Why I host with WordPress.com

If you’re a writer and want your own website to show your portfolio of books/drawings/poetry, you’ll find that maintaining a website could consume a lot of time which might affect your main goal. Here where WordPress.com shines. Just create an account, choose a theme, provide some information, and that is all. You won’t care much then about this post or similars regarding WordPress Performance Plugins.

I’ve been on WordPress.com for long time. Two years ago, I decided to move to WordPress.org. For that, I had to choose between two paths: One, upgrade to Business Plan on WordPress.com – Check WordPress Plans. Or, two, self-hosting (WordPress.org). I explained earlier in simple way the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Both paths offers freedom in controlling the components of my site and ability to install plugins.

In a pervious post, I talked about how to enhance our blog sites performance following simple steps regardless of your hosting type. Here, I’m trying to go a little bit deeper considering you’re either on WordPress.com Business Plan or Self-Hosting.

Performance Components


It makes accessing your website content faster by eliminating the many steps a browser takes to generate pages dynamically. If you’re self hosted, WP Rocket Plugin is a must; considering it’s the best in the cache field. However, if you’re on Business Plan, it’s not needed. Cache system provided by WordPress.com is the best I’ve ever tried.


It is a geographically distributed group of servers that caches content near end users. ShortPixel Plugin is very good in providing CDN for images and static files (CSS & JavaScript). WordPress.com provides CDN for images by default. In WP Rocket Plugin, you can choose CDN for images, static files, or both; it doesn’t optimize images by default though. Further, there are arguments about having JavaScripts on CDN could involve concerns about security. On the other side, Cloudflare is well-known for the secure CDN it provides.

Media Optimizing

Compress images and display them in the right resolution. ShortPixel is doing great job here. Autoptimize Plugin with its Pro version cooperates with ShortPixel to provide you with CDN and image optimization. For me, I got better results using the defaults on WordPress.com. If you’re using WP Rocket Plugin, you need Imagify Plugin to handle the optimization of images.

Lazy Loading

Loading images, iframes, and parts of the site only when needed. WP Rocket Plugin is very good here. Autoptomize Plugin implements the feature in the traditional way (JavaScript) while WordPress.com provides it through browsers’ native lazy loading – I got better results this way.

CSS & Scripts handling

Minify, grouping, and/or deferring these files to minimize render-blocking resources. Autoptimize Plugin is the best I’ve seen in this field; its Pro version cooperates with criticalcss.com to auto handles inlining CSS. Although WordPress.com provides some basics, it’s not enough. WP Rocket Plugin did well in removing unused CSS but I don’t like that it’s hitting my database for doing this and that it inlines the used CSS. The Delay Execution of Script in WP Rocket is also unique feature that worths trying. But I could reach similar results with Autoptimize Pro. Asset CleanUp Plugin might be very important one here. Finally, Jetpack Boost Plugin has a brilliant way in deferring non-essential JavaScript.

Individual techniques or practices by the users themselves

In addition to choose the right hosting, plugins and theme, please refer to my earlier post Blog’s Statistics & Performance.

To concise:

WordPress Performance Plugins on self-hosted

For optimal combination, I’d go with WP Rocket (Cache, Lazy Loading) and Autoptomize Pro (CSS, Scripts, Image Optimization, CDN). There could be a use for Asset CleanUp Plugin too. Remember that extra plugins often involves extra processing and thus a delay in rendering your website.

However, I’m on a Business Plan

Most of the performance components are provided by default here. While installing WP Rocket Plugin and Autoptimize Plugin (including ShortPixel/CricicalCSS) made my website reach the highest score on PageSpeed and Gtmetrix, the user experience wasn’t so good. Asset CleanUp Plugin didn’t work well on Business Plan. Jetpack Boost Plugin failed me in critical CSS – a lot of Cumulative Layout Shift; it might because I have many components other than the default WordPress ones; that’s, Blog and WooCommerce.

For me, the best combination of WordPress Performance Plugins on Business Plan is:

  • Page Optimize default Plugin for handling CSS files (free).This is done by JetPack Boost now
  • Jetpack Boost Plugin for handling JavaScripts (free).
  • WordPress.com default Cache, CDN, Image Optimization, and Lazy Loading (price is included).
  • Extra: Cloudflare with good optimization enhanced my score of TTFB (1/2 less) and FCP (1/3 less).

Now, do you think that $300/year for Business Plan is expensive after all?! And the ultimate question would be: Do you really need to upgrade your WordPress.com account beyond Personal or Premium Plan?

P.S., If you’re self-hosted and ever thought to move to WordPress.com, you might need to check this link first.

13 thoughts on “Why I host with WordPress.com”

  1. I find that self-hosting with WordPress.org has been much more economical for me, but I love that you give a breakdown of why you enjoy and are able to utilize WordPress.com’s Business plan features. 🙂

    • Thank you very much. I believe it depends on your needs and how much you’re willing to pay for a personal website or a business one. In my example above (WP Rocket + Autoptimize Pro which cover the subject parts), the cost would be around $40+$80/year which is still less than Business Plan. Further, if Jetpack Plugin is installed (Image CDN is included for free), you probably don’t need the pro version of Autoptimize. However, if you want to subscribe to most features in Jetpack along with some other plugins, the cost would be higher.

  2. Great article. I have run out of room for more media on my Walk With Me/KatelonTJeffereys wordpress blog. I checked with another blog I used to follow, one that shares many pictures on each post and he was still on the free WP, somehow condensing his photos so that they didn’t take up so much media storage space. I use my phone for photos and set it so it is the smallest setting possible, but somehow that hasn’t made a difference. So I’m just waiting to have funds to pay for a plan that allows me more media storage. This article was helpful for me regarding that.

    Thanks also for staying with my blog even though I didn’t post for almost a year 🙂

    • Your blog is amazing and joy to stay with, Katelon. Until you upgrade for more space, you can always use shortpixel.com to compress images before uploading to WordPress. This saves a lot of storage. Further, you can also use services like Flickr to embed an image/album from there on your post; this is not the best performance option though. Looking forward having you back.

  3. Hi, thank you for your review. I have a question regarding the Cloudflare, I believe using WordPress.com Business plan already give advantage of CDN and built in optimisation. In this case what is the advantage of using Cloudflare on WordPress.com?

    • Thank you, Iqbal. Sorry in case my answer is long:

      1- Cloudflare (CF) in general provides better cache. However, after writing this post, WordPress.com Business Plan (WP BP) provided additional service: Enable Global Edge Caching. So, I don’t see this as an advantage any more.

      2- Plugins’ static files other than Automattic’s are not being served from WP’s CDN. CF serves all files from their CDN. Considering that WP BP serves all your site from multiple locations, I don’t think this is an issue.

      3- The only advantage of using CF is connection latency. For $60/Year (CF APO) and based on my testings/settings, I found: Time To First Byte TTFB is around 50% less and First Contentful Paint FCP is almost 30% less. Does this worth $60? If you’re using G. AdSense & Analytics (I’m not) and you’re willing to pay more than $60, you can also benefit from CF Zaraz which allows you to install those on edge side. However, I haven’t tested it.


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