Oh, hello there! Long time no see!
Well yes, I did not write on my blog for quite some time, the main reason being that I simply did not have anything to write about, nor did I feel like writing anything. I went through some changes in my life, from moving to a different country to more personal things. I guess this happens to everyone.
This does not mean that I will be back writing monthly as I used to do, but I’ll definitely try to get back into the rhythm and write some useful tutorials. And I want to start with this article.
I recently moved my website to WordPress.com. It was previously hosted on Siteground (affiliate URL). There are a few reasons why I did this, and I want to explain them here so that you can consider the idea as well.
All in One Place
Since I work at Automattic, I obviously spend a lot of time on WordPress.com for work. I have several test sites here as well as private sites. Moving my personal blog to WordPress.com made sense in order to have everything in one place, without having to log into several different websites for the purpose of updating the blog, managing the SSL, and then the CDN.
This last one specifically started being an issue lately. I am a very lazy person, I like my comforts and I like having to use only one tool for all the things, from a Dungeons & Dragons tool that can track life, death, and miracles of every single character in my party, to a tool to update and maintain all of my websites.
I used to use MaxCDN on SiteGround, but since I was on SSL, I also had to use an SSL certificate for my CDN URLs. Since SiteGround provides free SSLs from Let’s Encrypt, I was, of course, using that, which also means that the SSL on my blog was renewing every three months. On MaxCDN I had to manually update the SSL details every three months. It might seem like nothing, but if you have ever seen my website down in the last two years, this was the reason why it happened.
I always received that email from MaxCDN about the expiring SSL, and I knew that I just had to go on SiteGround, renew the certificate and upload the details on MaxCDN, but I’m lazy. I always waited until the last moment to do it, many times I even forgot about it and I did it only after someone reported me that the site had issues.
With WordPress.com instead, I have the free CDN from Jetpack that does everything for me. I do not have to update any SSL, I can just forget about it. WordPress.com provides free SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt for free automatically, meaning that you only have to register your blog, and after that, WordPress.com will automatically generate a certificate for it, set it up, and start serving your site over HTTPS. Many times you might not even notice that this is happening.
Custom Themes and Plugins
The main reason why I initially had my site hosted on SiteGround, is the limitation that we used to have on WordPress.com. Until not too long ago, WordPress.com was not allowing anyone to upload their own theme or plugin for safety reasons, not even Business plan customers could do it. This was very limiting for me because I wanted that little something more that allowed me to make my website unique and look exactly like I wanted it.
I searched several times for a theme that I really like on WordPress.com, I could just never find one that satisfied me in every aspect. I am not saying that WordPress.com does not have beautiful themes, there are many that I liked, just I did not like exactly everything of them, or I like them but I wanted one more feature that I could not add.
Now instead, our developers and designers worked hard in order to implement this feature and finally allow custom themes and plugins on WordPress.com for Business plan customers.
This, of course, was great news for me! I could keep using my theme, Enfold, even after moving to WordPress.com, along with small little plugins I had created by myself and other plugins from WordPress.org and other vendors.
Ease of Use
There’s nothing to argue about this. WordPress.com is just simple to use. You go through the registration wizard and you’re in, ready to post. It’s just easy and fast, and I don’t have to worry about much, especially on a Business plan with automated hourly backups and rollbacks in case of issues.
I update all the things without creating a staging site or worrying about incompatibilities. I’m now acting like the worst website owner ever, I go to the Updates page, I select all the checkboxes that I can, and I click on Update All with an evil smile on my face. In the worst case, I can just reset to one hour earlier.
Move to WordPress.com
I’m in no way trying to convince you to move to WordPress.com, Automattic does not raise my salary if you register on WordPress.com, but if you happen to be interested, go over here and create a free WordPress.com blog to give it a try or get started with your site.