08 Jul Airo AV Convey: WordPress.com – Review 2020 – PCMag India
WordPress.com offers numerous website building, hosting, and blogging options at a reasonable price—it even has a free tier. Though it started life as a pure blogging play, and still includes blog community features, WordPress.com now handles most website building needs, including commerce, social integrations, and mobile presentation. The service lacks the drag-and-drop simplicity that many competing services offer, but it’s a solid, low-cost option for people who want to get online relatively quickly.
From the outset, it’s important to make clear that WordPress.com is not WordPress in the commonly understood sense. Rather, WordPress.com is a service from Automattic Inc. that uses code from WordPress.org, the popular and free, open-source blogging and site-building platform. WordPress.com hides the server code and handles hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup more than sites built using the open-source WordPress.org code, which requires you to sign up for a WordPress web hosting service. You can learn more about the WordPress.com and WordPress.org differences in our How to Get Started With WordPress primer.
Pricing and Competition
WordPress.com’s ad-supported free account level includes 3GB of storage, dozens of themes, and a preinstalled SSL certificate. The Personal plan costs just $4 per month with an annual commitment, and adds a custom domain name, a limited selection of themes, and 6GB storage. It also removes WordPress ads, but not all WordPress branding. Personal doesn’t offer any way to monetize your site, but does include SEO, spam protection, social sharing, site stats, and email and live chat customer support.
The $8-per-month Premium Plan ups the storage to 13GB, removes customization limits, and allows some monetization. The $25-per-month Business plan has unlimited storage space, SEO tools, and plug-in support, and it also removes all WordPress branding. It also boasts 24/7 priority customer support and the ability to have a WordPress.com technician schedule a one-on-one screen share to quickly get your site up and running. The $45-per-month eCommerce plan builds on the Business plan by adding payment acceptance, marketing tools, and other money-making tools.
As mentioned, using WordPress.org software is free, but you need to pay for web hosting if you opt for that less-turnkey option. Such services start at about $3 per month and range up to about $20, depending on the amount of storage, number of sites, and length of your contract. Among the pure site-builder plays, Squarespace starts at $16 per month, Wix at $13, and Duda at $14.25, but keep in mind that the last two have free account levels. So, the bottom line is that WordPress.com’s pricing is quite reasonable.
Start Building Your Site
When you select Add a New Site from the My Sites page, you have two choices: You can create a brand-new site or add a WordPress site that already uses Automatic’s JetPack plug-in, which powers much of the service’s functionality. We opted to start fresh with a new site.
The first step is to fill out a form asking your desired site name, topic, and goal. The last is a multiple choice among the following: typical blogging with media, business promotion, education, selling, and portfolio. Next, you choose a URL, which can be a free one with lots of numbers in the web address unless you pick a less-common character string.
Then you choose a plan; we started with Free to see what you get for nothing. After a short wait, the site was ready to view, even though we hadn’t picked a WordPress theme, or template. It looked pleasant enough, if a bit generic. The themes thankfully use responsive designs, so they look good on mobile devices and don’t offend search engines.
WordPress.com lets you easily post to the included blog from a clearly labeled Write button at top right. But in order to change the design, you must select Site Pages from the left panel and then choose the page to edit from a list, click its three-dot overflow menu, and choose Edit. (The other options there are View Page, Stats, and Copy.)
Web Design With WordPress.com
The WordPress.com editor is definitely more suitable for blogging than for general website creation. It feels outdated compared with modern web-based site builders, because it’s not at all WYSIWYG or drag-and-drop-based like Wix and other modern site builders. Instead, you add or remove content blocks for text, business hours, contact forms, carousels, comments, images (more on that in a bit) and other essential site items. Small arrows at the top of each block section lets you move a block up or down. It works, but we’d prefer drag-and-drop functionality.
WordPress.com offers a good selection of themes, some of which are premium and cost extra. Don’t think that the free themes are worthless; some rival Squarespace‘s slick visual style. When you click a theme entry, you get a preview showing tablet, phone, and desktop previews. Simply press the Activate Theme button to get started with the Customize options. Payment, multimedia, and other content widgets let you create a site that fits your vision.
When you add a page, there are no choices of page types, like those offered by Duda , for things like Contact, About, and Store. WordPress.com is GDPR-ready, with the help of a widget that pops up a cookie and privacy notification. By choosing Status from the Page Settings right-hand sidebar, you can password-protect any page. You can’t drag page entries up and down to change the navigation hierarchy here, but you can do exactly that on the Customizing > Menus page. Having these closely related functions in very separate parts of the interface doesn’t make much sense in today’s world of DIY site builders.
Working With Images
WordPress.com offers no real built-in photo editing software: You’re limited to cropping and rotating. By contrast, Duda, Squarespace, and Wix offer integrated photo editing courtesy of Adobe’s Aviary…