The interwebs are full of comparisons of WordPress dot org and pretty much everything else, including its sibling WordPress dot com. Basically WP dot org is free, open-source CMS software that I self-host using my own domain name and a commercial hosting provider of my choice. It has a bit of a learning curve but limitless possibilities. WP dot com is a commercial entity that offers to host my blog on its servers. It is easy to use and offers a free tier but is somewhat limited – especially on the free tier. It is frequently compared to Google Blogger.
Really no need for me to add more – except for my point of view.
I don’t have much experience with WP dot com. I partially duplicated my sandbox site, aCstudent.com, at acstudent.wordpress.com, as a test drive. First impression: I can definitely see the appeal of WP dot com as a free blogging platform. It offers adequate capability for a simple blog, and a generous 3 GB of storage space. I might or might not choose it over Blogger – more on that in just a bit.
I absolutely do not get the appeal of the WP dot com paid plans. Even the lowest cost plan, at $48/year, is about what I would pay for a domain name and low-cost hosting to use WP dot org – which offers tremendously greater capability. The ‘Business Plan’ at a whopping $300/year … seems flat out nuts to me.
Back to the free plan – why might I choose Blogger instead? Blogger is also free and offers adequate capability for a simple blog. And there are a couple of things I don’t like about WP dot com …
WP dot com puts ads on my site, for which WP dot com gets the revenue. The free tier does not allow me to use AdSense or other ads that would generate revenue for me. I don’t like it, but I get it and could probable live with it. An absolutely free service with no ads would be a difficult business model to sustain.
Far worse is WP dot com’s misleading attack – in my humble opinion – on Internet freedom. It was apparently a one day call-to-action thing, but it is still featured in the admin dashboard, so …
“Fight for Net Neutrality: The FCC wants to repeal Net Neutrality rules. Without net neutrality, big cable and telecom companies will be able to divide the Internet into fast and slow lanes. What would the Internet look like without Net Neutrality? Find out by enabling this banner on your site: it shows your support for Net Neutrality by displaying a message on the bottom of your site, and “slowing down” some of your posts.”
Take a close look at the ominous spinner and the unequivocal statement “This is what will happen” (emphasis added). This is an absolute, proven lie. Other radical alarmists went even further, claiming that without Net Neutrality the Internet itself would end. So, you are not reading this. It is not possible. The Internet ended on April 23, 2018.
Freeing the Internet from the dictatorial control and petty whims of arrogant big-nanny politicians and heartless giant corporations like Google, putting it back with the people where it belongs, had only positive consequences. The Internet worked just fine before Net Neutrality, with healthy competition preventing outrageous abuses. It once again works just fine after Net Neutrality was thankfully repealed. Like the more recent and egregious GDPR, Net Neutrality was never anything but an excuse for big government over-regulation, and a solution for problems that exist only in the anti-capitalism imaginations of the far left.
Then again, Google is a huge supporter of Net Neutrality as well. So, I guess one must pick one’s poison. The big advantage of WP dot com over Blogger is that I would be getting some experience with WP. So, when I inevitably decided to move on to a ‘real’ website, I would be better equipped to switch to WP dot org.