Are you curious about this one? Well, you aren't alone. It is a question that has been coming up quite a bit and so I thought that we could dive into it today.
What control do you gain with the move?
Premium themes are generally only available for the self-hosted WordPress sites. These themes tend to be the primary reason that people make the switch to a self-hosted blog. Premium themes allow you to customize the appearance of your site often more easily and quickly.
Plugins are the heart and soul of WordPress and they can make or break a blog. For example, Yoast SEO allows you the freedom to control how your blog post is presented in search. You can control the title and description that shows up for the guy searching for “Poetry” in his Google search bar.
With a self-hosted blog and a premium theme you will have far greater control of the stylization features of a blog post such as font type and size. Fonts and spacing tend to be a difficult row to hoe in the free WP version.
With a self-hosted blog you can add custom code, which allows you to add or subtract elements of your theme.
On a free WordPress blog, WP is allowed to run ads. It pays them for hosting your blog for free. When you have your own, you choose the ads and the money the ads make belongs to you. (For a yearly fee, you CAN remove their ads.) Note: Money from ads requires a lot of traffic, and can take years.
Bonus: Download a free checklist of the first plugins that I always install on a new WordPress Blog.
It is not uncommon to for a new blogger to test the blogging waters with a free blogging platform such as WordPress.com or Wix. However, as a blogger dives deeper and deeper into learning about blogging they often run across a plugin or design that they really want to use. This is the moment when they realize that they can't have it with their current platform.
The good news is that you can always make the transition from WordPress.com to WordPress.org but do be warned that the transition isn't free. It costs money for hosting and the domain and the themes and even for some of the better plugins.
This is why I say that blogging isn't free. Perhaps, I should revise my saying to "Blogging for profit, isn't free."
If you are blogging for fun and never have the intention of making a profit than the free version of WordPress is perfect for you. If however, you transition to wanting to blog for profit, you will want to start planning your switch today.