Self-hosted is NOT better than

You probably have stumbled upon hundreds of articles comparing self-hosted and Their opinions about the two are a bit different. However, one thing everyone seems to agree on is that “Don’t use because of its limitation. Self-hosted is way better to start a blog or a website on.”

However, is that really true?

Having experience using both types of website building, we think everyone is wrong about and gives it a rather bad reputation.

In this post, we’re going to explain why we say self-hosted is NOT better than In fact, we think can be a more suitable choice for beginners when starting a blog or a website compared to using self-hosted

Self-hosted and A brief introduction

Before diving deep into this post’s main topic, it’s best to understand a little bit more about and is the home for the WordPress software – a free content management system (CMS) that helps you quickly create and manage sites’ content. Because it’s only a tool to assist you in building websites and blogs, you still need web hosting services to host the content. In that way, people can find and access it. Hence, the term self-hosted is coined.

On the contrary, is a hosting service and website creator built on the WordPress core. It means if you register for, you don’t have to find web hosting services yourself. Therefore, sometimes, people call it hosted

Using self-hosted and introduces slightly different levels of controls, advantages, and disadvantages over the management and customization of a website.

However, we won’t go into details about that here. They’re for a different post.

Now, let’s go through the benefits of using over and why we think it might be better for beginners to go with

The benefits of using over self-hosted

There are a bunch of built-in features and benefits provides that a self-hosted site doesn’t have out of the box.

Let’s see what they are!

Easy setup

With, you don’t have to find and set up a web hosting service yourself unlike in the case of self-hosted takes care of all the heavy lifting to help you start building your blog and website in the fastest and easiest way.

Free to use forever

You can start a completely free blog or website on with its custom domain name extension.

This allows you to test out the power of WordPress freely without having to pay in advance for a web hosting service.

Alternative To Google Ads: WordAds

In case you didn’t know, to be able to display Google ads to make money from your blog or website, it has to go through a strict review process to determine if it has enough content and doesn’t violate any advertising rules.

For example, we got rejected by the Google Ads program once because we only had 10 blog posts at the time of applying.

Using Premium, you automatically got accepted to the WordAds program, a high-quality advertising optimization platform for WordPress sites. It means you can instantly display ads right from the get-go.

Additionally, makes it super easy to show WordAds advertisements on your site with just a few clicks – no coding or third-party plugin required!

Unlimited Premium Themes

If you upgrade to a premium plan or higher, you get access to an unlimited number of powerful, flexible, highly-customizable premium themes at no extra cost. premium themes

Google My Business

Google My Business is a service for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. It helps people find and understand your business and improve your exposure on the internet.

Using, you can quickly connect it to the service to view stats and other useful information right from your site dashboard.

Connect to Google My Business

Collect Stripe And Paypal Payments

Upgrading to the personal plan gives you the ability to accept one-time or recurring payments through Stripe or Paypal for products, services, memberships, subscriptions, donations, etc. payments

This feature is usually not available by default for self-hosted sites unless they install third-party plugins like WooCommerce.

Accept donations and tips

You can easily set up a Donations Block on your site to accept donations, contributions, and tips for your hard work.

Subscriber Only Content allows you to lock specific content on your site, so only people who subscribe to your monthly or yearly membership program can access it.

You might have to spend quite a bit of money if you use a plugin like Memberpress or RestrictContentPro to have this feature, which costs at least somewhere around $99/year to $149/year.

With Paid Newsletters, you can automatically share premium content you publish on your blog with paying subscribers through email.

Automated Backup And One-Click Rewind

Backup & Rewind is a Business feature that keeps a record of your site’s content automatically (pictures, texts, videos, plugins, etc.), allowing you to restore your website or blog to a specific point in time.

This is useful in case you make an editing mistake, or your site crashes for some reason. Automated Backups

You can get this feature for self-hosted websites at an additional cost. For example, BlueHost offers the CodeGuard-powered Automated Backup feature at $1,99/month.

BlueHost CodeGuard basic pricing

SEO Tools

Another feature that is available in the business plan is SEO Tools. It allows you to optimize your site for SEO with custom meta descriptions, custom title formats, social previews, etc. SEO tools

Again, this feature can cost you somewhere around $1,99/month if you start a blog or website with self-hosted

BlueHost SEO Tools pricing

Built-in Site Stats provides you with a powerful built-in stat page, showing you how many views and visitors your site gets, what posts and pages are the most popular, which links are clicked, which videos are played, which countries your audience comes from, and more. built-in site stats

Google Analytics And Site Verification

Google Analytics is an advanced web analytics platform developed by Google, complementing stats, and giving you in-depth insights into your visitors.

Adding Google Analytics to a site is simple and straightforward with a built-in tool and no coding skills required.

Connect to Google Analytics also has its own site verification and sitemap tools that allow you to automatically send your site to all major search engines for indexing.

Site maps and verification on

These are features that are often not supported by self-hosted by default.

Advanced Social Media’s Advanced Social Media features give you the ability to connect, schedule, and share your posts to many big social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, and Tumblr.

Connect social media platforms to

There are also many other great advanced social tools offers out of the box, such as Instagram and Pinterest Embeds, Reblogs, Geotagging, Survey, Poll, Quiz, and more.

Although you can install third-party plugins to get similar features for your self-hosted site, they can be hard to manage, and you might have to pay additional fees to use them.

VideoPress Support

VideoPress is a lightweight, responsive, and highly-customizable video player included in and Jetpack paid plans. It allows you to host and embed fast, ad-free, unbranded videos on your blog and website with no additional charges for bandwidth usage and no caps on the number of video plays.

Free Email Forwarding

Upgrading to a paid plan allows you to access the Email Forwarding feature. It lets you use your custom domain in your email address, such as, so your email address looks more professional. All mails sent to this custom email will be forwarded to another email address.

With a business plan, you can have up to 100 email forwards.

Free Email Forwarding

Many self-hosted hosting services also offer free custom email accounts using cPanel Webmail. However, they are sometimes buggy and take a little bit of time to set up correctly.

Free Photo Library automatically integrates your site with a Pexels free photo library with over 40,000 copyright-free images.

Pexels free photo library

This feature allows you to quickly find and add beautiful images to your blog posts and pages without ever leaving the editor and digging photos from other websites. Reader

The biggest advantage of using is that you have access to its Reader, a very active feed aggregator that automatically brings every blog together in one place.

The Reader

The Reader allows everyone to search, visit, like, share, and comment on a blog post directly from it.

Additionally, people can follow a site and start seeing its posts as well as getting notifications when a new one is published. It means your site automatically gets extra exposure if you use

Like, comment, and follow on the Reader

It’s worth noting that a self-hosted site can appear on the Reader. However, to achieve that, you must have a paid Jetpack plan.

Self-hosted and The real price comparision

We have gone through all the benefits of using over self-hosted

But, to access many above features, you have to subscribe to a paid plan, which starts from $4/month (billed annually). And if you want to access all, you might have to choose the Business one, which costs $25/month.

How about self-hosted

For example, BlueHost is one of the most affordable hosting services out there, costing you a minimum of $5.95/month (billed annually). Then, most features we have mentioned can be obtained with a $19.95/month Security Daily JetPack plan. If you choose to pay for other individual third-party plugins, the cost can go up a whole lot more.

Therefore, in total, you might have to spend at least $25.9/month for your self-hosted site to have similar advanced features as a one.

As you can see, the costs between the two are more or less the same.


So, in the end, should you use or self-hosted

The answer is it depends. If you are looking for a low-upfront-cost solution and extend the site functionality yourself later, you should go with self-hosted

And if you want to start a blog or a website with full-fledged features in the quickest and easiest way, should be your go-to destination.

Userful Resources

Cohee Truong
Blogger | Website

The rightful owner of The Clever Business. I review & curate the leading suppliers so you don't waste time scouring the internet.