As a new blogger, one of the hardest things on your new journey is choosing your blogging platform. Most platforms do require some form of monetary investment, as well as a significant investment of your time. Choosing the wrong platform to start your new blog on can have some serious implications now, and down the road.
The immediate issue is cost. Creating a successful blog is not easy, and takes time and effort. If you’re not 100% sure blogging is for you, or that you can be successful at it, then spending money up front to be able to blog may not be a wise choice.
In the long term, if you do become successful, your current blogging platform may become too restrictive and limiting your ability to scale your blog and success. Moving to a scalable platform could be problematic if you’ve started out on a platform that may have been easy to use, but limits your ability to scale or migrate. Most successful bloggers are on, or have moved to self-hosted WordPress, probably one of the most flexible, scalable, and capable blogging platforms available. However, there is a cost and steep learning curve associated with a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Because of this I recommend WordPress.com as one of the best blogging platforms for a brand new blogger to start on. If you’re unsure about the differences between self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com, here’s a couple of good links that might help, here, and here. So, here are my Top 20 reasons for starting your blogging career on WordPress.com.
1. WordPress.com is FREE to start.
Yes, WordPress.com has a free blogging platform where you can start blogging. Signing up takes less than 5 minutes, and it’s a great way to learn WordPress and blogging without even opening opening your wallet. You don’t even need to give your credit card details.
2. Easy Upgrades and Downgrades
WordPress.com has several plans you can choose from. This makes it easy to expand your blog as your blog grows and becomes more successful. Upgrading is easy, and downgrades are just as easy. Plus, WordPress.com’s live chat support is there to help you through any issues.
3. Free Domain Name Registration
When you sign up for one of WordPress.com’s plans, you get a free domain name registration with the plan. This includes a variety of different tld’s (the domain extension, like .com, .org, .blog, etc) as shown here. Domain renewals are now no longer included in plan renewals, but the prices have recently been reduced for domain renewals as a result and comparable to many other registrars and hosts. Plus, domain privacy is also included with all domains. This way your personal information is kept private if someone does a whois search on your domain name.
4. Free Unlimited Domain Mappings
With WordPress.com you can use a domain you registered with another domain registrar on all the paid plans from Personal and above. There’s no need to transfer it to WordPress.com, and you can map as many domains as you want, for free.
5. Easily Move to Self-Hosted WordPress
If you’ve decided to move your blog to self-hosted WordPress, then migrating your blog from WordPress.com is one of the easiest platforms to migrate from. This is because WordPress.com’s underlying software IS WordPress, so it’s 100% compatible with Self-hosted WordPress.
6. WordPress.com’s Refund Policy
If you do decide to go with a paid plan, you’ve got 30 days to try it out and decide if the plan is right for you. If after 30 days, you’re not happy, WordPress.com will give you a full refund. From experience, even if you go over the 30 days by a short bit, ask nicely and 9 times out of 10 you’ll still get the refund 😉
The policy on domain name refunds are not as long, its 2 days, but that’s still 2 days more than virtually every other domain registrar out there. Remember, domain names can’t be changed after they’re registered, so when WordPress.com gives you a domain name refund, they’re actually eating the cost on that domain. This comes in really handy if you’ve accidentally mis-spelled your domain name at registration.
7. Live Chat Support
On all plans from Personal and up, you get access to Live Chat Support. This is in addition to email support which may be required in the odd occasion the Happiness Engineers in Live Chat are all tapped out.
The Personal and Premium plans get Live Chat support 24 hours per day during weekdays, and Business plan and up users get 24/7 Live Chat support.
Plus, unlike other hosting companies, WordPress.com support extends to the usability of WordPress and all the things a new blogger new to WordPress and blogging might need, even some minor styling customizations through CSS customization.
8. Almost 300 Themes to Choose From
On the Premium and up plans, you get access to close to 300 premium themes to choose from. Whether you’re building a food, fashion, photography, travel, news, lifestyle, personal, technology, gaming, how-to, diy, gardening, nature, outdoor, or whatever blog, there’s a theme for you. Even if you’re not building a blog, but a static website for your company or start-up, there’s many business oriented themes to choose from.
9. Extensive Help Documentation
WordPress.com’s support documentation is likely the most extensive help documentation of any blogging platform. All guides provide full step by step instructions and screen shots to help you achieve just about any thing you’re trying to do with your site or blog.
Plus, the documentation is updated and added to almost daily, with hundreds of Happiness Engineers providing updates as features are changed or added.
10. Built in Jetpack Features
If you don’t know what Jetpack is, it’s a plugin for Self-hosted WordPress sites filled with features that does the work of 20+ other plugins, depending on the plan you choose.
On WordPress.com, Jetpack is built in to all plans, so it’s features are already available to users without having to upgrade or move to a self-hosted WordPress.
11. No Hassle Backups and Security
There’s no need to bother with backups and site security when you’re hosted with WordPress.com. All sites are automatically backed-up on a regular basis, and security threats to your site are managed by WordPress.com. On a self-hosted WordPress site, this is something you need to manage yourself, and if something does go wrong and your site gets attacked or brought down by a hacker, you’re on your own. That’s one less hassle to worry about with WordPress.com.
12. Jetpack Rewind
On the Business and higher plans, the Jetpack Rewind feature is enabled. Jetpack Rewind takes a backup of your site at certain intervals, and allows you to “rewind” your site back to a previous save point. This is helpful if you’ve made changes to your site layout, or added a plugin that messed things up, as it allows you to easily restore your site within minutes.
13. Install 3rd Party Themes and Plugins
In 2017 WordPress.com introduced the ability to install plugins and 3rd party themes on their Business and higher plans. There’s still a misconception in the blogging community this isn’t the case, and WordPress.com has been trying to change that perception ever since.
The reality is, the Business plan on WordPress.com is no different than any other self-hosted WordPress site, except with the added features, benefits, and support that no other web host can offer.
On the Premium and above plans, WordPress.com’s VideoPress feature is available. You can upload videos to your media library so you can host your own videos right within WordPress. There’s no need to upload your videos to another service and embed them, giving you more control over how you show your videos on your site.
Serving videos on a regular host will quickly using up your band width and get you shut down. So this is a great and unique feature from WordPress.com.
15. No Hassle Network Settings
WordPress.com makes it easy to get your site up and running, whether you register your domain with them or map an existing domain you own. A WordPress.com registered domain requires no additional network settings to get the domain working with your site. Mapped domains are just as easy to setup, with detailed guides on how to set your name servers, plus access to email and live chat support to help you in case you get stuck.
16. WordPress.com Reader Helps Build Traffic and Followers
The built-in WordPress.com reader is a feed of relevant posts and content where other WordPress.com users can search for and read articles they interested in, and follow those blogs if they choose.
Your posts get published into the feed, giving you instant access to an audience of millions, long before the process of getting indexed on search engines and getting organic traffic even begins. It’s a great way to quickly build followers, and see what works and what doesn’t with your content.
17. Easy Sharing and Integration with Social Platforms
WordPress.com has built in features which allow you to easily share your content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and several others.
You can have your new posts automatically publish to your social account feeds or timelines, and easily add sharing buttons on your posts and pages. No plugins to install or setup, it’s all built in.
18. E-commerce on WordPress.com
Depending on the plan you’re on, you have several options for selling products and service on your WordPress.com blog or website. PayPal is allowed on all plans, and beginning with the Premium plan and higher, you can use the Simple Payments button to make integrating PayPal much easier and with a cleaner interface.
On the Business plan, you can set up a regular e-commerce store with all the features such as accepting credit cards, shipping rules, taxes, etc. This is best done with the WooCommerce plugin as there are hundreds of available extensions to add functionality to your store. The best part is, WooCommerce is developed by Automattic, the same folks that own and run WordPress.com, so with the same live chat support you’ll get full support with setting up or troubleshooting your e-commerce store.
19. WordAds Program
WordPress.com has their own ads program for monetizing your blog with display advertising, called WordAds. Many bloggers get into blogging with the hope of generating extra income from their blogging efforts. The most popular display ads program, Google’s AdSense, is difficult to get approved for, and many bloggers report frustration with repeated denials to join the program.
The WordAds program is much easier to join for WordPress.com sites, with automatic integration into your site, easy settings, and no hassle payouts to your PayPal account. In addition, you access support for the WordAds program through the same email and live chat channels from your WordPress.com account.
Further, if you do end up migrating to self-hosted WordPress, you have the option of staying in the program by connecting Jetpack to your WordPress.com account and signing up for Jetpack’s premium plan.
20. Unlimited Storage
Yep, that’s right, unlimited storage. On WordPress.com’s Business and higher plans, you get unlimited storage for media content, including images, audio, and video. Very few WordPress hosting companies offer unlimited storage for this price point.
If you’re new to blogging, or considering giving blogging a try, WordPress.com is, in my opinion, the best platform to get started on. Success at blogging is all about content, and WordPress is optimized exactly for this. Don’t get fooled by easy to use platforms with drag and drop page building. They may seem great in the beginning, but they’re not scalable or flexible (proprietary tools), and will cause you problems in the long run as your blog grows.
In addition, even if you’re a seasoned blogging pro, the extra features offered in the Premium and Business plans let you focus on blogging, not on security, backups, network settings, and other issues you need to consider when you’re on self-hosted WordPress.