WordPress.com Business Plan
Here is my honest review of WordPress.com Business Plan after three years of hosting my website on this managed WordPress hosting platform.
Application Category: Web Hosting
WordPress.com is one of the largest WordPress hosting platforms, thanks to its Free plan. They host millions of blogs and websites powered by WordPress CMS. Their parent company Automattic also houses the popular microblogging website Tumblr.
In this review of the WordPress.com Business Plan, I’ll be sharing with you the pros and cons of hosting your website on WordPress.com.
I have been on the Business Plan for three years now and I’ll be definitely with them for another year and I’ll tell you why. Now, if you haven’t got a chance to check them out, do check them out by clicking on the button below.
Table of Contents
Unlike the Personal and Premium plans where users do not have the ability to install custom themes and plugins, WordPress.com Business Plan allows users to install custom WordPress themes and plugins.
Many people still think that they’re limited to only a few themes and plugins that come with these plans. This is the number one reason why many WordPress users stay away from WordPress.com.
WordPress.com is very reliable compared to normal web hosting companies out there. In the past three years, there was only one instance where my site went down because of issues on their end.
To make up for that, they added a couple of months to my existing plan and I gladly accepted their offer.
After moving my website to WordPress.com, my site never crashed due to WordPress upgrades. Thanks to their rigorous testing and quality assurance – I could proudly say that my site never went down due to any WordPress upgrade. It’s so much time saved for me which I could use productively instead of worrying about restoring my site when it goes down.
Update: You can now create a staging area and experiment with your site before pushing changes to your live website on Business plan.
Also, they have enabled page and object caching by default for all websites hosted on their cloud. So, you needn’t worry about setting up a caching plugin although you can couple it with a plugin like Autoptimize to improve your performance further.
Some people might find this frustrating since you’re not allowed to install your own caching plugin. But hey, that’s done to prevent you from breaking your website.
But if you’re really worried about improving your WordPress site performance, you can check out my article linked here to learn how that can be done no matter where you host your website.
Backup and Restore
Their backup and restore feature is AMAZING! There have been many instances where I have messed with plugin settings and got my site in a mess. But thanks to their backup and restore feature, I could roll my site back to a previous version which undoes all the changes made to the database.
Three years with them and I haven’t been a victim of hacking or any malware on my site. Their rock-solid security makes sure that I can sleep peacefully without worrying about my site falling into the hands of hackers. Also, their Activity Log feature is a gem. It helps me keep track of all the changes on my website.
But hey, if you’d like to improve your WordPress security, do check out this linked article.
Their support people or as they’re popularly known as Happiness Engineers could help you resolve most of the issues within a day, or two at the maximum. It really surprised me that they were ready to help me with customizing my site even though it was out of their scope.
On the other hand, even though I was promised live chat support I couldn’t take advantage of it at times. To be honest, it worked only initially. After that, my requests went straight to their email. So, that’s a bummer. But, I wouldn’t worry about it since they always got back pretty quickly.
WordPress.com Business Plan comes with Jetpack premium integrations out of the box. Most of the WordPress.com features on the Business Plan are powered by Jetpack. Some of these premium features include –
- Real-time backups and one-click restore
- Activity log
- Malware scanning
- VideoPress (Video Hosting)
- Advanced Search, etc
If you don’t want Jetpack to slow down your site, you can disable the modules that you don’t need.
WordPress.com supports serving your images through their global CDN (formerly Photon). Although you might feel this can improve your website’s performance, I’m sorry to disappoint you but it does the opposite. It increases the number of calls to their CDN URLs where your images are hosted.
Since it is not hosted in one single place, it can easily increase the number of queries and time taken for the images to load. Also, the images are cached like forever. If you want to replace the image with a different image, the old URL doesn’t get updated. Instead, a new URL is generated for the new image.
It offsets the benefit it offers like serving images in next-generation WebP format. So, I’d recommend you go with Cloudflare or any other CDN that doesn’t affect the performance of your website.
I could always try out and stay on the latest version of PHP and MariaDB officially supported by WordPress. It makes sure my site is always updated and can take advantage of the latest improvements and security features offered by PHP and MariaDB.
As I’m updating this review, my site is running on the latest version of PHP (8.0) and MariaDB (10.4) supported by WordPress.
By the way, you will get access to SFTP and Database as well using which you can work locally and push your changes to production. On top of that, you get 200GB of storage (which is HUGE), unlimited traffic, a free SSL certificate, and more.
Google Analytics Integration
I don’t understand why this is listed as one of their main features when this can easily be done in a better way by using a dedicated plugin like MonsterInsights or CAOS. Personally, I felt my site took a bit longer to load when I used their Google Analytics integration.
Advanced SEO Tools
This is also an unwanted feature. Instead, they could have partnered with Yoast SEO to give us something amazing or just integrate it with their hosting instead of trying to provide us with a half-baked solution. I think it would be better if they could have just left it to the pros instead of trying to be a swiss army knife of the WordPress hosting world.
I personally didn’t get a chance to take advantage of this feature although I felt it makes sense to allow users to accept payments online through their website. Nowadays, many people are selling products and services online and this could be a good addition for them.
If you want to self-host videos by directly uploading them to your website instead of uploading them to a separate video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo, this feature makes sense.
On the other hand, you could lose a lot of potential views that you would have normally gotten if you had uploaded your video to YouTube. So, think wisely and use their VideoPress hosting solution only if you have a strong use case or business requirement.
If you want to monetize your website by displaying ads from WordPress.com’s in-house as network, then you’ll be automatically eligible for the WordAds program. But, you should be aware that most of the time they display their own ads and sometimes from ad networks like Google Ads, Amazon, AOL, and more.
You might or might not find this useful if you’re already aware of these ad networks and are actively using them. People with sites getting large amounts of traffic but having no idea how to monetize it can find this solution really useful – especially if most of their traffic comes from the United States and Canada.
If you can afford the WordPress.com Business Plan, blindly go for it. It can save you a lot of time and you don’t have to worry about maintaining your WordPress site. On the flip side, they’re priced a bit higher than traditional web hosting plans.
This can deter a lot of people from signing up in the first place since it takes a bigger chunk of the initial investment. If you already have a popular site, this might be a good choice for you. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d rate it 4/5.
So, what do you think about this WordPress.com Business Plan review? Would you be willing to give it a try or are you an existing customer? Do let me know in the comments section below!