all the WordPress.com servers and destroy them beyond repair, all of your data would still be safe and we could have your blog online within a couple of days (after the meteor situation died down, of course)”
Irrespective of the plan you choose, your blog content is automatically backed up. You don’t have to worry about losing it unless you delete it accidentally. Even if you delete it, you can still find it in the trash.
WordPress is the most popular site in the world to create your blog. This blog gives you a pros and cons of using WordPress to blog.