People get so offended when they hear “WordPress” and “.com” in the same sentence. When you mention these two things together, you inherently become the dumbest person on earth (to them). If you think i’m being dramatic just go ahead and say WordPress.com in a crowded room. I dare ya!
Here’s the thing, both WordPress.com and WordPress.org are open source platforms. To keep things simple, open source means that anyone can contribute to building it. Even that hacker that probably wants to steal your data. The truth about the internet is that no one thing will keep you 100% safe.
As I type this, there is a hacker somewhere trying to find new ways to do awful things. However, you heighten the chances of being hacked when you don’t practice safe “interneting” (interneting, is not a real word, but it sounds nice).
Please take the time to read the WordPress.com plans page, the FAQ at the bottom is pretty helpful.
To make things easy, I copied and pasted 2 interesting FAQ’s below:
Can I install my own theme?
We don’t currently allow custom themes to be uploaded to WordPress.com. We do this to keep your site secure but all themes in our theme directory have been reviewed by our team and represent the highest quality. The business plan even supports unlimited premium theme access.
Can I upload my own plugins?
While uploading your own plugins is not available on WordPress.com, we include the most popular plugin functionality within our sites automatically. The premium and business plans even include their own set of plugins suites tailored just for them. Check out all included plugins.
AQ’s Corner site is currently being hosted by WordPress.com. I am taking advantage of the Business plan and I enjoy it. It works perfect for all of my needs. Whenever I need enhancements I can quickly enable them. I also have access to hundreds of different themes. When being hosted by WordPress.com doesn’t suit the needs of my business, i’ll transfer my account to a site that allows for self hosting.
However, i’ll be utilizing WP Engine or some other hosting service that is known for being secure, not just cheap. To be clear, we all want affordable, but if that is the main thing a web host is known for, you should find another one. WP Engine is known for their security, I learned about them while taking a WordPress Developer class with Skillcrush.
Even though WP Engine is a hosting service that allows you to control your own website, they also check plugins to ensure that they are safe. If you upload a plugin that is not allowed, it will not be enabled (I did that once). I contacted them and they advised that it was not an approved plugin. I definitely appreciated the extra layer of security while using WordPress.org.
Truth be told, I was going plugin crazy and just started installing stuff. Which will happen. Every time someone tells you about a plugin to make things easier you’ll opt for the plugin, rather than taking time to learn your theme. Or even taking the time to say, “is this plugin safe”. You need a web host that has your back. The customer service was outstanding as well.
Fun Fact: While researching for this article I learned about VIP WordPress.com. VIP WordPress.com is a web hosting service used by the elite of WordPress.com. Though the VIP service isn’t for the average person, as the plans are beyond expensive. One thing VIP WordPress.com has in common with WordPress.com, is that they are serious about security. So essentially there are clients willing to pay 10k per month, just to use WordPress.com rather than WordPress.org.
This is not a shot at WordPress.org because i’ve used it before. This is so beginners can understand that they shouldn’t overlook something just because another person said it was a dumb idea. It’s critical to do your own research.
VIP WordPress.com clients include New York Times, New York Post, Time, Dow Jones and more. So the next time someone tells you that going with WordPress.com is dumb, you can let them know you’re among the elite of the internet.
Check out my article on what to ask your self hosting service.