Most of you who have shifted to a self-hosted platform after working for months with a free .wordpress.com domain would have seen that the amount of traffic received would be lower on a self-hosted domain. About a year ago when I shifted from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, I too experienced the same problem.
When I searched the internet, I never found a clear explanation about why it was happening like that. So, I set out to find the reason for myself and finally realized that it was because a key feature of wordpress.com was missing with wordpress.org, it was nothing other than the presence of a community.
Talking about wordpress.com it had one of the most powerful communities in the world. Also in it, people can find your content from the wordpress reader by your tags and categories. While in wordpress.org, you won’t find any such features. All the self-hosted web users would need make a community of their own.
Recently I came across a very old guest post on onecoolsite.wordpress.com by Brad, the maker of canadiantechblogger.com. In it, he said that he moved his website from a self-hosted platform back to the free wordpress.com. He argues that while we host for free on wordpress.com we will get access to one of the most advanced online communities, while having a self-hosted site is like being in a stand-alone island.
In addition, you won’t have to bother about backups & downtime, bandwidth limits, loading time / issues and hackers. However, none of these in any way guarantees that wordpress.com is better that wordpress.org.
While comparing wordpress.com and wordpress.org, I would surely recommend wordpress.org because no matter how secure or easy wordpress.com may be, if we want to be professional we would surely need a custom domain (.com, .org etc) and while considering wordpress, its real power comes with its plugins and with wordpress.com, you can’t install and use any plugins. Also in case of themes, wordpress.com provides only a few of them, which are designed and developed by the wordpress team themselves. While with wordpress.org you can have access to a collection of thousands of themes mostly made by third party developers.
The plugins of wordpress.org makes it’s power limitless. Need a shopping site? Get it by installing a plugins like Woo-Commerce and a suitable theme like Shopkeeper, Uncode or Divi. You can even turn your site into a social networking platform with just a few clicks by installing plugins like BuddyPress or bbPress. A perfect theme like OneSocial or BuddyApp would make it more attractive and easy to use for both yourself and your customers. It is mostly right if I say that the whole thing that makes wordpress.org the best mainstream blogging platform is its themes and plugins.
Therefore, you can’t just turn back to wordpress.com just because of these four silly reasons (backup & downtime problems, bandwidth limits, loading time problems and hackers) instead you should find a way to fix them and to make sure that such problems never occur in the future. The main problem that I mentioned above was not these four, it was the absence of a community environment (and thereby the decrease in traffic).
So, let us tackle these problems one by one.
Backup and downtime problems:
These two problems can be avoided in two ways, one is by using the tools from your domain hosting provider or by using wordpress tools. For backups its better that you check it while buying your domain and hosting, most providers like Bluehost, Godaddy, Hostgator etc give backup facilities at little or no extra cost. Otherwise you can also use a wordpress plugins like VaultPress to backup your content (such features are are paid ones).
Downtime depends on the quality of your server. So it should be dealt with while you purchase your hosting. Bluehost is the best choice for small and medium websites when it comes to quality and customer support. WordPress also provides tools like Jetpack Site Monitor which is a part of the Jetpack plugin which alerts you by mail when your site goes down.
With the present day hosting solutions like Bluehost you don’t have to anymore worry about bandwidth restrictions. Bluehost is now providing unmetered bandwidth with all of its hosting plans so that you can always have a faster and reliable network.
WordPress also provides tools to further speed-up your website. You can use the WP Super Cache plugin to boost your site’s speed by creating cached files of your web pages.
Loading time problems:
You can decrease your site’s loading time by using the above mentioned WP Super Cache plugin but most providers like Bluehost, Hostgator and Godaddy would give your server enough loading speed, so that you don’t have to go anywhere else to take care of it.
These are a threat for almost every site even if it is a small blog or a large network like Facebook or Google. Almost all hosting providers will offer you additional security features at a small extra cost. The control panel login systems of these hosting sites have additional security to ensure that no one else accesses your account.
While it comes to wordpress, you can use plugins like sucuri scanner and loginizerwhich prevents malicious login attempts and brute force attacks by either blocking them or sending you a email notification with the live details of all logins and what each logged in user does inside your site.
So if you are going to start a blog, don’t back down from having a self-hosted domain because of these problems, all these can be easily solved if you play smart with all the technology in hand from web hosting features to wordpress plugins.
Have you self hosted your website? Then, what are the problems you face? ‘Or’ have faced? Share them in the comments and we will get you a way to solve them.
That’s not the end because we haven’t discussed about all the problems, the problem of having a community is still to be discussed. How to make your online community is rather very large topic and cannot be explained as a part of this post, so stay tuned and watch out for our next post tomorrow, ‘You’re Never In A Stand-Alone Island: The Key To Making A Dedicated Community’.
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