The best website builder for people who want flexibility
WordPress.com is a service that gives you an easy way to create a website built with the open-source WordPress software. WordPress powers 43% of all the websites on the internet, and WordPress.com gives you the simplest way of getting into the WordPress ecosystem.
WordPress.com is a service based on WordPress that brings a more website builder-like experience to WordPress by handling all of the setup and maintenance for you. But, as long as you pay for the WordPress.com Business plan, you still get access to pretty much all of the flexibility of WordPress, including the ability to install your own themes and plugins *.
With the ability to install plugins, you can add pretty much any feature to your site. You can even create a WordPress-powered eCommerce store powered by the WooCommerce plugin.
* You need to pay for the Business plan to be able to install plugins – you can’t install plugins on the cheap/free plans.
How it works
Unlike self-hosted WordPress, you can get started with a website powered by WordPress.com just by registering for an account.
From there, WordPress.com will launch you into a simple setup wizard where you can add details for your site, choose a theme, and make some other basic choices:
Once you’ve done that, you can manage your site from a dashboard area like this:
Again, if you’re paying for the WordPress.com Business plan, you also have the option to install custom plugins to further tweak your site.
You can find a WordPress plugin for literally any feature imaginable – check out some of the most popular plugins to get some ideas.
Ease of use and time investment
While the self-hosted WordPress software is a little more complex than your average website builder, the WordPress.com service does a good job of simplifying things.
The setup wizard can have you up and running with a working website in just a few minutes. For simple sites, that might be all you need.
If you want to go more in-depth, you can consider installing a page builder plugin like Elementor, which will give you access to a visual, drag-and-drop design experience like this:
Unlike self-hosted WordPress, you won’t need to worry about security or maintenance when you create your site with WordPress.com.
While WordPress.com does have a free plan and some cheap plans, we don’t recommend those plans if you’re looking for a full-featured website builder.
Instead, you should pay for at least the Business plan, which unlocks the full flexibility of the WordPress software.
It costs $25 per month if paid annually or $33 per month if paid monthly.