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WordPress.com website builder review

Get your own WordPress blog, free for life

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(Image: © WordPress)

Our Verdict

WordPress.com is perfect for building a free personal blog, but the paid plans are too expensive for what you get.

For

  • Hundreds of design options
  • Supports multiple websites
  • Ecommerce ability
  • Free option

Against

  • Coding knowledge is helpful
  • Plugins are expensive

WordPress is often regarded as the easiest and best website builder if you’re looking to build something that you won’t outgrow in the long run. You can even start a website on WordPress for free. Most web hosting accounts now include a '1-click installer' which will set up WordPress for you in seconds. All you have to do is sit back and watch. 

Learning how to use WordPress is more difficult than some website builders. It's a very powerful web host that takes a little more time to learn, with a vast number of add-ons and extensions. Although a web host might have a few WordPress-related articles on its support site, don't expect any significant help. Run into real difficulties, and you'll be on your own. The unlimited free plan makes it easy to try the service out. Your site will have WordPress.com ads, 3GB of storage space, and access to many themes and design options. The free plan is adequate for personal blogs, simple family sites, or just building up your WordPress skills.

Here's a snapshot of plans and prices 

Here's a snapshot of plans and prices  (Image credit: WordPress)

Plans and pricing 

If you’re looking for something with a few more features, you can upgrade to one of the paid hosting plans. WordPress website builder has four main options. However, there’s tons of add-ons you can buy to add more tools and flexibility. Here’s a brief summary of each plan available: 

The Personal plan costs $4.00 per month when you purchase the yearly subscription. It includes up to 6GB of storage space, your own custom domain, no more WordPress advertisements, and an SSL Certificate. It also includes your own email address. This plan works great for anyone who wants to build a more customized site that’s professional and easy to manage. 

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The Premium plan is $8.00 per month when you commit annually. It includes 13GB of storage space, access to unlimited premium website themes, and advanced design tools. If you really want to take your website to the next level and have access to social media support tools, then this plan is a great place to start. 

The Business plan costs $25.00 per month after you sign up for the yearly subscription. This plan comes with a lot more storage space (up to 200GB) and includes 24/7 priority level support. For small businesses that want more help with SEO, this plan has more tools available. At this level you can add themes, plugins, and a backup feature to save previous versions of your website. 

The eCommerce plan is designed for small or large online stores. It costs $45.00 per month when you sign up for the yearly plan. The biggest difference between this plan and the Business plan is the ecommerce features. Your website will be able to accept payments from over 60 different countries. Not too bad for an online store. 

The themes and interface are easy to navigate 

The themes and interface are easy to navigate  (Image credit: WordPress)

Interface

Navigating WordPress is easy to learn. If you've ever used WordPress before, you'll recognize the interface as a simplified version of the regular dashboard, with a left-hand sidebar giving you access to site settings, page and media management tools, a preview option and more.

If you're a newcomer, all you have to do for the moment is focus on the body of the page, where a WordPress 'setup list' highlights the steps you still need to complete (give your site a name, update your homepage, confirm your email address, launch your site, get the WordPress app). For those who are experienced with computers, this setup should only take a few minutes. 

There's many different plugins and add-ons available

There's many different plugins and add-ons available (Image credit: WordPress)

Features

When you follow the checklist and ‘update your homepage’, you’ll find yourself in front of the WordPress editor. It's similar to working with a word processor rather than a website editor. Just highlight the sample text and start typing to replace it (no need to click on an edit button for instance).

There's media support for images, documents, audio and video files. Images can be added from your computer, your Google account, via a URL, or by searching the excellent Pixels library of free stock images. Audio and video files can be linked from elsewhere, or hosted locally if you buy a commercial WordPress account.

WordPress.com also offers a free version of its website builder

WordPress.com also offers a free version of its website builder (Image credit: WordPress)

The competition

GoDaddy, Squarespace, HostGator, and Wix are all competitors to WordPress website builder. What makes WordPress stand out (besides its popularity) is the free option, design editor, and lasting credibility. Whereas many other website builders don’t come with a free plan, you can host your site without sharing any credit card information on WordPress for as long as you like. There’s also an SSL Certificate included so your website is safe to visit and users can rest assured knowing it’s a secured site.  

Final thoughts

WordPress offers a great website builder that’s trustworthy with a free plan is great for simple websites. You can easily install WordPress on a regular hosting account and access more features for a lower price. With so many plugins and add-on options, you’ll be able to truly customize your website to best reach your audience. You can always upgrade to a larger plan if you see that your site is growing and needs additional SEO tools.  

You might also want to check out our other web hosting buying guides: