WordPress is a powerful content management system (CMS) for website owners who are looking for a platform to build and scale their website as it goes through each critical stage of growth. WordPress is open source code, meaning you can download it and host it on your web hosting environment. However, WordPress offers official WordPress hosting through WordPress.com, which is considered a premium hosting solution for the WordPress platform. When you purchase a WordPress hosting plan through WordPress.com, they use a custom multi-site setup that allows them to provision WordPress sites for their users automatically and with minimal work required on your behalf.

There are some advantages when using WordPress.com hosting or even another platform that sells their hosting. But you need to be able to understand the specifications of your web hosting you are buying and what the pro’s and cons are of that particular host.

Advantages of using WordPress.com Official Hosting

  • No technical knowledge is needed to install WordPress.
  • Range of plugins in the library available for an easy install.
  • A huge range of themes available to be installed onto your WordPress site.
  • Premium hosting resources – Your website is managed by the team behind WordPress so your web hosting performance will be top-notched.
  • Reasonable cost for small businesses or FREE to get started with the WordPress free plan.
  • A secure network with security always in mind.

Disadvantages of using WordPress.com Official Hosting

  • Can work out to be much more expensive for web hosting in the long run
  • You will have issues installing the plugins and themes you may specifically want because they breach the security of the network for other users who are hosting their WordPress website with WordPress.com.
  • You don’t have root-level access to your WordPress installation.
  • You will have issues migrating your website and plugin data to a self-hosted WordPress installation in the future if your website needs change.
  • You are paying a premium for your hosting. Yes, the web hosting experience may be superior to many shared hosts. However, performance would not benefit you unless you’re a really big website.

Advantages of self-hosting WordPress

  • Full access over the WordPress code. You can modify it for your own purpose in any way you wish that doesn’t breach WordPress terms and conditions of use.
  • You can host WordPress with your web hosting provider of choice.
  • Install your own plugins and themes from third-party providers and from the repository. You won’t be restricted by WordPress in any shape or form.
  • Much lower running costs are available from shared web hosting providers.

Disadvantages of self-hosting WordPress

  • Unless protected by specialised settings and plugins, your website could be at risk from exploits.
  • WordPress will need to be updated along with all of your plugins and themes that you use on your site to ensure that your website remains secure.
  • WordPress websites on low end-hosts can be slow, especially if there are a lot of websites being hosted on that same physical provider on that server.

How to choose between WordPress official hosting and self-hosted

If you’re still stuck in choosing if you should go with WordPress as a hosted solution by WordPress or if you should follow these guide rules to help decide which approach in hosting your WordPress website is right for you.

The bottom line: If you have the ability to watch tutorials on YouTube, follow instructions, and use Google then you would be able to learn the basics to run WordPress on your own privately hosted environment. However, that being said, some people who are less tech-savvy will struggle to grasp the concepts of web hosting and installing WordPress that they will be much better off hiring someone else or using a hosted solution.

When you should use WordPress.com hosting

  • You are not confident with using any sort of web hosting control panel
  • You are getting started with WordPress but not sure if the platform is right for you
  • You aren’t on a strict budget for your website
  • You are happy to pay for peace of mind even if it comes at a cost