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How to Restrict Your WordPress Forms to Logged-in Users Only

Are you looking for an easy way to restrict your WordPress form submissions to logged-in users only?

If you have a membership site, online store, or another type of website that has registered users, then you may want to restrict certain forms access to only logged in users.

In this article, we will show you how to restrict your WordPress forms access so only logged in users can fill out and submit them.

Restrict Form Access in WordPress

When and Why You Need to Restrict Access for WordPress Forms?

There could be a number of scenarios when you would need to restrict access to certain WordPress forms to logged-in users only.

For example:

  • You may be hosting a private members event, and you only want registered users on your site to RSVP.
  • You may restrict access to support for members only, and by restricting it to logged-in users only, you can dynamically populate certain information from their profile.
  • You might want to run an employee survey or poll, and you want to restrict access to your internal team only.
  • You are running a customer NPS survey that you only want to be submitted by logged-in users only.
  • You might have a special prize claim form that you want to be accessed by only certain logged-in users.

These are just some examples, but there could be literally hundreds of other use cases where you want to restrict form access to registered users only.

With that said, let’s take a look how to restrict your WordPress form access to logged-in users only.

Method 1: Restrict Form Access with WPForms Form Locker Addon

This method is easiest and most powerful, so we recommend it for all beginner users. We will use the WPForms plugin and their Form Locker addon to completely lock down WordPress form access.

WPForms is the best WordPress form plugin used by over 2 million websites. It was created by WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, to have all the features we needed for running our business.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WPForms plugin. For more details, see this step by step guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress.

Upon activation, you need to enter your license key and then add over to the WPForms » Addons page to install the Form Locker Addon.

WPForms Form Locker Addon

Now you’re ready to create a new form that has restricted access for logged-in users.

To do this, go ahead and create a new form by going to WPForms » Add New. This will open the WPForms form builder where you will be presented with the option to either choose a form template or start with a blank one.

WPForms drag & drop form builder is extremely easy to use, so you can add or remove fields and customize the form to your liking.

WPForms Form Builder

Once you have added all the necessary fields, you need to go to the Settings Tab and click on Form Locker.

WPForms Form Locker Settings

On this tab, you will see the option to enable password protection for your WordPress forms, set total entry limits, enable form scheduling, and enable restricting entries to logged-in users only.

Form Locker Logged in User Only

Once you check the box, you will see a new Message field where you will need to draft a message that will appear to all users who are not logged in to your site.

WPForms Form Locker Restrict Access Message

Once done, you can tweak other form settings that you might need and then click the Save button.

Now you can embed this form on any WordPress post or page on your site by using the WPForms shortcode in the Classic Editor or by using the WPForms block in the Gutenberg editor.

Simply go to Post or Pages, and then click on the Plus icon to select a block. Next, type WPForms in the block search.

Add WPForms block to WordPress post or page

Once the WPForms block is added, select your form to embed and you’re done. Congratulations, you have successfully created a WordPress form that’s restricted to logged-in users only.

Method 2: Restrict Form Access with Password Protected or Private Pages

Another way to restrict form access in WordPress is by using the default WordPress visibility settings. You can use this method with the free version of WPForms or any other contact form plugin.

Simply create a Page or Post where you want to embed the form. After that click on the Visibility settings on the right panel.

WordPress Page Visibility Settings

You have the option to either make the whole page private or make the whole page password protected.

Private pages can only be seen by the Administrators and Editor level users on your website.

If you set a password for the page, then you will have to share that password with everyone who you want to give access to.

While this method works, there are several downsides to it.

First, the entire page is hidden not just the forms area. You lack the finer controls, and there’s no way for you to see which logged-in user submitted the form (if you’re using the password protected setting).

Method 3: Use Advanced Membership Plugins to Restrict Form Access

If you’re using an advanced WordPress membership plugin like MemberPress, then it comes with a lot of access control features built-in.

You can simply go to MemberPress » Rules to create a new permissions rule.

Add new rules in MemberPress

The rule edit page allows you to select different conditions and associate them to a membership plan.

For example, you can select all content that matches a particular tag or category to be available only to members with the silver subscription plan.

Add a rules set to MemberPress

You can also create more specific rules. For example, a single post or page, child pages, or a specific URL.

Once you have set the rules, you can use it in combination with any WordPress contact form plugin to restrict form access to logged-in users only.

For more details, see our step by step guide on how to restrict content access in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to restrict your WordPress forms to logged-in users only. You may also want to see our list of best WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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7 Best WordPress CRM Plugins for Your Business

Are you looking for a WordPress CRM plugin for your business website? A CRM (customer relationship management) system allows you to manage leads and contacts to increase sales or maintain relationship with customers. In this article, we will show you the best WordPress CRM plugins for your business to help you effectively manage leads.

WordPress CRM Plugins

What is a CRM? Do I Need a CRM plugin for WordPress?

The most important goal of running a business website is to increase sales and offer better service to your customers. For this you need a system to manage customer relationships.

A CRM (customer relationship management tool) allows you to manage customer information in one location. It also provides you valuable insights into your business’s history with the customer.

There are many third party platforms that can be used as a CRM for your site. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could integrate a CRM right into your WordPress site?

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress CRM plugins that you can try on your business website.

1. UkuuPeople

UkuuPeople

UkuuPeople makes it easy to use a CRM system right inside your WordPress site. It claims to make CRM system simple for WordPress site owners.

UkuuPeople helps you manage your contacts in a master list. You can then segment your contacts into tribes (groups) and initiate interactions with them using touchpoints. You can add team members, assign them tasks, schedule meetings, from your WordPress dashboard.

The core plugin is available for free. It also offers paid addons to integrate your UkuuPeople CRM with MailChimp, Gravity Forms, Google Apps, etc.

2. WP-CRM

WP-CRM

WP-CRM extends the built-in WordPress user management system and allows you to add custom meta data. It comes with easy to use forms for the front-end, that can be easily added into your pages. It also comes with powerful filtering features which allow you to sort customers based on the custom attributes you add.

The core plugin is free, but it also comes with paid addons to extend the functionality.

3. WordPress-to-lead for Salesforce CRM

WordPress to Salesforce CRM

If you are using Salesforce CRM to manage your business contacts, then WordPress to Salesforce CRM plugin is the way to go. It connects your WordPress site to your Salesforce CRM account.

It also allows you to easily manage leads captured through your website and syncs them with your Salesforce CRM account. The plugin also comes with easy to add forms for WordPress posts and pages.

4. UpiCRM

UpiCRM

UpiCRM is a free standalone WordPress CRM plugin. It works with your WordPress contact form plugins to manage and capture leads inside WordPress. It comes with a powerful user management system that allows you to assign leads, group contacts, send emails, etc.

It also works well with your Google Analytics and provides you detailed insights into user activity on your website.

5. WP-CRM System

WP-CRM System

WP-CRM system promises to be a fully featured CRM. It allows you to manage your contacts, projects, and tasks from WordPress admin area. It has support for teams, groups, projects, and task management.

The plugin also offers integration with contact form plugins, Slack, and Zendesk connect as paid addons.

6. Presspoint CRM

Presspoint

Presspoint is a paid WordPress CRM solution with great set of features and functionality. It comes with email automation, e-commerce, opportunity management, events, and custom forms built right into your WordPress site.

Some other unique features of Presspoint are customer directories, content restrictions, and custom profiles. It allows you to create unique profiles for every user if you need.

7. WPForms

WPForms

Not sure how to use a CRM for your business? Perhaps you would like to checkout WPForms. It does two basic things that any good CRM would do for your WordPress site. First it allows users to contact you through a contact form that you can add anywhere on your site.

Secondly, it stores all contact form entries in your WordPress database. You can go back to your entries and see when each customer contacted you.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress CRM plugin for your website. You may also want to check out our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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WPBeginner Exclusive – Bluehost $2.95 / month + Free Domain (Limited Time Deal)

Looking to start a new blog, switch hosting providers, or transfer from WordPress.com? Let us make it easy for you. Our friends over at Bluehost has agreed to offer all WPBeginner users a limited time deal: 60% discount and a free domain name.

Bluehost 2.95 Special

This super exclusive offer expires on July 26th, 2016 (11:59 PM MST) and is only being offered through WPBeginner.

You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 / month which is their lowest price ever → Claim this Offer ←

Why Bluehost? Because they are an official WordPress recommended hosting provider.

Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies on the web (started in 1996 – older than Google). They are the largest brand name in WordPress hosting and host millions of websites including several of our own.

Full Disclosure: When you purchase using our referral link, at no additional cost to you, we will receive a small commission. We would get this referral fee for recommending just about any other company, but we only recommend products that we personally use and/or believe will add value to our readers.

Who is this offer great for?

Well everyone, but in particular: those starting a new blog or switching from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog.

We have written a full article on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, but here’s the summary of why you should use self-hosted WordPress:

  • You get a free domain name (only if you go with Bluehost)
  • You have access to more themes and design customization options.
  • You can install plugins.
  • You can run your own ads without any restrictions.
  • You can create your own store.
  • You own and control your content (whereas on WordPress.com you are restricted to their Terms of Service, and they often show ads to your users unless you pay them not to).

Not convinced yet?

Bonus offer: Our expert team will help you get started. Bluehost promised us that if you signup using our referral link, then they will compensate us to do the blog setup for you. We will even migrate your WordPress.com blog over to self-hosted WordPress. Here’s how to claim this offer:

1. Signup using our referral link

2. Fill out the form on this page and that’s it!

Who Shouldn’t Use this Offer?

This offer is not good for everyone. Our goal at WPBeginner is to guide the users to make the best decision regardless of whether we get paid or not.

The biggest catch here is the term “unlimited space and bandwidth”, and we want to explain that.

The way these shared hosting companies are able to offer such affordable prices is by allowing multiple users to share a large server. By having multiple sites on the same server, it allows them to reduce costs for everyone.

Think of the savings as riding a bus vs your own car.

Having that said, there is no such thing as unlimited. While it says unlimited, you still have usage restrictions. If your site starts to take up substantial server load, then they will politely force you to upgrade. If they don’t take this action, then it has negative effects on the overall performance of every other site sharing the same server.

As conventional wisdom goes, your overhead costs will grow with your business!

If your website is getting millions of pageviews per month, then this $2.95 hosting plan won’t work for you. You should look into getting a VPS or even managed WordPress hosting.

However if you are just starting out or have a small business website, then there is no reason for you to pay hundreds of dollars each month for resources you won’t use. You should absolutely definitely take advantage of this shared hosting offer.

→ Signup with Bluehost Now ← – Lowest prices ever + a free domain name.



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5 Best WordPress Membership Plugins Compared (2019)

Are you looking to build a membership site in WordPress? Want to know which is the best WordPress membership plugin? Choosing the right membership plugin is crucial for your business because a better platform means more opportunity for growth. In this article, we will compare 5 best WordPress membership plugins to easily create paid membership websites.

Best WordPress membership plugins compared

What to Look in a WordPress Membership Plugin?

There are plenty of WordPress membership plugins, but not all of them have specific features that you may need for creating your membership site.

Some of them are good for selling subscriptions on a single level while others offer more diverse membership levels and subscription management features.

Some plugins offer drip content feature which allows you to slowly release new content to a user. While others are restricted to only offering hidden content.

You will also need to figure out which payment gateways you will use. Do you want to accept credit cards only, PayPal, or both? Your membership plugin should have support for your preferred payment gateways either built-in or through an addon.

Having said that, let’s see what you will need to start a WordPress membership site.

What Do You Need to Run a WordPress Membership Site?

Membership websites are resource intensive, and choosing the wrong host can be detrimental to your overall performance. That’s why the first thing you need to do is choose the best WordPress hosting that you can afford.

If you’re on a budget, then you can start with Bluehost. Their Business Pro plan comes with a SSL Certificate which you need to securely collect payments, dedicated IP, and a dedicated support line.

If budget is not an issue, and you want the best performance, then we recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider like WPEngine.

If you don’t already have one, then you will need to choose a domain name for your website. Here is our guide on how to pick the right domain name for your membership site.

Lastly, you will need to choose essential business plugins such as OptinMonster which helps you capture leads and boost subscriptions.

Now that we have covered what you need to start a membership site in WordPress, let’s take a look at our top WordPress membership plugins.

1. MemberPress

MemberPress

MemberPress is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins. It is also the easiest to use and the most robust when it comes to features.

Pros of MemberPress WordPress Membership Plugin

Easy to Setup – MemberPress makes it simple to setup a membership website with WordPress. It can automatically setup pricing, login, account, and thank you pages for your users. Adding membership plans is also very straight forward.

Content Access Control – MemberPress comes with powerful access control, which allows you to restrict access to any content including posts, pages, categories, tags, files, etc.

Content Dripping – Content dripping allows you to show restricted content to members after a certain time. This is a very useful feature for selling online courses or learning materials.

Integrations – MemberPress integrates with AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and MadMimi email services. It also integrates with Amazon Web Services and BluBrry for podcast hosting.

Payment Gateways – MemberPress comes with built-in support for PayPal and Stripe payment gateways. Developer plan also adds Authorize.net support.

Cons of Using MemberPress Pro

Limited Payment Options – MemberPress only supports the three most popular payment gateways. This would be a deal breaker for site owners who live in countries not supported by these payment gateways.

Limited Integrations – While the plugin has enough support for popular services to run a membership site efficiently, it still lacks integrations with some other popular services. The plugin is easily extensible, and you can pay someone to integrate a third-party service you would like to use.

Pricing: Business Edition $99/Year, Developer Edition $199/Year

We think MemberPress is the most easy to use WordPress membership plugin for beginners. It is quick to setup with tons of powerful options.

2. LearnDash

LearnDash

LearnDash is a super flexible and extremely easy to use WordPress LMS plugin. It comes with advanced membership modules and tons of integrations.

Pros of Using LearnDash

Easy to Setup LearnDash is quite easy to setup and adding content to it much more simpler. It also comes with advanced tools to easily organize your membership content into levels, groups, etc.

Easy Content Restrictions LearnDash allows you to easily hide any content and restrict it to different membership groups.

Sell Courses – LearnDash allows you to easily create and sell online courses. It has advanced modules that allow you to better manage learning material than other WordPress membership plugins.

Drip Content – It comes with powerful drip content feature allowing you to roll out content to users on regular intervals or upon completion of levels.

Built-in Community Features It comes with tools to create highly engaging membership sites with quizzes, user badges, course specific forums, certificates, user profiles, etc.

Integrations & Payments LearnDash offers an amazing set of integrations and payment gateways. You can even connect it to MemberPress, WooCommerce, bbPress, Slack, etc.

Cons of Using LearnDash

Lacks some membership features – If you are trying to build a membership website without selling courses, then some of LearnDash features may not be useful to you.

Pricing: Starting from $159 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

LearnDash is the perfect solution if you want to sell online courses on a paid membership website. It’s extensive set of addons and integrations allow you to build a highly-engaging platform.

3. Teachable

Teachable

Teachable is an all inclusive online courses builder. It packs membership website, LMS, discussion forum, email marketing, and analytics all under one dashboard.

Pros of Using Teachable

Ease of Use Teachable is easy to set up and does not require any technical skills at all. Creating membership content is a breeze and includes built-in tools to quickly create and upload videos, text, PDF, and more.

Drip Content It includes flexible drip content feature, which allows you to roll out content based on a users’ progress or subscription level.

Built-in Engagement Features It offers discussion forums, quizzes, contact forms, certificates, and other features to boost user engagement and build powerful online communities.

Cons of Using Teachable

Not a WordPress Plugin Teachable is not available as a WordPress plugin. Instead, you can integrate it to your WordPress site by adding links or a sub-domain.

More Expensive Teachable includes everything which makes it more expensive than other WordPress membership plugins.

Pricing: Basic plan starts at $39 / month, professional $99 / month, and business $499 / month.

4. Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro is a powerful contender for the title of the best membership plugin for WordPress. It is created by same team that’s behind the popular Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP plugins.

Pros of Using Restrict Content Pro

Easy to Use – Restrict Content Pro beautifully integrates with the WordPress user interface. This allows you to easily figure out how to use it.

Built-in Integrations – Unlike other membership plugins, Restrict Content Pro comes with built-in integrations that other plugins ship as paid addons. It has Stripe, PayPal, MailChimp, MailPoet, email manager, CSV export, and many more features.

Payment Gateways – Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree come as free addons. Other supported payment gateways include 2Checkout, PayPal Website Payments Pro, PayPal Express, and Stripe Checkout.

Works with Easy Digital Downloads – If you are running Easy Digital Downloads to sell digital products, then Restrict Content Pro is the perfect companion for that.

Excellent Support – There is extensive free documentation available for all users. You also get professional support by email with very fast response times.

Cons of Using Restrict Content Pro

Fewer Integrations – It has fewer integrations with third party services such as email service providers than some other plugins on this list.

Pricing: $99 with 12 addons and single site license, $149 for 5 sites, and $249 for all addons and unlimited sites. There is also a $499 lifetime plan.

We found Restrict Content Pro to be one of the most easy to use membership plugin. It is also developer friendly, and comes with a great set of features that are perfect for all kind of membership websites.

5. S2Member

S2Member

S2Member is a popular free WordPress membership plugin with pro version available as well. It has been around for quite a while and has a devoted userbase.

Pros of Using S2Member WordPress Membership Plugin

Free Base Plugin – The s2Member base plugin is free. Anyone can download and give it a try. It is limited in terms of features and support but gives you a good starting point.

Content Dripping – S2Member Pro comes with content drip feature.

Payment Gateways – The free version supports PayPal. Pro version of the plugin supports Stripe and Authorize.net as well.

Integrations – Works with MailChimp, bbPress and BuddyPress.

Documentation & Support – S2Member has an extensive knowledgebase available to all. Pro users also get email based support.

Cons of Using S2Member WordPress Membership Plugin

Not very user-friendly – We found s2Member to be a little more difficult to use than other membership plugins.

Free Version Limitations – Free version only supports PayPal, limits to only 4 membership levels, and does not have drip content feature.

Pricing: The base plugin is free, then Pro version for a single site license costs $89 USD. For unlimited sites pro version costs $189 USD.

Conclusion:

We believe that MemberPress is the best option for WordPress membership plugin. It has all the features that you would need with great documentation and support.

If you want something simple and flexible, then Restrict Content Pro is a great option. The team behind has a proven track record for producing excellent products.

If you want to sell courses on your membership website, then we recommend using LearnDash, it comes with powerful features to create and sell courses online.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress membership plugin for your site. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better? (Pros and Cons)

Did you know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are actually two very different platforms? Often beginners confuse the two which leads them to choose the wrong platform. We’re often asked by our users which is the better platform: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. To help answer that, we have created the most comprehensive comparison of free WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (self-hosted version).

Our goal is highlight the key differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, so you can choose the right platform for your needs.

Self hosted WordPress.org vs free WordPress.com

Since choosing the right platform is crucial for your online success, we have created the most complete comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org ( text comparison, table-based comparison, and a full infographic).

If you just want to start a blog or make a website the RIGHT way, then you can skip this article and head over to our guides here:

Having said that, let’s take a look at the differences between self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (Infographic)

Self Hosted WordPress.org vs Free WordPress.com

Note: This infographic and article compares the powerful self-hosted WordPress.org with the free WordPress.com hosting service. You can unlock additional features in WordPress.com by upgrading to their paid service. We have highlighted those features as well.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org Comparison

The best way to understand the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is to take a look at each platform individually.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org aka “the real WordPress”, is the popular website platform that you have heard all the great things about.

It is open source and 100% free for anyone to use. All you need is a domain name and web hosting. This is why it is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress.

Below are the pros and cons of using the self-hosted WordPress.org to build your website or blog.

WordPress.org Benefits

With WordPress.org, you have full control of your website. You are free to do anything you want and customize it as much as you need. Here are some of the benefits of choosing WordPress.org to build your website, and the reason why it is the go-to choice.

  • It is free and super easy to use. (See why is WordPress free?)
  • You own your website and all its data. Your site will NOT be turned off because someone decides that it is against their terms of service (as long as you are not doing something illegal). You are in full control.
  • You can add free, paid, and custom WordPress plugins / apps to your website.
  • You can use customize your website design as needed. You can add any free or paid WordPress theme that you want. You can also create completely custom designs or modify anything that you want.
  • You can actually make money from your WordPress site by running your own ads without sharing revenue with anyone.
  • You can use powerful tools like Google Analytics for custom analytics and tracking.
  • You can use self-hosted WordPress to create an online store to sell digital or physical products, accept credit card payments, and deliver / ship the goods directly from your website.
  • You can also create membership sites and sell memberships for premium content, courses, etc and build an online community around your website.

WordPress.org Cons

There are a very few cons of using the self-hosted WordPress.org site.

  • Like all websites, you will need web hosting. This is where your website files are stored on the internet. Initially, the cost is around $3-$10 per month. However as your website grows and gets more traffic, the web hosting costs will increase as expected, but then you would be making enough money to cover the costs.
  • You are responsible for updates. You can easily update your WordPress site by simply clicking on the update button (1-click), so it’s not too much work.
  • You are responsible for backups. Thankfully, there are tons of WordPress backup plugins that let you setup automatic backups.

The real cost of WordPress.org website varies based on what you are trying to build (simple blog, portfolio website, eCommerce store, membership site, etc). There are also other factors like free templates vs premium templates, free plugins vs premium plugins, etc.

On a low budget, you can build your website for as little as $46 per year. See our guide on how much does it really cost to build a WordPress website for full details.

For 99% of users, our recommendation is always to use WordPress.org. See our guide on how to start a website.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a hosting service created by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. Because of the same founder, often users confuse WordPress.com with the popular WordPress.org software.

The WordPress.com hosting service has 5 plans:

  • Free – Very limited.
  • Personal – $36 per year
  • Premium – $99 per year
  • Business – $299 per year
  • VIP – starting at $5000 per month

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of WordPress.com.

WordPress.com Benefits

The free WordPress.com platform is a good choice for hobby bloggers and those starting a blog for their family. Here are some of the benefits of using WordPress.com:

  • It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space. (Personal plan $36 /year gives you 6GB, Premium plan $99/year gives you 13GB storage, or Business plan for $299/year for unlimited storage).
  • You will not have to worry about updates or backups. WordPress.com will take care of that.

WordPress.com Cons

There are several limitations of free WordPress.com which differentiate it from WordPress.org. Here are some of the disadvantages of using WordPress.com:

  • They place ads on all free websites. So your users will see ads, and you don’t make money from it. If you don’t want your users to see their ads, then you can upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $36 per year).
  • You are NOT allowed to sell ads on your website. If you run a high traffic site, then you can apply for their advertising program called WordAds where you share revenue with them. Premium and Business plan users can use WordAds right away.
  • You cannot upload plugins. Free plan users get built-in JetPack features pre-activated. Business plan users can install from a selection of compatible plugins ($299 / year). WordPress.com VIP program lets you install plugins, and it starts from $5000 per month.
  • You cannot upload custom themes. Free plan users can only install from the limited free themes collection. Premium and business plan users can also select premium themes. There are limited customization options for the free version. Premium and Business plan users can use custom CSS.
  • You are restricted to their stats. You cannot add Google Analytics or install any other powerful tracking platform. Business plan users can install Google Analytics.
  • They can delete your site at anytime if they think it violates their Terms of Service.
  • Your site will display a powered by WordPress.com link. It can be removed by upgrading to the Business plan.
  • WordPress.com does not offer any eCommerce features or integrated payment gateways.
  • You cannot build membership websites with WordPress.com.

As you can see, the WordPress.com hosting platform is quite limited when you’re on the free, personal, or even premium plan. To unlock some of the more advanced features, you have to be on the Business plan ($299 per year) or on the VIP plan ($5000 per month).

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (FAQs)

Since this is a popular topic, and WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners, we get tons of questions regarding WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We have done our best to answer the most frequently asked questions below:

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which is Better?

If you are a personal blogger, and you don’t care about making money from your website, then go with the free WordPress.com.

If you are a business or a blogger that wants to make money from your site, then we recommend using the self-hosted WordPress.org. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to grow your website the way you want.

While you can get several advanced features with the WordPress.com Business plan ($299 / year for each website), you can make that money go much further on a self-hosted WordPress site which costs $46 per year.

In our expert opinion, WordPress.org is hands down the better platform. That’s the platform that every professional blogger, small business owner, and even big name brands likes Disney uses.

How do I start a WordPress.org Website?

To start a self-hosted WordPress website, you need a domain name and WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet such as google.com, wpbeginner.com, etc. Web hosting is where your website files are stored on the internet.

We recommend using Bluehost for hosting your website because they are one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. They’re also an official WordPress.org recommended hosting provider. Last but not least, they’re offering our users a free domain + 60% off on hosting.

For step by step instructions, you can checkout our free guide on how to make a website.

If you need help, WPBeginner team can even build your website for free. Learn more about how our free WordPress blog setup works.

Can I move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

Often new users who don’t know the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org end up starting with the free WordPress.com service. Once they see the limitations of the platform, they want to switch to “the Real WordPress” aka WordPress.org.

Yes, you can definitely switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and fairly easily move all of your content.

We have created a step by step guide on how to move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, or you can take advantage of our free blog setup service, and we will transfer your blog for free.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Summary

The best way to think about the differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is the analogy of renting a house vs. owning a house.

WordPress.com is similar to renting a house. You have limited power and control over what you can and cannot do.

WordPress.org is like owning a house. Where you have full control, no one can kick you out, and you can do anything that you want.

Below is the summary of everything we discussed above in our self-hosted WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison:

 WP.org (Platform)WP.com (Free)WP.com (Premium)WP.com (Business)
Cost$46 – $100 / yearFree$99 / year$299 / year
Custom DomainYesNoYesYes
Hosting StorageUnlimited3 GB13 GBUnlimited
Monetization FreedomYesNoYes (with rev/share)Yes (with rev / share)
Branding FreedomYesNoNoYes
All SEO FeaturesYesNoNoYes
Powerful AnalyticsYesNoNoYes
Full Theme SupportYesNoLimitedYes
Full Plugin SupportYesNoNoYes
Ecommerce StoreYesNoNoNo
Membership SiteYesNoNoNo
MaintenanceYesNoNoNo
Full ControlYesNoNoNo

Final Thoughts

The confusion created by the similar domains: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org is quite unfortunate for beginners. There is a lot of history behind the decisions, and you can read more about that in our article how WordPress.com and WordPress.org are related.

Our hope is that you found this article helpful in understanding the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

We wish you all the best with your website and hope that you chose the right platform: WordPress.org.

If so, you may want to follow our guide on how to learn WordPress in 7 days or less.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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