Despite being initially very fascinated by Namecheap’s cloud WordPress hosting called EasyWP, things did not work out very well during the past months. Tired of having to report issues, I finally took the decision to move to a paid wordpress.com plan.
For some reasons, which even Namecheap’s support could not figure out, my blog kept having frequent down times. I even tried deleting the blog and started all over again, changed themes, disabled plugins but no vain. I also noticed that the blog was randomly available from different browsers. Nobody has been able to explain the issues except the usual mails:
Fortunately, the hosting charges were reimbursed recently after I complained about the service. Read my review about Namecheap’s EasyWP here. Since I already tested quite a lot of hosting companies, this time, I decided to go even further by testing WordPress’ own paid plans.
The above plan page is pretty descriptive and you can easily compare the various plans available. Depending on your budget and needs, a personal blogger will probably subscribe to any of the following plans Free, Blogger, Personal or Premium.
Based on my hosting budget, I opted for the “Premium” plan, which also allowed me to automatically subscribe to WordPress’ own advert program, called “WordAds”. For info, none of the plans allow you to directly add Google Adsense to your pages. This was quite a concern for me as I relied on my Google Adsense revenues to pay for my hosting. During the past years, the blog was financially self-sufficient. Without much choice left, the “Premium” plan gives me the opportunity to test WordAds.
During checkout, I grabbed a free WordPress coupon, giving me a discount of 15%. Thus, I paid $82 for the first year with renewals being billed at around $90 yearly. At this price, you can get one shared hosting package solution in which you can get unlimited disk space, web sites, domains and sub-domains, free email service. But at wordpress.com, you get only 1 blog. Period.
Setting up the paid WordPress.com blog
Setting up is very simple if you still have your blog online somewhere else:
- Load your blog, export your content through the admin panel.
- You create an account and pay for the desired package
- Open your new blog, go to import and upload that exported file.
- Wait for a few mins for the import to be completed. This process will pull the media (images etc) from your blog into your new wordpress.com blog.
- Click “Launch site” to make it publicly available
- Point your domain DNS to WordPress name servers.
Yes, it has really been so simple.
- So simple to set up
As described above, going online is really straight forward. However, I guess that things might be really complicated if your blog is not online at the time of setting up as you don’t have any database or ftp access to WordPress.com servers.
- Super fast
Loading my blog is really super fast now. I can’t complain. No need to be stressed about any caching or optimization.
I keep fingers crossed on this one. I should not have any issues here as WordPress.com is unfortunately badly reputed to keep everything restricted so that users cannot change a great deal of things that might break your blog, other blogs and the servers.
Oh hell, there’s a lot you need to sacrifice in order to achieve a trouble-free blogging (I hope so) and hosting experience unless you have loads of money allowing you to purchase the most expensive plans. So, the negative points listed below really depend on the plan you are purchasing. I will base my points on the fact that I took a Premium plan:
- You can’t add any plugin other than those activated automatically by JetPack. So, no fancy feature anymore. I can’t even add thumbnails to the recent posts sidebar. Bye bye Disqus.
- A large variety of themes (free and paid) is readily available but the only disadvantage is that you won’t be able to bring much tweaks. You can play with the CSS and that’s all.
- If you are using a custom domain, your blog will always show https://yourdomain.com. So, no www in front of your domain name. All traffic will automatically be redirected accordingly.
- Permalinks format are automatically fixed and limited to
So, for example, my birthday’s blog post which was previously accessible through https://www.yashvinblogs.com/happy-birthday-2019/ will now be automatically redirected to https://yashvinblogs.com/2019/03/22/happy-birthday-2019/
This said, I expect all my indexed links on search engines to be updated accordingly with time.
- You can’t neither generate a sql backup of your database or download your media files for re-use to rebuild your blog on another server. If in the future, you need to move to another host, you absolutely need to use the export feature and import back the exported file into another wordpress installation. Any media (images/videos) should be automatically imported into the new environment but at the time of import, the previous blog need to be online and accessible. Very similar process to what I did to set up my blog here.
WordPress wrote their own list of hosting a blog on wordpress.com vs wordpress.org. So, just have a look here if you want more details. Also, good to know that the Business plan allow you to install plugins and upload themes while the E-commerce plan adds e-commerce related features.
When subscribing to a wordpress plan, you are given the choice to grab the free domain (included in the plan) or to use an existing domain. This allows you to replace the yourblog.wordpress.com format to something more personal and easy to remember.
If you are using an existing domain, like in my case, you can opt to
(1) Move your domain to wordpress domain management system or
(2) Keep existing domain management and just change the DNS settings
However, I find it always a good practice to keep the domain and the hosting on two different companies. I feel reassured just in case any of them shuts down lol.
This is completely a new world for me, so let’s wait for the earnings to show up (if any) and let me reach the minimum $100 to be able to receive the payment. If you want me to write a post on this topic, you need to actively visit the adverts 🙂
The unreliable hosting has caused much harm to the blog because of the down times and also to other accessibility issues faced. Since things did not work out as expected, I could not wait anymore. It has been only a few days since I’m on this new platform, it will take me time to grasp everything and get used to the new way of doing things. I’m all excited to start this adventure on a new hosting (again!) but hopefully, let’s be positive.
It is somewhat ironical but I can completely compare this new environment switch to the transition from an Android phone to an iPhone. You are damned restricted to do things but what matters at the end, is that you turn out to be more productive and focused on what really matters.