- This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Barbara Lucas.
September 14, 2022 at 5:38 pm #3183Barbara LucasParticipant
If you are using WordPress, is it better to host at WordPress.com (with your own URL) or go to another hosting platform to host your site? I know WordPress has some behind-the-scenes stuff that doesn’t roll out to other hosts (unless you buy Jetpack). I am on WordPress.com but the customization options (like using your own theme) don’t roll in until the $25/month plan, which is outside my budget at the moment. Where can you get the greatest customization flexibility but also the greatest feature-rich WordPress experience?September 14, 2022 at 8:36 pm #3190Louise BerginParticipant
I have the same concern as Barbara Lucas. Are these features only available for the paid WordPress.com version or do they work for the free WordPress.com?September 14, 2022 at 8:58 pm #3195Chelle HonikerKeymaster
Most of the features will *not* work with the free WordPress.com platform. They keep that sucker locked down and you can’t add your own plugins, which is great if you don’t want to mess with things, but terrible if you’re getting serious about using your website for more than just a brochure/business card.
I love Namecheap- but DO NOT go with the WordPress Hosting (it seems like that would be what you want, but it’s not. It’s a glorified version of WordPress.com hosting with their name slapped on it… )
Instead, you can go with this: https://www.namecheap.com/hosting/shared/
You pay $25.88 per YEAR for hosting, and you get one-click installation of WordPress in a version that you can fully control.
The very good news is that the next Author Tech Summit in January will have sessions on WordPress Websites, including how to build your own and tweak things like this to your heart’s content.September 14, 2022 at 9:37 pm #3197Barbara LucasParticipant
I had a few follow ups/clarifications.
So you wouldn’t advise hosting with WordPress, even with their paid hosting options (not WordPress.org)? I was leaning that way until I found out you couldn’t use any outside templates unless you went with the $25/month plan. If you host off WordPress, is adding on JetPack worth it?
I poked around on Namecheap, and I see there is the Shared Hosting and also WordPress hosting. Why would you use the Shared vs. the WordPress option? Also I see with the plans there are numbers of email boxes you can have. Do you get them automatically and free with the plan, or do you also have to buy the email hosting to get the feature turned on? Does that make sense?September 14, 2022 at 9:54 pm #3198Chelle HonikerKeymaster
I wouldn’t host with WordPress.com, even with their paid hosting. It’s challenging to use because they restrict everything, and you’ll find that they nickel and dime you to death.
I would also not use NameCheap WordPress Hosting because it’s a “white labeled” version of WordPress.com. It’s called EasyHosting and they restrict and limit the plugins and themes just like WordPress.com does.
I would go with Namecheap shared hosting, which does come with email boxes attached to your domain name from the start — you will be offered different upsells (Microsoft 365 email, Google Workspace Email) — don’t take them. Just use the shared hosting email boxes that come with the $25 per year hosting.
Jetpack is (in my opinion) not worth any amount of money. It has more features than you need, and it slows down sites to the point of frustration. The company that started WordPress bought them and they’ve tossed in a host of extra things that didn’t fit anywhere else and so it’s become what we like to call bloatware. It’s not useful.
So, Namecheap shared hosting is my preference for most authors. It’s easy, it’s less restrictive, but it also gives you some protection from bad guys since Namecheap is paying attention.
Hope that helps — let me know if you have more questions! These are great ones!September 14, 2022 at 10:09 pm #3199Barbara LucasParticipant
That explanation is SO helpful. Is it worth it to pay the $1 more per month at Namecheap to host in the EU and get on the cloud servers? Do you know if that has pros/cons on uptime and/or speed to load the page?
Does Namecheap have any pattern of taking down sites for content issues? I’m not talking clear examples of objectionable content people shouldn’t be posting, but I’ve heard of other people who write romance of higher heat levels who might get ToSed for their book cover pics of excerpts of their books posted on their sites.
I saw Namecheap can maintain email lists (and I’m assuming here, maybe allow you do email campaigns. I’m guessing that it’s better to get a dedicated email program like MailerLite or ConvertKit to handle things like that? Would that be fair?
I’m glad you mentioned the upselling, since I was looking at features, and when I clicked on one, it added it to my cart and then had a BIG list of upsell items. In terms of those items (or even plug-ins that you can add to WordPress, are there any you’d recommend or advise us to avoid?
By the way, it’s so nice to e-meet you. I really enjoy Indie Author Magazine!
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