It is understandable when anyone doesn’t have sufficient information about a new venture they desire to get into; the same applies to people who are interested in owning a website, and building it from scratch.
In the same manner that life is unpredictable, so are certain issues and unforeseen circumstances that arise when operating and using a website. This usually happens regardless of experience or inexperience, even though it is not rampant everywhere, especially on WordPress.com—and probably a few other platforms.
Also, it is understandable that some users of WordPress.com still haven’t come across interesting information and stats about their platform which has brought a sense of fulfillment to about 33% of internet users.
The major reason why WordPress.com is the best platform on which to own a website is because of the obvious level of security it offers in shielding its users’ websites away from security breaches that are known to have decimated many self-hosted WordPress.org websites, especially the ones that don’t have adequate web security tech.
In terms of security and some other important features, WordPress.com has lived up to the billing! On the other hand, some people are of the opinion that WordPress.org’s self-hosted platform is better than WordPress.com’s hosted platform because of the higher degree of “freedom” that WordPress.org provides.
It has to be clarified now—as much as it will be a little bit later in this article—that the self-hosting WordPress.org platform has a history of vulnerabilities, security and connection issues which have left scars on experienced and inexperienced people who operate websites on the internet world and general blogosphere.
The scars only serve as a reminder that not all that glitters is gold, and that certain degrees of freedom usually come with a price; a price you won’t have to pay for if you host your website on WordPress.com.
Self-hosting, which is the domain of WordPress software (WordPress.org), has left scars that new initiates of the web and internet publishing world have to take heed of; not so as to shun WordPress.org completely, but rather, so as to try security-tight WordPress.com—a web/blogging platform owned and hosted on the internet by Automattic.
Before we move ahead, let’s take a brief look at some interesting facts and stats that may give insight why WordPress.com is popular with most internet users
- On WordPress.com, over 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages each month. This means that any web/blog owner has a large community that can increasingly subscribe to their blog if they consistently publish quality posts and interact on other members’ web/blog posts.
- WordPress.com’s registered users span across a variety of customers ranging from new bloggers and entrepreneurs, to major brands such as TIME, Spotify, TechCrunch to TED, CNN, and the National Football League.
- As of February 2017, over 77 million new posts and 42.7 million new comments were published monthly on WordPress.com.
- Although WordPress.com does not endorse any content, or inform people that content is accurate, useful, or non-harmful, it still doesn’t advise that content be offensive, indecent, or objectionable.
- WordPress.com is not responsible for any use or effects created by the content that people publish.
In case you are looking for a platform to own a website or blog, look no further; sign up with WordPress.com now by clicking on the menu of the page that opens. Or, read a bit further through the article, and you will be happy to have come across very important reasons why WordPress.com is the best platform for you to own a website and build on.
Very good reasons will soon convince you why a greater amount of money and concern is always needed before one can self-host a website on WordPress.org, acquire the type of high quality security necessary to operate a website with little or no issue(s), and still feel comfortable.
WordPress.com is the best hosting platform that can certainly stand up to security and connections issues, and still allow you to comfortably publish, and run your website as much as you possibly can.
Some/many people argue that WordPress.org (self-hosted) is better than WordPress.com; they might be right when referring to certain aspects like “freedom”—but not every other aspect; for example: when it comes to the degree to which certain platforms make site owners relaxed and comfortable in their journey of self-education and self-development in web/online publishing, WordPress.com is a notch higher.
It’s true that certain people are satisfied with WordPress.org—but probably have gotten that satisfaction at a comparably higher price. Even at that, stats still point to cases which have proven that the greater population have been on the receiving end when it comes to vulnerability, security or connection issues related to self-hosting (WordPress.org’s) platform.
At the other end of the web/blogging world, you have WordPress.com which has technology and staff that can handle technical aspects of web publishing along with the type of security issues that have demoralized and ended the careers of promising self-hosted bloggers and web owners.
My own bit of experience
When I first got this website in 2016, I was actually interested in WordPress.org as a self-hosting platform, but after using WordPress.com for 3 years and gaining a greater sense of fulfilment and peace in terms of security, and experiencing no loss or negative impact of vulnerabilities, I’ve forever made up my mind to remain on WordPress.com and go nowhere else.
In my humble opinion (which is based on experience and acquired information) although WordPress.org might have a higher degree of freedom and other privileges, there is still no better platform than WordPress.com!
This article will briefly state some past mishaps that could discourage a beginner or inexperienced blogger/web owner from using WordPress.org’s self-hosting platform.
Although not all that glitters is gold, WordPress.com glitters enough to be considered as gold, especially when it comes to providing opportunities for self-education and self-improvement without facing serious threat from security risks.
It is possible that after using WordPress.com for a while and gaining sufficient experience—if the need arises—owners of websites on WordPress.com can still migrate to self-hosted WordPress.org.
But as you may come to understand, it won’t be necessary to migrate, especially when self-hosting has had a history of vulnerability, security and connection issues that could leave an inspired but inexperienced website owner in a permanent state of anxiety.
Types of hosting: comparison between WordPress.com (hosted websites) and WordPress.org (self-hosted websites)
Like it always happens online, many people come to the internet not knowing that they can either acquire/operate a hosted website (which is what WordPress.com offers) or a self-hosted website (which is what WordPress.org offers).
So generally, there are two main options for people who desire to have a website or blog on the internet: to acquire either a hosted website, or a self-hosted website:
(i) Hosted website
Having a hosted website is like lodging in someone else’s house and being subjected to rules and boundaries, but still given the utmost amount of necessary insurance and security. You are not liable for security; neither do you have to bother about it. The actual house owner (examples: WordPress.com, Blogger, Weebly, etc.) is the one who takes care of maintenance and security.
When it comes to having a hosted website, WordPress.com is like a landlord on which people host their websites, and where you can get one now if you sign up here by clicking on the menu of the page that opens.
On WordPress.com you can publish content without bothering about stuff like general security, SSL certifications, WordPress software upgrades, and other technical configurations that require an appreciable quantity of experience or knowledge.
(ii) Self-hosted website
Having a self-hosted website is like living in your own house and laying down your own rules, but still having to be concerned about the type of security you employ to take care of potential attacks. In many instances, you will have to pay an appreciable amount of money for many important services, regardless of your level of your experience. Still yet, certain levels of security are not guaranteed.
You are liable for maintenance and security, and have to source for both; these are important things you must focus on as a sole owner of a website on the self-hosted WordPress.org platform.
One of the most important advantages of using WordPress.com is the fact that it gives a luxurious amount of space for you to own and run a website, and still educate yourself without being exposed to too much security risks associated with technical errors or inexperience.
On a general note, WordPress.com (Automattic) is a service that hosts millions of WordPress.com blogs on a shared server; while WordPress.org is a community where people host their respective websites/blogs with the open source WordPress software which is usually being downloaded and run through each person’s individual web server.
So, generally, this post is for three kinds of people: first and foremost, those who are interested in creating and building a website, but only have little or no knowledge about where and how to start a website and build it; second, it is meant to educate or remind WordPress.com bloggers/website owners about the privileges they enjoy in terms of the security their WordPress.com platform provides; third, it is meant to inform those spammers—who have been trying to spam my website but will never succeed—that WordPress.com’s technology and staff will always prevent my website from experiencing security and connection issues!
Some other important topics that will be briefly discussed
In case you are new to the internet or blogging world and need a website, your journey will be smoother if you to sign up and use WordPress.com by clicking on the menu of the page that opens. In addition to the general WordPress (WordPress.org) security and connection issues we will soon list, we will also look at the following:
- WordPress.com plans and pricing.
- WordPress.com support.
- WordPress.com mobile applications.
- Important points that have to be remembered.
- Big questions that need answers: what would you like to publish on a website? What type of website would you like to have?
- Conclusion/advice for people interested in owning/operating a website or blog.
A few WordPress.org security and connection issues which WordPress.com can give your website adequate protection against
Because of the following past issues associated with self-hosting on WordPress.org platform—and which are still issues to be concerned about today—WordPress.com is the best platform that can handle the vast range of vulnerabilities, remove stress and make it comfortable enough to publish content and concentrate on other important areas of your life:
- In May 2007, a study revealed that 98% of WordPress blogs were exploitable because they were running out-dated and un-supported versions of the open source WordPress software.
- In June 2013, it was found that some of the 50 most downloaded WordPress plugins were vulnerable to common Web attacks such as SQL injection and XSS. A separate inspection of the top-10 e-Commerce plugins showed that seven of them were vulnerable.
- In March 2015, it was reported by many security experts and SEOs, including Search Engine Land, that an WordPress SEO plugin for called Yoast—which is used by millions of people worldwide—has a vulnerability which can enable hackers do a Blind SQL injection. To fix that issue, WordPress.org immediately introduced a newer version 1.7.4 of the same plugin to avoid any disturbance on the internet because of the security lapse that the plugin possessed.
- In January 2017, security auditors at Sucuri identified a vulnerability in the WordPress REST API that would allow any unauthenticated user to modify any post or page within a site running WordPress 4.7 or greater. The auditors quietly notified WordPress developers, and within six days WordPress released a high priority patch to version 4.7.2 which addressed the problem.
Although these incidences and many others happened in the past, they are worth considering and evaluating before choosing either WordPress.com or WordPress.org. Usually, WordPress.com handles all security concerns for users, while users in turn just focus on publishing fresh content and building their websites.
WordPress.com plans & pricing
With no money and experience, but only a computer or mobile phone and strong internet connection, you can sign up with WordPress.com and get your website running the same day, while still being assured of security and web stability.
Regardless of the size of any budget you have—even if it is $0.00—WordPress.com has a plan right for you; it doesn’t require you to pay an extra penny; in addition, there is community support and much more.
However, you may later upgrade from the free plan to a higher one that has advanced customization, more themes, additional storage space, and business or money-making features/tools that optimize websites and blogs for growth.
Generally, you can build a blog, a full website, or a combination of both. You may write about your life, portfolio of professional work, or build a big business site—it all depends on you. In addition, you can upload images, photo galleries, audio, video and text documents, etc.
One exceptional ability the WordPress.com hosting and publishing platform has is that it saves people’s work every few seconds; so it’s not possible for even a single word to get missing. You can sign up with WordPress.com immediately, and start publishing content within minutes if you resister via the menu of the page that opens.
If you need more features, you can choose from one of four other affordable plans to upgrade to. Each plan will give you a custom domain name, more space for your files, and support.
Some plans have advanced design customization, monetization tools, and the ability to upload secure and WordPress.com-tested WordPress plugins or themes. The affordable plans that come with more features and opportunities for earning cash include:
- Personal: Best for personal use —billed yearly at $5 per month.
- Premium: Best for freelancers—billed yearly at $8 per month.
- Business: Best for small businesses—billed yearly at $25 per month.
- eCommerce: Best for online stores—billed yearly at $45 per month.
An added advantage of using WordPress.com is that it has promos which can help reduce the price of each plan. After 2½ years of using the free plan and experiencing no security and connection issues, I decided to upgrade from free plan to the premium plan, and paid $76.8 instead of $96; this was as a result of a promo that offered 20% discount on the price at the time.
The WordPress.com contact, and Happiness Engineers are always available online, and respond quickly to messages from WordPress.com users. They are very interactive and answer questions, issues or concerns regarding users’ websites or blogs. You may contact them here.
Also, WordPress.com has a forum where older and more experienced bloggers interact and give answers to questions asked or observations made by bloggers or new website owners. The forum can be accessed here.
WordPress.com mobile applications
Automattic has applications for WebOS, Android, iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. The applications have features/options which enable users to create new blog posts, new pages, comment, moderate and reply to comments, and view their site statistics.
All mobile and desktop apps can be updated and downloaded from the internet. Generally, there are mobile and desktop applications available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.
Important points that have to be remembered
- Self-hosting your website on WordPress.org can expose you to untold and unforeseen security risks which WordPress.com usually sees from afar, and addresses within a short period of time.
- Although there are security risks in anything people do on the internet, self-hosting a website on your own server/network could expose you to even more risks, especially if you lack knowledge and experience.
- Self-hosting of both big and small websites are subject to “denial of service attacks” and “scripting attacks”, sometimes at mind-blowing volume.
- When self-hosting in any part of the world that usually experiences unsteady power supply or regular power outage, it might be difficult to gain control over any situation that occurs after power is interrupted. How long will the power be out? Minutes? Hours? Days? You might not know.
- When self-hosting, even if you guard your website on a server using a cage, you can still run into random events such as internet service outage, or leakage due to poor plumbing. If your bandwidth is exceeding an assigned amount, your ISP might shut down your connection. Many things can go entirely out of control.
- If you put the mental and technical costs of self-hosting a website into consideration, and consider the vulnerabilities that anybody can be exposed to, it would be better to take a less dangerous route: sign up with WordPress.com by clicking on the menu of the page that opens.
- Even if your business is a small one, the cost of applying self-hosting services (which use professional data centers to house servers) could be overwhelming.
Big questions that need answers
If you are interested in owning and operating a website, then you have to consider technical and safety issues, and ask yourself which platform is in a better position to cheaply, safely and effectively deliver your website content to visitors, and keep your heart at rest.
Another thing to note is that, apart from security concerns, you must ask yourself the following important questions before you choose a self-hosted platform, or sign up with WordPress.com by clicking on the menu of the page that opens.
(i) What would you like to use a website for?
Websites can be used for many purposes. The following, which can give only a few ideas, are just a scratch on the surface:
- Interacting with the world: the internet is used by billions of people every day. This presents a great opportunity to interact with a large reader base that can end up patronizing you/your website for an indefinite period of time, especially if you deliver high quality content and services. According to many reports, WordPress.com has over 56 million registered users/blogs/website owners; this large number of users can provide you with endless opportunities if you put in appreciable amount of effort to grow your website/blog.
- Making money: your website or blog or can become an income-generating asset if you are smart, and work hard. WordPress.com’s plans have opportunities for making money from its Wordads, and affiliate marketing programs. WordPress.com’s affiliate program is one of the fastest ways to make money from your website or blog, especially if you know what you are doing.
- Applying for freelance writing jobs on job boards such as problogger.com, indeed.com, upwork,com, guru.com, and many others. It has to be noted that only freelance job applications related to the content of your website/blog will likely receive responses from potential clients. Most clients usually request for links to posts/articles that resonate with what they are interested in. It is not advisable to apply for jobs that are not related to your niche, or the content published on your website.
(ii) What type of website would you like to have?
There are many types of websites that people use for many purposes; the following are just a few:
- Business: Agriculture, Funeral Homes, Design, Wholesale, Travel.
- Culture: Advice, People, Fashion, Museums, Religion.
- Education: K-12, Higher Education, Journals/Research, Classroom Webpages, Individual Student Webpages.
- Personal: Hobbies, Interests, Family, Fan Pages, Pets.
- Employment: Careers, Job Searches, Work Place Issues, Unions, Organizations.
- Health: Nursing, Fitness, Disease, Pharmacy, First Aid.
- Entertainment: Movies, Music, Games, Humor, Radio.
- Government: Elections, Student Government, Law, Civic Participation, Military.
Conclusion/advice for people interested in owning/operating a website or blog
- Regardless of your experience or level of knowledge, worries over security and connection issues often associated with self-hosting on WordPress.org will be a thing of the past if you sign up with WordPress.com by clicking on the menu of the page that opens.
- WordPress.com provides direct access to support and features that can be easily used to publish content on the World Wide Web (the Internet).
- WordPress.com can help you achieve your dream of reaching out to the world without worrying about problems often associated with security and connection issues. Your major work will be to keep your website alive by consistently publishing quality content—even if you don’t have sufficient knowledge and money to subscribe to awesome features.
- At this point, it is important to state that it might be a waste of time to either sign up WordPress.com, or opt for self-hosting on WordPress.org open source software if you don’t have a concrete and long-term plan on ground for running a website.
- It is not advisable to venture into something that won’t have a firm foundation after a short period of time! Anybody who is really serious about owning a website, needs to have a minimum amount of determination in order to get their site established.
- Keep your website or blog fresh. Don’t post one or two articles, and call it a day, or call it forever! Think about your blog as your job—either part time or full time; you have to devote time to it if you want to see increasing number of followers, subscribers, and even huge pay checks rolling into your pocket.
- The more you publish, the more your website will develop a firm foundation in your niche (subject of expertise), and the more people will follow it.