Well I can’t believe it, wordpress.com has now put all web hosting companies on notice that they are coming to get them! Here is the official blog post announcing support for third part plugins and themes.
In the past I used to explain that the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org was that you could only use a limited number of plugins or themes on wordpress.com and you couldn’t sell anything there. That has now changed completely, well for the top plan anyway, the Business plan.
The wordpress.com Business plan in a nustshell
As of time of writing this blog post the business plan costs $AUD 33.35 / month and is paid annually so that’s $AUD 399 per year.
It includes these things
- free domain name
- unlimited storage
- email and live chat support
- VideoPress support
- SEO tools
- Install plugins
- install themes
- Google analytics integration
- no wordpress.com branding
Pricing page for is here -> https://wordpress.com/pricing/
Secret bonus 1 – VaultPress backups included in wordpress.com business ( I think)
Real time VaultPress backups appear to be included. I have access to a wordpress.com business account and it has vaultpress connected with no other charges other than the business plan so that is a bargain if you get the hosting and backup service all of the one price.
Secret bonus 2 – Easy to setup eCommerce store out of the box
This is a screenshot straight from a wordpress.com business account.
Looks like they are also rolling out a competitor to shopify with easy to setup ecommerce stores right from the get go. Only available to United States and Canada for now but hopefully that will get to other countries sooner than later.
What does this mean for us?
Well what we now have is a premium hosting option which costs $AUD 33.95 per website that offers:
- wordpress core files automatically updated
- vaultpress backups (the best money can buy in my opinion)
- use whatever plugins or themes you want to.
- sell products within the wordpress.com ecosystem which should be safer
Ok that’s all shiny and exiting but what are the negatives?
Cost per website
If you have a lot of websites then its an expensive option compared to using regular web hosting that allows many domains on one account ,
No ftp / sftp access
Also you won’t be able to access the website via ftp to play around with files etc which to me is not really an issue as most of the time you are going in to repair something using ftp but I wouldn’t expect wordpress.com to need repairing
Website speed is an unknown quantity
Not sure how being on servers with a lot of other websites is going to go.
Will really depends on the density of websites wordpress.com are allowing but its got to be better than the ultra cheap hosting companies who overload the servers and have ip blacklist issues left right and centre.
Server location could be outside the country the website is servicing so it sucks a bit for SEO (unless you live in the USA of course)
So this website is an Australian website using the business plan but its server(s) are in the USA which means slower speeds and less SEO value from a local perspective.
No built in email service – its extra like fries and a coke
So that means you need to get a g suite account for $AUD 5.50 per user per month. At least its easy to setup they do all of the coding geekery for you if you buys it within your account.
Also I only use G Suite and have done for years, its a far better option than using the free email accounts provided with normal web hosting as its a pain in the butt everytime you want to change hosting. If you have a g suite account those emails will be with you wherever you go forever. And of course there are all the other benfits of g suite like document creations and file storage.
I LOVE G Suite so this is not actually a negative for me but worth keeping in mind while planning a move to the wordpress.com business plan setup.
And finally here is the official video announcing the support for plugins and themes on the Wordpress.com Business plan for you viewing pleasure
Please note wordpress.com links are affiliate links for this post about wordpress.com business plan now allowing any plugin or theme.